Today's Law As Amended

PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

SB-1123 Child care and development services.(2013-2014)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The first three years of life are a period of dynamic and unparalleled brain development in which children acquire the ability to think, speak, learn, and reason. During these first 36 months, children need good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences to lay the foundation for later school success. Low-income infants and toddlers are at a greater risk for a variety of poorer outcomes and vulnerabilities, such as later school failure, learning disabilities, behavior problems, developmental delay, and health impairments.
(b) The most effective way to help babies and toddlers is to promote positive parent-child relationships. Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer child care and development programs, including the general child care and development program that provides services to eligible low-income children from birth to 13 years of age. For children birth to three years of age, the General Child Care Program funds centers and family child care home networks in 49 of California’s counties to provide full-day, full-year child care and development services that meet the State Department of Education’s Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations, and include some provisions for parent education and involvement such as parent conferences and an orientation. However, several core, research-based approaches to parent engagement and support are not required nor is funding provided.
(c) The federal Early Head Start program serves low-income infants and toddlers with a flexible program model intended to meet the varied needs of families, including child care and development services, family engagement and support, voluntary home visitation services, and health services. Research shows that children who participated in Early Head Start had significantly larger vocabularies and scored higher on standardized measures of cognitive development, and that children and parents had more positive interactions, and parents provided more support for learning. Many different home visiting programs have been shown to significantly reduce the occurrence of child maltreatment and abuse, and improve children’s health and school success. Parent training programs, such as the Positive Parenting Program, have shown significant reductions in child abuse and neglect as well as improvements in school readiness, health, and well-being.
(d) High quality learning services for infants and toddlers strengthen family engagement and parent-child relationships; focus workforce development on provider-child relationships; promote teacher-child interaction and a language rich learning environment; support dual language learning; serve as a gateway to comprehensive services; and promote a choice of quality service options.
SEC. 2.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to strategically use state and federal funds to provide a stable, comprehensive, and adequately funded early learning and educational support system for children from birth to five years of age that promotes access to safe, high-quality, part-day and full-day services that support the development of the whole child, especially for those children who need it most, that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Supporting positive parent-child relationships and responsive caregiving.
(b) Promoting language rich environments, including at home.
(c) Developmentally appropriate curriculum with differentiated instruction.
(d) Knowledgeable, caring, and well-trained educators, staff, and providers.
(e) Program activities and services that are age appropriate and meet the developmental needs of each child, including special needs children.
(f) Promotion of healthy practices and activities.
(g) An educationally enriched environment that respects and supports cultural, linguistic, and ability diversity.
(h) A physical environment that is safe and appropriate to the ages and developmental needs of the children served.
(i) Provision for nutritional needs and physical activity of children.
(j) Access for low-income infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to high-quality early learning and care.
(k) Support services for children and families that include referral of children to appropriate agencies, including referrals related to, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Health care.
(2) Social services that include, but are not limited to, child abuse prevention, identification of child and family needs, and referral to appropriate agencies.
(3) Early childhood mental health services, including primary prevention, crisis intervention, assessments, and referrals.
(4) Family support, parenting education, and family and community engagement.
(5) Counseling, including family counseling.
(6) Nutrition services.
(7) Interagency coordination and collaboration among the state agencies responsible for the provision of support services to children and their families.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8203 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8203.
 The Superintendent of Public Instruction  shall develop standards for the implementation of quality  high-quality early learning and educational support  programs. Indicators of quality shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) A physical environment that is safe and appropriate to the ages of the children and that meets applicable licensing standards.
(b) Program activities and services that are age appropriate and meet the developmental needs of each child.
(c) Program activities and services that meet the cultural and linguistic needs of children and families.
(d) Family and community involvement. involvement and engagement. 
(e) Parent education. education and support. 
(f) Efficient and effective local program administration.
(g) Staff that possesses the appropriate and required qualifications or experience, or both. The appropriate staff qualifications shall reflect the diverse linguistic and cultural makeup of the children and families in the child care and development  early learning and educational support  program. The use of intergenerational staff shall be encouraged.
(h) Program activities and services that meet the needs of children with exceptional needs and their families.
(i) Support services for children, families, and providers of care.
(j) Resource and referral services.
(k) Alternative payment services.
(l) Provision for nutritional needs of children.
(m) Social services that include, but are not limited to, identification of child and family needs and referral to appropriate agencies.
(n) Health services, as defined in Section 8208, and developmental  services that include referral of children to appropriate agencies for services.
(o) For services for infants and toddlers, continuity of care and the assignment of primary caregivers.

SEC. 4.

 Section 8242 is added to the Education Code, to read:

8242.
 (a) General child care services for infants and toddlers shall be known as California Strong Start services.
(b) Services provided pursuant to this chapter that serve children from birth to their third birthday, shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Parent engagement and support services that promote positive parent-child relationships.
(2) Full-day early learning and care services.
(3) Part-day early learning and care services.
(4) Voluntary home visitation services.
(5) Nutrition services.
(6) Referrals to needed services such as health and dental care, child abuse prevention, housing, and early childhood mental health.
(c) The Superintendent shall develop standards, rules, and regulations for the implementation of high-quality, evidenced-based infant-toddler services, based on, but not limited to, the federal Early Head Start model. The standards, rules, and regulations shall achieve the following:
(1) Promote language rich environments, including supporting a child’s home language and English acquisition.
(2) Promote responsive caregiving by parents, guardians, and care providers.
(3) Be based on the Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations.
(d) California Strong Start service providers shall have the flexibility to combine early learning and care services with one or more of the additional services identified in subdivision (a), based on the needs of the children and families served.
(e) California Strong Start service providers may coordinate with First 5 California commissions, voluntary home visitation programs, Early Head Start, child care, child welfare, early childhood mental health and intervention including Early Start, and health and nutrition services.
(f) (1) A family engagement supplemental grant shall be made available to qualifying California Strong Start service providers, as determined by the Superintendent, at a rate of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per eligible child. The Superintendent shall distribute family engagement supplemental grant funds for the purpose of providing evidence-based parent training services as defined in the California Department of Social Services’ California Evidenced-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.
(2) A countywide or regional consortium of California Strong Start providers, with a lead grantee agency that is a First 5 California commission, county office of education, or other local public agency, may apply to the Superintendent for a countywide or regional grant for the total amount of eligible children pursuant to paragraph (1).
(g) (1) A voluntary home visitation supplemental grant shall be made available to qualifying California Strong Start service providers, as determined by the Superintendent. For children who receive full-day early learning and care services, the supplemental grant amount shall be two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per child. For children who receive part-day early learning and care services, the supplemental grant shall be six thousand dollars ($6,000) per child. The Superintendent shall distribute supplemental grant funds for the purpose of providing evidence-based voluntary home visitation services as defined in the California Department of Social Services’ California Evidenced-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.
(2) A countywide or regional consortium of California Strong Start providers, with a lead grantee agency that is a First 5 California commission, county office of education, or other local public agency, may apply to the Superintendent for a countywide or regional grant for the total amount of eligible children pursuant to paragraph (1).
(h) Grants made pursuant to subdivisions (f) and (g) shall be made only upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or in any other statute for purposes of funding general child care services.

SEC. 6.SEC. 5.

 Section 8263 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8263.
 (a) (1)  The Superintendent shall adopt rules and regulations on eligibility, enrollment, and priority of services needed to implement this chapter. In order to be eligible for federal and state subsidized child development  early learning and educational support  services, families shall meet at least one requirement in each of the following areas:
(A) (1)  A family is (i) (A)  a current aid recipient, (ii) (B)  income eligible, (iii) (C)  homeless, or (iv) (D)  one whose children are recipients of protective services, or whose children have been identified as being abused, neglected, or exploited, or at risk of being abused, neglected, or exploited.
(B) (2)  A family needs the child  care services (i) (A)  because the child is identified by a legal, medical, or social services agency, a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code, a Head Start program, or an emergency or transitional shelter as (I) or emergency shelter as (i)  a recipient of protective services, (II)  services or (ii)  being neglected, abused, or exploited, or at risk of neglect, abuse, or exploitation, or (III) being homeless or (ii)  (B)  because the parents are (I) (i)  engaged in vocational training leading directly to a recognized trade, paraprofession, or profession, (II) engaged in an educational program for English language learners or to attain a high school diploma or general educational development certificate, (III)  (ii)  employed or seeking employment, (IV) (iii)  seeking permanent housing for family stability, or (V) (iv)  incapacitated.
(2) If only one parent has signed an application for enrollment in child care services, as required by this chapter or regulations adopted to implement this chapter, and the information provided on the application indicates that there is a second parent who has not signed the application, the parent who has signed the application shall self-certify the presence or absence of the second parent under penalty of perjury. The parent who has signed the application shall not be required to submit additional information documenting the presence or absence of the second parent.
(b) Except as provided in Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350), priority for federal and state subsidized child development  early learning and educational support  services is as follows:
(1) (A)  First priority shall be given to neglected or abused children who are recipients of child protective services, or children who are at risk of being neglected or abused, upon written referral from a legal, medical, or social services agency. If an agency is unable to enroll a child in the first priority category, the agency shall refer the family to local resource and referral services to locate services for the child.
(B) A family who is receiving care on the basis of being a child at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, as defined in Section 8208, is eligible to receive services pursuant to subparagraph (A) for up to three months, unless the family becomes eligible pursuant to subparagraph (C).
(C) A family may receive care services for up to 12 months on the basis of a certification by the county child welfare agency that child care services continue to be necessary or, if the child is receiving child protective services during that period of time, and the family requires care and remains otherwise eligible. This time limit does not apply if the family’s care referral is recertified by the county child welfare agency.
(2) Second priority shall be given equally to eligible families, regardless of the number of parents in the home, who are income eligible. Within this priority, families with the lowest gross monthly income in relation to family size, as determined by a schedule adopted by the Superintendent, shall be admitted first. If two or more families are in the same priority in relation to income, the family that has a child with exceptional needs shall be admitted first. If there is no family of the same priority with a child with exceptional needs, the same priority family that has been on the waiting list for the longest time shall be admitted first. For purposes of determining order of admission, the grants of public assistance recipients shall be counted as income.
(3) The Superintendent shall set criteria for, and may grant specific waivers of, the priorities established in this subdivision for agencies that wish to serve specific populations, including children with exceptional needs or children of prisoners. These new waivers shall not include proposals to avoid appropriate fee schedules or admit ineligible families, but may include proposals to accept members of special populations in other than strict income order, as long as appropriate fees are paid.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, in order to promote continuity of services, subsequent to enrollment in a state or federally funded early learning and educational support program, a child shall be deemed eligible for the remainder of the program year.
(c) (d)  Notwithstanding any other law, in order to promote continuity of services, a family enrolled in a state or federally funded child care and development  early learning and educational support  program whose services would otherwise be terminated because the family no longer meets the program income, eligibility, or need criteria may continue to receive child development  services in another state or federally funded child care and development  early learning and educational support  program if the contractor is able to transfer the family’s enrollment to another program for which the family is eligible before the date of termination of services or to exchange the family’s existing enrollment with the enrollment of a family in another program, provided that both families satisfy the eligibility requirements for the program in which they are being enrolled. The transfer of enrollment may be to another program within the same administrative agency or to another agency that administers state or federally funded child care and development  early learning and educational support  programs.
(e) In order to promote continuity of services, the Superintendent may extend the 60-working-day period specified in subdivision (a) of Section 18086.5 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations for an additional 60 working days if he or she determines that opportunities for employment have diminished to the degree that one or both parents cannot reasonably be expected to find employment within 60 working days and granting the extension is in the public interest. The scope of extensions granted pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to the necessary geographic areas and affected persons, which shall be described in the Superintendent’s order granting the extension. It is the intent of the Legislature that extensions granted pursuant to this subdivision improve services in areas with high unemployment rates and areas with disproportionately high numbers of seasonal agricultural jobs.
(d) (f)  A physical examination and evaluation, including age-appropriate immunization, shall be required before, or within six weeks of, enrollment. A standard, rule, or regulation shall not require medical examination or immunization for admission to a child care and development  an early learning and educational support  program of a child whose parent or guardian files a letter with the governing board of the child care and development  program stating that the medical examination or immunization is contrary to his or her religious beliefs, or provide for the exclusion of a child from the program because of a parent or guardian having filed the letter. However, if there is good cause to believe that a child is suffering from a recognized contagious or infectious disease, the child shall be temporarily excluded from the program until the governing board of the child care and development  early learning and educational support  program is satisfied that the child is not suffering from that contagious or infectious disease.
(e) (g)  Regulations formulated and promulgated pursuant to this section shall include the recommendations of the State Department of Health Care Services relative to health care screening and the provision of health care services. The Superintendent shall seek the advice and assistance of these health authorities in situations where service under this chapter includes or requires care of children who are ill or children with exceptional needs.
(f) (h)  The Superintendent shall establish guidelines for the collection of employer-sponsored child  care benefit payments from a parent whose child receives subsidized child care and development  early learning and educational support  services. These guidelines shall provide for the collection of the full amount of the benefit payment, but not to exceed the actual cost of child care and development  early learning and educational support  services provided, notwithstanding the applicable fee based on the fee schedule.
(g) (i)  The Superintendent shall establish guidelines according to which the director or a duly authorized representative of the child care and development  early learning and educational support  program will certify children as eligible for state reimbursement pursuant to this section.
(h) (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) to (4), inclusive, upon establishing initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility for services under this chapter, a family shall be considered to meet all eligibility and need requirements for those services for not less than 12 months, shall receive those services for not less than 12 months before having their eligibility or need recertified, and shall not be required to report changes to income or other changes for at least 12 months.
(2) A family that establishes initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility on the basis of income shall report increases in income that exceed the threshold for ongoing income eligibility as described in subdivision (b) of Section 8263.1, and the family’s ongoing eligibility for services shall at that time be recertified.
(3) A family that establishes initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility on the basis of seeking employment shall receive services under this chapter as follows:
(A) If seeking employment is the basis for initial eligibility, the family shall receive services under this chapter for not less than six months.
(B) If, at the time of recertification, the only basis established for ongoing eligibility is a parent’s need to seek employment, the family shall receive services for no less than six months.
(4) A family may at any time voluntarily report income or other changes. This information shall be used, as applicable, to reduce the family’s fees, increase the family’s services, or extend the period of the family’s eligibility before recertification.
(i) (1) Because a family that meets eligibility requirements at its most recent eligibility certification or recertification is considered eligible until the next recertification, as provided in subdivision (h), a payment made by a child development program for a child during this period shall not be considered an error or an improper payment due to a change in the family’s circumstances during that same period.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Superintendent or his or her designated agent may seek to recover payments that are the result of fraud.
(j) (1) Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) and Section 33308.5 of this code, until regulations are filed with the Secretary of State to implement subdivision (h), the department shall implement subdivision (h) through management bulletins or similar letters of instruction on or before October 1, 2017.
(2) The department shall initiate a rulemaking action to implement subdivision (h) on or before December 31, 2018. The department shall convene a workgroup of parents, advocates, department staff, child development program representatives, and other stakeholders to develop recommendations regarding implementing subdivision (h).
(k) (j)  Public funds shall not be paid directly or indirectly to an agency that does not pay at least the minimum wage to each of its employees.
(l) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed.

SEC. 6.

 Section 8263.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8263.1.
 (a) For purposes of this chapter, “income eligible” means either of the following:
(a) (1)  For purposes of establishing initial income eligibility for services under this chapter, “income eligible” means that  That  a family’s adjusted monthly income is at or below 70 percent of the state median income, adjusted for family size, as specified in subdivision (c). and adjusted annually. 
(2) That a family is eligible for CalFresh or Medi-Cal.
(b) For purposes of establishing ongoing income eligibility under this chapter, “ongoing income eligible” means that a family’s adjusted monthly income is at or below 85  Notwithstanding any other law, for the 2011–12 fiscal year, the income eligibility limits that were in effect for the 2007–08 fiscal year shall be reduced to 70  percent of the state median income,  income that was in use for the 2007–08 fiscal year,  adjusted for family size, as specified in subdivision (c). effective July 1, 2011. 
(c) The Department of Finance shall calculate the state median income for family sizes of one to four, inclusive, by using the most recent census data available on state median family income in the past 12 months by family size. The Department of Finance shall calculate the state median income for family sizes of five and above by using the most recent census data for a family of four and multiplying this number by the ratios for the appropriate family size used in the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (42 U.S.C. Sec. 8621 et seq.) and specified in federal regulations at paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 96.85 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Department of Finance shall update its calculations Notwithstanding any other law, for the 2012–13 fiscal year, the income eligibility limits shall be 70 percent  of the state median income for families according to the methodology provided in this subdivision and provide the updated data to the department no later than March 1 of each fiscal year. that was in use for the 2007–08 fiscal year, adjusted for family size. 
(d) Notwithstanding any other law, for the 2013–14 fiscal year, the income eligibility limits shall be 70 percent of the state median income that was in use for the 2007–08 fiscal year, adjusted for family size.
(e) Notwithstanding any other law, for the 2014–15 fiscal year, the income eligibility limits shall be 70 percent of the state median income that was in use for the 2007–08 fiscal year, adjusted for family size.
(d) (f)  The income of a recipient of federal supplemental security income benefits pursuant to Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1381 et seq.) and state supplemental program benefits pursuant to Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act and Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall not be included as income for purposes of determining eligibility for child care under this chapter.
(e) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed.

SEC. 8.SEC. 7.

 Section 8264.8 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8264.8.

(a)Until the Superintendent promulgates regulations for center-based programs establishing staffing ratios, the following staffing ratios shall apply:

(1)Infants, 0 to 2 years old—1:3 adult-child ratio, 1:18 teacher-child ratio.

(2)Infants and toddlers, 0 to 2 years old—1:4 adult-child ratio, 1:16 teacher-child ratio.

(3)Children 3 to 6 years old—1:8 adult-child ratio, 1:24 teacher-child ratio.

(4)Children 6 to 10 years old—1:14 adult-child ratio, 1:28 teacher-child ratio.

(5)Children 10 to 13 years old—1:18 adult-child ratio, 1:36 teacher-child ratio.

(6)If groups of children of varying ages are commingled, the teacher and adult ratios shall be proportionate and appropriate to the ages and groups of children.

8264.8.
 Until (a)   the Superintendent of Public Instruction promulgates regulations for center-based programs establishing staffing ratios, the following staffing ratios shall apply: Early learning and educational support programs shall maintain at least the following minimum ratios for all early learning services except for family child care home education networks operating pursuant to Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 8245): 
(a) (1)  Infants, 0 to 2 years old—1:3 adult-child birth to 18 months old–1:3 adult-to-child  ratio, 1:18 teacher-child teacher-to-child  ratio.
(b) (2)  Infants and toddlers, 0 to 2 years old—1:4 adult-child ratio, 1:16 teacher-child Toddlers, 18 months up to their third birthday–1:4 adult-to-child ratio, 1:16 teacher-to-child  ratio.
(c) (3)  Children 3 to 6 years old—1:8 adult-child ratio, 1:24 teacher-child Preschool, at least 30 months to kindergarten eligibility–1:8 adult-to-child ratio, 1:24 teacher-to-child  ratio.
(d) (4)  Children 6 to 10 years old—1:14 adult-child ratio, 1:28 teacher-child Schoolage, enrolled in kindergarten to their 13th birthday–1:14 adult-to-child ratio, 1:28 teacher-to-child  ratio.
(e) (b)  Children 10 to 13 years old—1:18 adult-child ratio, 1:36 teacher-child ratio. Compliance with the ratios established by subdivision (a) shall be determined based on actual attendance. 
(f) (c)  If groups of children of varying ages are commingled, the teacher and adult ratios shall be proportionate and appropriate to the ages and groups of children. This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2019, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before July 1, 2019, deletes or extends that date. 

SEC. 8.

 Section 8264.9 is added to the Education Code, to read:

8264.9.
 (a) No later than July 1, 2019, child care and development services providers shall maintain the following minimum ratios and group sizes:
(1) Infants, birth to 18 months old—1:4 adult-child ratio, 1:8 teacher-child ratio, a group size of 8; or 1:3 adult-to-child ratio, 1:18 teacher-to-child ratio.
(2) Toddlers, 18 months up to their third birthday—1:4 adult-child ratio, 1:16 teacher-to-child ratio.
(3) Preschool, at least 30 months to kindergarten eligibility—1:8 adult-child ratio, 1:24 teacher-child ratio; or 1:10 adult-child ratio, 1:20 teacher-child ratio, a group size of 20.
(4) Schoolage, enrolled in kindergarten to their 13th birthday—1:14 adult-child ratio, 1:28 teacher-child ratio.
(b) Compliance with the ratios established by subdivision (a) shall be determined based on actual attendance.
(c) This section shall not apply to family child care home education networks operating pursuant to Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 8245).
(d) Notwithstanding Section 8264.8, this section does not prevent child care and development services providers from maintaining the ratios pursuant to this section before July 1, 2019.

SEC. 9.

 Section 8264.10 is added to the Education Code, to read:

8264.10.
 (a) (1) No later than July 1, 2019, child care and development services providers shall have at least one teacher in each classroom that holds at a minimum a child development teacher permit issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall only become operative if funds are made available in the annual Budget Act or in any other statute for purposes of paragraph (1).
(b) No later than July 1, 2017, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing shall review and amend the Child Development Permit. The amendments shall include the following requirements:
(1) The development of an infant and toddler emphasis that includes a minimum of six units in infant and toddler development.
(2) Each permitholder shall have an individual professional development plan that includes a minimum of 21 hours of annual training, and that such training include in-classroom coaching. In-classroom coaching may account for up to 10 of the 21 hours each year.