45 CFR § 98.16 - Plan provisions.

§ 98.16 Plan provisions.

A CCDF Plan shall contain the following:

(a) Specification of the Lead Agency whose duties and responsibilities are delineated in § 98.10;

(b) A description of processes the Lead Agency will use to monitor administrative and implementation responsibilities undertaken by agencies other than the Lead Agency including descriptions of written agreements, monitoring and auditing procedures, and indicators or measures to assess performance pursuant to § 98.11(a)(3);

(c) The assurances and certifications listed under § 98.15;

(d)

(1) A description of how the CCDF program will be administered and implemented, if the Lead Agency does not directly administer and implement the program;

(2) Identification of the public or private entities designated to receive private donated funds and the purposes for which such funds will be expended, pursuant to § 98.55(f);

(e) A description of the coordination and consultation processes involved in the development of the Plan and the provision of services, including a description of public-private partnership activities that promote business involvement in meeting child care needs pursuant to § 98.14;

(f) A description of the public hearing process, pursuant to § 98.14(c);

(g) Definitions of the following terms for purposes of determining eligibility, pursuant to §§ 98.20(a) and 98.46:

(1) Special needs child;

(2) Physical or mental incapacity (if applicable);

(3) Attending (a job training or educational program);

(4) Job training and educational program;

(5) Residing with;

(6) Working;

(7) Protective services (if applicable), including whether children in foster care are considered in protective services for purposes of child care eligibility; and whether respite care is provided to custodial parents of children in protective services.

(8) Very low income; and

(9) In loco parentis;

(h) A description and demonstration of eligibility determination and redetermination processes to promote continuity of care for children and stability for families receiving CCDF services, including:

(1) An eligibility redetermination period of no less than 12 months in accordance with § 98.21(a);

(2) A graduated phase-out for families whose income exceeds the Lead Agency's threshold to initially qualify for CCDF assistance, but does not exceed 85 percent of State median income, pursuant to § 98.21(b);

(3) Processes that take into account irregular fluctuation in earnings, pursuant to § 98.21(c);

(4) Procedures and policies to ensure that parents are not required to unduly disrupt their education, training, or employment to complete eligibility redetermination, pursuant to § 98.21(d);

(5) Limiting any requirements to report changes in circumstances in accordance with § 98.21(e);

(6) Policies that take into account children's development and learning when authorizing child care services pursuant to § 98.21(f); and

(7) Other policies and practices such as timely eligibility determination and processing of applications;

(i) For child care services pursuant to § 98.50:

(1) A description of such services and activities;

(2) Any limits established for the provision of in-home care and the reasons for such limits pursuant to § 98.30(e)(1)(iii);

(3) A list of political subdivisions in which such services and activities are offered, if such services and activities are not available throughout the entire service area;

(4) A description of how the Lead Agency will meet the needs of certain families specified at § 98.50(e);

(5) Any eligibility criteria, priority rules, and definitions established pursuant to §§ 98.20 and 98.46;

(j) A description of the activities to provide comprehensive consumer and provider education, including the posting of monitoring and inspection reports, pursuant to § 98.33, to increase parental choice, and to improve the quality of child care, pursuant to § 98.53;

(k) A description of the sliding fee scale(s) (including any factors other than income and family size used in establishing the fee scale(s)) that provide(s) for cost-sharing by the families that receive child care services for which assistance is provided under the CCDF and how co-payments are affordable for families, pursuant to § 98.45(k). This shall include a description of the criteria established by the Lead Agency, if any, for waiving contributions for families;

(l) A description of the health and safety requirements, applicable to all providers of child care services for which assistance is provided under the CCDF, in effect pursuant to § 98.41, and any exemptions to those requirements for relative providers made in accordance with § 98.42(c);

(m) A description of child care standards for child care providers of services for which assistance is provided under the CCDF, in accordance with § 98.41(d), that includes group size limits, child-staff ratios, and required qualifications for caregivers, teachers, and directors;

(n) A description of monitoring and other enforcement procedures in effect to ensure that child care providers comply with applicable health and safety requirements pursuant to § 98.42;

(o) A description of criminal background check requirements, policies, and procedures in accordance with § 98.43, including a description of the requirements, policies, and procedures in place to respond to other States', Territories', and Tribes' requests for background check results in order to accommodate the 45 day timeframe;

(p) A description of training and professional development requirements for caregivers, teaching staff, and directors of providers of services for which assistance is provided in accordance with § 98.44;

(q) A description of the child care certificate payment system(s), including the form or forms of the child care certificate, pursuant to § 98.30(c);

(r) Payment rates and a summary of the facts, including a local market rate survey or alternative methodology relied upon to determine that the rates provided are sufficient to ensure equal access pursuant to § 98.45;

(s) A detailed description of the State's hotline for complaints, its process for substantiating and responding to complaints, whether or not the State uses monitoring as part of its process for responding to complaints for both CCDF and non-CCDF providers, how the State maintains a record of substantiated parental complaints, and how it makes information regarding those complaints available to the public on request, pursuant to § 98.32;

(t) A detailed description of the procedures in effect for affording parents unlimited access to their children whenever their children are in the care of the provider, pursuant to § 98.31;

(u) A detailed description of the licensing requirements applicable to child care services provided, any exemption to licensing requirements that is applicable to child care providers of services for which assistance is provided under the CCDF and a demonstration of why such exemption does not endanger the health, safety, or development of children, and a description of how such licensing requirements are effectively enforced, pursuant to § 98.40;

(v) Pursuant to § 98.33(f), the definitions or criteria used to implement the exception, provided in section 407(e)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 607(e)(2)), to individual penalties in the TANF work requirement applicable to a single custodial parent caring for a child under age six;

(w)

(1) When any Matching funds under § 98.55(b) are claimed, a description of the efforts to ensure that pre-Kindergarten programs meet the needs of working parents;

(2) When State pre-Kindergarten expenditures are used to meet more than 10% of the amount required at § 98.55(c)(1), or for more than 10% of the funds available at § 98.55(b), or both, a description of how the State will coordinate its pre-Kindergarten and child care services to expand the availability of child care;

(x) A description of the Lead Agency's strategies (which may include alternative payment rates to child care providers, the provision of direct grants or contracts, offering child care certificates, or other means) to increase the supply and improve the quality of child care services for children in underserved areas, infants and toddlers, children with disabilities as defined by the Lead Agency, and children who receive care during nontraditional hours, including whether the Lead Agency plans to use grants and contracts in building supply and how supply-building mechanisms will address the needs identified. The description must identify shortages in the supply of high-quality child care providers, list the data sources used to identify shortages, and describe the method of tracking progress to support equal access and parental choice. If the Lead Agency employs grants and contracts to meet the purposes of this section, the Lead Agency must provide CCDF families the option to choose a certificate for the purposes of acquiring care;

(y) A description of how the Lead Agency prioritizes increasing access to high-quality child care and development services for children of families in areas that have significant concentrations of poverty and unemployment and that do not have sufficient numbers of such programs, pursuant to § 98.46;

(z) A description of how the Lead Agency develops and implements strategies to strengthen the business practices of child care providers to expand the supply, and improve the quality of, child care services;

(aa) A demonstration of how the State, Territory or Tribe will address the needs of children, including the need for safe child care, before, during and after a state of emergency declared by the Governor or a major disaster or emergency (as defined by section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5122) through a Statewide Disaster Plan (or Disaster Plan for a Tribe's service area) that:

(1) For a State, is developed in collaboration with the State human services agency, the State emergency management agency, the State licensing agency, the State health department or public health department, local and State child care resource and referral agencies, 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

(2) Includes the following components:

(i) Guidelines for continuation of child care subsidies and child care services, which may include the provision of emergency and temporary child care services during a disaster, and temporary operating standards for child care after a disaster;

(ii) Coordination of post-disaster recovery of child care services; and

(iii) Requirements that child care providers of services for which assistance is provided under the CCDF, as well as other child care providers as determined appropriate by the State, Territory or Tribe, have in place:

(A) Procedures for evacuation, relocation, shelter-in-place, lock-down, communication and reunification with families, continuity of operations, accommodations of infants and toddlers, children with disabilities, and children with chronic medical conditions; and

(B) Procedures for staff and volunteer emergency preparedness training and practice drills, including training requirements for child care providers of services for which assistance is provided under CCDF at § 98.41(a)(1)(vii);

(bb) A description of payment practices applicable to providers of child care services for which assistance is provided under this part, pursuant to § 98.45(l), including practices to ensure timely payment for services, to delink provider payments from children's occasional absences to the extent practicable, and to reflect generally-accepted payment practices;

(cc) A description of internal controls to ensure integrity and accountability, processes in place to investigate and recover fraudulent payments and to impose sanctions on clients or providers in response to fraud, and procedures in place to document and verity eligibility, pursuant to § 98.68;

(dd) A description of how the Lead Agency will provide outreach and services to eligible families with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities and facilitate participation of child care providers with limited English proficiency and disabilities in the subsidy system;

(ee) A description of policies to prevent suspension, expulsion, and denial of services due to behavior of children birth to age five in child care and other early childhood programs receiving assistance under this part, which must be disseminated as part of consumer and provider education efforts in accordance with § 98.33(b)(1)(v);

(ff) Designation of a State, territorial, or tribal entity to which child care providers must submit reports of any serious injuries or deaths of children occurring in child care, in accordance with § 98.42(b)(4);

(gg) A description of how the Lead Agency will support child care providers in the successful engagement of families in children's learning and development;

(hh) A description of how the Lead Agency will respond to complaints submitted through the national hotline and Web site, required in section 658L(b) of the CCDBG Act of 2014 (42 U.S.C. 9858j(b)), including the designee responsible for receiving and responding to such complaints regarding both licensed and license-exempt child care providers;

(ii) Such other information as specified by the Secretary.

[81 FR 67576, Sept. 30, 2016]