(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that:
(1) Working families be supported with maximum access to child care and development programs that focus on stabilizing families and helping children realize greater education outcomes.
(2) Working families have access to the supportive services needed to ensure the healthy physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth and development of children.
(3) The Superintendent, in providing funding to child care and development agencies, promote a contracting term for services that will allow parents the opportunity to choose the type of care most suited to their needs.
(4) Working families achieve and maintain their personal, social, economic, and emotional stability through an opportunity to attain financial stability through employment and parental development while maximizing the growth and development of their children, and through enhancing their parenting skills through participation in child care and development programs.
(b) The department shall contract with local contracting agencies for alternative payment programs so that services will be provided throughout the state. The department shall expand existing alternative payment programs and fund new alternative payment programs to the extent that funds are provided by the Legislature.
(c) Funding for the new programs pursuant to this section shall be allocated to programs that meet all of the following requirements:
(1) Applicants shall conform to the requirements of this article.
(2) Applicants shall demonstrate that an alternative payment child development program is an appropriate method of delivering child care services within the county or service area at the level requested in the application by doing either of the following:
(A) Demonstrating the availability of sufficient licensed or exempt child care providers.
(B) Providing a plan for the development of sufficient licensed child care providers working in cooperation with the local resource and referral agency.
(3) Applicants shall demonstrate the administrative viability of the alternative payment agency and its capacity to meet performance requirements.
(4) Existing alternative payment child development programs receiving funds for expansion into a new service area shall be funded at a documented rate appropriate to that community and may contract separately as appropriate.
(d) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), an alternative payment program shall have no less than 12 months, and no more than 24 months, to expend funds allocated to that program in any fiscal year.
(2) The Superintendent shall develop a process that provides alternative payment programs no less than 12 months, and no more the 24 months, to expend funds allocated to that program in any fiscal year.
(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply to contracts relating to the administration of child care services described in Sections 8353 and 8354.
(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 32, Sec. 7.)