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AB-92 Preschool and childcare and development services: family fees.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 06/14/2021 02:00 PM
AB92:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 14, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 92


Introduced by Assembly Members Reyes and McCarty
(Principal coauthor: Senator Limón)

December 07, 2020


An act to amend Sections 8273 and 8273.1 of the Education Code, relating to early childhood education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 92, as amended, Reyes. Preschool and childcare and development services: family fees.
Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a fee schedule for families using preschool and childcare and development services, as specified, and requires family fees, not to exceed 10% of the family’s monthly income, to be assessed at initial enrollment and reassessed at the update of certification or recertification. Existing law exempts certain families from those fees. Existing law, as of July 1, 2021, transfers those services and responsibility from the State Department of Education to the State Department of Social Services.
This bill would, among other things, instead require the family fees to not exceed 1% of the family’s monthly income. The bill would require the lead agency to convene a workgroup of, among others, parents, childcare providers, and lead agency staff to develop an equitable fee schedule, as specified. The bill would require the State Department of Education to create a report that includes, among other things, the proposed fee schedule, as specified. The bill would require the report to be provided and the recommendations adopted prior to a specified date. The bill would additionally exempt families with an adjusted monthly family income below 75% of the state median family income from family fees. The bill would waive family fees for all families until October 31, 2022. 2023. The bill would prohibit the reduction in family fees from being absorbed by direct service contractors or family childcare providers and would also prohibit the number of childcare vouchers and contracted spaces from being reduced on account of the reduction in family fees.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 8273 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8273.
 (a) The lead agency shall establish a fee schedule for families using preschool and childcare and development services pursuant to this chapter, including families receiving services pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 8263. It is the intent of the Legislature that the new fee schedule shall be simple and easy to implement.
(b) The family fee schedule shall retain a flat monthly fee per family. The schedule shall differentiate between fees for part-time care and full-time care.
(c) Using the most recently approved family fee schedule pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 8447, families shall be assessed a flat monthly fee based on income, certified family need for full-time or part-time care services, and enrollment, and shall not be based on actual attendance. No recalculation of a family fee shall occur if attendance varies from enrollment unless a change in need for care is assessed.
(d) (1) The lead agency shall design the new family fee schedule based on the most recent census data available on state median family income in the past 12 months, adjusted for family size, according to the methodology provided in subdivision (c) of Section 8263.1. The revised fees shall not exceed 1 percent of the family’s monthly income. The lead agency shall convene a workgroup of parents, childcare providers, advocates, lead agency staff, child development program representatives, and other stakeholders to develop an equitable fee schedule for families whose adjusted monthly family income is at or above 75 percent of the state median income. The department shall create a report that includes the proposed fee schedule, the names and association of the workgroup participants, and the criteria used to develop the fee schedule. The department’s report shall be provided to the Governor, and to the budget and policy committees of both houses of the Legislature, and recommendations shall be adopted by the lead agency prior to the date that the federal government’s allowance for the state to waive family fees for all families expires. The lead agency shall first submit the adjusted fee schedule to the Department of Finance for approval.
(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(e) 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 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1381 et seq.) and Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall not be included in total countable income for purposes of determining the amount of the family fee.
(f) Family fees shall be assessed at initial enrollment and reassessed at update of certification or recertification. The implementation of this section shall comply with all requirements of subdivision (h) of Section 8263.
(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that the new family fees shall be cost neutral to the state and generate roughly the same amount of revenue as was generated under the previous family fee schedule.
(h) Pursuant to subdivision (d), the reduction in family fees collected shall not be absorbed by direct service contractors or family childcare providers, including family childcare home providers participating in a family childcare home education network and alternative payment program providers. The number of childcare vouchers and contracted spaces shall also not be reduced on account of any reduction in the collection of family fees.

SEC. 2.

 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).
(d) Families with an adjusted monthly family income below 75 percent of the state median family income shall not be charged or assessed a family fee.
(e) (1) To provide relief to the thousands of families enduring the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and as permissible under the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116-260), family fees shall be waived for all families until October 31, 2022. 2023.
(2) The cost of waiving family fees shall not be absorbed by the direct service contractors or family childcare providers, including family childcare home providers participating in a family childcare home education network, and alternative payment program providers. The number of childcare vouchers and contracted spaces shall also not be reduced on account of the family fee waiver. Funds used to waive fees in this section shall comply with federal law.