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2011 Minnesota Statutes

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119B.09 FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY.

Subdivision 1.General eligibility requirements for all applicants for child care assistance.

(a) Child care services must be available to families who need child care to find or keep employment or to obtain the training or education necessary to find employment and who:

(1) have household income less than or equal to 67 percent of the state median income, adjusted for family size, and meet the requirements of section 119B.05; receive MFIP assistance; and are participating in employment and training services under chapter 256J; or

(2) have household income less than or equal to 47 percent of the state median income, adjusted for family size, at program entry and less than or equal to 67 percent of the state median income, adjusted for family size, at program exit.

(b) Child care services must be made available as in-kind services.

(c) All applicants for child care assistance and families currently receiving child care assistance must be assisted and required to cooperate in establishment of paternity and enforcement of child support obligations for all children in the family as a condition of program eligibility. For purposes of this section, a family is considered to meet the requirement for cooperation when the family complies with the requirements of section 256.741.

Subd. 2.Sliding fee.

Child care services to families must be made available on a sliding fee basis.

Subd. 3.Priorities; allocations.

If a county projects that its child care allocation is insufficient to meet the needs of all eligible families, it may prioritize among the families that remain to be served after the county has complied with the priority requirements of section 119B.03. Counties that have established a priority for families who are not MFIP participants beyond those established under section 119B.03 must submit the policy in the annual child care fund plan.

Subd. 4.Eligibility; annual income; calculation.

Annual income of the applicant family is the current monthly income of the family multiplied by 12 or the income for the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of application, or income calculated by the method which provides the most accurate assessment of income available to the family. Self-employment income must be calculated based on gross receipts less operating expenses. Income must be recalculated when the family's income changes, but no less often than every six months. For a family where at least one parent is under the age of 21, does not have a high school or general equivalency diploma, and is a student in a school district or another similar program that provides or arranges for child care, as well as parenting, social services, career and employment supports, and academic support to achieve high school graduation, income must be recalculated when the family's income changes, but otherwise shall be deferred beyond six months, but not to exceed 12 months, to the end of the student's school year. Income must be verified with documentary evidence. If the applicant does not have sufficient evidence of income, verification must be obtained from the source of the income.

Subd. 4a.Temporary ineligibility of military personnel.

Counties must reserve a family's position under the child care assistance fund if a family has been receiving child care assistance but is temporarily ineligible for assistance due to increased income from active military service. Activated military personnel may be temporarily ineligible until deactivation. A county must reserve a military family's position on the basic sliding fee waiting list under the child care assistance fund if a family is approved to receive child care assistance and reaches the top of the waiting list but is temporarily ineligible for assistance.

Subd. 5.Provider choice.

Parents may choose child care providers as defined under section 119B.011, subdivision 19, that best meet the needs of their family. Counties shall make resources available to parents in choosing quality child care services. Counties may require a parent to sign a release stating their knowledge and responsibilities in choosing a legal provider described under section 119B.011, subdivision 19. When a county knows that a particular provider is unsafe, or that the circumstances of the child care arrangement chosen by the parent are unsafe, the county may deny a child care subsidy. A county may not restrict access to a general category of provider allowed under section 119B.011, subdivision 19.

Subd. 6.Maximum child care assistance.

The maximum amount of child care assistance a local agency may authorize in a two-week period is 120 hours per child.

Subd. 7.Date of eligibility for assistance.

(a) The date of eligibility for child care assistance under this chapter is the later of the date the application was signed; the beginning date of employment, education, or training; the date the infant is born for applicants to the at-home infant care program; or the date a determination has been made that the applicant is a participant in employment and training services under Minnesota Rules, part 3400.0080, or chapter 256J.

(b) Payment ceases for a family under the at-home infant child care program when a family has used a total of 12 months of assistance as specified under section 119B.035. Payment of child care assistance for employed persons on MFIP is effective the date of employment or the date of MFIP eligibility, whichever is later. Payment of child care assistance for MFIP or DWP participants in employment and training services is effective the date of commencement of the services or the date of MFIP or DWP eligibility, whichever is later. Payment of child care assistance for transition year child care must be made retroactive to the date of eligibility for transition year child care.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), payment of child care assistance for participants eligible under section 119B.05 may only be made retroactive for a maximum of six months from the date of application for child care assistance.

Subd. 8.No employee-employer relationships.

Receipt of federal, state, or local funds by a child care provider either directly or through a parent who is a child care assistance recipient does not establish an employee-employer relationship between the child care provider and the county or state.

Subd. 9.Licensed and legal nonlicensed family child care providers; assistance.

Licensed and legal nonlicensed family child care providers and their employees are not eligible to receive child care assistance subsidies under this chapter for their own children or children in their family during the hours they are providing child care or being paid to provide child care. Child care providers and their employees are eligible to receive child care assistance subsidies for their children when they are engaged in other activities that meet the requirements of this chapter and for which child care assistance can be paid. The hours for which the provider or their employee receives a child care subsidy for their own children must not overlap with the hours the provider provides child care services.

Subd. 9a.Child care centers; assistance.

(a) For the purposes of this subdivision, "qualifying child" means a child who satisfies both of the following:

(1) is not a child or dependent of an employee of the child care provider; and

(2) does not reside with an employee of the child care provider.

(b) Funds distributed under this chapter must not be paid for child care services that are provided for a child by a child care provider who employs either the parent of the child or a person who resides with the child, unless at all times at least 50 percent of the children for whom the child care provider is providing care are qualifying children under paragraph (a).

(c) If a child care provider satisfies the requirements for payment under paragraph (b), but the percentage of qualifying children under paragraph (a) for whom the provider is providing care falls below 50 percent, the provider shall have four weeks to raise the percentage of qualifying children for whom the provider is providing care to at least 50 percent before payments to the provider are discontinued for child care services provided for a child who is not a qualifying child.

[See Note.]

Subd. 10.Payment of funds.

All federal, state, and local child care funds must be paid directly to the parent when a provider cares for children in the children's own home. In all other cases, all federal, state, and local child care funds must be paid directly to the child care provider, either licensed or legal nonlicensed, on behalf of the eligible family. Funds distributed under this chapter must not be used for child care services that are provided for a child by a child care provider who resides in the same household or occupies the same residence as the child.

[See Note.]

Subd. 11.Payment of other child care expenses.

Payment by a source other than the family, of part or all of a family's child care expenses not payable under this chapter, does not affect the family's eligibility for child care assistance, and the amount paid is excluded from the family's income, if the funds are paid directly to the family's child care provider on behalf of the family. Child care providers who accept third-party payments must maintain family-specific documentation of payment source, amount, type of expenses, and time period covered by the payment.

Subd. 12.Sliding fee.

Child care services to families must be made available on a sliding fee basis. The commissioner shall convert eligibility requirements in section 119B.09 and parent fee schedules in section 119B.12 to state median income, based on a family size of three, adjusted for family size, by July 1, 2008. The commissioner shall report to the 2008 legislature with the necessary statutory changes to codify this conversion to state median income.

Subd. 13.Child care in the child's home.

Child care assistance must only be authorized in the child's home if the child's parents have authorized activities outside of the home and if one or more of the following circumstances are met:

(1) the parents' qualifying activity occurs during times when out-of-home care is not available. If child care is needed during any period when out-of-home care is not available, in-home care can be approved for the entire time care is needed;

(2) the family lives in an area where out-of-home care is not available; or

(3) a child has a verified illness or disability that would place the child or other children in an out-of-home facility at risk or creates a hardship for the child and the family to take the child out of the home to a child care home or center.

[See Note.]

NOTE: Subdivision 9a, as added by Laws 2011, First Special Session chapter 9, article 1, section 3, is effective January 1, 2013. Laws 2011, First Special Session chapter 9, article 1, section 3, the effective date.

NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 10 by Laws 2011, First Special Session chapter 9, article 1, section 4, is effective March 5, 2012. Laws 2011, First Special Session chapter 9, article 1, section 4, the effective date.

NOTE: Subdivision 13, as added by Laws 2011, First Special Session chapter 9, article 1, section 5, is effective March 5, 2012. Laws 2011, First Special Session chapter 9, article 1, section 5, the effective date.

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