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Management Bulletin 14-04


Early Education and Support Division

Subject: Monthly Attendance Record or Invoice Requirements for Reimbursing Child Care Providers Authorized to Provide Subsidized Services through an AP or CalWORKs Program

Number: 14-04

Date: June 2014

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: Assembly Bill 274 (Chapter 733, Statutes of 2013)

Attention: All Alternative Payment and CalWORKs Contractors


Purpose

The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to notify Alternative Payment (AP) and CalWORKs programs of changes to attendance and sign-in/sign-out sheet requirements. The MB provides information regarding the use of monthly attendance records or invoices for reimbursement to providers as well as attendance tracking policies.

See Frequently Asked Questions to MB 14-04.

This MB rescinds MB 12-17.

Background

Currently, AP and CalWORKs contractors are required to utilize daily sign-in and sign-out sheets for reimbursement purposes, as described in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Section 18065. This same section requires a parent, or his/her authorized representative, to sign in and out on a daily basis.

Title 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.

Assembly Bill 274 (Chapter 733, Statutes of 2013), which added the California Education Code, (EC) Section 8221.5, requires:

  1. Child care providers authorized to provide subsidized services through an AP or CalWORKs program are to submit a monthly attendance record or invoice. The monthly attendance record or invoice must include daily documentation of the dates and actual times the child entered and left care each day.
  2. AP and CalWORKs contractors to accept the monthly attendance record or invoice as documentation of care provided.
  3. Reimburse providers based on the hours of service provided that are broadly consistent with the certified hours of need, or for families with variable schedules and licensed exempt providers that provide part-time services, the actual days and hours of attendance up to the maximum certified hours for the month.
  4. For purpose of reimbursement to providers, AP and CalWORKs contractors will not track attendance.

Policy

Effective July 1, 2014, child care providers authorized to provide subsidized child care services to families, are required to submit monthly attendance records or invoices to the AP or CalWORKs contractors. The monthly attendance record or invoice submitted must include the following information:

The AP and CalWORKs contractors must accept monthly attendance records or invoices as documentation of services provided. Upon receipt of an attendance record or invoice that meets the above requirements; contractors must reimburse providers for services that are consistent with the voucher issued based on certified need for care. Contractors will not track absences for reimbursement to providers.

Contractors should develop and implement policies, including a definition for “broadly consistent,” with clear and consistent consequences for program violations. The policies must be included in the written material given to parents, and the written material given to providers.

Direction

Monthly Attendance Record or Invoice

AP and CalWORKs contractors must notify providers as soon as possible of their responsibility, beginning for the July 2014 service month, to submit monthly attendance records or invoices that include the following:

Contractors are reminded that, pursuant to the EC Section 8221.5, it is the provider’s and parent’s responsibility to complete the monthly attendance record or invoice by entering on a daily basis the time of arrival and departure for each day services are utilized, and signing, under penalty of perjury, on a monthly basis. The requirement for the daily signature in EC sections 18065 (b), (c), and (d) is no longer applicable in CalWORKs or Alternative Payment Program subsidized child care.

Reimbursement to Providers

When the provider submits an attendance record or invoice meeting the requirements above, AP and CalWORKs contractors will reimburse providers based on the following factors:

  1. The days and hours of services provided that are broadly consistent with the certified need for care as documented on the child care certificate and/or Notice of Action (NOA). For example: If the certification is for full-time care, the contractors will reimburse the provider based on the reimbursement ceiling selected or provider invoice amount, whichever is less; regardless of the child’s attendance.

  2. For families with a variable and/or unpredictable schedule, reimbursement will be based on the actual days and hours for which services were provided as documented on the monthly attendance record or invoice, up to the maximum certified need for services, as documented on the child care certificate and/or NOA. For example:

Per the Child Care Certificate (CCC) or Notice of Action (NOA) the family is certified for a variable schedule up to 35 hours per week. The subsidy amount could be full-time weekly $100 and part-time weekly $75.

Upon review of the monthly attendance record or invoice, it is determined that the child attended as follows:

Based on CCC/NOA the total subsidy amount for the child’s attendance would be $350. The reimbursement to the provider would be the determined subsidy amount or the provider’s rate/invoice whichever is less.

  1. For license-exempt providers that provide part-time services, reimbursement will be based on the actual days and hours for which services were provided as documented on the monthly attendance record or invoice, up to the maximum certified need for services, as documented on the child care certificate and/or NOA. Title 5 CCR, Section 18074.2 (a)(3) gives information on determining the in-home and licensed exempt rate ceiling when there is no Regional Market Rate (RMR) ceiling. If there is no RMR ceiling, the contractor shall determine a ceiling by multiplying the RMR hourly ceiling by the hours of certified need.

Other than the circumstances above, reimbursement to the provider should not be adjusted based on actual attendance. When the attendance is inconsistent with the family’s certified need for care, the contractor should contact the parent to determine if the family’s need for services requires an update.

The contractor does not have the authority to reduce or withhold reimbursement to a provider for any attendance record or invoice that includes all the required elements. If the attendance record(s) has been fraudulently completed, contractors must follow their written policies and take appropriate action, including taking immediate steps to terminate services or the business relationship with the responsible party.

If the attendance records or invoices reflect hours of service that are not broadly consistent with the certified hours of need, then the contractor can take steps, as set forth below, to address that situation.

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Review of Attendance Record or Invoice

Contractors should review attendance records or invoices to insure that the days and hours of services used by the parent were broadly consistent with the certification establishing the parent’s hours and days of services. Contractors should develop and implement policies, including a definition for “broadly consistent”, with clear and consistent consequences for program violations. The policies must be included in the written material given to parents, and the written material given to providers.

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: 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 or through other means the contractor learns of a change in circumstances, this may result in the issuance of a NOA. This NOA could reflect:

  1. The new hours of care,
  2. A violation of 5 CCR, Section 18102 that requires a parent to report any change within five calendar days,
  3. Services the parent improperly received as a result of not reporting a change, or;
  4. Any combination of the above.

The EESD 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.

If a contractor determines, through the above process, there is a need to either change the parent’s level of services or terminate the services, the contractor must issue a NOA and provide due process pursuant to 5 CCR, Section 18118 et. seq.

Policies that Support the Regulations

To effectively enforce the provisions of 5 CCR, sections 18102 and 18221, contractors must develop and implement policies with clear and consistent consequences for program violations. These policies must be included in the written material given to parents, and the written material given to providers.

Contractors are reminded they must develop written policies for parents and providers describing requirements and responsibilities, including clear and consistent consequences for the following:

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.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this management bulletin, please contact your assigned Early Education and Support 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.

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