119B.03 Basic sliding fee program.
Subdivision 1. Allocation period; notice of allocation. When the commissioner notifies county and human service boards of the forms and instructions they are to follow in the development of their child care fund plans required under section 119B.08, subdivision 3, the commissioner shall also notify county and human services boards of their estimated child care fund program allocation for the two years covered by the plan. By October 1 of each year, the commissioner shall notify all counties of their final child care fund program allocation.
Subd. 2. Waiting list. Each county that receives funds under this section must keep a written record and report to the commissioner the number of eligible families who have applied for a child care subsidy or have requested child care assistance. Counties shall perform a preliminary determination of eligibility when a family requests child care assistance. At a minimum, a county must make a preliminary determination of eligibility based on family size, income, and authorized activity. A family seeking child care assistance must provide the required information to the county. A family that appears to be eligible must be put on a waiting list if funds are not immediately available. The waiting list must identify students in need of child care. Counties must review and update their waiting list at least every six months.
Subd. 3. Eligible participants. Families that meet the eligibility requirements under sections 119B.07, 119B.09, and 119B.10, except MFIP participants, work first participants, and transition year families are eligible for child care assistance under the basic sliding fee program. Families enrolled in the basic sliding fee program shall be continued until they are no longer eligible. Child care assistance provided through the child care fund is considered assistance to the parent.
Subd. 4. Funding priority. (a) First priority for child care assistance under the basic sliding fee program must be given to eligible non-MFIP families who do not have a high school or general equivalency diploma or who need remedial and basic skill courses in order to pursue employment or to pursue education leading to employment. Within this priority, the following subpriorities must be used:
(1) child care needs of minor parents;
(2) child care needs of parents under 21 years of age; and
(3) child care needs of other parents within the priority group described in this paragraph.
(b) Second priority must be given to parents who have completed their MFIP or work first transition year.
(c) Third priority must be given to families who are eligible for portable basic sliding fee assistance through the portability pool under subdivision 9.
Subd. 5. Review of use of funds; reallocation. (a) After each quarter, the commissioner shall review the use of basic sliding fee program allocations by county. The commissioner may reallocate unexpended or unencumbered money among those counties who have expended their full allocation or may allow a county to expend up to ten percent of its allocation in the subsequent allocation period.
(b) Any unexpended state and federal appropriations from the first year of the biennium may be carried forward to the second year of the biennium.
Subd. 6. Allocation formula. The basic sliding fee state and federal funds shall be allocated on a calendar year basis. Funds shall be allocated first in amounts equal to each county's guaranteed floor according to subdivision 8, with any remaining available funds allocated according to the following formula:
(a) One-fourth of the funds shall be allocated in proportion to each county's total expenditures for the basic sliding fee child care program reported during the most recent fiscal year completed at the time of the notice of allocation.
(b) One-fourth of the funds shall be allocated based on the number of families participating in the transition year child care program as reported during the most recent quarter completed at the time of the notice of allocation.
(c) One-fourth of the funds shall be allocated in proportion to each county's most recently reported first, second, and third priority waiting list as defined in subdivision 2.
(d) One-fourth of the funds must be allocated in proportion to each county's most recently reported waiting list as defined in subdivision 2.
Subd. 7. Repealed, 1999 c 205 art 1 s 73
Subd. 8. Guaranteed floor. (a) Beginning January 1, 1996, each county's guaranteed floor shall equal 90 percent of the allocation received in the preceding calendar year. For the period January 1, 1999, to December 31, 1999, each county's guaranteed floor must be equal to its original calendar year 1998 allocation or its actual earnings for calendar year 1998, whichever is less.
(b) When the amount of funds available for allocation is less than the amount available in the previous year, each county's previous year allocation shall be reduced in proportion to the reduction in the statewide funding, for the purpose of establishing the guaranteed floor.
Subd. 9. Portability pool. (a) The commissioner shall establish a pool of up to five percent of the annual appropriation for the basic sliding fee program to provide continuous child care assistance for eligible families who move between Minnesota counties. At the end of each allocation period, any unspent funds in the portability pool must be used for assistance under the basic sliding fee program. If expenditures from the portability pool exceed the amount of money available, the reallocation pool must be reduced to cover these shortages.
(b) To be eligible for portable basic sliding fee assistance, a family that has moved from a county in which it was receiving basic sliding fee assistance to a county with a waiting list for the basic sliding fee program must:
(1) meet the income and eligibility guidelines for the basic sliding fee program; and
(2) notify the new county of residence within 30 days of moving and apply for basic sliding fee assistance in the new county of residence.
(c) The receiving county must:
(1) accept administrative responsibility for applicants for portable basic sliding fee assistance at the end of the two months of assistance under the Unitary Residency Act;
(2) continue basic sliding fee assistance for the lesser of six months or until the family is able to receive assistance under the county's regular basic sliding program; and
(3) notify the commissioner through the quarterly reporting process of any family that meets the criteria of the portable basic sliding fee assistance pool.
Subd. 10. Application; entry points. Two or more methods of applying for the basic sliding fee program must be available to applicants in each county. To meet the requirements of this subdivision, a county may provide alternative methods of applying for assistance, including, but not limited to, a mail application, or application sites that are located outside of government offices.
HIST: 1Sp1985 c 14 art 9 s 72; 1987 c 403 art 3 s 61; 1988 c 689 art 2 s 224; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 142; 1990 c 568 art 4 s 39-41; 1991 c 292 art 5 s 53; 1992 c 464 art 1 s 31; 1992 c 513 art 8 s 28,29; 1995 c 207 art 4 s 25-29; 1997 c 162 art 1 s 19; art 4 s 10-17; 1998 c 254 art 1 s 29; 1999 c 159 s 14,15; 1999 c 205 art 1 s 15-20,69