(a) The third stage of child care begins when a funded space is available. CalWORKs recipients are eligible for the third stage of child care. Persons who received a lump-sum diversion payment or diversion services and former CalWORKs participants are eligible if they have an income that does not exceed 70 percent of the state median income pursuant to Section 8263.1 . The third stage shall be administered by programs contracting with the State Department of Education. Parents' eligibility for child care and development services will be governed by Section 8263 and regulations adopted by the State Department of Education.
(b) In order to move welfare recipients and former recipients from their relationship with county welfare departments to relationships with institutions providing services to working families, it is the intent of the Legislature that families that are former recipients of aid, or are transitioning off aid, receive their child care assistance in the same fashion as other low-income working families. Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature that families no longer rely on county welfare departments to obtain child care subsidies beyond the time they are receiving other services from the welfare department.
(c) A county welfare department shall not administer the third stage of child care for CalWORKs recipients except to the extent to which it delivered those services to families receiving, or within one year of having received, Aid to Families with Dependent Children prior to the enactment of this section.
(d) This article does not preclude county welfare departments from operating an alternative payment program under contract with the State Department of Education to serve families referred by child protective services.
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