(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter and implementing regulations, the State Department of Education shall develop a prototype of a new contracting system pursuant to the discussion of relevant issues raised in the preliminary report titled "Revisions to the Current Contracting System for Child Care and Development Programs" dated February 6, 1996, as required by the Budget Act of 1995.
(b) The prototype shall be implemented by no more than 5 percent of child care and development contractors.
(c) The department shall develop a plan for the prototype by January 1, 1997, and shall commence testing it July 1, 1997, with any necessary amendments completed by September 1, 1997. The prototype test shall be conducted over a two-year period and may be extended only with the concurrence of the Department of Finance and 30 days' notification to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. The department may not implement the prototype without the concurrence of the Department of Finance and 30 days' notification to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. In developing the plan, the department shall fully consult with the Department of Finance, the Office of the Legislative Analyst, and representative child care and development contractors.
(d) Except for separately authorized cost-of-living increases or expansions, the prototype shall neither increase aggregate state costs nor lower the total number of children served by the participating agencies.
(e) An independent evaluation shall be conducted of the prototype.
(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 745, Sec. 12.)