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Management Bulletin 07-09


Early Education and Support Division

Subject: Transfer of Families from CalWORKs Stage 1 to CalWORKs Stage 2 Child Care

Number: 07-09

Date: July 2007

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: California Education Code Section 8350(b) and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education, sections 18118, 18409, 18410, 18412, 18415, and 18418

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Directors of Alternative Payment Programs with CalWORKs Stage 2 Contracts


Purpose

The purpose of this Management Bulletin is to clarify the process by which families receiving CalWORKs Stage 1 (Stage 1) child care transfer into the CalWORKs Stage 2 (Stage 2) child care program.

Background

In 2001, the California Department of Education, Early Education and Support Division filed regulations that directed Alternative Payment Programs (APP) in the administration of Stage 2 child care. These regulations clarified the process by which families receiving Stage 1 child care administrated by county welfare departments would transfer into Stage 2.

Statutory Requirement

California Education Code (EC) Section 8350 et seq. established the three stages of child care for CalWORKs recipients and former recipients. The statute states in part that “it is the intent of the Legislature that families experience no break in their child care services due to a transition between the three stages of child care services.” (EC 8350(b).)

Regulatory Requirements

California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Education, Section 18409, clarifies the transfer process by which families move from Stage 1 to Stage 2. The regulations specify that the sending Stage 1 program must provide nine data elements to the receiving Stage 2 contractor.

The nine data elements specified in 5 CCR, 18409(a) are listed below:

  1. The parent’s(s) full name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s);
  2. The names and birth dates of all children under the age of 18 living with the family, regardless of whether they are served in the CalWORKs program;
  3. The number of hours of child care needed each day for each child;
  4. The names of other family members in the household who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption;
  5. The reason for needing child care services;
  6. Family size and adjusted monthly income;
  7. Employment or training information for parent(s) including name and address of employer(s) or training institution(s) and days and hours of employment or training;
  8. Rate of payment; and
  9. The name, address, and telephone number of the child care provider.

Once the receiving Stage 2 contractor receives these nine data elements and determines that the information is complete, the receiving Stage 2 contractor must do the following:

  1. Assume the full responsibility for reimbursing the provider for child care services provided to the family.
  2. Send or otherwise provide a notice to the family that documents the nine data elements, and requires the family to certify, by signature, that the information is correct or inaccurate. This letter notifies the family of the time frames by which this certification must be returned. The letter also informs the family that if the certification is not returned within the identified time frame, child care will be terminated.

Stage 2 contractors should be aware that receipt of the complete information specified in the nine data elements is the equivalent of receiving all of the documentation necessary to make provider payments.

If the receiving Stage 2 contractor receives information from a sending Stage 1 program that is incomplete and does not provide information on each of the nine data elements listed above, the Stage 2 contractor must contact the Stage 1 program, inform the program that the information is incomplete, and that the transfer cannot occur until the nine data elements are identified and sent to the Stage 2 contractor. It is not the responsibility of the Stage 2 contractor to complete or collect the nine data elements.

When a family has transferred from Stage 1 to Stage 2 because the nine data elements are complete indicates that the nine data elements are not correct, or that there has been a change in one or more of the data items, the Stage 2 contractor must update the information (5 CCR, 18409(c)(3)). This update must occur within 30 days after being notified by the family of the change (5 CCR, 18410). The update will require the contractor to obtain a completed application for services and all of the documentation necessary for a full certification including documentation needed to verify need and eligibility.

The contractor shall not require the family or the provider to furnish any documentation previously provided to a county welfare department or an alternative payment program within one year prior to the application, unless the documentation is absent from the existing file and the documentation affects the eligibility for child care services (5 CCR, 18415(e)).

Contractors shall make every effort to maximize convenience for the parent and avoid requiring the parent to take time off from work or a work activity (5 CCR, 18410(b)). Stage 2 contractors must follow all due process requirements identified in 5 CCR, 18118 through 18122 and 18418.

Stage 2 contractors are reminded that when a family transfers from a Stage 1 program, and there are no changes to the nine data elements, the contractor has up to six months from the date of transfer to obtain the family file documentation specified in 5 CCR, 18412. This six month time period is in regulation to allow Stage 2 contractors adequate time to collect the complete documentation necessary to verify eligibility and need for Stage 2 child care. During this six-month time period, as long as the family data file required by 5 CCR, 18412 contains the nine data elements, the agency shall be determined compliant with all 5 CCR requirements governing the documentation of eligibility and need for Stage 2 child care. Full certification, including obtaining a completed application for child development services signed by the parent and the contractor, and all documentation necessary to verify need and eligibility, must be completed before the six-month time period has elapsed. Within 30 days of the date the parent signs the application, the contractor must issue a Notice of Action, Recipient of Services.

Contractors are reminded that the intent of the CalWORKs legislation and of the Stage 2 regulations was to allow families to transfer from county welfare department administered child care into child care administered by local child care and development contractors in a seamless process with no disruption to the family’s receipt of child care services necessary to support work or work-related activities. Stage 2 contractors should not institute or maintain policies or administrative procedures that hinder or impede that smooth transition.

We are aware that many county welfare departments and Stage 2 contractors have developed excellent systems for transferring families from Stage 1 to Stage 2 that ensure continuation of child care services in a seamless fashion. This Management Bulletin should not supersede these existing systems that adhere to the statutory intent and conform to regulatory requirements.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your assigned Field Services Consultant.

Questions:   Early Education and Support Division | 916-322-6233
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