Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

COVID-19 Guidance on Program Self Evaluation, Contract Monitoring, and Program Quality Requirements

Attention: All Executive Officers and Program Directors of California Department of Education Early Learning and Care Programs

Management Bulletin 20-09 has been developed to notify and provide guidance to state-subsidized ELCD programs about temporary changes to the requirements related to the Program Self Evaluation, Contract Monitoring, and Program Quality Requirements.

Please visit the ELCD Management Bulletin 20-09 web page at

If you have questions regarding the information in this Management Bulletin, please contact your assigned regional Field Services Consultant from the ELCD Consultants Regional Assignments web page at or by phone at 916-322-6233.

For a listing of all ELCD Management Bulletins, please visit the ELCD Management Bulletins web page at

Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

CECO Module Available: Health and Safety: Resources and Guidance for Caring for Children

The Health and Safety module “Health and Safety: Resources and Guidance for Caring for Children” is now available on the California Early Childhood Online (CECO) website. 

This module is intended to provide an overview of basic health and safety considerations and standards for providing emergency care for children of essential workers. It includes guidance on how to stop the spread of germs in a group setting during COVID-19. This module can be accessed at

Eight comprehensive Health and Safety modules are also available. Each module is 60-80 minutes in duration. Modules include the following topics:

  • Safe Spaces in Child Care
  • Transporting Children in Child Care
  • Handling Hazardous Material in Child Care
  • Infectious Diseases in Child Care
  • Safe Sleep Practices and Sleep Related Infant Deaths
  • Managing and Responding to Food Allergies
  • Shaken Baby/Abusive Head Trauma
  • Emergency Preparedness in Child Care
Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

CDE Webinar Announcement: Management Bulletin 20-07: COVID-19 Guidance regarding Local Planning Councils and California Resource and Referral Programs

Attention: California Resource and Referral Programs; Local Planning Council Chairpersons, Coordinators, Contractors, Legal Entity representatives, Executive Directors, and Program Directors of all Childcare and Development Programs

The ELCD is hosting a webinar at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2020, to provide guidance to California Resource and Referral Programs (R&Rs) and Local Planning Councils (LPCs) about updated requirements and instructions during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Pre-registration is not required to attend this webinar. This webinar can be accessed at:

Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 976 6721 9781

Password: 181244

Or by dialing in at: 669-900-6833 US (San Jose)

Please feel free to share this invitation with other interested parties.

Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Task Force to Close the Digital Divide

REL#20-21CONTACT: Communications
April 16, 2020E-MAIL:

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Task Force to Close the Digital Divide

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today the creation of a new task force to close the digital divide for California students who lack access to resources such as internet connectivity and devices. The Closing the Digital Divide Task Force will be co-chaired by California State Senator Connie Leyva.

“This task force signals a new era, that California is now working with focus and urgency to close the digital divide in the most concrete way we have ever seen,” said Thurmond. “COVID-19 is a public health crisis in California and all around the world, but it’s also revealed other crises like the technology gap that has persisted for too long, leading to opportunity and achievement gaps for California’s students.”

“As the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, I strongly believe that ensuring equity for California students is critically important,” said Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino). “One vital step to ensuring equity is by closing the digital divide, which has become that much more evident and urgent as distance learning is now the new reality for millions of school children during the current COVID-19 crisis. I look forward to co-chairing this important task force as we all continue to work together to meet the needs of students in California.”

The Closing the Digital Divide Task Force will help facilitate donations, create more publicity, and cast a bigger spotlight on those who can help. It also plans to hold a public hearing where internet service providers may be called upon to testify on their efforts to improve internet access during the pandemic.

The California Department of Education (CDE) has in recent weeks assessed the technology needs for all California students and is working with partners to secure devices and Wi-Fi hotspots to close the technology gap. This effort comes following a strong recommendation last month from State Superintendent Thurmond for all schools to focus on distance learning models due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The CDE also announced last week that it partnered with the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation (CDE Foundation), the private non-profit partner of the CDE since 2011, to create the California Bridging the Digital Divide Fund. The fund is a joint effort of the Governor’s Office, State Board of Education, CDE, and CDE Foundation, and is a centralized resource for state leadership to provide essential device, connectivity, and related digital learning supports for pre-K-12 students, teachers, and their families.

The fund is focused particularly on building more equitable teaching and learning environments, which are currently in even greater jeopardy due to the uneven impacts of COVID-19 on students, families, and educators. This includes special attention to special education, English learner, low-income, and rural populations, for which additional virtual educator professional learning webinars are now in development.

The California Bridging the Digital Divide Fund accepts individual contributions at Corporate and institutional donors may contact Mary Nicely at

Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

Early Ed U: Mindfulness Webinar

EarlyEdU Special Edition Webinar:
Mindfulness: A Resilience Practice
Tuesday, April 21, 2:00-3:30 p.m. PDT/ 5:00-6:30 p.m. EDT
Join us for this special webinar where participants will learn mindfulness practices that can build teacher resilience. This applied and engaging learning module will encourage participants to take care of themselves by reducing stress and to optimize their effectiveness as early childhood educators. This captures the notion of teaching from the inside out – a phrase that highlights the importance of promoting core resilience skills among early childhood educators. Resilient educators are more capable of creating and maintaining nurturing, supportive, and effective learning environments while also prioritizing their own well-being. With the completion of this module, participants will have learned how to recognize the negative and positive impacts of stress, use mindfulness practices to help develop calm and centered states, and lead at least one mindfulness practice.
Register Here
Certificates of Attendance will be sent to all webinar participants
Be well,EarlyEdU Team
Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

CDE Update: California Receives Preliminary Federal Approval to Free Up Funds for Crisis Response

REL#20-20CONTACT: Janet Weeks
April 13, 2020E-MAIL:

California Receives Preliminary Federal Approval to Free Up Funds for Crisis Response

SACRAMENTO —The U.S. Department of Education has granted preliminary approval to California’s request for flexibility in using federal funds to ease the immediate impacts of COVID-19 school closures.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond submitted the request for waivers, authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, on Friday, April 10, 2020. The waivers were approved today.

The waivers loosen restrictions on how and when federal education funds can be spent. They remove a cap on technology purchases, ease limits on the amount of unspent federal funds that can be carried over from one federal fiscal year to the next, and relax rules about the use of money for teacher professional development.

“With this much needed flexibility, the state can shift resources to such pressing needs as training our workforce on distance learning and building up our technology infrastructure,” said Superintendent Tony Thurmond. “In this time of crisis, the ability to quickly direct resources to needs is critically important.”

Board President Darling-Hammond thanked the U.S. Department of Education for helping California’s efforts to improve online learning during this unprecedented time of crisis. “We are pleased that the federal government responded so quickly to our requests,” said Darling-Hammond. “In this time of great uncertainty, being assured that we can repurpose this money to address urgent concerns is a great relief.”

Specifically, California received preliminary waivers from:

  • Section 1127(b) of Title I, Part A of the ESEA so that your State educational agency (SEA) may waive, more than once every three years, if necessary, the 15 percent carryover limitation in ESEA section 1127(a) for fiscal year (FY) 2019 Title I, Part A funds.
  • Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) to extend the period of availability of FY 2018 funds for programs in which your SEA participates under its approved consolidated State plan until September 30, 2021.
  • Section 4106(d) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA related to local educational agency (LEA) needs assessments for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Section 4106(e)(2)(C), (D), and (E) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA with respect to content-area spending requirements for FYs 2018 and 2019 Title IV, Part A funds.
  • Section 4109(b) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA with respect to the spending limitation for technology infrastructure for FYs 2018 and 2019 Title IV, Part A funds.
  • Section 8101(42) of the ESEA, which defines “professional development,” for activities funded for the 2019-2020 school year.

In compliance with federal regulations, the state is accepting public comment on the waiver application through May 1. Please send comments via email to or by mail to the California Department of Education, Government Affairs Division, 1430 N Street, Suite 5602, Sacramento, CA 95814-5901.

Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

Forms Available for Essential Workers and At-Risk Populations to Apply for Emergency Childcare Services

 The ELCD COVID-19 Guidance and Resources web page at has been updated to include forms necessary to provide emergency childcare services, as provided in Management Bulletin 20-06, to children of essential workers, children from at-risk populations, and children with disabilities or special health needs.

COVID-19 Guidance and Resources – Child Development (CA Dept of Education) Guidance and Resources for Early Learning and Care Programs.

Please direct questions to your assigned ELCD consultant via the Consultant Regional Assignments web page at or by email at

Consultant Regional Assignments – Child Development (CA Dept of Education) is a list of California counties by region and the Early Learning and Care Division Consultants assigned to each region.
Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

CDE COVID-19 Update

  • The CDE released much needed guidance for our LEAs to address grading and graduation requirements. As with all previous guidance, you can visit our COVID-19 web page to see the information provided.
  • Today, April 7th, the SSPI will be hosting a “Virtual Town Hall” at 3 p.m. You can view it live on our CDE Facebook page. This town hall is open to anyone and everyone as I address the current status of California public schools in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic. 

Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

FEMA Funding Reminder

The deadline for LEAs to file an online Request for Public Assistance (RPA) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the close of business on April 17, 2020. Any school district, county office of education, or directly-funded charter school that has incurred, is incurring, or may incur costs categorized as “emergency protective measures” related to the COVID-19 response should file an RPA in order to be eligible for reimbursement.LEAs may fund these types of expenses with their allocated SB 117 COVID-19 LEA Response Funds. If state funds do not meet an LEA’s total need, FEMA Public Assistance may be able to address the gap. In order to ensure LEAs have maximum flexibility to pursue federal funding to support COVID-19 response, CDE encourages all LEAs to file an RPA by the April 17 deadline.The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has information and training for local governments (including LEAs) on the RPA application process and federal procurement rules on their COVID-19 recovery web page:’s March 19, 2020 Fact Sheet describes emergency protective measures in more detail: questions about FEMA Public Assistance and the RPA deadline can be directed to Cal OES at

Posted in CA Department of Education Updates

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans Immediately Available to Child Care Providers

Congress recently passed a sweeping economic stimulus bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to provide relief to America’s families, small businesses, and major industries as they struggle with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The CARES Act includes many potential relief opportunities for the nation’s child care industry, which has been hit with widespread layoffs and closures as a result of catastrophic drops in enrollment.

 The First Five Years Fund website informs about a small business relief program, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is available to many child care businesses. This website provides information on how to apply as well as answers to many frequently asked questions about this program.

 First Five Years Fund SBA website:

 For more information beyond what is included here, please visit the SBA Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources website at or contact your bank.