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Income Eligible Surplus Spending Plan Fiscal Committee April 7, 2014

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Presentation on theme: "Income Eligible Surplus Spending Plan Fiscal Committee April 7, 2014"— Presentation transcript:

1 Income Eligible Surplus Spending Plan Fiscal Committee April 7, 2014

2 Background In the FY2014 budget, the legislature, following the lead of the Governor, invested $15M to lower the Income Eligible Waitlist. As part of the implementation plan for caseload spending in FY 2014, EEC proposed opening access to 3,233 children from the waitlist (2,367 from the new Waitlist Remediation account and the remaining 866 from the existing Income Eligible account). Due to the timing of placements, there were still funds available to provide access to an additional 1,716 children. Overall, EEC has opened access for nearly 5,000 children in FY 2014. In expanding access to the families who need it most, EEC has exceeded all performance measures for this additional funding.

3 FY 2014 Key Achievements There are 2,367 new vouchers managed by the CCRRs and offered to providers through the $15M waitlist remediation account for all income eligible populations. 100% of those vouchers have been filled and maintained. 716 additional vouchers were allocated in December through the waitlist remediation account for income eligible general priority populations. As of 3/29/14, 93.58% of those vouchers have been filled. Total percent of vouchers filled under waitlist remediation is at 98.51% as of 3/29/14. 1,866 vouchers have been allocated for Income Eligible families for general priority populations. As of 3/29/14, 1.005% of those vouchers have been filled. In April 2013, 600 income eligible priority vouchers were allocated to the CCRRs for siblings. As of 3/29/14, these vouchers are at 126% capacity. As of April 2013, 22 priority income eligible vouchers for military families were allocated to the CCRRs. Only 41% have been filled to date but EEC continues extensive outreach to ensure that we are reaching all families that meet this priority status.

4 Surplus Details Access to childcare programs remains open and we anticipate maintaining this level in FY2015. However, due to the timing of placements, we project a surplus of $5.2 million for the income eligible accounts (2.19% of the $237.8M appropriation). We have presented three proposals to ANF which can be expediently implemented to reduce the surplus, all of which are one-time in nature with no annualized impact. We will also introduce a fourth proposal for implementation before the end of the current fiscal year if needed. These proposals will provide substantial administrative benefits in future fiscal years as we continue to maintain current levels of access as well as future expansion: Provide the additional CCRRs funding for temporary staff to assist with the waitlist validation. Provide funding for desktop scanners to be used during the intake process and with the new Child Care Financial Assistance Application (CCFA). Translate additional EEC documents into common foreign languages.

5 Proposal #1 – Waitlist Cleanup
Weekly status updates with the CCRRs as well as feedback from contract providers have led EEC to conclude that the weekly archiving process for the waitlist, although effective in decreasing the waitlist numbers, requires more than a systemic process to ensure accuracy. The waitlist has been identified by many providers and CCRRs as a principle barrier for timely placing children in contracted slots and providing vouchers. Waitlist issues include invalid contact information, families no longer financially eligible, and families on a waitlist even though they are already enrolled in a program. The CCRRs will review the waitlist for accuracy, continued interest, potential eligibility, and communication of fees. They will also provide guidance to the families on their role in maintaining accurate information. Completing this effort this fiscal year will continue EEC’s efforts to ensure the waitlist is kept current and more precise for FY2015. It will facilitate efficient maintenance of the current voucher allotments and future voucher expansion.

6 Proposal #1 – Waitlist Cleanup
We have assessed the number of families on the waitlist for each CCRR and with feedback from the CCRRs, EEC has determined that one full time staff can contact three families per hour or, on average, 24 families per day. Based on this assumption, we have calculated the number of staff each CCRR will need to hire temporarily to contact every single family on the waitlist. Funding estimate includes a 3-day centralized training for all staff facilitated by EEC and CCRR staff plus funding for start-up costs (installation of phone lines, purchase of computers, supplies). A predetermined amount would also be available to each CCRR for potential overtime for its permanent staff members to work on evenings and weekends. The total projected cost for this activity is approximately $422,800.

7 Proposal #1 – Waitlist Cleanup
CCRRs will use the duplicate function in KinderWait to remove duplicate families prior to outreach. All families on the waitlist prior to a particular date, set by EEC based on contract execution, will be contacted using a standard script created by EEC. First priority will be ensuring that all information in KinderWait is accurate and complete. This includes checking to ensure that families who have been terminated from care have a revised waitlist date based on the termination. After completing the questions, assessing potential eligibility, and confirming the family's interest and ability to pay the parent fee, the family and the worker will together decide if the family remains on the waitlist or is removed from the waitlist. Families will receive follow-up letters based on the decision made during the call. Families not reached after 2 calls will receive letters asking for a return call. A note will be made in KinderWait every time contact is attempted. Families who do not respond within 10 days will be terminated from the waitlist. If the family wants to be reinstated, they must contact EEC within the existing reinstatement period to keep their application date or a new application date is created placing the family at the end of the list.

8 Proposal #1 – Waitlist Cleanup
EEC will create benchmarks for the CCRRs to meet during this cleanup process. Principle benchmark measures will include: Contact attempted or made with every family on the waitlist before a specific date. All duplicate families are removed from the waitlist. Applicable families will be archived or terminated if necessary according to EEC policy. There is an accurate status for each child in KinderWait. The expected implementation process includes: Complete scope of work and benchmarks for CCRRs. Amend CCRR contracts to include this additional work. Create and finalize standard script of questions to be asked of families as well as a one page waitlist information document to be sent to families. This process will be completed with the cooperation of EEC legal and operations staff. Monitor CCRR progress through weekly reports provided by the CCRRs as well as reports pulled directly from KinderWait.

9 Proposal #1 – Waitlist Cleanup
The proposal provided to ANF does not address any changes to waitlist policies. In order to ensure that all funds are spent in the most productive manner, we think that we would receive the best outcomes if some of the changes currently being proposed by a waitlist working group are implemented in coordination with these cleanup efforts. Specifically, we feel that the consideration of the following short term actions would be beneficial to the success of this cleanup effort: The ability to terminate families from the waitlist who do not respond to inquiries (similar to the working group’s proposal to terminate families who do not respond to funding availability letters). Existing policy only allows the removal of families who have invalid contact information. Shortening of the grace period that a family has to be reinstated on the waitlist after their removal (grace period is currently 6 months; pending proposal would shorten it to 30 days). Creation of an information sheet that would be sent to families who choose to remain on the waitlist to inform the family of its responsibilities and expectations (similar to proposed marketing materials).

10 Proposal #2 – Desktop Scanners
Family income eligibility documentation is currently maintained principally in hard copy; copies of documents are sent to agencies when there is crossover between agencies for voucher reassessment. This is costly, time consuming, and prone to error. Providers have suggested the benefit of desktop scanners for intake staff to save documentation on servers at all intake locations. EEC would need assurance that the provider has adequate backup servers before we could allow them to eliminate the paper copies of the eligibility documentation. All CCRRs, Family Child Care Systems, and Center Based Providers would be eligible to apply. Funding would be provided through a grant and scanners would be purchased by providers based on minimum specifications mandated by EEC. Each scanner costs approximately $450 and we estimate that a total of 711 scanners will be needed for all CCRRs, Family Child Care Systems, and Center Based Contract Providers. The estimated cost for purchasing scanners for all three groups is $319,950.

11 Proposal #2 – Desktop Scanners
The expected implementation process includes: Finalize specifications and preferred scanner manufacturers or models. Issue a notification to all CCRRs, Family Child Care Systems, and Center Based Providers that this funding is available. They will return a grant application form (created by EEC) that will certify: That the provider will purchase the required equipment; That the provider will cover any cost above the value of the grant; That the provider agrees to purchase the scanner before the end of FY2014; That the provider will send a proof of purchase for our records; That the provider will establish an electronic document management system to organize and maintain documents; That the provider will maintain paper copies of all documentation in accordance with current procedures unless otherwise notified by EEC; Upon receipt of a signed application form, we will issue funding. Any funds above the actual purchase price will be returned to EEC. Recipient of funds will return a proof of purchase for our records.

12 Proposal #3 – Document Translation
In conversations with providers, some have mentioned that while they provide translation services for families, it would be helpful if some of the most common EEC forms are translated into languages commonly spoken by parents. This will also assist in fulfilling part of the SEIU collective bargaining agreement where under Article V, EEC has agreed to make its best effort, subject to funding availability, to translate financial assistance forms and QRIS guidance documents. Documents would be translated into six languages commonly spoken by EEC families: Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese Mandarin, Chinese Cantonese, Haitian Creole, and French. It is important to note that some of these documents are currently being revised by EEC staff but we expect the revisions to be completed in sufficient time to include these documents for translation. Based on the total word count of the listed documents and previous proposals for translation work, the estimated cost for this translation work is $35,300.

13 Proposal #3 – Document Translation
Documents to be translated include: Child Care Subsidy Application and Fee Agreement Attendance Notification Agreement – Subsidized Child Care Financial Assistance Agreement Reassessment Letters Waitlist Notification Letters Employment Verification form Transportation Request Form Disability of a Child form Disability of a Parent form Notice of Termination/Reduction of Subsidy – Subsidized Child Care Request for Review Request for Hearing Attendance Notification Form – Supportive Child Care Notice of Termination – Supportive Child Care Flexible Funding Request for Children with Special Needs/Termination of Funding (Teen Parents) Teen Parent Transition Planning Worksheet Self-Employment Information Packet Letter Summary Table Documentation for Self-Employed Parents/Guardians Report of Self-Employment Earnings Desk Guide to Non-Citizen Eligibility for Child Care Financial Assistance

14 Additional Solution After the first three proposals have been implemented, there is the potential for a surplus in the income eligible account. We propose that we continue to monitor the surplus over the coming month and, if it is significant, initiate a financial stipend to all providers. This stipend would be made available to all providers who acknowledge that it would be one-time payment with no annualized impact to their respective programs. In order to be equitable to all parties, we would also extend stipends to the CCRRs and Family Child Care Systems. For all providers, including Center Based, Family Child Care Systems providers who are part of a system, Independent Family Child Care providers, and In Home, CCRRs, and the Family Child Care Systems, we would base the value of the stipend on the number of children served, using a process similar to the Consolidated Net Surplus rate increase. A per child equivalent that takes into account the average number of children served YTD by each provider would be used to distribute the funds.

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