Child Development Division
|Subject: Attendance Records||Number: 12–17|
Authority: California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 18065, 18066, 18102, 18119, 18220(b), 18405(b) and 18420(b)
Date: September 2012
Expires: Until Rescinded
Attention: All Alternative Payment and CalWORKs Contractors
The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to clarify the requirements regarding the responsibility for the completion of attendance records in Alternative Payment (AP) and CalWORKs programs as well as the use of these records for provider payments and child care services.
California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Section 18065 requires AP and CalWORKs contractors to utilize daily sign-in and sign-out sheets for reimbursement purposes, unless they have an alternative approved by the Child Development Division (CDD). This same section allows an authorized representative of the parent to sign for the parent, or a staff person to sign if the child is leaving for or returning from school.
5 CCR, Section 18066 states the requirements when a child’s absence is claimed as an excused absence, and discusses the need for contractors to develop reasonable policies regarding certain absences.
Contractors are reminded that it is the parent’s responsibility to complete the attendance record by signing the document and entering the time of arrival and departure every day services are utilized. The regulations in 5 CCR, Section 18065 are specific the parent (or authorized representative or staff person) is to complete the record, including documentation of absences.
Contractors are required to enforce the provisions of 5 CCR, sections 18065 and 18066 by reviewing the attendance records submitted to them. In reviewing the record, the contractor should review that:
days and hours of services used by the parent were broadly consistent with the certification establishing the parent’s hours and days of services, and;
- The parent completed the attendance records as required by signing in and signing out on a daily basis.
If review of the attendance records indicates the services utilized by the parent were inconsistent with the services specified in the certificate, the contractor should contact the parent immediately to determine if the parent’s need for care has changed, and if an update of the parent’s application is necessary. Note: This action is only necessary when service utilization is broadly inconsistent with the parent’s certified need for care. Contact is not necessary, and should not occur, when inconsistencies are temporary in nature and/or reflect a temporary or one-time change in the parent’s schedule.
If in contacting the parent, the contractor learns of a change in circumstances, this may result in the issuance of a Notice of Action (NOA). This NOA could reflect:
new hours of care,
violation of 5 CCR, Section 18102 that requires a parent to report any change within five calendar days,
- Services the parent improperly received as a result of not reporting a change, or;
- Any combination of the above.
The CDD strongly recommends contractors communicate to the provider, in writing, any changes to the parent’s approved level of services which may affect reimbursement to the provider.
Through the above process, if a contractor determined there is a need to either change the parent’s level of services or terminate these services, this can only be done through the issuance of a NOA and must provide due process pursuant to 5 CCR, Section 18118 et. seq. Contractors do not have the authority to:
reimbursement retroactively for days or weeks not completed correctly.
- Reduce or withhold reimbursement for records with cross-out corrections, or other marks that might be determined “messy.”
- Require providers be responsible for the completeness and accuracy of attendance records.
- Return attendance records to the provider for correction.
- Refuse reimbursement of a record because various colors of ink or whiteout was used as long as the record reflected a general consistency with the certified need and it indicated the parent (or authorized representative or staff person) had completed the record on a daily basis.
Completion of the Attendance Record
If the contractor determines the attendance record was not completed in conformity with 5 CCR, Section 18065, the contractor should contact the parent to determine the reasons for the parent’s noncompliance. Contractors should establish policies to:
parents of their obligations to complete attendance records,
the parent when there is an inconsistency or problem with the completion of the record in an attempt to rectify it, and;
- Terminate services for violations of 5 CCR, Section 18065.
These policies should be included in the contractor’s parent handbook.
The contractor must also have policies in place to correct inappropriate activities if a contractor concludes the provider has completed the attendance record, in whole or in part. Contractors have the authority to terminate their business relationship with providers who interfere with a parent’s ability to complete the attendance record, as required by 5 CCR, Section 18065.
If the attendance record(s) has been fraudulently completed, the contractor should take immediate steps to terminate services or the business relationship with the responsible party. For example, if the contractor learns a parent is completing attendance records for care not utilized, formal action should be taken to terminate the parent. If a contractor finds the family has moved, but the provider has completed the attendance records and accepted reimbursement for services not provided, the contractor should immediately cease reimbursement for services, terminate the parent by issuing a NOA, and terminate the business relationship with the provider.
Policies that Support the Regulations
To effectively enforce the provisions of 5 CCR, sections 18102 and 18065, contractors should develop and implement policies with clear and consistent consequences for program violations. These policies should be included in the written material given to parents, and the written material given to providers.
When the California Department of Education reviews AP and CalWORKs programs as part of their required error rate activities, they will not find errors in the contractor’s administration of the program when the contractor has clearly written policies to address program violations, and has adhered to these policies. Contractors are urged to contact their Field Services Consultant if they have questions or would like technical assistance or a review of these policies.
Questions regarding the information in this MB should be addressed to your CDD Field Services Consultant or by phone at 916-322-6233.
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.