45 CFR § 98.15 - Assurances and certifications.

§ 98.15 Assurances and certifications.

(a) The Lead Agency shall include the following assurances in its CCDF Plan:

(1) Upon approval, it will have in effect a program that complies with the provisions of the CCDF Plan, and that is administered in accordance with the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990, as amended, section 418 of the Social Security Act, and all other applicable Federal laws and regulations;

(2) The parent(s) of each eligible child within the area served by the Lead Agency who receives or is offered child care services for which financial assistance is provided is given the option either:

(i) To enroll such child with a child care provider that has a grant or contract for the provision of the service; or

(ii) To receive a child care certificate as defined in § 98.2;

(3) In cases in which the parent(s), pursuant to § 98.30, elects to enroll their child with a provider that has a grant or contract with the Lead Agency, the child will be enrolled with the eligible provider selected by the parent to the maximum extent practicable;

(4) In accordance with § 98.30, the child care certificate offered to parents shall be of a value commensurate with the subsidy value of child care services provided under a grant or contract;

(5) With respect to State and local regulatory requirements (or tribal regulatory requirements), health and safety requirements, payment rates, and registration requirements, State or local (or tribal) rules, procedures or other requirements promulgated for the purpose of the CCDF will not significantly restrict parental choice from among categories of care or types of providers, pursuant to § 98.30(f).

(6) That if expenditures for pre-Kindergarten services are used to meet the maintenance-of-effort requirement, the State has not reduced its level of effort in full-day/full-year child care services, pursuant to § 98.55(h)(1).

(7) Training and professional development requirements comply with § 98.44 and are applicable to caregivers, teaching staff, and directors working for child care providers of services for which assistance is provided under the CCDF.

(8) To the extent practicable, enrollment and eligibility policies support the fixed costs of providing child care services by delinking provider payment rates from an eligible child's occasional absences in accordance with § 98.45(l).

(9) The State will maintain or implement early learning and developmental guidelines that are developmentally appropriate for all children from birth to kindergarten entry, describing what such children should know and be able to do, and covering the essential domains of early childhood development (cognition, including language arts and mathematics; social, emotional and physical development; and approaches toward learning) for use statewide by child care providers and caregivers. Such guidelines shall -

(i) Be research-based and developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate, building in a forward progression, and aligned with entry to kindergarten;

(ii) Be implemented in consultation with the State educational agency and the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care (designated or established pursuant to section 642B(b)(I)(A)(i) of the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9837b(b)(1)(A)(i)) or similar coordinating body, and in consultation with child development and content experts; and

(iii) Be updated as determined by the State.

(10) Funds received by the State to carry out this subchapter will not be used to develop or implement an assessment for children that -

(i) Will be the primary or sole basis for a child care provider being determined to be ineligible to participate in the program carried out under this subchapter;

(ii) Will be used as the primary or sole basis to provide a reward or sanction for an individual provider;

(iii) Will be used as the primary or sole method for assessing program effectiveness; or

(iv) Will be used to deny children eligibility to participate in the program carried out under this subchapter.

(11) To the extent practicable and appropriate, any code or software for child care information systems or information technology that a Lead Agency or other agency expends CCDF funds to develop must be made available upon request to other public agencies, including public agencies in other States, for their use in administering child care or related programs.

(b) The Lead Agency shall include the following certifications in its CCDF Plan:

(1) The State has developed the CCDF Plan in consultation with the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care (designated or established pursuant to section 642B(b)(I)(A)(i) of the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9837b(b)(1)(A)(i))) or similar coordinating body, pursuant to § 98.14(a)(1)(vii);

(2) In accordance with § 98.31, the Lead Agency has procedures in place to ensure that providers of child care services for which assistance is provided under the CCDF, afford parents unlimited access to their children and to the providers caring for their children, during the normal hours of operations and whenever such children are in the care of such providers;

(3) As required by § 98.32, the State maintains a record of substantiated parental complaints and makes information regarding such complaints available to the public on request;

(4) It will collect and disseminate to parents of eligible children, the general public and, where applicable, child care providers, consumer education information that will promote informed child care choices, information on access to other programs for which families may be eligible, and information on developmental screenings, as required by § 98.33;

(5) In accordance with § 98.33(a), that the State makes public, through a consumer-friendly and easily accessible Web site, the results of monitoring and inspection reports, as well as the number of deaths, serious injuries, and instances of substantiated child abuse that occurred in child care settings;

(6) There are in effect licensing requirements applicable to child care services provided within the State, pursuant to § 98.40;

(7) There are in effect within the State (or other area served by the Lead Agency), under State or local (or tribal) law, requirements designed to protect the health and safety of children that are applicable to child care providers that provide services for which assistance is made available under the CCDF, pursuant to § 98.41;

(8) In accordance with § 98.42(a), procedures are in effect to ensure that child care providers of services for which assistance is provided under the CCDF comply with all applicable State or local (or tribal) health and safety requirements;

(9) Caregivers, teachers, and directors of child care providers comply with the State's, Territory's, or Tribe's procedures for reporting child abuse and neglect as required by section 106(b)(2)(B)(i) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5106a(b)(2)(B)(i)), if applicable, or other child abuse reporting procedures and laws in the service area, as required by § 98.41(e);

(10) There are in effect monitoring policies and practices pursuant to § 98.42;

(11) Payment rates for the provision of child care services, in accordance with § 98.45, are sufficient to ensure equal access for eligible children to comparable child care services in the State or sub-State area that are provided to children whose parents are not eligible to receive assistance under this program or under any other Federal or State child care assistance programs;

(12) Payment practices of child care providers of services for which assistance is provided under the CCDF reflect generally-accepted payment practices of child care providers that serve children who do not receive CCDF assistance, pursuant to § 98.45(l); and

(13) There are in effect policies to govern the use and disclosure of confidential and personally identifiable information about children and families receiving CCDF assistance and child care providers receiving CCDF funds.

[63 FR 39981, July 24, 1998, as amended at 81 FR 67575, Sept. 30, 2016]