Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2150 Subsidized child care and development services: eligibility periods.(2015-2016)



SECTION 1.

 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) (i)  a recipient of protective services, (II) (ii)  being neglected, abused, or exploited, or at risk of neglect, abuse, or exploitation, or (III) (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) 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.
(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, and may grant specific waivers 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) 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 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 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) 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.
(f) 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) 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) (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) to (4), inclusive, 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,  redetermined,  and shall not be required to report changes to income or other changes for at least 12 months.
(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. redetermined. 
(3) A family that establishes initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility on the basis of seeking employment shall receive services under this chapter as follows:
(A) If seeking employment is the basis for initial eligibility, the family shall receive services under this chapter for not less than six months.  
(B) If,  If seeking employment is the only basis for ongoing eligibility  at the time of recertification, the only basis established for ongoing eligibility is a parent’s need to seek employment, the family shall receive services for no less than six months. redetermination, the family shall receive services under this chapter for six additional month unless the family becomes eligible on another basis pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). 
(4) A family may at any time voluntarily report income or other changes. This information shall be used, as applicable, to reduce the a  family’s fees, increase the family’s services, subsidy,  or extend the period of the family’s eligibility before recertification. redetermination. 
(i) (1)  Because a family that meets eligibility requirements at its most recent eligibility certification determination  or recertification redetermination  is considered eligible until the next recertification, redetermination,  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 state  or the Superintendent’s  its  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 may  implement subdivision (h) this section  through management bulletins or similar letters of instruction on or before October 1, 2017. instruction. 
(2) The department shall initiate a rulemaking action to implement subdivision (h) on or before December 31, 2018. The  2017. Before initiating a rulemaking action pursuant to this paragraph, 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) 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 inoperative on July 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8263.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8263.1.
 (a) For purposes of establishing initial income eligibility for services under this chapter, “income eligible” means that a family’s adjusted monthly income is at or below 70 percent of the state median income, adjusted for family size, as specified in subdivision (c). based on the most recent data on state median income published by the United States Census Bureau, for a family of the same size. 
(b) For purposes of establishing ongoing income eligibility under this chapter, “ongoing income eligible” means that a family’s adjusted monthly income is at or below 85 percent of the state median income, adjusted for family size, as specified in subdivision (c). based on the most recent data on state median income published by the United States Census Bureau, for a family of the same size. 
(c) The Department of Finance shall calculate the state median income for family sizes of one to four, inclusive, by using the most recent census data available on state median family income in the past 12 months by family size. The Department of Finance shall calculate the state median income for family sizes of five and above by using the most recent census data for a family of four and multiplying this number by the ratios for the appropriate family size used in the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (42 U.S.C. Sec. 8621 et seq.) and specified in federal regulations at paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 96.85 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Department of Finance shall update its calculations of the state median income for families according to the methodology provided in this subdivision and provide the updated data to the department no later than March 1 of each fiscal year.
(d) (c)  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 et seq.) and state supplemental program benefits pursuant to Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act 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 eligibility for child care under this chapter.
(e) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8273.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8273.1.
 (a) A family that receives services pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 8263 may be exempt from family fees for up to 12 months.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, a family receiving CalWORKs cash aid shall not be charged a family fee.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, commencing with the 2014–15 fiscal year, family fees shall not be assessed for the part-day California preschool program to income eligible families whose children are enrolled in that program pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 8235).

SEC. 4.

 Section 11323.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11323.2.
 (a) Necessary supportive services shall be offered and  available to every participant to enable them to  in order to  participate in a the  program activity or  to accept or maintain employment. Necessary supportive services shall also be offered and available to every individual who is not required to participate, but chooses to participate voluntarily, to allow them to participate in a program activity  which he or she is assigned  or to accept or maintain employment. A participant who is required to participate and who does not receive necessary supportive services  employment or the participant  shall have good cause for not participating under subdivision (f) of Section 11320.3. Supportive services shall be listed  As provided  in the welfare-to-work plan or other agreement  entered into between the county and participant pursuant to this article, supportive services shall include all of the following:
(1) Childcare. Child care. 
(A) Paid childcare  child care  shall be available to every participant, including an individual who is not required to participate, but chooses to participate voluntarily,  participant  with a dependent child in the household  assistance unit  who needs paid childcare  child care  if the child is 12 10  years of age or under, or requires childcare  child care  or supervision due to a physical, mental, or developmental disability or other similar condition as verified by the county welfare department, or who is under court supervision. A county welfare department may verify the need for childcare or supervision for a child over 12 years of age from an individualized education plan or a statement from a qualified professional that the child is a child with exceptional needs, as defined in subdivision (l) of Section 8208 of the Education Code. 
(B) First-stage childcare, as described in Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, shall be full time, unless the participant determines that part-time care better meets the family’s needs. First-stage childcare shall be authorized for one year, or until the participant is transferred to the second stage of childcare, for every participant, including a sanctioned participant who indicates an intent to participate in any program activity, who indicates a need for childcare in order to engage in a program activity or employment. A participant may, at any time, indicate a new or increased need for childcare and the information shall be used, as applicable, to authorize childcare in accordance with this subparagraph or increase the family’s services. To the extent funds are available, paid child care shall be available to a participant with a dependent child in the assistance unit who needs paid child care if the child is 11 or 12 years of age. 
(C) Necessary childcare  child care  services shall be available to every former recipient for up to two years, pursuant to Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code. Beginning January 1, 2021, or the date that automation changes occur, as required for implementation, in the Statewide Automated Welfare System, whichever date is later, in the 18th month following the date of last receipt of aid, the county shall send a notice, via mail to the last known address, text message, or email, to a former recipient who is not currently receiving second or third stage childcare informing them that their eligibility for stage-two childcare will expire by the end of the 24th month following their last receipt of aid, and how to obtain stage-two childcare services. The department shall issue an all-county letter or similar directive by November 1, 2019, to implement this subparagraph, until regulations are adopted. 
(D) A child in foster care receiving benefits under Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 670 et seq.), seq.)  or a child who would become a dependent child except for the receipt of federal Supplemental Security Income benefits pursuant to Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1381 et seq.), or a child who is not a member of the assistance unit but for whom the recipient is responsible for providing support,  seq.)  shall be deemed to be a dependent child for the purposes of this paragraph.
(E) The provision of care and payment rates under this paragraph shall be governed by Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code. Parent fees shall be governed by Sections Section  8263 and 8273.1  of the Education Code.
(2) Diaper costs.
(A) On and after April 1, 2018, a participant who is participating in a welfare-to-work plan shall be eligible for thirty dollars ($30) per month to assist with diaper costs for each child who is under 36 months of age.
(B) The department shall adopt regulations by January 1, 2020, to implement this paragraph. 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), the department shall implement this paragraph through all-county letters until regulations are adopted.
(3) (2)  Transportation costs, which shall be governed by regional market rates as determined in accordance with regulations established by the department.
(4) (3)  Ancillary expenses, which shall include the cost of books, tools, clothing specifically required for the job, fees, and other necessary costs.
(5) (4)  Personal counseling. A participant who has personal or family problems that would affect the outcome of the welfare-to-work plan entered into pursuant to this article shall, to the extent available, receive necessary counseling and related supportive services,  or therapy  to help the participant and the participant’s  him or her and his or her  family adjust to the participant’s  his or her  job or training assignment.
(b) If provided in a county plan, the county may continue to provide case management and supportive services under this section to former participants who become employed. The county may provide these services for up to the first 12 months of employment to the extent they are not available from other sources and are needed for the individual to retain the employment.
(c) For the purposes of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), “program activity” includes, but is not limited to, any welfare-to-work activity, orientation, appraisal, assessment, job search, job club, domestic violence services, court appearances, housing searches and classes, homeless support programs, shelter participation requirements, eviction proceedings, mental health services, including therapy or personal counseling, home visiting, drug and substance abuse services, parenting classes, and medical or education-related appointments for the participant or their dependents.