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Management Bulletin 09-18


Early Education and Support Division

Subject: Changes in Law Affecting Child Care and Development Programs

Number: 09-18

Date: September 2009

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: California Education Code sections 8357(g) and 8447(g)

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Directors of All Child Care and Development Programs


Purpose

The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to provide child care and development contractors with a description of the programmatic and policy direction changes made necessary as a result of statutes enacted in last legislative session. These changes are a result of passage of Assembly Bill Number 2 Fourth Extraordinary Session (ABX4 2) and Assembly Bill 1279. These bills included an urgency clause and became effective immediately.

Statutory Changes

ABX4 2 (Chapter 2, Effective July 28, 2009)

ABX4 2 amended California Education Code (EC) Section 8357 to restrict use of daily regional market rate ceilings to reimburse child care providers. For child care and development contractor’s operating alternative payment programs (AAPs) and family child care home education networks (FCCHENs) the new language clarifies that reimbursements made to a child care provider based on a daily rate may only be authorized under specified circumstances.

Specifically:

Daily Reimbursement Rates

EC Section 8357. Child care services, cost; regional market rates, choice of service; reimbursement; exceptions:
  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, reimbursements to child care providers based upon a daily rate may only be authorized under either of the following circumstances:
    1. A family has an unscheduled but documented need of six hours or more per occurrence, such as the parent’s need to work on a regularly scheduled day off, that exceeds the certified need for child care.
    2. A family has a documented need of six hours or more per day that exceeds no more than 14 days per month, in no event shall reimbursements to a provider based on the daily rate over one month’s time exceed the provider’s equivalent full-time monthly rate or applicable monthly ceiling.
    3. This subdivision shall not limit providers from being reimbursed for services using a weekly or monthly rate, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 8222.

For AAPs and FCCHENs that utilize the Regional Market Rate (RMR) this means that reimbursements made to a child care provider based on a daily rate may only be authorized under specified circumstances, such as a family with a documented need that does not exceed 14 days per month. Please note that reimbursements based on a daily rate cannot exceed the provider’s full-time monthly rate, or applicable monthly ceiling, whichever is lower. Also reimbursements for providers caring for subsidized children cannot exceed the fees charged by providers to private pay clients for the same service, up to the RMR ceiling.

As a result of the additions made to the EC, the California Code of Regulations, (CCR) Title 5, Chapter 19, Section 18075 (b), can no longer be applied when reimbursing providers using daily ceilings. Child development contractors operating APPs and FCCHENs utilizing the RMR must now follow the provisions in the EC listed above when making payments to licensed and non-licensed providers. Effective immediately APPs and FCCHENs should implement the provisions of the bill.

If the implementation of EC Section 8357 (g) would reduce a family’s amount of reimbursement, the contractor should issue a Notice of Action. When issuing a Notice of Action, agencies must comply with CCR Title 5, Education, sections 18095, 18119, 18418, 18419, 18433 and 18434.

AB 1279 (Chapter 759, Statutes of 2008)

AB 1279 adds language to Section 8447 (g) of the EC that states the family fee requirement no longer applies to families receiving CalWORKs cash aid.

The family fee schedule applies to all subsidized child care programs except California state preschool program (part-day) and Child Care and Development Severely Handicapped Programs. Families with incomes below the minimum income level of the family fee schedule are not required to pay a family fee. In addition, families with at-risk children and families with children receiving child protective services may be exempt from paying a family fee.

Specifically:

Family Fees

EC Section 8447. Realizing greater efficiencies in the execution of state subsidized child care and development programs with public and private agencies through timely approval of contract provisions; authorizing the California Department of Education to establish multiyear application, contract expenditure and service review:

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no family receiving CalWORKs cash aid   may be charged a family fee.

Effective immediately contractors should no longer be charging a family fee for child care service to families in which any member of the family is receiving CalWORKs. Contractors will continue to assess family fees for former CalWORKs cash aid recipients. However, for families who continue to receive a CalWORKs grant on behalf of the children, such as safety net and sanctioned families, a family fee will not be assessed.

If contractors are assessing fees to families receiving cash aid contractors should inform parents of this change through issuing a Notice of Action. The effective date of the change on the notice should be the date the notice is issued. When issuing a Notice of Action, agencies must comply with CCR Title 5, Education sections 18095, 18119, 18418, 18419, 18433 and 18434.

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This Management Bulletin is mandatory only to the extent that it cites a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement. Any portion of this Management Bulletin that is not supported by a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement is not prescriptive pursuant to California Education Code Section 33308.5.

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