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119B.02 Duties of commissioner.

Subdivision 1. Child care services. The commissioner shall develop standards for county and human services boards to provide child care services to enable eligible families to participate in employment, training, or education programs. Within the limits of available appropriations, the commissioner shall distribute money to counties to reduce the costs of child care for eligible families. The commissioner shall adopt rules to govern the program in accordance with this section. The rules must establish a sliding schedule of fees for parents receiving child care services. The rules shall provide that funds received as a lump sum payment of child support arrearages shall not be counted as income to a family in the month received but shall be prorated over the 12 months following receipt and added to the family income during those months. In the rules adopted under this section, county and human services boards shall be authorized to establish policies for payment of child care spaces for absent children, when the payment is required by the child's regular provider. The rules shall not set a maximum number of days for which absence payments can be made, but instead shall direct the county agency to set limits and pay for absences according to the prevailing market practice in the county. County policies for payment of absences shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner. The commissioner shall maximize the use of federal money under title I and title IV of Public Law Number 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, and other programs that provide federal or state reimbursement for child care services for low-income families who are in education, training, job search, or other activities allowed under those programs. Money appropriated under this section must be coordinated with the programs that provide federal reimbursement for child care services to accomplish this purpose. Federal reimbursement obtained must be allocated to the county that spent money for child care that is federally reimbursable under programs that provide federal reimbursement for child care services. The counties shall use the federal money to expand child care services. The commissioner may adopt rules under chapter 14 to implement and coordinate federal program requirements.

Subd. 2. Contractual agreements with tribes. The commissioner may enter into contractual agreements with a federally recognized Indian tribe with a reservation in Minnesota to carry out the responsibilities of county human service agencies to the extent necessary for the tribe to operate child care assistance programs under sections 119B.03 and 119B.05. An agreement may allow for the tribe to be reimbursed for child care assistance services provided under section 119B.05. The commissioner shall consult with the affected county or counties in the contractual agreement negotiations, if the county or counties wish to be included, in order to avoid the duplication of county and tribal child care services. Funding to support services under section 119B.03 may be transferred to the federally recognized Indian tribe with a reservation in Minnesota from allocations available to counties in which reservation boundaries lie. When funding is transferred under section 119B.03, the amount shall be commensurate to estimates of the proportion of reservation residents with characteristics identified in section 119B.03, subdivision 6, to the total population of county residents with those same characteristics.

Subd. 3. Supervision of counties. The commissioner shall supervise child care programs administered by the counties through standard-setting, technical assistance to the counties, approval of county child care fund plans, and distribution of public money for services. The commissioner shall provide training and other support services to assist counties in planning for and implementing child care assistance programs. The commissioner shall adopt rules under chapter 14 that establish minimum administrative standards for the provision of child care services by county boards of commissioners.

Subd. 4. Universal application form. The commissioner must develop and make available to all counties a universal application form for child care assistance under this chapter. The application must provide notice of eligibility requirements for assistance and penalties for wrongfully obtaining assistance.

Subd. 5. Program integrity. For child care assistance programs under this chapter, the commissioner shall enforce, in cooperation with the commissioner of human services, the requirements for program integrity and fraud prevention investigations under sections 256.046, 256.98, and 256.983.

HIST: 1Sp1985 c 14 art 9 s 72; 1987 c 403 art 2 s 146; art 3 s 60; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 141; 1990 c 432 s 1; 1991 c 292 art 5 s 52; 1995 c 207 art 4 s 24; 1995 c 257 art 1 s 17; 1997 c 162 art 4 s 9; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 2; 1999 c 159 s 13; 1999 c 205 art 1 s 11-14

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes