Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1673 Child care: eligibility.(2011-2012)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Child care is critical to the healthy physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth and development of children.
(b) Child care assistance not only enables parents to work but also allows parents to be more productive knowing that their children are in safe and stable settings.
(c) During difficult economic times it is particularly important to maintain continuity and consistency of stable child care environments for employed families.
(d) Adopting 12-month eligibility for federal and state subsidized child care and development programs, with limited interim reporting requirements, can promote sustained access to subsidies and continuous care arrangements for children.
(e) Adopting 12-month eligibility for federal and state subsidized child care and development programs will benefit child care providers who contribute to the education and nurturance of children and our economy, and simplify the administration of subsidies.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8231 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8231.
 (a) For the purpose  purposes  of this article, a “migrant agricultural worker family” means a family that has earned at least 50 percent of its total gross income from employment in fishing, agriculture, or agriculturally related work during the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of application for child care and development services.
(b) Children of migrant agricultural worker families shall be enrolled in child care and  development programs on the basis of the following priorities:
(1) The family moves from place to place.
(2) The family has qualified under paragraph (1) within the past five years and is currently dependent for its income on agricultural employment, but is currently settled near agricultural areas.
(3) The family resides in a rural agricultural area and is dependent upon seasonal agricultural work.
(4) Eligibility and priority for services for the federally funded Migrant Child Development Program shall be in accordance with the applicable federal regulations.
(c) Subsequent to enrollment, a child of a migrant agricultural worker family shall be deemed eligible for child care and development programs for a period of 12 months unless the child no longer resides in the state, or the child is deceased.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8235 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8235.
 (a) The Superintendent shall administer all California state preschool programs. Those programs shall include, but not be limited to, part-day and full-day  age and developmentally appropriate programs designed to facilitate the transition to kindergarten  for three- and four-year-old children in educational development, health services, social services, nutritional services, parent education and parent participation, evaluation, and staff development. Preschool programs for which federal reimbursement is not available shall be funded as prescribed by the Legislature in the Budget Act, and unless otherwise specified by the Legislature, shall not use utilize  federal funds made available through Title XX of the federal  Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1397).
(b) Three- and four-year-old children are eligible for the part-day California state preschool program if the family meets at least one of the criteria specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 8263.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, a part-day California state preschool program may provide services to children in families whose income is no more than 15 percent above the income eligibility threshold, as described in Sections 8263 and 8263.1, after all eligible three- and four-year-old children have been enrolled. No more than 10 percent of children enrolled, calculated throughout the participating program’s entire contract, may be filled by children in families above the income eligibility threshold.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law, after all otherwise eligible children have been enrolled, a part-day California state preschool program may provide services to three- and four-year-old children in families whose income is above the income eligibility threshold if those children have been identified as “children with exceptional needs” pursuant to subdivision (l) of Section 8208. Children receiving services pursuant to this subdivision shall not count towards the 10-percent limit of children from families above the income eligibility threshold as specified in subdivision (c).
(e) (d)  A part-day California state preschool program shall operate for a minimum of (1) three hours per day, excluding time for home-to-school transportation, and (2) a minimum of 175 days per year, unless the contract specifies a lower number of days of operation.
(f) (e)  Any agency described in subdivision (c) of Section 8208 as an “applicant or contracting agency” is eligible to contract to operate a  Three- and four-year-old children are eligible for full-day California state preschool program services if the family meets at least one of the criteria specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 8263, and the parents meet at least one of the criteria specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 8263. Notwithstanding any other law, and subsequent to certification of eligibility, a three- or four-year-old child shall be deemed eligible for full-day  California state preschool program. program services for a period of 12 months unless the child no longer resides in the state, or the child is deceased. 
(g) (f)  Part-day preschool services shall be reimbursed on a per capita basis, as  A full-day California state preschool program shall operate (1) full time,  determined by the Superintendent, and contingent on funding being provided for the part-day preschool services in the annual Budget Act. number of hours necessary to meet the child care and development needs of families, and (2) a minimum of 246 days per year, unless the contract specifies a lower number of days of operation. 
(h) Federal Head Start funds used to provide services to families receiving California state preschool services shall be deemed nonrestricted funds.
(i) (g)  School districts and charter schools that administer a  Fees shall be assessed and collected for families with children in the full-day  California state preschool program may place four-year-old children in a transitional kindergarten program classroom in accordance with subdivisions (h) to (j), inclusive, of Section 48000. pursuant to subdivisions (g) and (h) of Section 8263. Fees shall not be assessed for families whose children are enrolled in the part-day California state preschool program. 
(h) An agency described in subdivision (c) of Section 8208 as an “applicant or contracting agency” is eligible to contract to operate a California state preschool program.

SEC. 4.

 Section 8237 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8237.
 A part-day California state preschool program contracting agency has 120 calendar days prior to  before  the first day of the beginning of the new preschool year to certify eligibility and enroll families into their its  program. Subsequent to enrollment, a child shall be deemed eligible for a part-day California state preschool program for the remainder of the program year. a period of 12 months unless the child no longer resides in the state, or the child is deceased. 

SEC. 5.

 Section 8239 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8239.
 (a)  The Superintendent shall encourage state preschool program applicants or contracting agencies to offer full-day services through a combination of part-day preschool slots and wraparound part-day  general childcare  child care  and development programs. In order to facilitate a full day  full-day  of services, all of the following shall apply:
(1) (a)  Part-day preschool programs provided pursuant to this section shall operate between 175 and 180 days.
(2) (b)  Wraparound Part-day  general childcare  child care  and development programs provided pursuant to this section may operate a minimum of 246 days per year unless the child development contract specified a lower minimum days of operation. Part-day general childcare  child care  and development programs may operate a full day  full-day  for the remainder of the year after the completion of the preschool program.
(3) (c)  Part-day preschool services combined with wraparound childcare services  Full-day services provided under this section  shall be reimbursed at a base rate determined pursuant to Section 8265 and in the annual Budget Act, using adjustment factors pursuant to Section 8265.5. no more than the standard reimbursement rate with adjustment factors. 
(4) (d)  Three- and four-year-old children are eligible for wraparound childcare services to supplement the part-day California state preschool program if the family meets the requirements  Notwithstanding any other law, to be eligible for part-day child care, a child who is enrolled in a preschool program shall be required to meet the eligibility requirements specified in paragraph (4)  of subdivision (a) of Section 8263. 8238.4 and the requirements pursuant to Sections 8263 and 8263.1 at the time of enrollment in a preschool. Subsequent to enrollment, a child shall be deemed eligible for part-day care for a period of 12 months unless the child no longer resides in the state, or the child is deceased. 
(b) For purposes of this section, “wraparound childcare services” and “wraparound general childcare and development programs” mean services provided for the remaining portion of the day or remainder of the year following the completion of part-day preschool services that are necessary to meet the childcare needs of parents eligible pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 8263. These services shall be provided consistent with the general childcare and development programs provided pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 8240).

SEC. 6.

 Section 8263 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8263.
 (a) (1)  The Superintendent shall adopt rules and regulations on eligibility, enrollment, and priority of services needed to implement this chapter. In order to be eligible for federal and state subsidized child development services, families shall meet at least one requirement in each of the following areas:
(A) (1)  A family is (i) (A)  a current aid recipient, (ii) (B)  income eligible, (iii) (C)  homeless, or (iv) (D)  one whose children are recipients of protective services, or whose children have been identified as being abused, neglected, or exploited, or at risk of being abused, neglected, or exploited.
(B) (2)  A family needs the childcare  child care  services (i) (A)  because the child is identified by a legal, medical, or  social services agency, a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code, a Head Start program, or an emergency or transitional shelter as (I) or emergency shelter as (i)  a recipient of protective services, (II)  services or (ii)  being neglected, abused, or exploited, or at risk of neglect, abuse, or exploitation, or (III) being homeless or (ii)  (B)  because the parents are (I) (i)  engaged in vocational training leading directly to a recognized trade, paraprofession, or profession, (II) engaged in an educational program for English language learners or to attain a high school diploma or general educational development certificate, (III)  (ii)  employed or seeking employment, (IV) (iii)  seeking permanent housing for family stability, or (V) (iv)  incapacitated.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), after all families meeting at least one of the criteria specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) have been enrolled, a full-day California state preschool program may provide services to three- and four-year-old children in families who do not meet at least one of the criteria specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1).
(3) If only one parent has signed an application for enrollment in childcare services, as required by this chapter or regulations adopted to implement this chapter, and the information provided on the application indicates that there is a second parent who has not signed the application, the parent who has signed the application shall self-certify the presence or absence of the second parent under penalty of perjury. The parent who has signed the application shall not be required to submit additional information documenting the presence or absence of the second parent.
(b) Except as provided in Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350), priority for federal and state subsidized child development services is as follows:
(1) (A)  First priority shall be given to neglected or abused children who are recipients of child protective services, or children who are at risk of being neglected or abused, upon written referral from a legal, medical, or social services agency. If an agency is unable to enroll a child in the first priority category, the agency shall refer the family to local resource and referral services to locate services for the child.
(B) A family who is receiving child care on the basis of being a child at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, as defined in subdivision (k) of Section 8208, is eligible to receive services pursuant to subparagraph (A) for up to three months, unless the family becomes eligible pursuant to subparagraph (C).
(C) A family may receive child care services for up to 12 months on the basis of a certification by the county child welfare agency that child care services continue to be necessary or, if the child is receiving child protective services during that period of time, and the family requires child care and remains otherwise eligible. This time limit does not apply if the family’s child care referral is recertified by the county child welfare agency.
(2) Second priority shall be given equally to eligible families, regardless of the number of parents in the home, who are income eligible. Within this priority, families with the lowest gross monthly income in relation to family size, as determined by a schedule adopted by the Superintendent, shall be admitted first. If two or more families are in the same priority in relation to income, the family that has a child with exceptional needs shall be admitted first. If there is no family of the same priority with a child with exceptional needs, the same priority family that has been on the waiting list for the longest time shall be admitted first. For purposes of determining order of admission, the  grants of public assistance recipients shall be counted as income.
(3) The Superintendent shall set criteria for, for  and may grant specific waivers of, of  the priorities established in this subdivision for agencies that wish to serve specific populations, including children with exceptional needs or children of prisoners. These new waivers shall not include proposals to avoid appropriate fee schedules or admit ineligible families, but may include proposals to accept members of special populations in other than strict income order, as long as appropriate fees are paid.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, in order to promote continuity of services, a family enrolled in a state or federally funded childcare  child care  and development program whose services would otherwise be terminated because the family no longer meets the program income, eligibility, or need criteria may continue to receive child development services in another state or federally funded childcare  child care  and development program if the contractor is able to transfer the family’s enrollment to another program for which the family is eligible before the date of termination of services or to exchange the family’s existing enrollment with the enrollment of a family in another program, provided that both families satisfy the eligibility requirements for the program in which they are being enrolled. The transfer of enrollment may be to another program within the same administrative agency or to another agency that administers state or federally funded childcare  child care  and development programs.
(d) In order to promote continuity of services, the Superintendent may extend the 60-working-day period specified in subdivision (a) of Section 18086.5 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations for an additional 60 working days if he or she determines that opportunities for employment have diminished to the degree that one or both parents cannot reasonably be expected to find employment within 60 working days and granting the extension is in the public interest. The scope of extensions granted pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to the necessary geographic areas and affected persons, which shall be described in the Superintendent’s order granting the extension. It is the intent of the Legislature that extensions granted pursuant to this subdivision improve services in areas with high unemployment rates and areas with disproportionately high numbers of seasonal agricultural jobs.
(d) (e)  A physical examination and evaluation, including age-appropriate immunization, shall be required before, or within six weeks of, enrollment. A standard, rule, or regulation shall not require medical examination or immunization for admission to a childcare  child care  and development program of a child whose parent or guardian files a letter with the governing board of the childcare  child care  and development program stating that the medical examination or immunization is contrary to the parent’s  his  or guardian’s her  religious beliefs, or provide for the exclusion of a child from the child care and development  program because of a parent or guardian having filed the letter. However, if there is good cause to believe that a child is suffering from a recognized contagious or infectious disease, the child shall be temporarily excluded from the child care and development  program until the governing board of the childcare  child care  and development program is satisfied that the child is not suffering from that contagious or infectious disease.
(e) (f)  Regulations formulated and promulgated pursuant to this section shall include the recommendations of the State Department of Health Care Services relative to health care screening and the provision of health care services. The Superintendent shall seek the advice and assistance of these health authorities in situations where service under this chapter includes or requires care of children who are ill or children with exceptional needs.
(g) (1) The Superintendent shall establish a fee schedule for families utilizing child care and development services pursuant to this chapter, including families receiving services under paragraph (1) of subdivision (b). Families receiving services under subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) may be exempt from these fees for up to three months. Families receiving services under subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) may be exempt from these fees for up to 12 months. The cumulative period of time of exemption from these fees for families receiving services under paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) shall not exceed 12 months.
(2) The income of a recipient of federal supplemental security income benefits pursuant to Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1381) and state supplemental program benefits pursuant to Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1381) and Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall not be included as income for purposes of determining the amount of the family fee.
(h) The family fee schedule shall include, but not be limited to, the following restrictions:
(1) Fees shall not be assessed for families whose children are enrolled in the state preschool program.
(2) A contractor or provider may require parents to provide diapers. A contractor or provider offering field trips either may include the cost of the field trips within the service rate charged to the parent or may charge parents an additional fee. Federal or state money shall not be used to reimburse parents for the costs of field trips if those costs are charged as an additional fee. A contractor or provider that charges parents an additional fee for field trips shall inform parents, before enrolling the child, that a fee may be charged and that no reimbursement will be available. A contractor or provider may charge parents for field trips or require parents to provide diapers only under the following circumstances:
(A) The provider has a written policy that is adopted by the agency’s governing board that includes parents in the decisionmaking process regarding both of the following:
(i) Whether or not, and how much, to charge for field trip expenses.
(ii) Whether or not to require parents to provide diapers.
(B) The maximum total of charges per child in a contract year does not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25).
(C) A child shall not be denied participation in a field trip due to the parent’s inability or refusal to pay the charge. Adverse action shall not be taken against a parent for that inability or refusal.
Each contractor or provider shall establish a payment system that prevents the identification of children based on whether or not their parents have paid a field trip charge.
Expenses incurred and income received for field trips pursuant to this section shall be reported to the department. The income received for field trips shall be reported specifically as restricted income.
(f) (i)  The Superintendent shall establish guidelines for the collection of employer-sponsored childcare  child care  benefit payments from a parent whose child receives subsidized childcare  child care  and development services. These guidelines shall provide for the collection of the full amount of the benefit payment, but not to exceed the actual cost of childcare  child care  and development services provided, notwithstanding the applicable fee based on the fee schedule.
(g) (j)  The Superintendent shall establish guidelines according to which the director or a duly authorized representative of the childcare  child care  and development program will certify children as eligible for state reimbursement pursuant to this section.
(h) (k)  (1) Notwithstanding  Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), upon establishing initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility for services under this chapter, a family shall be considered to meet all eligibility and need requirements for those services for not less than 12 months, shall receive those services for not less than 12 months before having their eligibility or need recertified, and shall not be required to report changes to income or other changes for at least 12 months.  any other law, and subsequent to certification of eligibility, a child shall be deemed eligible for federal and state subsidized child care and development services pursuant to this chapter, except for the first stage of child care services provided pursuant to Section 8351, for a period of 12 months unless the child no longer resides in the state, or the child is deceased. 
(2) A family that establishes initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility on the basis of income shall report increases in income that exceed the threshold for ongoing income eligibility as described in subdivision (b) of Section 8263.1, and the family’s ongoing eligibility for services shall at that time be recertified.
(3) A family may at any time voluntarily report income or other changes. This information shall be used, as applicable, to reduce the family’s fees, increase the family’s services, or extend the period of the family’s eligibility before recertification.
(i) (1) Because a family that meets eligibility requirements at its most recent eligibility certification or recertification is considered eligible until the next recertification, as provided in subdivision (h), a payment made by a child development program for a child during this period shall not be considered an error or an improper payment due to a change in the family’s circumstances during that same period.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designated agent may seek to recover payments that are the result of fraud.
(j) (1) Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) and Section 33308.5 of this code, until regulations are filed with the Secretary of State to implement subdivision (h), the department shall implement subdivision (h) through management bulletins or similar letters of instruction on or before October 1, 2017.
(2) The department shall initiate a rulemaking action to implement subdivision (h) on or before December 31, 2018. The department shall convene a workgroup of parents, advocates, department staff, child development program representatives, and other stakeholders to develop recommendations regarding implementing subdivision (h).
(k) (l)  Public funds shall not be paid directly or indirectly to an agency that does not pay at least the minimum wage to each of its employees.
(l) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2019.

SEC. 7.

 Section 66060 of the Education Code is amended to read:

66060.
 (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, higher educational institutions may establish and maintain child development programs on or near their respective campuses. Those higher educational institutions under contract with the State Department of Education for child care and development services pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8200) of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1  are subject to the rules and regulations adopted by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Superintendent. 
(b) Children of students of each campus operating a child development program shall have first priority for service in that program, in accordance with the priorities established in subdivision (b) of Section 8263.
(c) Subsequent to enrollment, a child of a student at a campus operating a child development program shall be deemed eligible for child development program services for a period of one academic year unless the child no longer resides in the state, or the child is deceased.
(c) (d)  The higher educational institutions may institutionalize child development programs on their respective campuses for the purpose of incorporating child development programs into the missions and functions of the respective campuses.
(d) (e)  The Superintendent of Public Instruction,  Superintendent,  in cooperation with higher educational institutions, shall establish rules and regulations governing child development  programs operated pursuant to this section.
(e) (f)  It is the intention intent  of the Legislature that a consortium composed of higher educational institutions be established by the institutions to improve communication and cooperation and to advise and assist the Superintendent of Public Instruction  in the development of rules and regulations and policies and procedures affecting child care and development programs. The Superintendent of Public Instruction,  Superintendent,  in cooperation with the consortium, shall be responsible for ongoing communication with and dissemination of information to all campus child care and development agencies under contract with the State Department of Education.