BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  1





          Date of Hearing:  January 12, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES


                                  Kansen Chu, Chair


          AB 598  
          (Rendon) - As Amended January 4, 2016


          SUBJECT:  Child care:  family child care home education networks


          SUMMARY:  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Adopts additional requirements for family child care home  
            education network (FCCHEN) contractors, including:


             a)   Using assessment tools that are appropriate to family  
               child care home settings when conducting mandated  
               assessments, as specified, of each FCCHEN provider;


             b)   Clarifying steps to be taken when ensuring that a  
               developmental profile for each child is completed, as  
               specified, which include, but are not limited to,  
               collaboratively completing the developmental child  
               assessment profile selected by the department and  
               conducting a parent survey concerning his or her child's  
               developmental progress as directed by the department and  
               incorporating it into the developmental profile;


             c)   Conducting a minimum of nine site visits per calendar  








                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  2





               year to each affiliated provider for purposes of conducting  
               assessments and providing technical assistance, training,  
               and support;


             d)   Supporting affiliated providers in meeting standards for  
               program quality, as specified;


             e)   Offering providers at least 12 hours of training and  
               technical assistance, as specified, with training topics  
               including, but not limited to, appropriate care and  
               supervision of children, parenting and parent involvement  
               in the development of children, and provider and family  
               communication;


             f)   Implementing a universal complaint procedure, as  
               specified, that complies with regulations adopted by the  
               California Department of Education (CDE);


             g)   Employing at least one child development specialist, as  
               specified, to provide training, technical assistance, and  
               coaching to providers; and


             h)   Maintaining a signed, written agreement with each  
               affiliated provider and an authorized representative of the  
               FCCHEN to include, but not be limited to, the provider's  
               status as an independent contractor with the FCCHEN, the  
               provider's nondiscrimination policy, and the established  
               reimbursement rates.


          2)Adopts requirements for FCCHEN providers, including:


             a)   Using a curriculum or curricula of the provider's  








                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  3





               choosing, and appropriate for the age range of the children  
               in the home, and that, where applicable, abide by any  
               policy that the contractor may adopt limiting the curricula  
               acceptable within the network, as specified;


             b)   Providing age- and developmentally-appropriate  
               educational activities for children;


             c)   Providing care and supervision of children;


             d)   Providing parenting education to parents, as specified;


             e)   Identifying child and family social service or health  
               needs, and sharing those needs with the contractor;


             f)   Providing nutrition that is consistent with the  
               standards of the United States Department of Agriculture's  
               Child and Adult Care Food Program; 


             g)   Collaborating with the contractor in completion of the  
               developmental profile for each child, as specified;


             h)   Providing the contractor with copies of all citations  
               issued to the provider by the Community Care Licensing  
               Division within the Department of Social Services within  
               five calendar days of the issuing date of the citation; and


             i)   Obtaining no less than 12 hours of professional training  
               per year, as specified, and maintaining documentation of  
               this training for three years.









                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  4






          1)Permits FCCHEN providers to encourage parent involvement in  
            the provider's home program.


          2)Specifies that providers are not required to maintain a parent  
            advisory committee.


          3)Makes additional technical amendments.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Establishes the Child Care and Development Services Act to  
            provide child care and development services as part of a  
            coordinated, comprehensive, and cost-effective system serving  
            children from birth to 13 years old and their parents  
            including a full range of supervision, health, and support  
            services through full- and part-time programs.  (EDC 8200 et  
            seq.)


          2)Defines "child care and development services" to mean services  
            designed to meet a wide variety of children's and families'  
            needs while parents and guardians are working, in training,  
            seeking employment, incapacitated, or in need of respite.   
            (EDC 8208)


          3)States the intent of the Legislature that all families have  
            access to child care and development services, through  
            resource and referral where appropriate, and regardless of  
            demographic background or special needs, and that families are  
            provided the opportunity to attain financial stability through  
            employment, while maximizing growth and development of their  
            children, and enhancing their parenting skills through  
            participation in child care and development programs.  (EDC  








                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  5





            8202)


          4)Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to  
            administer general child care and development programs to  
            include, among other things as specified, age- and  
            developmentally-appropriate activities, supervision, parenting  
            education and involvement, and nutrition.  Further allows such  
            programs to be designed to meet child-related needs identified  
            by parents or guardians, as specified.  (EDC 8240 and 8241)


          5)Defines a "family child care home education network" to mean  
            an entity organized under law that contracts with CDE, as  
            specified, to make payments to licensed family child care home  
            providers, and to provide educational and support services to  
            providers and to children and families eligible for  
            state-subsidized child care and development services.  (EDC  
            8208(p))





          6)Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to contract  
            with entities organized under law to operate FCCHENs, as  
            specified, and establishes requirements for FCCHEN programs.   
            (EDC 8245 and 8246)



          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.


          COMMENTS:  


          Subsidized child care:  California offers subsidized child care  
          through a number of programs, as well as State Preschool to  








                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  6





          eligible three- and four-year olds.  Generally, families are  
          eligible for subsidized child care if they meet certain  
          requirements, including: parents earning incomes less than 70%  
          of the 2007-08 state median income (up to approximately $42,000  
          per year for a family of 3); parents having a need related to  
          work, training, or education; and children being ages 12 and  
          under (or 21 and under if they have exceptional needs).


          There are three main types of child care providers: licensed  
          child care centers, licensed child care homes, and  
          license-exempt providers (for example, family members,  
          neighbors, or friends).  Subsidized child care is paid for  
          either through contracts with specific providers or vouchers  
          that families can use for most providers.  There are three main  
          subsidized child care programs in the state, in addition to  
          programs for special populations and the California State  
          Preschool Program.  The three main programs are:

                  California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids  
               (CalWORKs)  , for parents receiving or who have received  
               CalWORKs.  CalWORKs child care is paid for using vouchers  
               and can be provided in either centers, family child care  
               homes, or license-exempt settings;

                  Alternative Payment Programs (APPs)  , which allow  
               families to choose their own child care in either centers,  
               family child care homes, or license-exempt settings and to  
               pay using vouchers; and
           


                 General Child Care  , which offers child care and  
               education/development services through contracted centers  
               and family child care home networks that are administered  
               through public or private agencies.

          In 2015-16, there are approximately 200,000 subsidized child  
          care slots offered across the various programs, as well as close  








                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  7





          to 160,000 State Preschool slots. 
          


          Home-based child care:  Licensed family child care homes in  
          California must be in a provider's own home and provide a  
          home-like environment.  According to the California Child Care  
          Resource and Referral Network, the sponsors of this bill, there  
          were approximately 30,700 licensed family child care homes in  
          California in 2014.


          Families with lower incomes may have a greater need for  
          home-based child care, both licensed and license-exempt,  
          compared to higher-earning families.  This can be due, in part,  
          to the types of care that are available during the  
          nontraditional work hours encountered more often in some  
          lower-paying jobs.  For example, national data from a 2015  
          United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics  
          report indicate that, in 2013, 40% of individuals classified as  
          "working poor" - i.e., individuals spending at least 27 weeks in  
          the labor force yet still earning incomes below the federal  
          poverty level - worked in service occupations.  Jobs in the  
          service sector can often involve nontraditional and less  
          predictable work schedules. 


          Family child care homes are more likely to serve the needs of  
          families with parents that work nontraditional hours.  According  
          to the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network, in  
          2014, 39% of licensed family child care homes offered evening,  
          overnight, and/or weekend care, while only 2% of child care  
          centers did the same.


          Family Child Care Home Education Networks:  FCCHENs help  
          facilitate the provision of high-quality child care and  
          development services in family child care home settings.  CDE  
          contracts with FCCHEN contractors to provide ongoing training  








                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  8





          and support to network providers in order to assist these family  
          child care home providers in offering early education and child  
          care to eligible families with children ages birth through 13  
          years of age.  Providers must meet standards of quality set  
          forth by CDE.  Children's developmental progress is closely  
          monitored, and children are evaluated using the Desired Results  
          Developmental Profile (DRDP), which is a CDE-developed formative  
          assessment instrument for young children and their families,  
          designed to inform instruction and program development.   
          Providers must meet a number of other requirements, including  
          offering parent education.


          As of April 2015, there were 83 FCCHEN contractors serving 1,556  
          licensed family child care homes which, in turn, provided care  
          and education for 6,853 children.

          FCCHENs, although not always referred to by the same name, have  
          existed in some form in California since the 1970s.  It wasn't  
          until 2004, with AB 379 (Mullin), Chapter 897, Statutes of 2004  
          that they were defined in statute and that contractor  
          requirements were adopted in state law.  The rationale behind AB  
          379 was to codify current practice at the time and better define  
          FCCHEN responsibilities.

          Need for this bill:  FCCHENs offer the ability for family child  
          care home providers to access training and services aimed at  
          providing high-quality care and education for children.   
          According to the author, "Family Child Care Home Education  
          Networks offer a promising practice model for the state to  
          improve the quality of family child care options in California.   
          It is time to take all the lessons learned through the nearly  
          twenty years of operating these programs and codify the programs  
          to provide for greater statewide consistency of services and  
          increase access to high quality options for families  
          specifically those with infants and toddlers."


          Recommended amendments:








                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  9







          1)In order to make clear the definition of a "developmental  
            portfolio," committee staff recommends the following  
            amendments:



            On page 3, after line 7, insert: 





            (9) Maintenance of a folder, known as the developmental  
            portfolio, for each child that includes, among other items, a  
            child's work products and observations of the child by the  
            provider and/or child development specialist.


            On page 3, beginning on line 29:


            (2)Utilizing the developmental portfolio, as defined in  
            paragraph (9) of subsection (b) of Section 8245, maintained by  
            the provider, including provider observations of each child.


            On page 6, beginning on line 16: 








            (B)Maintaining a developmental portfolio, as defined in  
            paragraph (9) of subsection (b) of Section 8245, for each  








                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  10





            child that includes items produced by the child.


          2)In order to make clear that the requirement for FCCHEN  
            contractors regarding parent conferences is not related to  
            requirements regarding developmental profiles, committee staff  
            recommends the following amendments to subsection (e) of  
            Section 8246, on page 3 of the bill:
          


            On page 3, strike lines 31 and 32, and after line 35, insert:


          


            (f) Ensure that parent conferences are offered to the parent  
            of each enrolled child.  The parent may decline a parent  
            conference.


          PRIOR LEGISLATION:


          AB 379 (Mullin), Chapter 897, Statutes of 2004, defined FCCHENs  
          in statute and adopted requirements regarding FCCHEN programs.


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support












                                                                     AB 598


                                                                    Page  11





          None on file.




          Opposition


          None on file.




          Analysis Prepared by:Daphne Hunt / HUM. S. / (916) 319-2089