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Management Bulletin 19-04


Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: Family Fee Schedule for Fiscal Year 2019–20

Number: 19-04

Date: June 17, 2019

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: California Education Code sections 8263, 8263.1, 8273, 8273.1, and 8447(b) (1), (c) and (f).

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Directors of All Early Learning and Care Programs except the Severely Handicapped Program


Purpose

The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to notify contractors of the fiscal year (FY) 2019–20 Family Fee Schedule that will become effective July 1, 2019, and provide guidance on recalculating family fees for currently enrolled families.

This MB rescinds and replaces MB 18-07.

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 early learning and 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.

Policy

Effective July 1, 2019, contractors must use the current FY 2019–20 Family Fee Schedule available at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/documents/familyfeeschedulejul2019.xlsx when:

  • Recalculating family fees for currently enrolled families that have been assessed a family fee using the FY 2018–19 Family Fee Schedule

  • Assessing family fees for families at initial certification or at recertification

  • A parent voluntarily requests a reduction to their family fees

The EC 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 in 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).

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. Pursuant to EC Section 8273 (f), fees may only be assessed at certification and recertification unless a parent requests a reduction to family fees.

Directive

Recalculating Family Fees for Currently Enrolled Families

Currently enrolled families that were assessed a family fee based on the FY 2018–19 family fee schedule must have their family fee recalculated effective July 1, 2019. Agencies have until September 1, 2019, to complete this process.

Contractors must review records for all currently enrolled families who have been assessed a family fee and recalculate the family’s fee as follows:

  • Using existing documentation, recalculate the family fee using the 2019–20 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, 2019. In addition, 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.

Note: While effective dates of NOAs are normally prospective in nature, this action must be implemented as of July 1, 2019, to give families the benefit of the reduction in fees. Families will still have an opportunity to appeal the calculation of their family fees 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 recalculation results in a higher fee, no further action is required until the next certification. Pursuant to EC Section 8263(h) (3), 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 July 31, 2019, 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 an early learning and care 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.

For Initial Certification or Recertification

When assessing 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 with the requirements of 5 CCR, Section 18096 of the Implementation Guidance issued with MB 17-14.

Other Relevant Information

For more information on the requirements, please see related MB 19-03: Revised State Median Income for FY 2019–20 at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb1903.asp.

For 5 CCR, Section 18096 of the Implementation Guidance MB 17-14, please visit the 12-Month Eligibility web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb1714.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: Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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