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Alternative Payment Programs; Reimbursement rates   

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(a) Payments made by alternative payment programs shall not exceed the applicable market rate ceiling. Alternative payment programs may expend more than the standard reimbursement rate for a particular child. However, the aggregate payments for services purchased by the agency during the contract year shall not exceed the assigned reimbursable amount as established by the contract for the year. No agency may make payments in excess of the rate charged to full-cost families. This section does not preclude alternative payment programs from using the average daily enrollment adjustment factor for children with exceptional needs as provided in Section 8265.5.

(b) Alternative payment programs shall reimburse licensed child care providers in accordance with a biennial market rate survey pursuant to Section 8447, at a rate not to exceed the ceilings established pursuant to Section 8357.

(c) An alternative payment program shall reimburse a licensed provider for child care of a subsidized child based on the rate charged by the provider to nonsubsidized families, if any, for the same services, or the rates established by the provider for prospective nonsubsidized families. A licensed child care provider shall submit to the alternative payment program a copy of the provider's rate sheet listing the rates charged, and the provider's discount or scholarship policies, if any, along with a statement signed by the provider confirming that the rates charged for a subsidized child are equal to or less than the rates charged for a nonsubsidized child.

(d) An alternative payment program shall maintain a copy of the rate sheet and the confirmation statement.

(e) A licensed child care provider shall submit to the local resource and referral agency a copy of the provider's rate sheet listing rates charged, and the provider's discount or scholarship policies, if any, and shall self-certify that the information is correct.

(f) Each licensed child care provider may alter rate levels for subsidized children once per year and shall provide the alternative payment program and resource and referral agency with the updated information pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (e), to reflect any changes.

(g) A licensed child care provider shall post in a prominent location adjacent to the provider's license at the child care facility the provider's rates and discounts or scholarship policies, if any.

(h) An alternative payment program shall verify provider rates no less frequently than once a year by randomly selecting 10 percent of licensed child care providers serving subsidized families. The purpose of this verification process is to confirm that rates reported to the alternative payment programs reasonably correspond to those reported to the resource and referral agency and the rates actually charged to nonsubsidized families for equivalent levels of services. It is the intent of the Legislature that the privacy of nonsubsidized families shall be protected in implementing this subdivision.

(i) The department shall develop regulations for addressing discrepancies in the provider rate levels identified through the rate verification process in subdivision (h).

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 759, Sec. 2.)

Reference:

Education Code 8265.5

Education Code 8357

Education Code 8447