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Management Bulletin 18-07


Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: 2018–19 Family Fee Schedule

Number: 18-07

Date: September 2018

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: California Education Code sections 8263, 8263.1, 8273, 8273.1, and 8447(b) (1), (c) and (f); Assembly Bill 99, Chapter 15, Statutes of 2017

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Directors of Child Development Programs except the Severely Handicapped Program


Purpose

The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to notify contractors of the 2018–19 Family Fee Schedule that became effective July 1, 2018, and can be downloaded at http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/documents/famfeeschedsept2018.xlsx.

Background

California Education Code (EC) Section 8263.1, requires the Department of Finance (DOF) to update State Median Income (SMI) annually and as a result the family fee schedule is updated to reflect the new SMI.

The EC sections 8273 and 8447(f) require the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a family fee schedule for families receiving child care services, subject to the approval of the schedule by the DOF. In accordance with EC Section 8273, families will continue to be assessed a flat monthly fee based on the following factors:

  • Hours of certified need as documented on the application for services

  • The family’s adjusted monthly income

  • Family size

Families will be assessed either a flat monthly full-time fee or part-time fee, based on hours of care certified for the month, income, and family size. Families with a certified need of less than 130 hours per month will be assessed a part-time fee while families with a certified need of 130 hours or more per month will be assessed a full-time fee. Fees may only be assessed at certification and recertification unless a parent requests a reduction to their family fee. Contractors must not, under any circumstances, increase family fees based on a child’s actual attendance.

Policy

Effective July 1, 2018, contractors must use the current 2018–19 Family Fee Schedule when:

  • Recalculating family fees for currently enrolled families that have been assessed a family fee using the 2017–18 Family Fee Schedule issued in MB 17-11

  • Assessing family fees for families at initial certification or at recertification
  • A parent voluntarily requests changes to reduce their family fees

California Education Code Section 8273.1 exempts the following families from family fees:

  • Families receiving California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids cash aid as described in EC Section 8273.1(b)

  • Families of children enrolled in a part-day California State Preschool Program as described in EC sections 8235(e) and 8273.1(c)

  • Families with children who have been identified as at risk of abuse or neglect, may be exempt from paying a family fee for 12 months as described EC sections 8263(b)(1) and 8273.1(a)
  • Families whose child(ren) are receiving Child Protective Services may be exempt from paying a family fee for 12 months as described in EC sections 8263(b)(1) and 8273.1(a).

Directive

Recalculating Family Fees for Currently Enrolled Families

Currently enrolled families that were assessed a family fee based on the previous family fee schedule must have their family fee recalculated effective July 1, 2018. Agencies have until December 1, 2018 to complete this process.

Contractors must review records for all currently enrolled families who have been assessed a family fee based on 2017–18 Family Fee Schedule, and recalculate the family’s fee as follows:

  • Using existing documentation, recalculate the family fee using the 2018–19 Family Fee Schedule. No additional information is required, and must not be requested.

  • If the family fee has changed, the contractor must issue a Notice of Action (NOA) in accordance with California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Section 18119 reflecting the new family fee. The effective date of the NOA must be July 1, 2018.

Note: While effective dates of NOAs are normally prospective in nature, this action must be implemented as of July 1, 2018 to give families the benefit of the reduction in fees as required by the Budget Act of 2017. Families will still have an opportunity to appeal the calculation of the family fee within 14 calendar days of the date the NOA is issued, assuming it is hand-delivered to the parent, or within 19 calendar days of issuance if served by mail.

  • If the recalculation results in a lower family fee, contractors must credit or refund any overpayment in family fees that parents have paid. The NOA should include the amount to be refunded or credited to the family as a result of the recalculation.

  • If recalculation results in a higher fee, that higher fee cannot be assessed until the next certification. Pursuant to EC Section 8263(h)(4), a family may voluntarily report income or other changes. This information shall only be used to reduce family fees, increase the family’s services, or extend the period of family’s eligibility before recertification.

  • Agencies needing additional time to complete this process must contact their Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) Field Services Regional Consultant prior to November 30, 2018, to request an extension.

This family fee assessment process does not affect how contractors collect family fees. Alternative Payment agencies that have policies allowing providers to collect family fees can continue using those policies.

Note: Because a family that meets eligibility requirements at initial certification or recertification is considered eligible until the next recertification, a payment made by a child development program for a child during this period will not be considered an error or an improper payment due to a change in the family’s circumstances during that same period (EC Section 8263[i]). Please refer to MB 17-14 for 12-month eligibility requirements. The ELCD will be providing technical assistance related to implementation of program requirements impacted by the Budget Act of 2018–19 throughout Fiscal Year (FY) 2018–19.

For Initial Certification or Recertification

To assess family fees for families with predictable schedules, contractors will continue to assess family fees in accordance with the requirements of 5 CCR, Section 18096 of the Implementation Guidance issued with MB 17-14.

To assess family fees for families with unpredictable schedules, contractors will continue to assess family fees in accordance 5 CCR with the requirements of, Section 18096 of the Implementation Guidance issued with MB 17-14.

When Families Voluntarily Request a Reduction of Family Fee

Currently enrolled families assessed a family fee based on FY 2017–18 family fee schedule may request to have their family fee recalculated on the basis that they have a reduced family fee under the FY 2018–19 family fee schedule.

At the parent’s written request contractors must recalculate the family’s fee as follows:

  • Using existing documentation in the family data file, recalculate the family fee using the 2018–19 Family Fee Schedule. No additional information is required, and must not be requested.
  • Upon recalculation, if it is determined the family fee is reduced, the contractor must issue a NOA in accordance with 5 CCR, Section 18119, reflecting the new family fee. The effective date of the NOA must be July 1, 2018.

  • If the recalculation results in a reduced family fee, contractors must credit or refund any overpayment in family fees that parents have paid from July 1, 2018 forward. The NOA shall include the amount to be refunded or credited to the family as a result of the recalculation.

  • Note: While effective dates of NOAs are normally prospective in nature, this action must be implemented as of July 1, 2018 to give families the benefit of the reduction in fees as required by the Budget Act of 2017. Families will still have an opportunity to appeal the calculation of the family fee within 14 calendar days of the date the NOA is issued, if it is hand-delivered to the parent, or within 19 calendar days of issuance, if served by mail.
If recalculation results in a higher fee, that higher fee cannot be assessed until the next certification. Pursuant to EC Section 8263(h)(4) a family may voluntarily report income or other changes. This information shall only be used to reduce family fees, increase the family’s services, or extend the period of family’s eligibility before recertification.

Other Relevant Information

For more information on the requirements, please see related MB 18-03: Revised State Median Income for FY 2018–19 at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb1803.asp.

Contractors that have concerns regarding the impact that issuing family fee refunds or credits may have on contract apportionments can contact their assigned Child Development and Nutrition Fiscal Services fiscal analyst. A directory of analyst assignments can be found on the California Department of Education (CDE) Fiscal Apportionment Analyst Directory Web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/faad.asp.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this MB, please contact your assigned Early Learning and Care Field Services Consultants. A list of consultants can be found on the ELCD Consultant Regional Assignments Web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/assignments.asp, 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.

Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Friday, November 9, 2018
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