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AB-865 Childcare services: alternative payment programs: direct deposits: reserve funds.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 02/17/21 - Introduced         Compare Versions information image


AB865:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 865


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk-Silva
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Aguiar-Curry, Burke, and Carrillo)

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Sections 8221.5, 8222, 8227.5, 8262.1, 8262.2, 8262.3, and 8450 of the Education Code, relating to childcare.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 865, as introduced, Quirk-Silva. Childcare services: alternative payment programs: direct deposits: reserve funds.
(1) The Child Care and Development Services Act establishes a system of childcare and development services for children up to 13 years of age. Existing law, until July 1, 2021, requires the State Department of Education to contract with local contracting agencies for alternative payment programs for childcare services to be provided throughout the state. Commencing July 1, 2021, existing law transfers specified childcare programs, responsibilities, services, and systems, including alternative payment programs, from the State Department of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to the State Department of Social Services. Existing law requires the alternative payment program to reimburse childcare providers based upon specified criteria, including the actual days and hours of attendance for those families with variable schedules, and provides that the childcare providers are not required to track absences.
This bill would instead require the alternative payment program to reimburse childcare providers based upon the maximum certified hours of need, as documented, and would provide that those contractors are not required to document nonoperational days.
(2) The act authorizes each licensed childcare provider to alter rate levels for subsidized children once per year and requires the provider to provide the alternative payment program and resource and referral agency with the updated information, as provided. Existing law requires an alternative payment program to verify childcare provider rates no less frequently than once a year. The act requires the department to develop regulations for addressing discrepancies in the childcare provider rate levels identified through the rate verification process described above.
This bill would delete these provisions.
(3) The act authorizes alternative payment programs and providers operating or providing services under the act to use digital signatures that comply with state and federal standards, and authorizes contractors to use digital forms to allow families to apply for services.
This bill would instead authorize the use of electronic signatures and forms.
(4) The act requires, on and after the date on which the director of the department determines that the Financial Information System for California (Fi$Cal Project) has been implemented within the department, at the request of a contractor, the department to request the Controller to make a payment via direct deposit by electronic funds transfer through the Fi$Cal Project into the contractor’s account at the financial institution of the contractor’s choice.
This bill would instead require, at the request of a contractor, the department to request the Controller to make a payment via direct deposit by electronic funds into the contractor’s account at the financial institution of the contractor’s choice.
(5) The act authorizes a contractor to retain a reserve fund balance for alternative payment model and certificate childcare contracts, as provided. The act prohibits these funds from exceeding either 2% of the sum of the parts of each contract, as provided, or $1,000, whichever is greater.
This bill would instead prohibit the funds from exceeding either 15% of the sum of the parts of each contract, as provided, or $1,000, whichever is greater.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 8221.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8221.5.
 (a) Child care Childcare providers authorized to provide services pursuant to this article shall submit to the alternative payment program a monthly attendance record or invoice for each child who received services that, at a minimum, documents the dates and actual times care was provided each day, including the time the child entered and the time the child left care each day. The information shall be documented on a daily basis.
(b) The At a minimum, the monthly attendance record or invoice shall, at a minimum, shall be signed by the parent or guardian of the child receiving services and the child care childcare provider once per month to attest that the child’s attendance is accurately reflected. The verification of attendance shall be made by signature at the end of each month of care and under penalty of perjury by both the parent or guardian of the child receiving services and the child care childcare provider.
(c) The monthly attendance record or invoice shall be maintained by the child care childcare provider in the unaltered original format in which it was created, which may be in paper form or electronic format.
(d) The alternative payment program shall accept the monthly attendance record or invoice as documentation of the hours of care provided if the attendance record or invoice includes adequate information documented on a daily basis, including, at a minimum, the dates and actual times care was provided each day, including the time the child entered and the time the child left care each day. The alternative payment program shall reimburse child care childcare providers based upon the following criteria: maximum certified hours of need, as documented on the certificate or voucher.

(1)The hours of service provided that are broadly consistent with certified hours of need.

(2)For families with variable schedules, the actual days and hours of attendance, up to the maximum certified hours.

(3)For license-exempt providers that provide part-time services, the actual days and hours of attendance, up to the maximum certified hours.

(e) For purposes of reimbursement to childcare providers through an alternative payment program, contractors shall not be required to track absences. absences or document nonoperational days.
(f) For purposes of this section, a monthly attendance record or invoice is defined as documentation that includes, at a minimum, the name of the child receiving services, the dates and actual times care was provided each day, including the time the child entered and the time the child left care each day, that is signed under penalty of perjury by both the parent or guardian and the child care childcare provider, attesting that the information provided is accurate.

(g)This section shall become operative on July 1, 2014.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8222 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8222.
 (a) Payments made by alternative payment programs shall not exceed the applicable market rate ceiling. Alternative payment programs may expend more than the standard reimbursement rate for a particular child. However, the aggregate payments for services purchased by the agency during the contract year shall not exceed the assigned reimbursable amount as established by the contract for the year. No agency may An agency shall not make payments in excess of the rate charged to full-cost families. This section does not preclude alternative payment programs from using the average daily enrollment adjustment factor for children with exceptional needs as provided in Section 8265.5.
(b) Alternative payment programs shall reimburse licensed child care childcare providers in accordance with a biennial market rate survey pursuant to Section 8447, at a rate not to exceed the ceilings established pursuant to Section 8357.
(c) An alternative payment program shall reimburse a licensed childcare provider for child care childcare of a subsidized child based on the rate charged by the provider to nonsubsidized families, if any, for the same services, or the rates established by the provider for prospective nonsubsidized families. A licensed child care childcare provider shall submit to the alternative payment program a copy of the provider’s most current rate sheet listing the rates charged, and the provider’s discount or scholarship policies, if any, along with a statement signed by the provider confirming that the rates charged for a subsidized child are equal to or less than the rates charged for a nonsubsidized child.
(d) An alternative payment program shall maintain a copy of the rate sheet and the confirmation statement.
(e) A licensed child care childcare provider shall submit to the local resource and referral agency a copy of the provider’s most current rate sheet listing rates charged, and the provider’s discount or scholarship policies, if any, and shall self-certify that the information is correct.

(f)Each licensed child care provider may alter rate levels for subsidized children once per year and shall provide the alternative payment program and resource and referral agency with the updated information pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (e), to reflect any changes.

(g)

(f) A licensed child care childcare provider shall post in a prominent location adjacent to the provider’s license at the child care childcare facility the provider’s rates and discounts or scholarship policies, if any.

(h)An alternative payment program shall verify provider rates no less frequently than once a year by randomly selecting 10 percent of licensed child care providers serving subsidized families. The purpose of this verification process is to confirm that rates reported to the alternative payment programs reasonably correspond to those reported to the resource and referral agency and the rates actually charged to nonsubsidized families for equivalent levels of services. It is the intent of the Legislature that the privacy of nonsubsidized families shall be protected in implementing this subdivision.

(i)The department shall develop regulations for addressing discrepancies in the provider rate levels identified through the rate verification process in subdivision (h).

SEC. 3.

 Section 8227.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8227.5.
 Alternative payment programs and providers operating or providing services pursuant to this article may use a digital an electronic signature that complies with state and federal standards, as determined by the department, that may be a marking that is either computer generated or produced by electronic means and is intended by the signatory to have the same effect as a handwritten signature. The use of a digital an electronic signature shall have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature if the requirements for digital electronic signatures and their acceptable technology, as provided in Section 16.5 of the Government Code and in Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22000) of Division 7 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations, are satisfied.

SEC. 4.

 Section 8262.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8262.1.
 Contractors operating or providing services pursuant to this chapter may do both of the following:
(a) (1) Maintain records electronically, Electronically maintain records, in compliance with state and federal standards, as determined by the department. A conversion from a paper record to an electronic format, as well as and the storage of the electronic record, shall comply with the minimum standards described in Section 12168.7 of the Government Code and the standards for trustworthy electronic document or record preservation preservation, as described in Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 22620.1) of Division 7 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) Pursuant to Section 33421, the records shall be retained by each contractor for at least five years, or, where if an audit has been requested by a state agency, until the date the audit is resolved, whichever is longer.
(3) This subdivision does not require a contractor to create records electronically.
(b) (1) Use a digital an electronic signature that complies with state and federal standards, as determined by the department, that may be a marking that is either computer generated or produced by electronic means and is intended by the signatory to have the same effect as a handwritten signature.
(2) The use of a digital an electronic signature shall have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature if the requirements for the digital electronic signatures and their acceptable technology, as provided in Section 16.5 of the Government Code and in Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22000) of Division 7 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations, are satisfied.

SEC. 5.

 Section 8262.2 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8262.2.
 Contractors operating or providing services pursuant to this chapter may use digital electronic forms to allow families to apply for services, if those forms comply with state and federal standards.

SEC. 6.

 Section 8262.3 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8262.3.
 On and after the date on which the Superintendent determines that the Financial Information System for California (Fi$Cal Project) has been implemented within the department, at At the request of a contractor, for a contract executed by the department pursuant to Section 8262, the department shall request the Controller to make a payment via direct deposit by electronic funds transfer through the Fi$Cal Project into the contractor’s account at the financial institution of the contractor’s choice.

SEC. 7.

 Section 8450 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8450.
 (a) All child Child development contractors are encouraged to develop and maintain a reserve within the child development fund, derived from earned but unexpended funds. Child development contractors may retain all earned funds. For purposes of this section, “earned funds” are those means those funds for which the required number of eligible service units have been provided.
(b) (1) Earned funds shall not be expended for activities proscribed by Section 8406.7. Earned but unexpended funds shall remain in the contractor’s reserve account within the child development fund and shall be expended only by direct service child development programs that are funded under contract with the department.
(2) (A) Commencing July 1, 2011, a A contractor may retain a reserve fund balance, separate from the reserve fund retained pursuant to subdivision (c) or (d), equal to 5 percent of the sum of the maximum reimbursable amounts of all contracts to which the contractor is a party, or two thousand dollars ($2,000), whichever is greater. This subparagraph applies to direct service child development contracting agencies that are funded under contract with the department and are not a California state preschool program contracting agency.
(B) A California state preschool program contracting agency may retain a reserve fund balance, separate from the reserve fund retained pursuant to subdivision (c) or (d), equal to 15 percent of the sum of the maximum reimbursable amounts of all contracts to which the contractor is a party, or two thousand dollars ($2,000), whichever is greater. Of the 15 percent retained, 10 percent shall solely be used for purposes of professional development for California state preschool program instructional staff. This subparagraph applies to California state preschool program contracting agencies that are funded under contract with the department.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), a contractor may retain a reserve fund balance for a resource and referral program, separate from the balance retained pursuant to subdivision (b) or (d), not to exceed 3 percent of the contract amount. Funds from this reserve account may be expended only by resource and referral programs that are funded under contract with the department.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), a contractor may retain a reserve fund balance for alternative payment model and certificate child care childcare contracts, separate from the reserve fund retained pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c). Funds from this reserve account may be expended only by alternative payment model and certificate child care childcare programs that are funded under contract with the department. The reserve amount allowed by this subdivision may shall not exceed either of the following, whichever is greater:
(1) Two Fifteen percent of the sum of the parts of each contract to which that contractor is a party that is allowed for administration pursuant to Section 8276.7 and that is allowed for supportive services pursuant to the provisions of the contract.
(2) One thousand dollars ($1,000).
(e) Each contractor’s audit shall identify any funds earned by the contractor for each contract through the provision of contracted services in excess of funds expended.
(f) Any interest earned on reserve funds shall be included in the fund balance of the reserve. This reserve fund shall be maintained in an interest-bearing account.
(g) Moneys in a contractor’s reserve fund may be used only for expenses that are reasonable and necessary costs as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 8208.
(h) Any reserve fund balance in excess of the amount authorized pursuant to subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) shall be returned to the department pursuant to procedures established by the department.
(i) Upon termination of all child development contracts between a contractor and the department, all moneys in a contractor’s reserve fund shall be returned to the department pursuant to procedures established by the department.
(j) Expenditures from, additions to, and balances in, the reserve fund shall be included in the contracting agency’s annual financial statements and audit.