(a) The county welfare department shall manage the first stage during which a family shall receive a child care subsidy for any legal care chosen by the parent. The first stage begins upon the entry of a person into the program prescribed by Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code .
(b) A county shall move recipients out of this first response stage as quickly as possible after the county determines that the need for child care is stable. A recipient may be served in this stage for a maximum of six months. The six-month time limit may be extended if the county determines that the recipient's situation is too unstable to be shifted to the second stage or if no funds are available to provide child care services in the second stage.
(c) Former CalWORKs recipients who cannot be transitioned from the first stage of child care because no funded slot is available are eligible to receive the first stage and any subsequent stage two child care services for up to a total of 24 months after they leave cash aid, or until they are otherwise ineligible within that 24-month period. Family size and income for purposes of determining eligibility and family fee shall be determined pursuant to Sections 8263 and 8263.1 .
(d) The county welfare department shall also begin the first stage of child care when an individual who applies for aid under the program described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is participating as a volunteer pursuant to Article 3.2 (commencing with Section 11320) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code .
(e) A county may contract with public or private child care providers to provide any or all of the services during the first stage. If the county welfare department elects to contract with any child care provider that is also under contract with the State Department of Education, these contracts shall be consistent with state law.
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