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Management Bulletin 20-15


Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: Fiscal Year 2020–21 Alternative Payment Provider reimbursement requirements and data collection requirements

Number: 20-15

Date: July 2020

Expires: June 30, 2021

Authority: Senate Bill (SB) 98 (Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020)

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Administrators of California Alternative Payment Programs (CAPPs), including California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Stage 2 (C2AP), CalWORKs Stage 3 (C3AP), and Migrant Alternative Payment Program (CMAP).


Purpose

This Management Bulletin (MB) is to notify and provide guidance to California Alternative Payment (AP) programs, including California Alternative Payment Program (CAPP), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Stages 2 and 3, and California Migrant Alternative Payment Program (CMAP) on:

  1. Reimbursing providers based on the certified need.
  2. Providing written notification (i.e. Child Care certificates or Notices of Action) to providers when changes to a family's services.
  3. New Data collection requirements for non-CalWORKs AP programs.

Background

The California Education Code (EC) Section 8221.5 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, (5 CCR) currently set requirements for AP contractors to reimburse child care providers, including license-exempt providers.

The EC Section 8263(h) establishes 12-month eligibility and changes to services can only be made at recertification or when a family voluntarily requests a change, in accordance with Section 18084.2 of the 12-month Implementation Guidance released in MB 17-14.

The 5 CCR sections 18094, 18095, 18118, 18419 and 18434 require that agencies serve a Notice of Action (NOA) to families at certification, recertification, or approval of the parent voluntary request for changes to their service agreement.

The EC Section 8359(a) requires county welfare departments and AP programs to, on a monthly basis, provide data about child care usage and demand in each of the three (3) stages of CalWORKs to the California Department of Education (CDE) or the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), whichever is appropriate, and to their local planning council.

On June 29, 2020, the Governor signed Senate Bill (SB) 98 (Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020) which includes additional funding to support state-subsidized child care providers, including centers, family child care homes, and license-exempt providers, serving children through an AP program, including CalWORKs and CMAP. Specifically, SB 98 allocated $62.5 million to support the AP programs, including CalWORKs and CMAP, so that AP agencies are able to reimburse providers based on the certified need, regardless of attendance, through June 30, 2021, or until funding is exhausted, whichever is sooner.

In accordance with EC Section 8227.7, effective July 1, 2020, AP agencies must issue a written notification to a child care provider when an NOA is issued to the family. Specifically, the provider must be notified of any changes to reimbursement amounts, change in certified need, increase or decrease in family fees, disenrollment of services, and when the family changes providers.

Finally, similar to the monthly data collected from the three (3) stages of CalWORKs required by EC 8359(a), SB 98 added EC Section 8227.8, requiring all AP programs, including CAPP and CMAP, contractors to report on a monthly basis to the Child Development and Nutrition Fiscal Services (CDNFS) data about child care caseload in the program and other key variables to determine any additional state allocations to these programs for the purpose of emergency response.

This authority applies to as applicable to the following programs: CAPP, C2AP, C3AP, and CMAP. The guidance below responds to this topic.

Policy

Effective July 1, 2020, and until funding is exhausted, AP contractors must reimburse AP providers, including license-exempt providers, based on the families’ certified need, notwithstanding the requirements set forth in EC Section 8221.5, as outlined in the guidance below.

Effective July 1, 2020, AP contractors must, at the same time families are sent an NOA, send a written notice to the AP provider. Specifically, the provider must be notified of any changes to reimbursement amounts, change in certified need, increase or decrease in family fees, disenrollment of services, and when the family change providers.

Effective July 1, 2020, AP contractors must submit data monthly to CDNFS, as instructed below.

Directive

Reimbursing Alternative Payment Providers based on Certified Need

The SB 98 allocated $62.5 million to support the CAPP, including CalWORKs and CMAP, to reimburse providers through June 30, 2021, or until funding is exhausted; whichever is sooner. The CDE will distribute these funds to AP contractors through contract amendments in September 2020.

Contractors must use these funds to provide reimbursement to open AP providers, including license-exempt providers, through June 30, 2021, or until the funding is exhausted; whichever is sooner. This funding will be used to reimburse providers based on the family’s certified need for services, regardless of attendance. For families with the following scenarios, reimbursement will be made as provided below:

  • For families certified for variable schedules, providers shall be reimbursed based on the maximum authorized hours of care.
  • For license-exempt providers that provide part-time services, providers shall be reimbursed based on the maximum authorized hours of care.
  • Providers must continue to submit attendance records and/or invoices in accordance with EC Section 8221.5. The EC Sections 8221.5 and 8262.1 allow contractors and providers to use digital signatures. The monthly attendance records and/or invoices must be signed by the parent and the provider. Software that use digital signatures, such as Adobe or DocuSign, is reimbursable within contract funds.

The AP contractors should continue to work with families to ensure retention of certified child services. Any change to the certified need must be based upon a request by the parent in accordance with EC 8263(h)(4).

Note: Providers are limited to ten (10) non-operational (closure) days per fiscal year, in accordance with 5 CCR, Section 18076.2(b)(2).

Notification to Provider

Pursuant to EC 8227.7, beginning July 1, 2020, AP contractors must provide a written notice, with the effective date of the action, to the AP provider. This notice must be issued on the same day the NOA is issued to a family. The provider notice is to be issued when the following occur:

  • Changes to reimbursement amounts
  • Changes to certified need (hours of care)
  • Changes to certified schedules
  • Rate changes
  • Increase or decrease to family fees
  • Disenrollment from services
  • Change of provider

The provider notice must be issued either electronically, if requested by the child care provider, or via the United States Postal Service. The notification shall not be deemed a violation of the parent’s confidentiality but as a method to ensure the proper administration of subsidy funds.

Data Collection

Currently, pursuant to EC Section 8259(a), all C2AP and C3AP contractors must submit monthly CalWORKs Stage 2 and Stage 3 caseload and fiscal reports to CDNFS.

Effective July 1, 2020, all CAPP and CMAP contractors are required to report monthly caseload and fiscal data to CDNFS. The following data elements are to be reported to CDNFS, beginning with the July 2020, reporting period, regardless of the contractor’s contract status:

  • County-by-county caseload
  • Expenditures
  • Unit costs
  • Family fees
  • Other key costs of care variables requested by the CDE used to determine any additional state allocations to these programs for purposes of the emergency response.

Monthly Caseload and Fiscal reports shall be strictly submitted electronically at https://www2.cde.ca.gov/cdfs/ and are due by day 20 of the following month of the reported data.

  • All CAPP and CMAP contractors will continue to use their existing log in to currently submit fiscal reports through the website listed above, and will continue to use their existing log in.
  • The CDE is in the process of updating the current caseload report form, currently submitted by C2AP and C3AP contractors, to include a section for CAPP and CMAP caseload reporting.
  • All CAPP and CMAP contractors will be required to submit caseload data associated with emergency child care enrollments, as well as caseload data associated with ongoing enrollments.
  • The revised caseload report will be available prior to August 20, 2020, so that contractors can meet the July 2020, reporting deadline.

Note: If a contractor provides services in more than one (1) county, the contractor will be required to submit a separate Caseload Report for each county in which services are being provided. Each report shall include a certification of the person authorized by the contractor that the information contained in the report is correct and complete.

Resources

The CDE Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) has developed a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic guidance and resource page that includes answers to frequently asked questions, all MBs issued to implement pertinent legislation, and other relevant resources at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/elcdcovid19.asp.

To be informed of updated information, please sign up for ELCD’s email list at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/progspeclist.asp.

For more information about CDSS Community Care Licensing Division, which provides guidance social and physical distance, ratio and group sizes, and healthy practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit their website at  https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/community-care-licensing.

For more information about federal and state guidance and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html, the California Department of Public Health’s website at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx, and the California COVID-19 Response website at https://covid19.ca.gov/.

For more information about COVID-19 guidance from the Office of Head Start, including the Collaborating Actively in Meaning Planning (CAMP) series, please visit their website at https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/about-us/coronavirus/ohs-covid-19-updates.

If you have questions regarding the information in this MB, please contact your assigned Early Learning and Care Program Quality Implementation Office Regional Consultant. 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.

Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6223
Last Reviewed: Thursday, July 30, 2020
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