(a) The Superintendent shall implement a plan that establishes reasonable standards and assigned reimbursement rates, which vary with the length of the program year and the hours of service.
(1) Parent fees shall be used to pay reasonable and necessary costs for providing additional services.
(2) When establishing standards and assigned reimbursement rates, the Superintendent shall confer with applicant agencies.
(3) The reimbursement system, including standards and rates, shall be submitted to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.
(4) The Superintendent may establish any regulations he or she deems advisable concerning conditions of service and hours of enrollment for children in the programs.
(b) Commencing July 1, 2018, the standard reimbursement rate shall be eleven thousand nine hundred ninety-five dollars ($11,995) and, commencing with the 2019-20 fiscal year, shall be increased by the cost-of-living adjustment granted by the Legislature annually pursuant to Section 42238.15. Commencing July 1, 2018, the full-day state preschool reimbursement rate shall be twelve thousand seventy dollars ($12,070) and, commencing with the 2019-20 fiscal year, shall be increased by the cost-of-living adjustment granted by the Legislature annually pursuant to Section 42238.15.
(c) The plan shall require agencies having an assigned reimbursement rate above the current year standard reimbursement rate to reduce costs on an incremental basis to achieve the standard reimbursement rate.
(d) (1) The plan shall provide for adjusting reimbursement on a case-by-case basis, in order to maintain service levels for agencies currently at a rate less than the standard reimbursement rate. Assigned reimbursement rates shall be increased only on the basis of one or more of the following:
(A) Loss of program resources from other sources.
(B) Need of an agency to pay the same child care rates as those prevailing in the local community.
(C) Increased costs directly attributable to new or different regulations.
(D) Documented increased costs necessary to maintain the prior year's level of service and ensure the continuation of threatened programs.
(2) Child care agencies funded at the lowest rates shall be given first priority for increases.
(e) The plan shall provide for expansion of child development programs at no more than the standard reimbursement rate for that fiscal year.
(f) The Superintendent may reduce the percentage of reduction for a public agency that satisfies any of the following:
(1) Serves more than 400 children.
(2) Has in effect a collective bargaining agreement.
(3) Has other extenuating circumstances that apply, as determined by the Superintendent.
(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 32, Sec. 10.)