In September, the Governor signed Senate Bill (SB) 1047 (Limón). This bill will extend eligibility for childcare and development programs and the preschool program to families in which a member of the family has been certified as eligible to receive benefits from certain means-tested government programs, including Head Start and Early Head Start.
This change in law, effective January 1, 2023, has two important implications for Head Start grantees. First, it will be administratively easier to enroll Head Start-eligible children in state-subsidized programs (with the exception of CalWorks 1, 2, and 3) because a separate eligibility test will no longer be required. Second, the 2022-23 California state budget increased the state reimbursement rate for 3-year-olds to the toddler rate, meaning programs can receive an augmented rate for 3-year-olds while maintaining normal preschool ratios. The combined changes present an important opportunity for Head Start programs to further to better leverage their federal and state funding. We encourage all providers to explore this opportunity.