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Centralized Eligibility List Collaborative

Background:

For almost 10 years the Child Care Planning Council and its community partners have been committed to eligible parents having streamlined access to subsidized child care programs.

Beginning in 1996 the Planning Council expressed a desire for families to access available child care subsidies through a system that was less cumbersome than what was currently in place, which included over 50 waiting lists throughout Alameda County. In 1997 a work group met to discuss the idea of a Universally Accessed Subsidized Child Care System (UASCC). The “primary focus and purpose of exploring the concept of UASCC is to develop a way for parents to equitably access subsidized child care by eliminating barriers, confusion, and frustrations they face from the current system.

In 1999 the Planning Council adopted the mission, purpose and goals for the UASCC system that expanded the original ones from 1997. The mission was expanded to include providing “child care programs with efficient and equitable access to information on families who are eligible for subsidies in Alameda County. The UASCC sub-committee had county-wide representation from local Resource & Referral agencies, Alternative Payment programs, child care center directors, school districts’ child development center staff, and planning council staff.

This group conducted county-wide focus groups in 1999 and 2000. Based on feedback from this process, the Centralized Eligibility List Advisory committee was formed to oversee a pilot project whose mission was providing eligible families with equitable access to subsidized child care and giving programs equitable and efficient access to information on families who are eligible for child care subsidies in Alameda County.

Between 2000 and 2006 Alameda County ran an active centralized eligibility list where child care programs paid to a fee to be able to gain access to families on the list. In 2006 the California Department of Education enacted contractual changes requiring all counties to create centralized eligibility lists, thereby changing the CEL from a County pilot project into a state requirement. BANANAS was chosen to be the CEL contractor for Alameda County.

With the newly named CEL Collaborative, BANANAS collaborates with the Planning Council and county child care agencies to provide support, policy clarification and advocacy related to the Centralized Eligibility List.

Check the Child Care Planning Council calendar for the dates of the CEL Collaborative meetings.

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