BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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

          SB 567 (Liu) - Child care programs: continuity of services.
          
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          |Version: February 26, 2015      |Policy Vote: HUMAN S. 3 - 1,    |
          |                                |          ED. 7 - 0             |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: May 18, 2015      |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          Bill  
          Summary:  This bill deems a child who is enrolled in a federal  
          or state funded child care program to be eligible for the  
          remainder of the program year in order to promote continuity of  
          service and includes legislative intent language regarding early  
          learning and child development services.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           Unknown, but potential costs in the low tens of millions  
            General Fund annually for CalWORKS Stage 2 and Stage 3 to  
            expand eligibility to provide services for the remainder of  
            the program year.
           Expanded eligibility also likely results in longer waitlists  
            for programs that have a capped number of slots due to  
            children remaining in programs despite changes in income or  
            need that would have otherwise caused them to become  
            ineligible, thus freeing up a slot for a waiting family.







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          Background:  Existing law 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.)

          Existing law 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)

          Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction  
          to adopt rules and regulations regarding eligibility,  
          enrollment, and priority of services.  The Superintendent may  
          extend the 60-day eligibility limit for job-seeking activities,  
          as specified, in order to promote continuity of care.  Existing  
          law also requires a physical examination and evaluation for  
          enrollment, as specified. (EC  8263)

           Child Care Eligibility  
          Existing law specifies that children are eligible for subsidized  
          child care if the family currently receives aid, meets specified  
          income eligibility requirements, is homeless, or if the child is  
          the recipient of protective services, or has been identified as  
          neglected, abused or exploited (or at risk of such).  In  
          addition, the family must be in need of the child care services  
          due to specified social service circumstances, employment  
          training, or other specified needs.

          Families are required to report changes in these circumstances  
          throughout their child's enrollment that could disqualify a  
          child from the program.  Specifically, state regulations  
          require:

             A.   Recertification and eligibility verification of each  
               family/child as follows:








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                  1.        Families receiving services because the child  
                    is at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation are  
                    recertified at least once every six months.

                  2.        Families receiving services because of actual  
                    abuse, neglect, or exploitation are recertified at  
                    least every six months, as specified.

                  3.        All other families are recertified at least  
                    once each contract period and at intervals not to  
                    exceed 12 months. (5 CCR  18103)

             B.   Families to notify the child care provider (contractor)  
               within five calendar days of any changes in family income,  
               size or the need for service.  (5 CCR  18102) 

             C.   Documentation to determine continued need and  
               eligibility and any change to fee assessment, if  
               applicable. (5 CCR  18103) 

           Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)
           The federal Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990  
          was reauthorized in 2014.  This reauthorization brought about a  
          number of changes aimed at addressing health and safety  
          requirements, quality of care, and consumer and provider  
          education. Among the changes adopted, the reauthorization  
          establishes a 12-month eligibility redetermination period for  
          families, regardless of changes in income (provided income does  
          not exceed 85% of state median income), or temporary changes in  
          participation in work, training, or education activities. 

          State regulations establish a 6-month eligibility  
          redetermination period in some special cases.  These provisions  
          call into question whether the state currently meets the federal  
          12-month eligibility requirement.  The Department of Education  
          is seeking a legal opinion to determine if the state qualifies  
          for CCDBG based on current regulations and/or if clarifying  
          language is needed.  According to the author's office, this bill  
          moves the state toward meeting the 12-month eligibility  
          requirement by clarifying that families should receive care for  
          a full program year or for the remainder of the program year if  
          a family is offered care after the program year has begun.









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          Proposed Law:  
           This bill:
             1.   Deems a child who is enrolled in a federal or state  
               funded child care program to be eligible for the remainder  
               of the program year in order to promote continuity of  
               service.  As a result, a child that becomes ineligible  
               during the program year would be allowed to continue to  
               receive federal or state funded child care for the duration  
               of the program year.

             2.   States legislative intent that promotes access to  
               specified federal and state funded early learning and  
               educational support services from birth to five years of  
               age, including:

                  A.        Supporting parent-child relationships,  
                    promoting language enrichment, developing curriculum  
                    with differentiated instruction, knowledgeable  
                    educators and staff, developing appropriate program  
                    activities and services, promoting healthy practices,  
                    supporting cultural, linguistic and ability diversity,  
                    ensuring a safe environment, providing for nutritional  
                    needs and physical activity and ensuring access for  
                    low-income families.

                  B.        Support services that include specified  
                    referrals related to health care, child abuse  
                    prevention, identifying child and family needs, mental  
                    health services, parenting education, family and  
                    community engagement, counseling, nutrition services,  
                    and interagency collaboration among state agencies.


          Related  
     Legislation:1. AB 233 (Lopez, 2015) adopts a 12-month eligibility determination  
          process for subsidized child care and removes certain reporting  
          and administrative requirements.  AB 233 is pending in the  
          Assembly Appropriations Committee.

          SB 1123 (Liu, 2014) would have increased access to infant and  
          toddler care and family support services by establishing grant  
          programs in parent engagement and voluntary home visitation.   
          Additionally the bill would have provided for greater  








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          flexibility and allowed services to be tailored to fit community  
          needs including remainder of program year eligibility.  SB 1123  
          was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


          Staff  
          Comments:  This bill imposes unknown but potential costs to  
          CalWORKS Stage 1 and Stage 2 costs in the tens of millions  
          General Fund to the state to expand eligibility for a child  
          enrolled in a state or federally funded child care program to  
          continue receiving services through the end of the program year,  
          if a family's eligibility would have otherwise changed.  Because  
          federal funds would not rise, the state would have to bear all  
          resulting costs.  Costs are ultimately unknown because the state  
          does not have access to information that indicates how long a  
          child stays in care or reasons for leaving care.  Reasons for  
          leaving care extend beyond changes in eligibility.


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