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Chapter 119B

Section 119B.13

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119B.13 CHILD CARE RATES.

Subdivision 1.Subsidy restrictions.

(a) Beginning October 31, 2011, the maximum rate paid for child care assistance in any county or multicounty region under the child care fund shall be the rate for like-care arrangements in the county effective July 1, 2006, decreased by 2.5 percent.

(b) Biennially, beginning in 2012, the commissioner shall survey rates charged by child care providers in Minnesota to determine the 75th percentile for like-care arrangements in counties. When the commissioner determines that, using the commissioner's established protocol, the number of providers responding to the survey is too small to determine the 75th percentile rate for like-care arrangements in a county or multicounty region, the commissioner may establish the 75th percentile maximum rate based on like-care arrangements in a county, region, or category that the commissioner deems to be similar.

(c) A rate which includes a special needs rate paid under subdivision 3 or under a school readiness service agreement paid under section 119B.231, may be in excess of the maximum rate allowed under this subdivision.

(d) The department shall monitor the effect of this paragraph on provider rates. The county shall pay the provider's full charges for every child in care up to the maximum established. The commissioner shall determine the maximum rate for each type of care on an hourly, full-day, and weekly basis, including special needs and disability care. The maximum payment to a provider for one day of care must not exceed the daily rate. The maximum payment to a provider for one week of care must not exceed the weekly rate.

(e) Child care providers receiving reimbursement under this chapter must not be paid activity fees or an additional amount above the maximum rates for care provided during nonstandard hours for families receiving assistance.

(f) When the provider charge is greater than the maximum provider rate allowed, the parent is responsible for payment of the difference in the rates in addition to any family co-payment fee.

(g) All maximum provider rates changes shall be implemented on the Monday following the effective date of the maximum provider rate.

Subd. 1a.Legal nonlicensed family child care provider rates.

(a) Legal nonlicensed family child care providers receiving reimbursement under this chapter must be paid on an hourly basis for care provided to families receiving assistance.

(b) The maximum rate paid to legal nonlicensed family child care providers must be 68 percent of the county maximum hourly rate for licensed family child care providers. In counties where the maximum hourly rate for licensed family child care providers is higher than the maximum weekly rate for those providers divided by 50, the maximum hourly rate that may be paid to legal nonlicensed family child care providers is the rate equal to the maximum weekly rate for licensed family child care providers divided by 50 and then multiplied by 0.68. The maximum payment to a provider for one day of care must not exceed the maximum hourly rate times ten. The maximum payment to a provider for one week of care must not exceed the maximum hourly rate times 50.

(c) A rate which includes a special needs rate paid under subdivision 3 may be in excess of the maximum rate allowed under this subdivision.

(d) Legal nonlicensed family child care providers receiving reimbursement under this chapter may not be paid registration fees for families receiving assistance.

Subd. 2.

[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 9 s 38]

Subd. 3.Provider rate for care of children with disabilities or special needs.

Counties shall reimburse providers for the care of children with disabilities or special needs, at a special rate to be approved by the county for care of these children, subject to the approval of the commissioner.

Subd. 3a.Provider rate differential for accreditation.

A family child care provider or child care center shall be paid a 15 percent differential above the maximum rate established in subdivision 1, up to the actual provider rate, if the provider or center holds a current early childhood development credential or is accredited. For a family child care provider, early childhood development credential and accreditation includes an individual who has earned a child development associate degree, a child development associate credential, a diploma in child development from a Minnesota state technical college, or a bachelor's or post baccalaureate degree in early childhood education from an accredited college or university, or who is accredited by the National Association for Family Child Care or the Competency Based Training and Assessment Program. For a child care center, accreditation includes accreditation that meets the following criteria: the accrediting organization must demonstrate the use of standards that promote the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of children. The accreditation standards shall include, but are not limited to, positive interactions between adults and children, age-appropriate learning activities, a system of tracking children's learning, use of assessment to meet children's needs, specific qualifications for staff, a learning environment that supports developmentally appropriate experiences for children, health and safety requirements, and family engagement strategies. The commissioner of human services, in conjunction with the commissioners of education and health, will develop an application and approval process based on the criteria in this section and any additional criteria. The process developed by the commissioner of human services must address periodic reassessment of approved accreditations. The commissioner of human services must report the criteria developed, the application, approval, and reassessment processes, and any additional recommendations by February 15, 2013, to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees having jurisdiction over early childhood issues. The following accreditations shall be recognized for the provider rate differential until an approval process is implemented: the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Council on Accreditation, the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation, the National School-Age Care Association, or the National Head Start Association Program of Excellence. For Montessori programs, accreditation includes the American Montessori Society, Association of Montessori International-USA, or the National Center for Montessori Education.

Subd. 4.Rates charged to publicly subsidized families.

Child care providers receiving reimbursement under this chapter may not charge a rate to clients receiving assistance under this chapter that is higher than the private, full-paying client rate.

Subd. 5.Provider notice.

The county shall inform both the family receiving assistance under this chapter and the child care provider of the payment amount and how and when payment will be received. If the county sends a family a notice that child care assistance will be terminated, the county shall inform the provider that unless the family requests to continue to receive assistance pending an appeal, child care payments will no longer be made. The notice to the provider must not contain any private data on the family or information on why payment will no longer be made.

Subd. 6.Provider payments.

(a) The provider shall bill for services provided within ten days of the end of the service period. If bills are submitted within ten days of the end of the service period, payments under the child care fund shall be made within 30 days of receiving a bill from the provider. Counties or the state may establish policies that make payments on a more frequent basis.

(b) If a provider has received an authorization of care and been issued a billing form for an eligible family, the bill must be submitted within 60 days of the last date of service on the bill. A bill submitted more than 60 days after the last date of service must be paid if the county determines that the provider has shown good cause why the bill was not submitted within 60 days. Good cause must be defined in the county's child care fund plan under section 119B.08, subdivision 3, and the definition of good cause must include county error. Any bill submitted more than a year after the last date of service on the bill must not be paid.

(c) If a provider provided care for a time period without receiving an authorization of care and a billing form for an eligible family, payment of child care assistance may only be made retroactively for a maximum of six months from the date the provider is issued an authorization of care and billing form.

(d) A county may refuse to issue a child care authorization to a licensed or legal nonlicensed provider, revoke an existing child care authorization to a licensed or legal nonlicensed provider, stop payment issued to a licensed or legal nonlicensed provider, or refuse to pay a bill submitted by a licensed or legal nonlicensed provider if:

(1) the provider admits to intentionally giving the county materially false information on the provider's billing forms;

(2) a county finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the provider intentionally gave the county materially false information on the provider's billing forms;

(3) the provider is in violation of child care assistance program rules, until the agency determines those violations have been corrected;

(4) the provider is operating after receipt of an order of suspension or an order of revocation of the provider's license, or the provider has been issued an order citing violations of licensing standards that affect the health and safety of children in care due to the nature, chronicity, or severity of the licensing violations, until the licensing agency determines those violations have been corrected;

(5) the provider submits false attendance reports or refuses to provide documentation of the child's attendance upon request; or

(6) the provider gives false child care price information.

(e) A county's payment policies must be included in the county's child care plan under section 119B.08, subdivision 3. If payments are made by the state, in addition to being in compliance with this subdivision, the payments must be made in compliance with section 16A.124.

Subd. 7.Absent days.

(a) Licensed child care providers and license-exempt centers must not be reimbursed for more than ten full-day absent days per child, excluding holidays, in a fiscal year. Legal nonlicensed family child care providers must not be reimbursed for absent days. If a child attends for part of the time authorized to be in care in a day, but is absent for part of the time authorized to be in care in that same day, the absent time must be reimbursed but the time must not count toward the ten absent day limit. Child care providers must only be reimbursed for absent days if the provider has a written policy for child absences and charges all other families in care for similar absences.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), children in families may exceed the ten absent days limit if at least one parent: (1) is under the age of 21; (2) does not have a high school or general equivalency diploma; and (3) is a student in a school district or another similar program that provides or arranges for child care, parenting support, social services, career and employment supports, and academic support to achieve high school graduation, upon request of the program and approval of the county. If a child attends part of an authorized day, payment to the provider must be for the full amount of care authorized for that day.

(c) Child care providers must be reimbursed for up to ten federal or state holidays or designated holidays per year when the provider charges all families for these days and the holiday or designated holiday falls on a day when the child is authorized to be in attendance. Parents may substitute other cultural or religious holidays for the ten recognized state and federal holidays. Holidays do not count toward the ten absent day limit.

(d) A family or child care provider must not be assessed an overpayment for an absent day payment unless (1) there was an error in the amount of care authorized for the family, (2) all of the allowed full-day absent payments for the child have been paid, or (3) the family or provider did not timely report a change as required under law.

(e) The provider and family shall receive notification of the number of absent days used upon initial provider authorization for a family and ongoing notification of the number of absent days used as of the date of the notification.