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Palomar College Learning For Success

Early Childhood Education Lab School

Toddler – Preschool Programs – Infant Program Coming Soon!

Funding/Subsidized Services

Any family interested in services must fill out a wait list application.  Palomar College is able to provide funding for qualifying families through a contract with the California Department of Education.  For Palomar College students and community families who seek subsidized services at the San Marcos ECELS: Parent(s) must meet the eligibility requirements for services: for example, parent(s) must be in school and/or working and there is no parent or adult legal guardian at home who could take care of your child.  Families must also qualify according to gross monthly Income Guidelines and family size; the maximum amount that a family can make and qualify for services is rank 85.

When space is available based on the admission priorities below, we will contact the family via email or phone.  It is the parent’s responsibility to inform the ECELS of any changes to their contact information. If you are contacted by the School, it is the parent’s responsibility to respond to the offer of space. Families will need to provide documentation of income and need eligibility when requested to determine if the family qualifies for funded services.  We will set a pre-screening appointment at that time and give the family a list of the required documents. Depending on the family size and income,  reduced family fees may apply.

Requirements for funded services are based on California Code Regulations (CCR) Title 5 and the California Department of Education Program Requirements for California State Preschool Programs (CSPP). While every attempt has been made to align our policies with the most current requirements from those sources, if there is a discrepancy, CCR 5 and CDE Program (CSPP) regulations supersede the information provided here. CSPP Program requirements can be found here- CSPP 19-20 CDE.

As of September 2017, there is new guidance on 12 month eligibility of funded services which we have used to update our policies and procedures.  In the event of a discrepancy, this CDE guidance supersedes CCR Title 5 and our program policies.

Please note that we do not have funded services available to children who do not qualify as a CSPP three- year old or four-year old (see definitions below).  If your child is too young to receive services under these requirements, we suggest applying for alternate funding through the Central Eligibility List.  Our San Marcos site accepts alternate funding resources that help families pay tuition fees (CDA, YMCA, TANF, etc.).  To ensure that we can best serve your family when space becomes available, please let us know if are approved for funding through one of those agencies.

Subsidized services are prioritized for current Palomar College Students, then according to the priority list below.  If space is available after serving all student families, community families may be offered services according the priority list below.

Admission Priorities San Marcos Site Full Day (Need-Based) Program

1.First Priority: The first priority for services shall be given to four-year-old or three-year-old neglected or abused children who are recipients of child protective services or recipients who are at risk of being neglected or abused, upon written referral from a legal, medical, or social service agency, without regard to income. If the ECELS is unable to enroll a child in the first priority category, the family shall be referred to local resource and referral services to locate services for the child.

2.Second Priority: Funded services are prioritized for current Palomar College Students, with CSPP eligible 3 and 4 year olds ranked in accordance with family income ranking, with the lowest income ranks being admitted first.

3.Third Priority: If space is available after serving all student families, community families may be offered services to CSPP eligible 3 and 4 year olds, ranked in accordance with family income ranking, with the lowest income ranks being admitted first

Admission Priorities Part-Day Program (5 CCR § 18131):

  1. First Priority: The first priority for services shall be given to four-year-old or three-year-old neglected or abused children who are recipients of child protective services or recipients who are at risk of being neglected or abused, upon written referral from a legal, medical, or social service agency, without regard to income. If the ECELS is unable to enroll a child in the first priority category, the family shall be referred to local resource and referral services to locate services for the child.
  2. Second Priority: shall be given to eligible four-year-old children in the following order:

     a. Children who were enrolled in the State Preschool Program as a three-year-old, without regard to income ranking that are income eligible.

     b. Children whose families have the lowest income ranking based on the most recent income ranking schedule adopted by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) at the time of enrollment.

    c. When two or more families have the same income ranking, according to the most recent income ranking schedule, the child with exceptional needs as defined in Education Code section 8208(l) shall be admitted first.

    d. If none of the families with the same income ranking has an exceptional needs child, the family that has been on the waiting list the longest shall be admitted first.

3.After all eligible four-year-old children are enrolled, three-year-old children may be enrolled based on the priorities described in 2. b.- d. above (subdivision 18131(b)(2) through (4)).

The family data file shall include documentation to support the determination that the child meets the priority for service. If the priority for service is the child’s exceptional need, the family data file shall include documentation as specified in section 18089(f).

How to Qualify for the Funded Program- Eligibility

To receive CSPP services, children shall be three or four year’s old (according to the definitions below), live in the state of California (unless identified as homeless) and meet eligibility criteria.

  • CSPP “Four-year-old children” are children who will have their fourth birthday on or before September 1of the fiscal year* they are being served. (MB 14-02) (Children that are Kindergarten eligible are not eligible for CSPP)
  • CSPP “Three-year-old children” are children who will have their third birthday on or before September 1of the fiscal year* they are being served.
  • CSPP eligible five-year-olds” who will have their fifth birthday on or before September 1 of the fiscal year they receive services, and who were receiving full-day services as a CSPP eligible four-year-old on or before June 30, may remain in a CSPP program until they start kindergarten, but no later than September 30.

*School Year runs from July 1- June 30

Families must document that each parent in the family meets a need criterion, as specified in Education Code. To receive California state preschool part-day programs services, families shall meet the eligibility criteria. Families receiving full-day services shall meet both the eligibility and need criteria.

Please see the ECELS Parent Handbook for additional information regarding funding requirements.


The Early Childhood Education Lab School is operated on a non-discriminatory basis, giving equal treatment and access to services, without regard to race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin or ancestry.

The school policy states, “Program services and activities for enrolled families shall refrain from religious instruction, worship or practices.”

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Palomar Community College District Early Childhood Education Lab School welcomes the enrollment of children with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation whenever possible to aid access to and participation in services programs, facilities, and activities.