California Department of Education
Report to the Governor and the Legislature:
Administrative Errors in Alternative Payment, CalWORKs,
and General Child Care Programs for Fiscal Year 2011-12
This report is submitted in compliance with Provision 6(b) of Item 6110-001-0890 of the Budget Act of 2011. Provision 6(b) requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to select a statistically valid sample of family data files from contractors offering full-day child care and development programs and analyze these sample files to estimate rates of administrative errors in four different categories: (1) eligibility, (2) need, (3) family fee, and (4) provider reimbursement. Provision 6(b) requires the CDE to report estimated error rates annually to the Governor and the Legislature. In implementing Provision 6(b), the CDE also used federal regulations implementing the Improper Payments Information Act as guidance.
The CDE created the Alternative Payment Monitoring Unit (APMU) in 2006 as required by Provision 6(b). The Center-Based Monitoring Unit (CMU) was created in 2009 in response to new federal regulations extending error rate requirements to full-day centers. The APMU has previously reviewed each of California’s Alternative Payment contractors at least once. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2011–12, contractors were selected for APMU reviews based on their prior error rate and the time since the last review. In FY 2011–12, the CMU conducted initial reviews of center-based contractors. Contractors were selected for initial reviews based on their size and compliance history.
The contractors reviewed by the APMU during FY 2011–12 had an average estimated error rate of 14.58 percent compared to the average error rate previously estimated for these same contractors of 23.63 percent. This decrease is consistent with the significant reduction in the statewide error rate estimated during the federally required statewide review in 2010.
The contractors receiving initial reviews by the CMU averaged an estimated error rate of 28.7 percent. The CDE believes that over time, the CMU reviews will yield a reduction in center-based error rates similar to the reduction in Alternative Payment error rates. We anticipate substantial reductions in error rates when these same contractors receive technical assistance and follow-up reviews.
In conducting both state and federal reviews, the CDE notes the finding of an administrative error does not indicate a family was factually ineligible or received services for which they were not entitled. Frequently, errors indicate that insufficient evidence was present in the file to support the decisions made by the contractor.
If you have questions regarding this report or need a copy, please contact Desiree Soto, Administrator, Northern Field Services, by phone at 916-324-6164 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.