Presentation on theme: "1 Changes to Subsidized Child Care Regulations and Financial Assistance Policies January 2013."— Presentation transcript:
1 Changes to Subsidized Child Care Regulations and Financial Assistance Policies January 2013
2 EEC Subsidized Child Care Regulations On January 18, 2013, EEC will enact its revised subsidized child care regulations and issue a new Financial Assistance Policy Guide for Families, Caregivers and Service Providers. Changes to the regulations and policies may impact some families’ eligibility. Changes to attendance and reimbursement regulations and policies may also impact programs.
Technical Regulatory Changes Clarifies verification of household members necessary for purposes of determining eligibility and establishing parent fees. Family Size and Household Composition (codifies existing practice) Authorizes EEC to request and/or provide information to/from other government agencies, contracted providers, other states and financial institutions for purposes of verifying eligibility. Data Sharing/Interfaces Authorization (new) Authorizes providers and/or CCR&Rs to request additional documentation, if file indicates application inaccuracies/ contradictions Additional Documentation (codifies existing practice) Requires applicants to present a minimum of 20 hours of service need before allowing travel time to be factored in. Travel Time (codifies existing practice) 3
Technical Regulatory Changes (cont’d) Updates reasons for subsidy denial, reduction or termination to include submission of false or misleading information and/or documentation. Termination and Reduction of Services (amends current regulations) Explains what should be contained in notice of denial/termination/reduction. Clarifies the duties and expectations of the parties during the Review Process. Review Officer to make a decision within 30 days or “as promptly as administratively feasible”. Allows for dismissal when parent fails to prosecute claim. Review Process (codifies existing practice) 4
Substantive Regulatory Changes Requires verification of applicant’s identity and residency, as well as the citizenship or /immigration status of each child seeking assistance. Identity, Residency & Citizenship Status Requires children to regularly attend early education and care programs subsidized by the Commonwealth or risk termination and/or non- reimbursement. Child Attendance & Reimbursement Requirements Imposes restrictions on certain work-related service need activities, in particular, “at home” self-employment Changes methodology for calculating service need (total earnings divided by minimum wage to establish amount of care needed) Limitations on Self- Employment New definition of protective services to include parents and children with documented disability and/or special need; limits authorization period. Eliminates child with special need as a single service need. Special Needs of Parent/Child 5
Child Attendance 6 All children who receive child care subsidies are expected to attend the early education and care program in accordance with the terms of the child care authorization. Explained Absences are absences due to: Child illness or medical condition; Death in the family; Emergency circumstances; Religious holidays; and Up to 10 days of vacation in a 12 month period. Unexplained Absences are: More than 3 consecutive unexplained absences; or More than 30 absences within a 6 month period.
Child Attendance (cont’d) 7 The 6 month periods are based on the calendar year (i.e., January to June and July to December). When a child is enrolled in a program, absences will be pro- rated of up to 5 days per month. Excessive absence will result in a reassessment of the family’s need for child care. Educators/Providers will not be paid for more than 30 child absence days in a 6- month period, or more than 3 consecutive unexplained absences without written approval from EEC. Children shall not be scheduled for care on days that they are regularly scheduled to be absent.
Limitation of Home-Based Self-Employment as a Service Need Parents engaged in home-based self-employment must document that they are unable to work with their children in the home because the work they perform: Presents a clear and present danger ; OR Work consists of face-to-face meetings with clients. 8
Implementation of Limitations on Home-Based Self-Employment 9 Will be required to have home- based self-employment that either requires face-to-face with clients or is dangerous at time of initial assessment. New Families Parent(s) engaged in home- based self-employment will NOT be required to meet the new criteria until their next subsidy authorization. Families Re- Assessing before August 1, 2013 Parent(s) engaged in home-based self-employment must verify that their work meets the new criteria. Families Re- Assessing on or after August 1, 2013
Disability/Special Need of Child EEC will no longer consider Disability/Special Need of Child as a stand alone service need. EEC will now require parents to establish a minimum of 20 hours of service activity in addition to the verification of the child’s disability/special need to qualify for subsidized child care Once parent establishes a minimum service need of 20 hours, and the child’s disability/special need of child is verified, families may be authorized for full time child care, if the supporting documentation recommends full-time child care. Families with children with a confirmed disability/special need may enter into care at up to 85% SMI and remain eligible for care until they reach 100% SMI. 10
Implementation of Service Need Activity for Parents of Children with Disability or Special Need 11 Parent(s) will be required to have a 20 hr/wk activity of employment, education or training; will be allowed 8 weeks job search, if not. New Families Parent(s) will NOT be required to have a service need until their next subsidy authorization. Families Re- Assessing before August 1, 2013 Parent(s) will be required to have a 20 hr/wk activity of employment, education or training; will be allowed 8 weeks job search, if not. Families Re- Assessing on or after August 1, 2013
Disability/Special Need of Parent Families utilizing “Disability/Special Need of Parent” as a service need will now only be authorized for up to two years of child care. Requests for an extension of the two year period will be limited to unusual, extenuating circumstances. Extensions beyond the two year period require written approval from EEC. “Disability/Special Need of Parent” cannot be combined with any other service need activity. 12
Implementation of Limited Subsidy Authorization for Parents with Disability/Special Need 13 Two year limitation begins at initial assessment. New Families At re-assessment, reminded that they will have two years. Families Re-Assessing Informed of the two year limitation and that EEC will have to approve any further subsidy time period. All Families
Changes to Schedule of Care Service need will no longer be tied to a parent’s schedule. The new policy will allow subsidy administrators to determine eligibility based on a parent’s documentation of service need and parent’s request for care. 20 – 29 hours = part-time child care of up to 30 hours per week, regardless of parent/guardian’s activity schedule. 30 or more hours = full-time child care of up to 50 hours per week, regardless of parent/guardian’s activity schedule. 15
Calculating Service Need for Vocational Training Programs, High School Equivalency Program, ESOL Program, or Non- Credited Educational Programs The service need for parents participating in education or training programs (other than college or high school) is 2.5 hours of service need for each hour spent in the education or training program per week. = Activity x 2.5 16
Calculating Minimum Wage and Service Need Minimum wage will be verified by dividing the gross income reported, after allowable deductions, by the minimum wage ($8.00 currently) to determine the number of hours for which the parent is eligible towards establishing a service need for a child care subsidy. 17
Job Search and Service Need Combinations A parent seeking paid employment may not combine job search with any other approved activity to establish a service need. A parent may not claim job search, if he/she has established a part-time service need of employment, education, or training. 18
Questions? 19 Check EEC’s Website: http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early- education-and-care/laws-regulations-and- policies/financial-assistance-regulations-and- policies/ Still have a question? Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com