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Management Bulletin 21-06


Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: Updated Reimbursement Requirements for Alternative Payment Programs and Providers

Number: 21-06

Date: April 16, 2021

Expires: June 30, 2021

Authority: Senate Bill (SB) 820 (Chapter 111, Statutes of 2020), Assembly Bill (AB) 82 (Chapter 6, Statutes of 2021)

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


Purpose

The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to update the critical guidance provided in MB 20-15 and MB 20-15(a) for California Alternative Payment Program (CAPP), CalWORKs Stage 2 (C2AP), CalWORKs Stage 3 (C3AP), and California Migrant Alternative Payment Program (CMAP) contractors. This MB builds upon requirements and guidance set forth in MB 20-15 and MB 20-15(a), which remain in effect, and describes new reimbursement requirements for Alternative Payment Program (APP) providers as a result of the passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 82. Specifically, APP providers shall be reimbursed this Fiscal Year (FY) for 16 additional non-operational days for closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with the implementation guidance below.

This MB also provides guidance to contractors on how to implement those changes, including additional requirements related to record keeping and data collection. Finally, this MB provides the authority under which the California Department of Education (CDE), Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) is issuing these policy changes and its rationale for doing so, background on other recent policy changes that interact with the implementation directives issued here, and additional resources that may support programs in understanding and implementing the changes.

Policy

Effective September 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, CAPP, C2AP, C3AP and CMAP contractors must reimburse APP providers for up to 16 non-operational days for closures related to COVID-19, in addition to the 14 non-operational days authorized by SB 820 (and described in MB 20-15[a]), for a total of up to 30 non-operational days for closures related to COVID-19. Reimbursement shall be made to APP providers until funds are exhausted.

The APP providers are also entitled to the 10 non-operational days allowable by California Code of Regulations (5 CCR) Section 18076.2(b)(2). In total, APP providers are entitled to 40 non-operational days, 30 of which must be related to COVID-19, during FY 2020-21.

Note: Reimbursement for non-operational days of closure related to COVID-19 for providers who serve children through a Family Child Care Home Education Network (CFCC) and providers who serve children in a family childcare home education network under a General Child Care and Development Program (CCTR), California State Preschool Program (CSPP) or Migrant Child Care and Development Program (CMIG) contract is addressed in MB 21-07.

Implementation

All CAPP, C2AP, C3AP, and CMAP contractors must reimburse APP providers up to an additional 16 non-operational days of closure, provided the closures are related to COVID-19. These 16 non-operational days are in addition to the previously authorized 14 non-operational days for closures related to COVID-19 (described in MB 20-15[a]), for a total of up to 30 non-operational days of closure related to COVID-19. These additional non-operational days of closure may be used between September 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, subject to the exhaustion of available funding for this purpose.

Note: The CDE does not anticipate funding for reimbursing secondary providers for up to 16 additional non-operational days to be exhausted.

As described in MB 20-15(a), APP providers are required to mark any COVID-19 related non-operational days of closure on their attendance records and/or invoices. Contractors are required to report to the California Department of Education (CDE) the use of any of the 16 additional non-operational days for closures related to COVID-19, including any associated costs.

If a child received care from a secondary provider during a COVID-19 related non-operational day, the CAPP, C2AP, C3AP, and CMAP contractor must report the following data:

  • Number of children requiring care from a secondary provider
  • Sum of all days that children received care from a secondary provider
  • Total cost associated with paying secondary providers due to the primary provider’s closure

This information will be utilized to reimburse providers with the $31.25 million provided in SB 820, until funding is exhausted, for COVID-19 related non-operational days of closure between September 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

The ELCD recognizes the legislative directive is retroactive in nature. Some APP providers may have already exceeded the 14 non-operational days for closures related to COVID-19 that were authorized by SB 820, prior to the signing of AB 82.  This may require APP contractors to process adjustments that were not previously reimbursed for non-operational days of closure for closures related to COVID-19 that were claimed by providers since September 1, 2020. The ELCD strongly encourages APP contractors to process these adjustments as quickly as possible, but no later than June 30, 2021.

Background and Authority

The Education Code (EC) and 5 CCR currently set requirements for CAPP, C2AP, C3AP and CMAP contractors regarding reimbursement to childcare providers, including license-exempt providers. EC Section 8269 grants authority to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) to adopt regulations to facilitate the funding and reimbursement procedures required under the Child Care and Development Services Act.

The 5 CCR Section 18076.2 sets forth the reimbursement requirements applicable to APP providers. Pursuant to subdivision (b)(2) of that section, APP providers should be reimbursed for days of non-operation when the contractual terms used by the provider for services to unsubsidized families require payment for such days, limited to a maximum of ten days per fiscal year per provider. Pursuant to 5 CCR Section 18074, this provision applies to any contractors reimbursed using the regional market rate, including Family Child Care Home Education Network (CFCC) contractors.

On September 18, 2020, the Governor signed SB 820 (Chapter 111, Statutes of 2020), which included additional funding to support APP providers to be reimbursed for up to 14 non-operational days related to COVID-19. These 14 COVID-19 related non-operational days are in addition to the 10 non-operational days allowable by 5 CCR Section 18076.2(b)(2). This provision is effective between September 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, and was described in MB 20-15(a).

On February 23, 2021, the Governor signed AB 82, which authorizes CAPP, C2AP, C3AP and CMAP contractors to reimburse APP providers for up to an additional 16 non-operational days for closures related to COVID-19. These 16 COVID-19 related non-operational days are in addition to the 14 COVID-19 related non-operational days previously authorized by SB 820. APP providers are allowed up to 30 non-operational days between September 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, for COVID-19 related closures.

Providers are also entitled to the 10 non-operational days allowable by 5 CCR Section 18076.2(b)(2).

Other Relevant Resources

The CDE, Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) has developed a 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 distribution list at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/progspeclist.asp.

For more information about California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD), which provides guidance on social and physical distancing, 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 California Department of Public Health’s guidance on small group sizes and cohorts, please visit: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/small-groups-child-youth.aspx.

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.ohss.acf.hss.gov/about-us/coronavirus/responding-covid-19.

If you have questions regarding the information in this MB, please contact your assigned ELCD Program Quality Implementation (PQI) 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.

This Management Bulletin is mandatory only to the extent that it cites a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement.

Stephen Propheter, Director
Early Learning and Care Division

Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6223
Last Reviewed: Friday, April 16, 2021
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