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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 601

as introduced - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/09/2010 01:39am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/09/2009

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to early education; continuing the prekindergarten exploratory projects;
continuing family, friend, and neighbor grants; continuing school readiness
service agreements; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes 2008,
section 119B.231, subdivisions 2, 3, 4; Laws 2007, chapter 147, article 2, section
62.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 119B.231, subdivision 2, is amended to
read:


Subd. 2.

Provider eligibility.

(a) To be considered for an SRSA, a provider shall
apply to the commissionernew text begin or have been chosen as an SRSA provider prior to June 30,
2009, and have complied with all requirements of the SRSA agreement. Priority for funds
is given to providers who had agreements prior to June 30, 2009. If sufficient funds are
available, the commissioner shall make applications available to additional providers
new text end. To
be eligible to apply for an SRSA, a provider shall:

(1) be eligible for child care assistance payments under chapter 119B;

(2) have at least 25 percent of the children enrolled with the provider subsidized
through the child care assistance program;

(3) provide full-time, full-year child care services; and

(4) deleted text beginserve at least one child who is subsidized through the child care assistance
program and who is expected to enter kindergarten within the following 30 months
deleted text endnew text begin have
obtained a level 3 or 4 rating under the Parent Aware quality rating system
new text end.

(b) The commissioner may waive the 25 percent requirement in paragraph (a),
clause (2), if necessary to achieve geographic distribution of SRSA providers and diversity
of types of care provided by SRSA providers.

(c) An eligible provider who would like to enter into an SRSA with the commissioner
shall submit an SRSA application. To determine whether to enter into an SRSA with a
provider, the commissioner shall evaluate the following factors:

(1) the deleted text beginqualifications of the provider and the provider's staffdeleted text endnew text begin provider's Parent
Aware rating score
new text end;

deleted text begin (2) the provider's staff-child ratios;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3) the provider's curriculum;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (4) the provider's current or planned parent education activities;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (5)deleted text end new text begin(2) new text endthe provider's current or planned social service and employment linkages;

deleted text begin (6) the provider's child development assessment plan;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (7)deleted text end new text begin(3) new text endthe geographic distribution needed for SRSA providers;

deleted text begin (8)deleted text end new text begin(4) new text endthe inclusion of a variety of child care delivery models; and

deleted text begin (9)deleted text end new text begin(5) new text endother related factors determined by the commissioner.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 119B.231, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Family and child eligibility.

(a) A family eligible to choose an SRSA
provider for their children shall:

(1) be eligible to receive child care assistance under any provision in chapter 119B
except section 119B.035;

(2) be in an authorized activity for an average of at least 35 hours per week when
initial eligibility is determined; and

(3) include a child who has not yet entered kindergarten.

(b) A family who is determined to be eligible to choose an SRSA provider remains
eligible to be paid at a higher rate through the SRSA provider when the following
conditions exist:

(1) the child attends child care with the SRSA provider a minimum of 25 hours per
week, on average;

(2) the family has a child who has not yet entered kindergarten; and

(3) the family maintains eligibility under chapter 119B except section 119B.035.

(c) deleted text beginFor the 12 monthsdeleted text end After initial eligibility has been determined, a decrease in the
family's authorized activities to an average of less than 35 hours per week does not result
in ineligibility for the SRSA rate.new text begin A family must continue to maintain eligibility under this
chapter and be in an authorized activity.
new text end

(d) A family that moves between counties but continues to use the same SRSA
provider shall continue to receive SRSA funding for the increased payments.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 119B.231, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Requirements of providers.

An SRSA must include assessment,
evaluation, and reporting requirements that promote the goals of improved school
readiness and movement toward appropriate child development milestones. A provider
who enters into an SRSA shall comply with new text beginall SRSA requirements, including new text endthe
assessment, evaluation, and reporting requirements in the SRSA.new text begin Providers who have been
selected previously for SRSAs must begin the process to obtain a rating using Parent
Aware according to timelines established by the commissioner. If the initial Parent Aware
rating is less than three stars, the provider must submit a plan to improve the rating. If a
three- or four-star rating is not obtained within established timelines, the commissioner
may consider continuation of the agreement, depending upon the progress made and other
factors. Providers who apply and are selected for a new SRSA agreement on or after July
1, 2009, must have a level three- or four-star rating under the Parent Aware quality rating
system at the time the SRSA agreement is signed.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Laws 2007, chapter 147, article 2, section 62, is amended to read:


Sec. 62. PREKINDERGARTEN EXPLORATORY PROJECTS.

Subdivision 1.

Early childhood allowance.

The commissioners of human services
and education shall establish three prekindergarten exploratory projects to be conducted in
partnership with the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation to promote children's school
readiness. The exploratory projects shall be designed and evaluated by the Minnesota
Early Learning Foundation.

Subd. 2.

Family eligibility.

Parents or legal guardians with incomes less than or
equal to deleted text begin185deleted text endnew text begin 46new text end percent of deleted text beginthe federal poverty guidelinesdeleted text endnew text begin state median incomenew text end are eligible
to receive allowances to pay for their children's education in a quality early education
program, in an amount not to exceed $4,000 per child per year. The allowance must be
used during the 12 months following receipt of the allowance by the claimant for a child
who is age 3 or 4 on August 31, to pay for services designed to promote school readiness
in a quality early education setting. A quality program is one that meets the standards
in subdivision 3. new text beginParents or legal guardians must not be asked to provide information
regarding immigration status as a condition of eligibility.
new text end

Subd. 3.

Quality standards.

(a) A quality early care and education setting is any
service or program that receives a quality rating from the Department of Human Services
under the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation quality rating system administered by
the Department of Human Services and agrees to accept a prekindergarten education
allowance to pay for services. For fiscal years 2008 and 2009 only, a provider may satisfy
the quality rating system requirements and be deemed eligible to participate in this
program if the provider has received a provisional quality rating system approval from
either the Department of Human Services or the Department of Education.

(b) For the purposes of receiving a provisional quality rating, a child care program or
provider must be approved by the commissioner of human services and a school readiness
program or a Head Start program must be approved by the commissioner of education.
Programs and providers must apply for approval in the form and manner prescribed by the
commissioners. To receive approval, the commissioners must determine that applicants:

(1) use research-based curricula that are aligned with the education standards under
Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.021, instruction, and child assessment instruments
approved by the Department of Education and the Department of Human Services, in
consultation with the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation;

(2) provide a program of sufficient intensity and duration to improve the school
readiness of participating children;

(3) provide opportunities for parent involvement; and

(4) meet other research-based criteria determined necessary by the commissioners.

(c) For 2008 and 2009, notwithstanding paragraph (b), Head Start programs
meeting Head Start performance standards and accredited child care centers are granted
a provisional quality rating for the purposes of receiving a prekindergarten education
allowance under this statute.

(d) A provider deemed eligible to receive a prekindergarten education allowance
under paragraphs (a) to (c) may use the allowance to enhance services above the current
quality levels, increase the duration of services provided, or expand the number of children
to whom services are provided.

(e) For fiscal years 2008 and 2009 only, when no quality program is available, a
recipient may direct the prekindergarten education allowance to a provider or program for
school readiness quality improvements that will make the provider or program eligible
for a quality rating according to the quality rating system. Allowable expenditures that
will increase the capacity of the provider or program to help children be ready for school
include purchase of curricula and assessment tools, training on the use of curriculum and
assessment tools, purchase of materials to improve the learning environment, or other
expenditures approved by the commissioner of human services for child care providers
and the commissioner of education for school readiness programs.

Subd. 4.

Eligibility; applications.

Eligible families must have incomes less
than or equal to deleted text begin185deleted text endnew text begin 46new text end percent of deleted text beginthe federal poverty guidelinesdeleted text endnew text begin state median incomenew text end.
Allowances paid to families under this program may not be counted as earned income
for the purposes of medical assistance, MinnesotaCare, MFIP, child care assistance, or
Head Start programs.

Subd. 5.

Expenditures.

This program shall operate during fiscal years 2008 deleted text beginanddeleted text endnew text begin,new text end
2009new text begin, 2010, and 2011new text end.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 5. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin School readiness service agreements. new text end

new text begin $....... is appropriated from
the general fund for the biennium ending June 30, 2011, to the commissioner of human
services for the school readiness service agreements under Minnesota Statutes, section
119B.231. This appropriation is added to the base.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Prekindergarten exploratory projects. new text end

new text begin $....... is appropriated from the
general fund for the biennium ending June 30, 2011, to the commissioner of human
services for the prekindergarten exploratory projects under Laws 2007, chapter 147, article
2, section 62. This appropriation is for grants to the city of St. Paul, Hennepin County,
and Blue Earth County to continue scholarship demonstration projects to be conducted in
partnership with the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation to promote children's school
readiness.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Family, friend, and neighbor grants. new text end

new text begin $....... is appropriated from the
general fund for the biennium ending June 30, 2011, to the commissioner of human
services for the family, friend, and neighbor grant program under Minnesota Statutes,
section 119B.232. This appropriation is added to the base.
new text end