BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 833 (Bonta) - Child care and development services:  
          individualized county child care subsidy plan: County of  
          Alameda.
          
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          |Version: June 16, 2015          |Policy Vote: ED. 9 - 0          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: July 6, 2015      |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          Bill  
          Summary:  This bill authorizes the County of Alameda to  
          establish a five-year pilot program for purposes of developing  
          and implementing an individualized county child care subsidy  
          plan that meets the particular needs of families in the  
          community.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           Alameda County individualized subsidy plan: Potential loss of  
            savings in the low millions to the extent the plan allows more  
            of the county's funding allocation to be expended.
           State Department of Education indicates minor and absorbable  
            costs to review and approve contract amendments and other  
            related activities.









          AB 833 (Bonta)                                         Page 1 of  
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          Background:1)  Existing law:
          1)Establishes the Child Care and Developmental 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.  (Education  
            Code  8200, et seq.)
            
          2)States legislative intent that all families have access to  
            child care and development services, regardless of demographic  
            background or special needs, 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, among other things.  (EC  
             8202)

          3)Establishes several programs providing subsidized child care  
            and development services that service low-income families who  
            are working, seeking work, in training, or providing community  
            service.  These programs are administered by the State  
            Department of Education (SDE) and require the Superintendent  
            of Public Instruction (SPI) to adopt rules and regulations on  
            eligibility, enrollment, family fees, provider rates, and  
            priority services.  (EC  8235 and 8263)

          4)Authorizes a pilot project in San Mateo County (since 2004)  
            and San Francisco City and County (since 2006) that allows the  
            counties to develop and implement an individualized county  
            child care subsidy plan in recognition of the high-cost of  
            living in those counties. (EC  8235 and 8263)


          Proposed Law:  
            This bill authorizes Alameda County, as a pilot project, to  
          develop and implement an individualized county child care  
          subsidy plan.  It requires that the plan ensure that child care  
          subsidies received by the county are used to address local  
          needs, conditions, and priorities of working families in the  
          community.
          This bill requires that the plan include all of the following:










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             1.   An assessment to identify the county's goal for its  
               subsidized child care system, including whether the current  
               structure of subsidized child care funding adequately  
               supports working families, and whether the county's child  
               care goals coincide with the state's requirements for  
               funding, eligibility, priority, and reimbursement.  It must  
               also identify barriers in the state's child care subsidy  
               system that inhibit the county from meeting its child care  
               goals.  


             2.   Development of a local policy to eliminate state-imposed  
               regulatory barriers to the county's achievement of its  
               desired outcomes for subsidized child care, as specified.   
               The SDE is required to approve an application to amend an  
               existing contract if the plan is modified.


             3.   The local policy may supersede state law concerning  
               child care subsidy programs only for the following areas:  
               eligibility criteria, fees, reimbursement rates, and  
               methods of maximizing the efficient use of subsidy funds.


             4.   Recognition that all funding sources utilized by direct  
               service contractors that provide child care and development  
               services in the county are eligible to be included in the  
               county's plan.


             5.   Establishment of measurable outcomes to evaluate the  
               success of the plan to achieve the county's child care  
               goals and to overcome any barriers identified in the  
               state's child care subsidy system.


          This also bill requires the county to submit an annual report to  
          the Legislature, State Department of Social Services, and SDE  
          summarizing the success of the county's plan, and the ability to  
          maximize the use of funds and to improve and stabilize child  
          care in the county, including demonstration of an increase in  
          the aggregate days a child is enrolled in child care in the  
          county, as specified.









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          Related  
          Legislation:  AB 260 (Gordon, Ch. 731, 2013) extends the  
          individualized county child care subsidy pilot plans for San  
          Mateo County to July 1, 2018 and San Francisco County to July 1,  
          2016. 
          AB 1326 (Simitian, Ch. 691, 2003) created a five-year child care  
          subsidy pilot program in San Mateo County that permitted the  
          county to revise its local child care system to meet the  
          particular needs of San Mateo County residents.




          Staff  
          Comments:  According to the author's office, this bill is  
          modeled after the individualized subsidy pilot plans in San  
          Mateo and San Francisco counties, both of which implemented  
          plans to address the unintended consequences for families living  
          in a high cost county.

          The individualized child care subsidy pilot program in San Mateo  
          and San Francisco counties was established to increase  
          subsidized child care access and options in two counties with a  
          high cost of living.  Under the pilot program, both counties'  
          local policies approved by the SDE allowed them the flexibility  
          to provide subsidized child care to families whose income levels  
          would have made them ineligible in other parts of the state, to  
          pay increased reimbursement rates to child care providers, and  
          to temporarily reallocate funds among providers when one  
          provider was not going to be able to fully expend the funding in  
          its contract to maximize county-level use of the contract  
          dollars and services.  The pilot program did not provide the  
          counties additional funding for subsidized child care; it simply  
          made it easier for the two counties to spend the funding they  
          were allocated annually.  As intended, the pilot resulted in  
          more subsidized child care money being spent on subsidized child  
          care in those counties, and less reverting back to the state  
          General Fund.
          In 2002-03, the year before the pilot began, San Mateo County  
          was unable to spend 15 percent of its allocation, and returned  
          that money to the General Fund.  By contrast, in 2011-12, it was  








          AB 833 (Bonta)                                         Page 4 of  
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          unable to spend only 3.6 percent of its allocation, and returned  
          $652,580 to the state.  San Francisco County returned $1,134,639  
          - 2.3 percent of its allocation, in 2011-12.  

          According to the SDE, Alameda County returned 5 percent, 4  
          percent, and 8 percent of its contracted child care dollars to  
          the state in 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14, respectively.  If  
          the outcomes of this pilot are similar to those in San Mateo  
          County and San Francisco County, Alameda County could  
          potentially retain this funding to provide additional services,  
          which averages over the three years to be about $3.3 million.


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