MB 15-01: Extension of 60-day Limitation on Seeking Employment
January 8, 2015
The California Department of Education’s Early Education and Support Division (EESD) has just issued Management Bulletin 15-01, announcing the order of Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI), to grant migrant agricultural worker families an extension of 60 working days to the 60 working day time period during which they may receive child care for the purpose of seeking employment. Torlakson’s order offers some peace of mind for parents who are migrant agricultural workers, and stability for their children.
California Code of Regulations, Title 5, section 18086.5(a) allows parents to receive child care for the purpose of seeking employment for up to 60 working days. Education Code section 8263(d) and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, section 18086.5(d) authorize the SSPI to extend the 60 working days for an additional 60 working days if the Governor declares a State of Emergency, and the factual basis for the Governor’s declaration indicates that opportunities for employment have temporarily diminished to such a degree that parents cannot reasonably be expected to find employment within 60 working days. On January 17, 2014, Governor Brown Jr. proclaimed a State of Emergency, citing California’s water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, and directed state officials to assist farmers and communities that are economically impacted by dry conditions. Torlakson’s order extending the time period for seeking employment is based on the severely diminished employment opportunities for migrant agricultural workers due to California’s extreme drought. Its purpose is “to ensure continuity of early education services for children during the period of diminished opportunity for agricultural employment.” The order applies to children receiving services through the Migrant Child Care Program and Migrant Alternative Payment Programs.
SSPIs rarely invoke their authority under Education Code section 8263(d) to extend the time to receive child care for the purpose of seeking employment. The time period was extended under this provision in 2004 in 18 counties, and in 2008 because of the recession.
The order will be in effect through June 30, 2015. Beginning July 1, 2015, the time limitation will revert to 60 working days.