BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES OF THE
STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 37.80.101, 37.80.201, 37.80.202, 37.80.203, and 37.80.502 pertaining to child care assistance and the implementation of required policy changes under the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On November 4, 2015, at 1:30 p.m., the Department of Public Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing in Room 207 of the Department of Public Health and Human Services Building, 111 North Sanders, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules.
2. The Department of Public Health and Human Services will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Public Health and Human Services no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 28, 2015, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Kenneth Mordan, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; telephone (406) 444-4094; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail email@example.com.
3. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:
37.80.101 PURPOSE AND GENERAL LIMITATIONS (1) and (2) remain the same.
(3) The Child Care Assistance Program will be administered in accordance with:
(a) remains the same.
(b) The Montana Child Care Manual, dated
March 1, 2014 December 16, 2015, is adopted and incorporated by this reference. The manual contains the policies and procedures utilized in the implementation of the department's Child Care Assistance Program. A copy of the Montana Child Care Manual is available at each child care resource and referral agency; at the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Human and Community Services Division, 111 N. Jackson St., P.O. Box 202925, Helena, MT 59620-2925; and on the department's web site at www.childcare.mt.gov.
AUTH: 52-2-704, 53-4-212, MCA
IMP: 52-2-702, 52-2-704, 52-2-713, 52-2-731, 53-2-201, 53-4-211, 53-4-601, 53-4-611, 53-4-612, MCA
37.80.201 NONFINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY AND PRIORITY FOR ASSISTANCE (1) In addition to the income requirements of ARM 37.80.202, the following nonfinancial requirements must be met in order for payments under this chapter to be made:
(a) With the exceptions in (1)(b), parents must work the following minimum number of hours each month:
(i) remains the same.
(ii) for single parent households:
(A) remains the same.
(B) the parent has no work requirement
must be working a minimum of 40 hours each month if attending school or training full-time; or
(C) the parent must be working a minimum of
60 40 hours each month if attending school or training part-time.
(b) The monthly minimum hourly work requirement does not apply to:
(i) through (iii) remain the same.
(iv) households containing parents who
lost a job either in the current month or in the month just preceding the current month are in a grace period, provided the parents:
(A) and (B) remain the same.
have applied for a grace period and have been approved for a grace period;
(v) through (2) remain the same.
(3) Child care assistance under this chapter for parents who are pursuing training or education is subject to the following limitations:
(a) and (b) remain the same.
(c) the training is for the purpose of obtaining employment in a recognized occupation in which job openings exist in Montana; and
(d) the training is obtained through an institution approved by the Board of Regents or other recognized accrediting body
(e) the parent must verify that he or she is making satisfactory progress in the training or education as defined by the training or educational institution or by the department.
(4) and (5) remain the same.
(6) Due to limited funding for child care assistance, some households which meet all requirements for eligibility may not receive benefits. If there are insufficient funds to provide benefits to all eligible households, priority for benefits will be determined as follows:
(a) A household receiving assistance funded by the TANF program is guaranteed needed child care when participating in family investment agreement activities which require child care, subject to the following:
(i) Assistance for care provided by a provider certified by the department will begin the date that the TANF participant parent is referred to a child care resource and referral agency to obtain child care assistance, so long as the participant contacts the resource and referral agency within
ten thirty calendar days after the date the referral is made.
(ii) If the parent does not contact the child care resource and referral agency within
ten thirty calendar days after being referred for TANF child care assistance, eligibility for child care assistance will begin on the date a child care certification plan is obtained from the child care resource and referral agency.
(b) through (11) remain the same.
AUTH: 40-4-234, 52-2-704, 53-4-212, MCA
IMP: 52-2-704, 52-2-713, 52-2-721, 52-2-722, 52-2-723, 52-2-731, 53-2-201, 53-4-211, 53-4-601, 53-4-611, MCA
37.80.202 FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY; PAYMENT FOR CHILD CARE SERVICES; PARENT'S COPAYMENT (1) remains the same.
(2) Households that are not receiving temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) are presumed eligible to receive child care assistance for 30 calendar days while application information is verified.
(a) To qualify for presumptive eligibility, a household must:
(i) and (ii) remain the same.
an appropriate child care service plan the name of the child care provider on the application sufficient to set up the authorization of services.
(b) through (13) remain the same.
(14) If an audit of the case shows that monies received fall under ARM 37.80.506(1)(a), (b), (c), and (d),
Aa household that receives any amount of child care assistance to which the household was not entitled must repay all child care assistance to which the household was not entitled , regardless of whether the applicant, the recipient, the department, or contractors acting on behalf of the department caused the overpayment.
AUTH: 52-2-704, 53-4-212, MCA
IMP: 52-2-704, 52-2-713, 52-2-721, 52-2-722, 52-2-723, 52-2-731, 53-2-201, 53-4-211, 53-4-212, 53-4-601, 53-4-611, MCA
37.80.203 REQUIREMENT TO REPORT CHANGES (1) remains the same.
(2) Applicants and recipients of child care assistance must report to the resource and referral agency administering their case any change in the following circumstances within ten calendar days from the date the change occurs or the applicant or recipient learns of the change:
(a) through (c) remain the same.
(d) training or school attendance, including changes to the location or hours of the training
and circumstances regarding satisfactory progress;
(e) through (3) remain the same.
(4) If an audit of the case shows that monies received fall under ARM 37.80.506(1)(a), (b), (c), and (d),
Aa household that receives child care assistance to which the household was not entitled must repay the overpayment.
AUTH: 52-2-704, 53-4-212, MCA
IMP: 52-2-704, 52-2-713, 53-2-108, 53-2-201, MCA
37.80.502 CHILD CARE OVERPAYMENT (1) remains the same.
(2) If an audit of the case shows monies received fall under ARM 37.80.506(1)(a), (b), (c), and (d),
The the department may recover the amount of any child care payment made to a child care provider or to a parent which is in excess of the amount to which the provider or parent was entitled , regardless of whether the overpayment was caused by the department, by the provider, or by the parent.
(a) through (5) remain the same.
AUTH: 52-2-704, 53-4-212, MCA
IMP: 52-2-704, 52-2-713, MCA
4. STATEMENT OF REASONABLE NECESSITY
The Department of Public Health and Human Services (the department) is proposing amendments to ARM 37.80.101, 37.80.201, 37.80.202, 37.80.203, and 37.80.502, pertaining to child care assistance. The Best Beginnings Program is administered by the department and provides low-income parents and guardians financial assistance to pay for day care.
The proposed rule changes include required changes under the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014, reducing barriers for families, removing incorrect practice from policy, and a shift toward family-friendly policies.
This rule adopts and incorporates by reference the Child Care Policy Manual (Manual). The department proposes to make revisions to this Manual that will take effect on December 16, 2015. The proposed amendment to the rule is necessary to incorporate into the Administrative Rules of Montana the following revisions to the Manual:
Throughout the Manual, change the name of the Early Childhood Services Bureau (ECSB) Procedure and Resource Manual Handbook to the Early Childhood Services Bureau (ECSB) Procedure Handbook;
add the term "services" to "authorization" where appropriate; and
change the term "recertify" to "redetermination" where appropriate.
Policy Section 1-3: Overview-Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarships - Definitions
The definition of "Adverse Action" is changed because child care resource and referral agencies do not have the legal authority to take action on provider enrollment or licensure issues.
The definition of "Child Care Scholarship" is changed because families qualify for child care assistance while involved in approved work or school/training activities, or a combination of the two.
The definition of "Good Cause to Request a Grace Period" is changed because the Child Care Development Fund law effective November 19, 2014, requires a person to be actively seeking employment.
The definition of "Grace Period" is being changed from 30 days to 90 days to meet recommendations established as part of the new Child Care Development Fund law.
Policy Section 1-4a: Overview-Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarships - Special Needs
The General Rule section is revised to state that additional funding for a child with special needs is at the discretion of the ECSB.
The Early Childhood Specialist's role in the Individual Child Care Plan and Entering a Final Amount is changed to state the current practices in the Special Needs Subsidy program.
The Recertification section is also revised to state the current practices in the Special Needs Subsidy program.
The Statewide Inclusion Coordinator has been renamed because Early Childhood Services Bureau no longer uses a contractor for this work and carries out the responsibility within the bureau.
This section is also being revised because this is the first step in a two-step process by ECSB to make adjustments to its policy around special needs children based on requirements established as part of the Child Care Development Fund law and the Office of Child Care State Plan requirements. The second step will involve recommendations on approach by the Best Beginnings Advisory Council.
Policy Section 2-1: Non-TANF Child Care Eligibility – Application Process
Presumptive eligibility is changed to require less paperwork to process eligibility.
Policy Section 2-3: Non-TANF Child Care Eligibility - Non-TANF Activity Requirements
The General Rule, Minimum Hourly Work Requirements, and Employed and Attending School/Training section are revised because families qualify for child care assistance while involved in approved activity requirements which can be work, or school/training activities, or a combination of the two.
Policy Section 2-7: Non-TANF Child Care Eligibility - Redetermination
This manual section is being revised to state changes in eligibility determination. With exceptions around Child Protective Services and TANF referrals, all families will be determined eligible for a 12-month period of time. At the end of that time, families' eligibility will be redetermined for another 12 months. Language around mini-recertification processes and its associated invoice auditing has been removed.
Language about special needs has been removed to be consistent with Policy Section 1-4a.
These changes are required by the new Child Care Development Fund law and the Office of Child Care State Plan.
Policy Section 4-1: Child & Family Services Child Care Management – CSFD & CCR&R Coordination
This change allows a CPS worker to refer a child for Special Needs consideration at any time. Previous language only allowed it at the time the referral was written. Other language around special needs was changed to be consistent with Policy Section 1-4a.
Policy Section 4-2: Child & Family Services Child Care Management – Tribal IV-E Child Protective Services
These changes are made to be consistent with Policy Section 4-1.
Section 6-1: Serving the Family – Child Care Referrals
This change removes language about working with a contractor because Early Childhood Services Bureau now performs this function.
Section 6-3: Serving the Family – Issuing the Authorization of Services and Certification Plan
The section is being renamed because the authorization of services is determined then the certification plan is generated by the Child Care Under the Big Sky database.
This section is also being revised to be consistent with the 12-month eligibility span in Policy 2-7.
Section 6-6: Serving the Family – Absent Days & Continuity of Care
This changes the grace period due to job loss. The change is required by the new Child Care Development Fund law and the Office of Child Care State Plan.
Section 6-8: Serving the Family – Investigating and Auditing
This change removes language about auditing invoices at recertification and overpayment to be consistent with Policy Section 2-7 and Policy Section 6-9.
The department is proposing to amend this rule to decrease the minimum work requirements for parents who attend school full-time or part-time, to change the grace period, to remove the requirement that a parent verify satisfactory progress in the training or education program, and to revise language about a child care resource and referral agency and a TANF child care assistance referral.
A grace period allows a parent to remain eligible for child care assistance after a job loss when the work requirement is no longer met. A grace period given after a job loss will increase from 30 to 90 days because it is a required change from the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014.
A decrease in the work requirement for a parent attending school full-time or part-time is intended to provide continuity of care for children.
It is not necessary to report to the program that a parent is making satisfactory progress and that requirement is being removed. A parent must be enrolled in school or training.
A parent has 30 calendar days to finish the TANF application after being referred. The rule is being updated to be consistent with Policy Section 3-2.
The department is proposing to amend this rule to clarify required documentation for presumptive eligibility and to state when overpayments will be repaid by a household. Presumptive eligibility requires the parent to submit the name of his or her child care provider to the resource and referral agency. This is sufficient to set up an authorization of services for the child. Additional documentation is not required. This will reduce paperwork required from the parent.
Overpayments will only be pursued if caused by intentional program violations defined in ARM 37.80.506. The requirement that a parent or guardian repay overpayment caused by department error is being removed to be consistent with ARM 37.80.203 and 37.80.502.
The department is proposing to amend this rule to remove language about documenting satisfactory progress in school. The parent must only show enrollment of credit hours and receipt of fees paid. The work requirement for a full-time student is also removed. Overpayment requirements regarding repayment of department-caused overpayments are being amended to be consistent with ARM 37.80.202 and 37.80.502.
The department is proposing to amend this rule to remove the requirement that a parent or guardian repay an overpayment caused by department error.
There is no anticipated fiscal impact from these proposed rule changes.
5. The department intends to adopt these rules as effective on December 16, 2015.
6. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Kenneth Mordan, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., November 12, 2015.
7. The Office of Legal Affairs, Department of Public Health and Human Services, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.
8. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 6 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.
9. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register. The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered. In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.
10. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.
11. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rules will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.
12. Section 53-6-196, MCA, requires that the department, when adopting by rule proposed changes in the delivery of services funded with Medicaid monies, make a determination of whether the principal reasons and rationale for the rule can be assessed by performance-based measures and, if the requirement is applicable, the method of such measurement. The statute provides that the requirement is not applicable if the rule is for the implementation of rate increases or of federal law.
The department has determined that the proposed program changes presented in this notice are not appropriate for performance-based measurement and therefore are not subject to the performance-based measures requirement of 53-6-196, MCA.
/s/ Geralyn Driscoll /s/ Robert Runkel for Richard H. Opper
Geralyn Driscoll, Attorney Richard H. Opper, Director
Rule Reviewer Public Health and Human Services
Certified to the Secretary of State October 5, 2015.