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Individualized County Child Care Subsidy Plan   

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Prior to implementing the local subsidy plan, the County of San Mateo, in consultation with the department, shall develop an individualized county child care subsidy plan that includes the following four elements:

(a) An assessment to identify the county's goal for its subsidized child care system. The assessment shall examine whether the current structure of subsidized child care funding adequately supports working families in the county and whether the county's child care goals coincide with the state's requirements for funding, eligibility, priority, and reimbursement. The assessment shall also identify barriers in the state's child care subsidy system that inhibit the county from meeting its child care goals. In conducting the assessment, the county shall consider all of the following:

(1) The general demographics of families who are in need of child care, including employment, income, language, ethnic, and family composition.

(2) The current supply of available subsidized child care.

(3) The level of need for various types of subsidized child care services including, but not limited to, infant care, after-hours care, and care for children with exceptional needs.

(4) The county's self-sufficiency income level.

(5) Income eligibility levels for subsidized child care.

(6) Family fees.

(7) The cost of providing child care.

(8) The regional market rates, as established by the department, for different types of child care.

(9) The standard reimbursement rate or state per diem for centers operating under contracts with the department.

(10) Trends in the county's unemployment rate and housing affordability index.

(b) Development of a local policy to eliminate state-imposed regulatory barriers to the county's achievement of its desired outcomes for subsidized child care.

(1) The local policy shall do all of the following:

(A) Prioritize lowest income families first.

(B) Follow the family fee schedule established pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 8263 for those families that are income eligible, as defined by Section 8263.1.

(C) Meet local goals that are consistent with the state's child care goals.

(D) Identify existing policies that would be affected by the county's child care subsidy plan.

(E) (i) Authorize any agency that provides child care and development services in San Mateo County through a contract with the department to apply to the department to amend existing contracts in order to benefit from the local policy once it is adopted.

(ii) The department shall approve an application to amend an existing contract if the child care subsidy plan is approved pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 8342, or modified pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 8342.

(iii) The contract of a department contractor who does not elect to request an amendment to its contract remains operative and enforceable.

(2) (A) The County of San Mateo shall, by the end of the first fiscal year of operation under the approved child care subsidy plan, demonstrate an increase in the aggregate child days of enrollment in the county as compared to the enrollment in the final quarter of the 2002-03 fiscal year.

(B) The amount of the increase shall be at least equal to the aggregate child days of enrollment in the final quarter of the 2002-03 fiscal year for all contracts amended as provided in subparagraph (E) of paragraph 1, under which the contractor receives an increase in its reimbursement rate, times 2 percent.

(3) The local policy may supersede state law concerning child care subsidy programs with regard only to the following factors:

(A) Eligibility criteria including, but not limited to, age, family size, time limits, income level, inclusion of former and current CalWORKs participants, and special needs considerations, except that the local policy may not deny or reduce eligibility of a family that qualifies for child care pursuant to Section 8353. Under the local policy, a family that qualifies for child care pursuant to Section 8354 shall be treated for purposes of eligibility and fees in the same manner as a family that qualifies for subsidized child care on another basis pursuant to the local policy.

(B) Fees including, but not limited to, family fees, sliding scale fees, and copayments for those families that are not income eligible, as defined by Section 8263.1.

(C) Reimbursement rates.

(D) Methods of maximizing the efficient use of subsidy funds, including, but not limited to, multiyear contracting with the department for center-based child care, and interagency agreements that allow for flexible and temporary transfer of funds among agencies.

(c) Recognition that all funding sources utilized by direct service contractors that provide child care and development services in San Mateo County are eligible to be included in the child care subsidy plan of the county.

(d) 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. The Department of Social Services shall have an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed measurable outcomes before they are submitted to the local child care planning council for approval pursuant to Section 8342.

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 691, Sec. 1.)

Reference:

Education Code 8263.1

Education Code 8342

Education Code 8353

Education Code 8354