How To Comment on California’s State Plan For Child Care

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I. The Child Care Development Fund State Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2021: An Overview

The Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) is the largest source of federal funding to states to improve the availability, affordability, and quality of child care programs.  Almost all of California’s state-funded child care programs rely on CCDF funds – general child care contracted centers, family child care home education networks, Alternative Payment Program vouchers, and CalWORKs Stages 2 and 3 vouchers.  CCDF also funds activities to improve the quality of child care, to promote informed parental choice, and to pay for the state’s costs of administering CCDF. The California Department of Education (CDE) is responsible for developing and administering California’s CCDF Plan.

The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDF Reauthorization) was the first time that this federal law had been substantively changed in almost 20 years and reflects much of what we have learned about the positive impact that stable, quality child care can have on young children’s development and learning. The CCDF Reauthorization’s purpose and goals are to:

  1. protect the health and safety of children in child care;
  2. help parents make informed consumer choices and access information to support child development;
  3. support equal access to stable, high-quality child care for low-income children; and
  4. enhance the quality of child care and better support the workforce.

State CCDF programs must now meet higher standards for health and safety, licensing, provider training, and family-friendly practices to increase child care stability. California has made substantial progress in some of these areas, such as family eligibility policies and increasing provider reimbursement rates.  However, it has much work to do in other areas.

Every three years, CDE must submit its plan to the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, the federal agency that oversees the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), demonstrating how California will implement the CCDF requirements.  CDE has just issued its draft CCDF State Plan for the period from October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2021. Before CDE submits its Plan to the federal government for approval by June 30, 2018, it must provide opportunities for public comment, both in person and in writing.  Mark the dates listed below on your calendar!

II. View the California Department of Education’s Draft State Plan

Go to the Draft State Plan on CDE’s Website and click on “CCDF State Plan PrePrint 2019-2021.”

III. How To Make Comment

A. Testify at the Public Hearing on May 15, 2018.

A public hearing will be held at the offices of the CDE, Sacramento and via webcast at the following locations on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Agency Address and Contact Information
Fresno County Office of Education  

Lighthouse for Children
2405 Tulare St. Ste#100
Conference Room
Fresno, 93721

 

San Bernardino County Office of Education 1950 S. Sunwest, Suite 300
San Bernardino, CA 92415
Santa Clara County Office of Education Saratoga Room
1290 Ridder Park Drive, MC225
San Jose, CA 95131
Santa Barbara County Office of Education Cabinet Conference Room, 2nd Floor
4400 Cathedral Oaks Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Yolo County Office of Education 1280 Santa Anita Court
Davis/Washington Rooms
Woodland, CA 95776

B. Submit Written Comments by the May 21, 2018 Deadline

What:   Written comments offer stakeholders who cannot easily attend a public hearing in Sacramento a chance to make their voices heard. They also offer stakeholders with specific expertise the opportunity to submit more elaborate information than oral testimony easily allows on one or more particular areas, such as data, studies, or analysis supporting specific comments.

When:   CDE must receive all written comments by 5:00 p.m. on Monday May 21, 2018.

How:    Stakeholders can offer written comments on the proposed State Plan by mail, fax, or email.

State Plan Public Hearing Coordinator
Early Learning and Support Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 3410
Sacramento, CA 95814

916-323-6853 (fax)

statepln@cde.ca.gov

As with oral testimony, CDE requires that written comments be related to specific items in the proposed Plan and that comments identify the section number, heading, and page number of the Plan upon which they are commenting.  Comments are limited to the State Plan, and should not address the need for regulations, legislation or child care matters outside what is, or should be, contained in the State Plan.

IV. Where To Find Agency Information Regarding the State Plan and CCDF

California Department of Education State Plan Website

Information about opportunities to provide input in the Plan process, state Plan materials from prior years, and other key information about CDE’s Plan activities:

Federal Office of Child Care Website

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Child Care (OCC) administers CCDF and reviews state Plans for approval.

OCC resources on CCDF Reauthorization and the final rules implementing the Reauthorization are here.

V. Child Care Law Center Resources and Comments

The Child Care Law Center website offers policy materials that may be helpful in drafting comments. These include an Executive Summary on Opportunities for Making California’s Child Care System Better Through CCDBG in 2016, which resulted from a convening of 39 child care stakeholder organizations and Topic Papers containing recommendations for California on specific CCDBG topics in the State Plan:

In commenting on California’s prior CCDF State Plan in 2016, the Child Care Law Center made “10 Key Recommendations to Deliver on the Child Care Promise for California’s CCDF State Plan,” and we recently posted an Analysis of the CCDBG funding increases contained in the 2018 Omnibus Spending bill.

 

The Child Care Law Center’s State Plan comments will be available on our website when completed. Individuals interested in updates on the Child Care Law Center’s activities and guidance related to the State Plan process may contact us at info@childcarelaw.org, or sign up for policy updates here.


May 2, 2018