Seasonal

Child Care Policy Manual

 

A Guide to Understanding WAC 170-290

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

WAC 170-290-3501 Program funding. 3

WAC 170-290-3520  Eligibility. 4

WAC 170-290-3530  Verifying consumers' information. 5

WAC 170-290-3540  Eligibility—Family size. 5

WAC 170-290-3550  Eligibility—Special circumstances for two-parent families. 6

WAC 170-290-3555  Eligibility—Approved activities. 6

WAC 170-290-3560  Consumers' rights. 7

WAC 170-290-3565  Consumers' responsibilities. 8

WAC 170-290-3566 Subsidized child care providers' responsibilities. 9

WAC 170-290-3570  Notification of changes. 9

WAC 170-290-3580  Failure to report changes. 10

WAC 170-290-3590 DSHS's responsibilities to consumers. 10

WAC 170-290-3610  Countable income. 11

WAC 170-290-3620  Calculation of income. 12

WAC 170-290-3630  Excluded income and deductions. 12

WAC 170-290-3640  Determining income eligibility and copayment 13

WAC 170-290-3650  Change in copayment 13

WAC 170-290-3660  Eligibility period. 14

WAC 170-290-3665  When SCC program subsidies start 14

WAC 170-290-3690  Denial of benefits—Date of redetermining eligibility. 14

WAC 170-290-3720  Notice of payment changes. 15

WAC 170-290-3730  When notice of payment changes is not required. 15

WAC 170-290-3750  Eligible child care providers. 15

WAC 170-290-3760 SCC subsidy rates—Effective date. 16

WAC 170-290-3770  Authorized SCC payments. 17

WAC 170-290-3790  When additional SCC subsidy payments are authorized. 18

WAC 170-290-3800  Eligible provider capacity and payment 18

WAC 170-290-3840  New eligibility period. 18

WAC 170-290-3850 Payment discrepancies generally. 19

WAC 170-290-3855  Termination of and redetermining eligibility for SCC program subsidies. 19

WAC 170-290-3860  Right to request an administrative hearing. 20

WAC 170-290-3865  Receipt of SCC program subsidies pending the outcome of an administrative hearing. 20

 

Revised July 14, 2015

Seasonal Child Care


Introduction

170-290-3501

  Program funding

 

WAC 170-290-3501 Program funding

The seasonal child care (SCC) program is subject to available funds. As used in this chapter, "subject to available funds" includes one or more of the following:

(1) Limiting or closing enrollment;

(2) Establishing a priority list for new enrollees subject to applicable state and federal law; or

(3) Creating and maintaining a waiting list.

 

Clarifying Information

 

DEL may establish a waiting list or prioritization subject to available funds.

 

 

 

 

Eligibility Requirements

 

170-290-3520

 Eligibility.

170-290-3530

 Verifying consumers' information.

170-290-3540

 Eligibility—Family size.

170-290-3550

 Eligibility—Special circumstances for two-parent families.

170-290-3555

 Eligibility—Approved activities

 

WAC 170-290-3520  Eligibility

(1) Parents. To be eligible for SCC, the person applying for benefits:

(a) Is not currently receiving temporary aid for needy families (TANF);

(b) Lives in one of the following Washington state counties: Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Okanogan, Skagit, Walla Walla, Whatcom, or Yakima;

(c) Has parental control of one or more children; and

(d) Is the child's:

(i) Parent, either biological or adopted;

(ii) Stepparent;

(iii) Legal guardian as verified by a legal or court document;

(iv) Adult sibling or step-sibling;

(v) Aunt;

(vi) Uncle;

(vii) Niece or nephew;

(viii) Grandparent; or

(ix) Any of the above relatives in (v), (vi), or (viii) of this subsection, with the prefix "great," such as great-aunt.

(e) Participates in an approved activity under WAC 170-290-3555;

(f) Has countable income at or below the maximum eligibility limit described in WAC 170-290-0005;

(g) Completes the SCC application and DSHS verification process regardless of other program benefits or services received; and

(h) Meets eligibility requirements for SCC described under part III of this chapter.

(2) Children. To be eligible for SCC, the child receiving SCC must:

(a) Belong to one of the following groups as defined in WAC 388-424-0001:

(i) A U.S. citizen;

(ii) A U.S. national;

(iii) A qualified alien; or

(iv) A nonqualified alien who meets the Washington state residency requirements as listed in WAC 388-468-0005.

(b) Live in Washington state, and be:

(i) Less than age thirteen; or

(ii) Less than age nineteen, and:

(A) Have a verified special need, according to WAC 170-290-0220; or

(B) Be under court supervision.

(3) Consumers are not eligible for SCC program subsidies if they:

(a) Have a copayment, under WAC 170-290-0075, that is higher than the maximum monthly state child care rate for all of the consumer's children in care;

(b) Are receiving TANF benefits; or

(c) Are the only parent in the household and will be away from the home for more than thirty days in a row.

 

Clarifying Information

 

Non-Parental Custody of a Child.  Non-parental custody can be shown by court documents signed by a judge. Staff may approve eligibility based on the consumer’s statement of circumstances pending final verification:

·         Permanent Custody is also known as legal guardianship, 3rd party custody or dependency guardianship. Permanent custody is shown by a final custody order signed by a judge.

·         Temporary or Emergency Custody are legal documents signed by a judge.

·         Informal Written Agreements are signed and dated by parent and the caregiver assuming custodial responsibility for the child.

 

Two Parent Household.

Both parents must be employed in seasonally agricultural related work in Washington State. See also below, Special Circumstances for Two-Parent Families

WAC 170-290-3550

 

 

 

WAC 170-290-3530  Verifying consumers' information

DSHS verifies a consumer's information as provided in WAC 170-290-0012.

 

Clarifying Information

 

Applicant Name

A consumer’s name must match the name on their income verification documents. Staff will ask for additional information if questionable.

 

Existing Employment

 The consumer chooses one of  three options for verification:

·         Copies of the most current three months of paystubs

·         Employer statement by phone or in writing of paid gross wages and typical schedule

·         for the most current three months of employment

·         W-2 with tax return for the calendar year immediately preceding date of application for benefits.

 

Child Support Paid by the Non-Custodial Parent

Verify the child support paid out by:

·         SEMS verification

·         Current court order showing the child support amount, receipts or copy of  canceled checks from the paying parent

·         A pay stub from the paying parent showing the child support deducted

 

Child Support Received by the Custodial Parent

Verify the child support amount received using:

·         SEMS verification

·         Current court order showing the child support amount

Informal written and signed statement between parents in lieu of court order. If a signed statement cannot be obtained, a verbal statement from the consumer can be used. Document why they could not get a written statement.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3540  Eligibility—Family size

DSHS determines a consumer's family size as provided in WAC 170-290-0015

 

 

 

Clarifying Information

 

In Loco Parentis

Apply WAC 170-290-0015(1)(f) to all in loco parentis consumers

 

Live-In Partner

Apply either 170-290-0015(1)(b) or 170-290-0015 (1)(c) when determining family size.

 

Minor Parents with Legal Custody of their Children

The minor parent is considered a separate family even if they live with the minor’s parent, guardian or other relative. The minor parent’s parent, guardian or relative is not considered when determining family size.

 

Minor Parents without Legal Custody of their Children

When the minor parent lives with the legal guardian of his or her children, the minor parent is not considered the consumer. The minor parent is not counted in determining family size for income eligibility and the minor parent’s ability or availability to provide child care is not to be considered.  WAC 170-290-0015(1)(f) applies

 

 

WAC 170-290-3550  Eligibility—Special circumstances for two-parent families

(1) A consumer may be eligible for the SCC program when he or she is a parent in a two-parent family and both parents currently work in seasonally available agricultural related work.

(2) A consumer may be eligible for SCC if he or she is a parent in a two-parent family and one parent is not able or available as defined in WAC 170-290-0003 to provide care for the children while the other parent is currently working or participating in approved seasonally agricultural related work.

(3) If a consumer claims one parent is not able to care for the children, the consumer must provide written documentation from a licensed professional (see WAC 388-448-0020) that states the:

(a) Reason the parent is not able to care for the children; and

(b) Expected duration and severity of the condition that keeps the parent from caring for the children.

 

Clarifying Information

 

Two Parent Household- Able to  Care for the Children

If one parent is medically not able to care for the children, the treatment plan or evidence that they are cooperating with treatment is not a requirement for SCC.

 

Two Parent Household-Available to  Care for the Children

If a parent is deported or under INS instruction to leave, they are not counted as part of the household.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3555  Eligibility—Approved activities

(1) A consumer may be eligible for SCC program subsidies for up to sixteen hours per day for the time he or she is involved in seasonally available agricultural related work in Washington state.

(2) When the consumer is part of a two-parent family, both parents must be employed as described in subsection (1) of this section;

(3) DSHS may authorize care for:

(a) Travel time only between the child care location and the employment location;

(b) Job search, of no more than five days per month, if the consumer's seasonally available agricultural related work ends and he or she is still eligible and continues to need child care; or

(c) Sleep time, up to eight hours per day when needed, if the consumer works nights and sleeps days.

 

Clarifying Information

 

28-Day GAP or 14-Day Wait Period

SCC consumers are not eligible for the WCCC 28-day GAP period or the WCCC 14-day wait period.

 

Five Day Gap Period

May be eligible for no more than five days of gap coverage per month, when the seasonally available agricultural related work ends. This allows for child care during job search.

 

Rights and Responsibilities 

 

170-290-3560

  Consumers' rights.

170-290-3565

  Consumers' responsibilities.

170-290-3566

  Subsidized child care providers' responsibilities.

170-290-3570

  Notification of changes.

170-290-3580

  Failure to report changes.

170-290-3590

  DSHS's responsibilities to consumers

 

WAC 170-290-3560  Consumers' rights

When a consumer applies for or receives SCC program subsidies, he or she has the right to:

(1) Be free from discrimination in accordance with all applicable federal and state nondiscrimination laws, regulations and policies;

(2) Have the consumer's application accepted and acted upon within thirty days;

(3) Be informed, in writing, of the consumer's legal rights and responsibilities related to the SCC subsidy program;

(4) Have the consumer's information shared with other agencies only when required by federal or state regulations;

(5) Be allowed to choose a licensed or certified child care provider as long as the provider meets requirements in WAC 170-290-3750;

(6) Receive a written notice at least ten days before changes are made to lower or stop benefits except as stated in WAC 170-290-3730;

(7) Ask for an administrative hearing if the consumer does not agree with a decision per WAC 170-290-3860;

(8) Ask to speak to a supervisor or administrator at DSHS to review a decision or action affecting the consumer's benefits without affecting the consumer's right to an administrative hearing;

(9) Have interpreter or translator services provided by DSHS within a reasonable amount of time and at no cost to the consumer;

(10) Refuse to speak to a fraud early detection (FRED) investigator from the DSHS office of fraud and accountability (OFA) when they ask to come into your home. This request will not affect eligibility for SCC program subsidies. If the consumer refuses to cooperate with the investigator at a later date, it could affect his or her SCC program subsidies;

(11) Access his or her child at all times while the child is in child care;

(12) Terminate child care without cause and without notice to the provider. Notice must be given to DSHS within five days of termination;

(13) Not be charged by the consumer's licensed or certified provider, or be made to pay, for the difference between the child care provider's private rate and the state maximum child care subsidy rate, when the provider's private rate for child care is higher than the maximum state rate; and

(14) Not be charged by the consumer's licensed or certified provider, or be made to pay for:

(a) The difference between the provider's registration fee and the state's maximum registration fee, when the provider's registration fee is higher;

(b) Any day when the consumer's child is absent;

(c) Vacation days when the provider chooses to close;

(d) A higher amount than the state allows for field trips;

(e) A preschool tuition fee in addition to regular child care services; or

(f) Child care services after the final day of care, when the provider stops caring for the consumer's children.

 

Clarifying Information

 

Licensed Providers

SCC consumers can only use licensed providers.  If the consumer wants to use a FFN provider, eligibility for the WCCC program must be determined.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3565  Consumers' responsibilities

When a person applies for or receives SCC program subsidies, the applicant or consumer must, as a condition of receiving those subsidies:

(1) Give DSHS correct and current information so that DSHS can determine the consumer's eligibility and authorize child care payments correctly;

(2) Choose a licensed or certified child care provider who meets requirements of WAC 170-292-3750;

(3) Leave the consumer's children with his or her provider while the consumer is in SCC approved activities outside of the consumer's home;

(4) Pay the provider for child care services when the consumer requests additional child care for personal reasons other than working or participating in SCC approved activities that have been authorized by DSHS;

(5) Pay the provider for optional child care programs for the child that the consumer requests. The provider must have a written policy in place charging all families for these optional child care programs;

(6) Pay the copayment directly to the child care provider or arrange for a third party to pay the copayment directly to the provider;

(7) In cases of overdue or past due copayments, the consumer, as a condition of maintaining his or her eligibility, must do one or more of the following:

(a) Pay past or overdue copayments;

(b) Give DSHS a written agreement between the provider and consumer to verify that copayment arrangements include one or more of the following:

(i) An installment payment plan;

(ii) A collection agency payment plan;

(iii) In-kind services in lieu of paying the copayment; or

(iv) Forgiveness of the copayment from the provider; or

(c) Provide proof that the consumer has attempted to pay a copayment to a licensed provider who is no longer in business or a license-exempt provider who is no longer providing child care. "Proof" includes, but is not limited to, a return receipt that was signed for and not responded to, or a returned document that was not picked up;

(8) Pay the provider the same late fees that are charged to other families, if the consumer pays a copayment late or picks up the child late;

(9) Document their child's attendance in subsidized child care by having the consumer or other person authorized by the consumer to take the child to or from child care:

(a) If the licensee uses a paper attendance record, sign the child in on arrival and sign the child out at departure, using their full signature and writing the time of arrival and departure; or

(b) Record the child's attendance using an electronic system if used by the licensee;

(10) Provide the information requested by the fraud early detection (FRED) investigator from the DSHS office of fraud and accountability (OFA). If the consumer refuses to provide the information requested within fourteen days, it could affect his or her SCC program subsidies. If DSHS determines a consumer is not cooperating by supplying the requested information, the consumer will not be eligible for SCC program subsidies. The consumer may become eligible again when he or she meets SCC program requirements in part III of this chapter;

(11) Ensure that their children who receive subsidized child care outside of their own home are current on all immunizations required under WAC 246-105-030, except when the parent or guardian provides:

(a) A department of health (DOH) medical exemption form signed by a health care professional; or

(b) A DOH form or similar statement signed by the child's parent or guardian expressing a religious, philosophical or personal objection to immunization.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3566 Subsidized child care providers' responsibilities

Licensed or certified child care providers who accept SCC subsidies must do the following:

(1) Comply with all of the DEL child care licensing or certification requirements as provided in chapter 170-295, 170-296A, or 170-151 WAC;

(2) Report pending charges or convictions to DSHS as provided in chapter 170-295, 170-296A, or 170-151 WAC;

(3) Keep complete and accurate daily attendance records for children in their care; and allow access to DEL to inspect attendance records during all hours in which authorized child care is provided as follows:

(a) Current attendance records (including records from the previous twelve months) must be available immediately for review upon request by DEL.

(b) Attendance records older than twelve months to five years old must be provided to DSHS or DEL within two weeks of the date of a written request from either department.

(c) Failure to make available attendance records as provided in this subsection may:

(i) Result in the immediate suspension of the provider's subsidy payments; and

(ii) Establish a provider overpayment as provided in WAC 170-290-0268;

(4) Allow consumers access to their child at all times while the child is in care;

(5) Collect copayments directly from the consumer or the consumer's third-party payor, and report to DSHS if the consumer has not paid a copayment to the provider within the previous sixty days;

(6) Follow billing procedures as described in "Child Care Subsidies: A Booklet for Licensed and Certified Child Care Providers" revised 2012, including billing only for actual hours of child care provided or allowed under WCCC billing guidelines;

(7) Not claim a payment in any month in which a child has not attended at least one day in that month;

(8) Invoice the state no later than one calendar year after the actual date of service;

(9) Not charge subsidized families for:

(a) The difference between the provider's customary rate and the maximum allowed state rate;

(b) Registration fees in excess of what is paid by subsidy program rules;

(c) Absence days in excess of five days per month, regardless of whether the child attended or not;

(d) Handling fees to process consumer copayments, child care services payments, or paperwork;

(e) Fees for materials, supplies, or equipment required to meet licensing rules and regulations; or

(f) Child care or fees related to subsidy billing invoices that are in dispute between the provider and the state; and

(10) For providers who care for children in states bordering Washington, verify that they are currently complying with their state's licensing regulations, and notify DSHS within ten days of any suspension, revocation, or changes to their license.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3570  Notification of changes

When a consumer applies for or receives SCC program subsidies, he or she must:

(1) Notify DSHS, within five days, of any change in providers;

(2) Notify his or her provider within ten days when DSHS changes his or her child care authorization;

(3) Notify DSHS within ten days of any change in the consumer's:

(a) Number of child care hours needed (more or less hours);

(b) Child's eligibility for migrant Head Start or another child care program;

(c) Household income, including any new receipt of a TANF grant or child support increases or decreases;

(d) Household size such as any family member moving in or out of his or her home;

(e) Employment hours such as starting, stopping or changing employers;

(f) Home address and telephone number; or

(g) Child support payments made by the consumer.

 

 

Clarifying Information

 

Due Date

If the due date for reporting changes falls on a non-business day, consumers have until the next business day to turn in required information.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3580  Failure to report changes

(1) If a consumer fails to report any changes as required in WAC 170-290-3570 within the stated time frames, DSHS may establish an overpayment to the consumer per WAC 170-290-3850 or the consumer may have to pay additional costs, such as a higher copayment.

(2) The consumer may receive an overpayment for what the provider is allowed to bill to include billing for absent days (see publication Child Care Subsidies, A Booklet for Licensed and Certified Child Care Providers, revised 2012).

 

 

WAC 170-290-3590 DSHS's responsibilities to consumers

DSHS must:

(1) Treat consumers in accordance with all applicable federal and state nondiscrimination laws, regulations and policies;

(2) Complete applications for SCC program subsidies based on information the consumer provides, and determine a consumer's eligibility within thirty days from the date the consumer applied;

(3) Accept a variety of forms of verification and may not specify the type of documentation required;

(4) Authorize payments only to a licensed or certified child care provider the consumer chooses who meets the requirements in WAC 170-290-3750;

(5) Authorize payments only when no adult in a consumer's family (under WAC 170-290-3540) is able or available to care for the consumer's children as defined in WAC 170-290-3550;

(6) Inform a consumer of:

(a) The consumer's copayment amount as determined in WAC 170-290-3620 and defined in WAC 170-290-0075;

(b) The consumer's rights and responsibilities under the SCC program when he or she applies or reapplies;

(c) The types of child care providers the SCC program will pay;

(d) The community resources that can help the consumer select child care when needed;

(e) Other options for child care subsidies, if the consumer does not qualify for SCC program subsidies; and

(f) The consumer's rights to an administrative hearing;

(7) Provide prompt child care authorizations to a consumer's child care provider;

(8) Respond to a consumer within ten days if the consumer reports a change of circumstance that affects the consumer's:

(a) SCC eligibility;

(b) Copayment; or

(c) Providers; and

(9) Provide an interpreter or translator service at no cost to the consumer to explain information related to the SCC program.

 

Income and Copayment Calculations

 

170-290-3610

 Countable income

170-290-3620

 Calculation of income

170-290-3630

 Excluded income and deductions

170-290-3640

 Determining income eligibility and copayment.

170-290-3650

 Change in copayment

170-290-3660

 Eligibility period

WAC 170-290-3610  Countable income

DSHS counts income as money a consumer earns or receives from:

(1) Wages and commissions earned from employment;

(2) Unemployment compensation;

(3) The following child support payment amounts:

(a) For applicants or consumers who are not receiving DSHS division of child support services, the amount as shown on a current court or administrative order; or

(b) For applicants or consumers who are receiving DSHS division of child support services, the amount as verified by the DSHS division of child support;

(4) Supplemental security income (SSI);

(5) Other Social Security payments, such as Social Security Administration (SSA) and Social Security disability insurance (SSDI);

(6) Refugee assistance payments;

(7) Payments from the Veterans' Administration;

(8) Pensions or retirement income;

(9) Payments from labor and industries (L&I), or disability payments;

(10) Lump sums as money a consumer receives from a one-time payment such as back child support, an inheritance, or gambling winnings;

(11) Other types of income not listed in WAC 170-290-3630; and

(12) Gross wages from employment or self-employment income as defined in WAC 170-290-0003. Gross wages include any wages that are taxable.

 

 

Clarifying Information

 

Irregular Pay Check

If a consumer receives a bonus or an irregular paycheck that is expected to occur only once in the calendar year, it is treated as a lump sum.

 

Children’s SSI

When a child receives SSI income, the following conditions must apply for the income to be used in determining the family’s eligibility:

·         The child must reside with the representative payee that administers the monthly disability SSI benefits

·         Do not count any past-due SSI lump-sum payments in the household income

 

Working under the Table.

If the activity meets the definition of employment or work, as described in WAC 170-290-0003, the income would be considered countable income for the household.  We do not monitor if the income has been or will be reported to the IRS nor taxes paid.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3620  Calculation of income

For the SCC program, DSHS calculates a consumer's income in the same manner as provided in WAC 170-290-0065

 

Clarifying Information

 

Range of Hours for Employment

If the employer gives a range of hours the SCC consumer works, average the range to determine the amount of hours.  Example, the employer reports the consumer works between 40-60 hours per week, use 50 hours per week. 

 

Payment

Use the correct payment method the employer uses to determine income.  SCC consumers can be paid in a variety of ways to include by the piece, per bin, hourly.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3630  Excluded income and deductions

(1) The SCC program does not count the following income types when determining a consumer's income eligibility and copayment:

(a) Income types as defined in WAC 388-450-0035, 388-450-0040, and 388-450-0055;

(b) Savings accounts;

(c) Money received from sale of real property, such as a house, or personal property, such as a car;

(d) Reimbursements, such as tax refunds;

(e) Earned income credits;

(f) Diversion cash assistance;

(g) Compensatory awards, such as an insurance settlement or court-ordered payment for personal injury, damage, or loss of property;

(h) Capital gains;

(i) Basic Food program;

(j) Income earned by children as described in WAC 170-290-3540;

(k) Benefits received by children of Vietnam War veterans who are diagnosed with any form or manifestation of spina bifida except spina bifida occulta;

(l) Adoption support assistance and foster care payments; and

(m) Government economic stimulus payments.

(2) SCC deducts the amount a consumer pays for child support from his or her countable income when figuring his or her eligibility and copayment for the SCC

 

Clarifying Information

 

Excluded Income

 Do not count income from:

·         A third-party child care copayment made directly to the provider

·         SSI overpayments that are withheld from gross SSI income

Earned income of siblings enrolled in high school or GED completion or siblings participating in a public special education program until age 22

 

 

WAC 170-290-3640  Determining income eligibility and copayment

(1) For the SCC program, DSHS determines a consumer's family's income eligibility and copayment by:

(a) The consumer's family size as defined under WAC 170-290-3540;

(b) The consumer's average monthly income as calculated under WAC 170-290-3620;

(c) The consumer's family's average monthly income as compared to the federal poverty guidelines (FPG); and

(d) The consumer's family's average monthly income as compared to the copayment chart defined in WAC 170-290-0075.

(2) If a consumer's family's income is above the maximum eligibility limit as provided in WAC 170-290-0005, his or her family is not eligible for the SCC program.

(3) The FPG is updated every year on April 1. The SCC eligibility level is updated at the same time every year to remain current with the FPG.

(4) SCC shall assign a copayment amount based on the family's countable income. The consumer pays the copayment directly to the provider.

(5) SCC does not prorate the copayment when a consumer uses care for part of a month.

 

Clarifying Information

 

Minimum Copayment

SCC consumers are eligible for the minimum copayment of $15 per month only when they are at or below 82% of the federal poverty.  They do not automatically receive the $15 copayment in the first and second month of application as in the WCCC program.

 

Eligibility and Copayment

Determine if the copayment is less than the total cost of care for all children in the family that will receive SCC.  If no, the SCC consumer is not eligible for benefits.

 

WAC 170-290-3650  Change in copayment

(1) A consumer's SCC program copayment could change when:

(a) DEL makes a mass change in subsidy benefits due to a change in law or program funding;

(b) The consumer's family size increases;

(c) DSHS makes an error in the consumer's copayment computation;

(d) The consumer did not report all income, activity and household information at the time of eligibility determination or application/reapplication; or

(e) The consumer is approved for a new eligibility period.

(2) If a consumer's copayment changes during his or her eligibility period, the change is effective:

(a) On the first day of the month following the change, when:

(i) The report is made to DSHS or the information is learned by DSHS within ten or more days after the change as provided in WAC 170-290-3570;

(ii) The consumer receives ten days written notice; and

(iii) The copayment is increasing; or

(b) On the first day of the month that the change occurred when;

(i) The report is made to DSHS or the information is learned by DSHS within ten days or less after the change as provided in WAC 170-290-3570; and

(ii) The copayment is decreasing.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3660  Eligibility period

(1) A consumer who meets all of the requirements of part III of this chapter is eligible to receive SCC subsidies for six months before having to redetermine his or her income eligibility. The six-month eligibility period applies only if enrollments in the SCC program are capped as provided in WAC 170-290-0001(1) and 170-290-3501. Regardless of the length of eligibility, consumers are still required to report changes of circumstances to DSHS as provided in WAC 170-290-3570.

(2) A consumer's eligibility may be for less than six months if requested by the consumer.

(3) A consumer's eligibility may end sooner than six months if:

(a) The consumer no longer wishes to participate in SCC; or

(b) DSHS terminates the consumer's eligibility as stated in WAC 170-290-3855.

 

Clarifying Information

 

SCC is eligible for only a six month certification period.

 

Start Dates and Eligibility Period

 

170-290-3665

  When SCC program subsidies start.

170-290-3690

  Denial of benefits—Date of redetermining eligibility

 

WAC 170-290-3665  When SCC program subsidies start

(1) SCC benefits for an eligible consumer may begin when the following conditions are met:

(a) The consumer has completed the required SCC application and verification process as described under WAC 170-290-0012 within thirty days of the date DSHS received the consumer's application or reapplication for SCC benefits;

(b) The consumer is working or participating in an approved activity under WAC 170-290-3555;

(c) The consumer needs child care for work or approved activities within at least thirty days of the date of application for SCC benefits; and

(d) The consumer's eligible licensed or certified provider is caring for his or her children.

(2) If a consumer fails to turn in all information within thirty days from his or her application date, the consumer must restart the application process.

(3) The consumer's application date is whichever is earlier:

(a) The date the consumer's application is entered into DSHS's automated system; or

(b) The date the consumer's application is date stamped as received.

 

WAC 170-290-3690  Denial of benefits—Date of redetermining eligibility

(1) DSHS sends a consumer a denial letter when the consumer has applied for child care and the consumer:

(a) Is not eligible due to the consumer's:

(i) Family composition;

(ii) Income; or

(iii) Activity; or

(b) Did not provide information required to determine the consumer's eligibility according to WAC 170-290-3530.

(2) If a consumer turns in information or otherwise meets eligibility requirements after the denial letter is sent, the consumer's benefits begin according to WAC 170-290-3665.

(3) WCCC eligibility will be determined when a consumer is denied for SCC program subsidies.

 

Clarifying Information

 

WCCC eligibility will be determined when a consumer is denied for SCC program subsidies.

 

Notice

170-290-3720

  Notice of payment changes.

170-290-3730

  When notice of payment changes is not required.

 

WAC 170-290-3720  Notice of payment changes

DSHS provides SCC consumers with at least ten days written notice of changes to payments related to the suspension, reduction, or termination of benefits, in child care arrangements, except as noted in WAC 170-290-3730.

 

 

 

 

WAC 170-290-3730  When notice of payment changes is not required

DSHS does not give a consumer notice if the consumer:

(1) Tells DSHS that he or she no longer wants SCC; or

(2) Has not informed DSHS of his or her new mailing address.

 

 

Eligible Providers and Rates

170-290-3750

  Eligible child care providers.

170-290-3760

  SCC subsidy rates—Effective date.

170-290-3770

  Authorized SCC payments.

170-290-3790

  When additional SCC subsidy payments are authorized.

170-290-3800

  Eligible provider capacity and payment

 

 

WAC 170-290-3750  Eligible child care providers

To receive payment under the SCC program, a consumer's child care provider must be:

(1) Currently licensed as required by chapter 43.215 RCW and chapters 170-295, 170-296, or 170-151 WAC;

(2) Meeting their state's licensing regulations, for providers who care for children in states bordering Washington. The SCC program pays the lesser of the following to qualified child care facilities in bordering states:

(a) The provider's private pay rate for that child; or

(b) The state maximum child care subsidy rate for the DSHS region where the child resides; or

(3) Exempt from licensing but certified by DEL, such as:

(a) Tribal child care facilities that meet the requirements of tribal law;

(b) Child care facilities on a military installation; and

(c) Child care facilities operated on public school property by a school district.

                    

 

Clarifying Information

 

Out-of-State Providers

If the provider has not had a criminal history background check through their own state, a background check must be processed through Washington State and the BCCU.

 

The out of state provider is eligible for payment when DSHS has verified the background check as part of the state’s statutory requirements or when DSHS receives criminal history results from BCCU on all required applicants per WAC 170-290-0143.

 

Status 4

Status 4 is on the provider file. It is an indication that a serious, reported concern has been made on the ability, character or background of the provider. 

Providers with a Status 4 are not eligible to receive child care subsidy payments. Notice of Status 4 may be sent to the child care worker from the DEL licensor or the SSPS staff who have taken action on the provider’s status.

 

School Age Child Care

 Federal rules strictly forbid child care subsidy dollars being used to pay for educational

 costs such as tuition for children in grades 1-12. This includes families that home school.

 

Public Preschools

WCCC may not pay for the hours a child attends part-day ECEAP or Head Start.

 

Full-day, full-year Head Start

If a child attends FULL-DAY, FULL-YEAR Head start, all hours of approved activities for a consumer are paid by WCCC.

 

 

Center Exception

If the center provider cares for a child who is thirteen or older, the provider must have a child-specific and time-limited exception and the child must meet the special needs requirement according to WAC 170-290-0220.

 

Licensed Providers

SCC consumers can only use licensed providers.  If the consumer wants to use a FFN provider, eligibility for the WCCC program must be determined.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3760 SCC subsidy rates—Effective date

State child care subsidy rates in this part are effective as of the date stated in WAC 170-290-0180.

 

Clarifying Information

 

Provider’s Customary Rate

 If a provider offers sliding fee scale rates or offers free child care as part of a benefits package, the state must compare the rate charged to that family to the maximum state rate and pay the lesser of the two rates.

If a consumer receives child care at no cost as a benefit of their employment, the consumer is not eligible for WCCC benefits.

 

Child Age Change

When a child’s age changes to the next age group, the effective date of the rate change is the first day of the following month.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3770  Authorized SCC payments

The SCC program may authorize payments to licensed or certified child care providers for:

(1) Basic child care either full-day or half-day, at rates listed in the chart in WAC 170-290-0200 and 170-290-0205:

(a) A full day of child care when care is needed for five to ten hours per day;

(b) A half day of child care when care is needed for less than five hours per day;

(2) A registration fee, according to WAC 170-290-0245;

(3) Subsidy rates for five-year old children according to WAC 170-290-0185;

(4) The field trip fees in WAC 170-290-0247;

(5) The nonstandard hours bonus in WAC 170-290-0249; and

(6) Special needs care when the child has a documented special need and a documented need for a higher level of care, according to WAC 170-290-0220, 170-290-0225, and 170-290-0230.

 

Clarifying Information

 

Flexible Schedules

Establish a typical or average number of weekly hours for the consumer’s work or approved activities and multiply by 4.3 to get the monthly total hours.

 

Field Trip Fees

The field trip/enhancement fee covers special activities, such as:

·         Admission costs to places such as zoo, museum, movies, swimming pools

·         Enrichment programs and ongoing lessons such as language classes, gymnastics, swimming lessons

·         Public transportation or mileage reimbursement at the OFM  Rate

·          Cost of hiring a non-employee such as clowns, pony rides, music performances

·         The purchase of a pre-kindergarten curriculum

·         Provider developed and DEL approved curriculum

The field trip/enhancement fee does not cover:

·         Fees or admission costs for adults on the field trip

·         Supplies or Equipment needed to meet licensing requirements

·         Food purchased on field trips

 

 

Center Exception

If the center provider cares for a child who is thirteen or older, the provider must have a child-specific and time-limited exception and the child must meet the special needs requirement according to WAC 170-290-0220.

 

 

 

 

WAC 170-290-3790  When additional SCC subsidy payments are authorized

DSHS may authorize additional child care when:

(1) Needed to accommodate a family's work schedule;

(2) Employer verification of work schedule is presented; and

(3) More than ten hours of care is needed per day for the consumer to participate in an approved activity (up to a maximum of sixteen hours a day) and the provider's policy is to charge all families for these extra hours.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3800  Eligible provider capacity and payment

(1) DSHS may pay licensed and certified providers for authorized care up to the provider's licensed capacity as determined under WAC 170-151-080, 170-295-0080, or 170-296A-5700, as appropriate.

(2) Licensed providers may not bill the state for more than the number of children they have in their licensed capacity and who are authorized to receive child care subsidies.

(3) A violation of subsection (2) of this section may:

(a) Result in the immediate suspension of the provider's subsidy payments; and

(b) Establish a provider overpayment as provided in WAC 170-290-0268.

(4) As used in this section, "capacity" has the same meaning as defined in WAC 170-151-010, 170-295-0010, and 170-296A-0010.

 

Clarifying Information

 

Capacity Limits and Termination of Payments

Terminate payment for subsidized care that places the provider over the maximum capacity limits.

 

Overpayments for Violating Capacity Limits

Issue an overpayment notice only for the children that place the provider over the capacity limit.

 

Review Process

170-290-3840

 New eligibility period

WAC 170-290-3840  New eligibility period

(1) If a consumer wants to receive SCC program subsidies for another eligibility period, he or she must reapply for SCC benefits before the end of the current eligibility period. To determine if a consumer is eligible, DSHS:

(a) Requests reapplication information before the end date of the consumer's current SCC eligibility period; and

(b) Verifies the requested information for completeness and accuracy.

(2) A consumer may be eligible for SCC program subsidies for a new eligibility period if:

(a) DSHS receives the consumer's reapplication information no later than the last day of the current eligibility period;

(b) The consumer's provider is eligible for payment under WAC 170-290-3750; and

(c) The consumer meets all SCC eligibility requirements.

(3) If DSHS determines that a consumer is eligible for SCC program subsidies based on his or her reapplication information, DSHS notifies the consumer of the new eligibility period and copayment.

(4) If a consumer fails to contact DSHS on or before the end date of the consumer's current SCC eligibility period to request SCC program subsidies, he or she must reapply according to WAC 170-290-3665.

 

Clarifying Information

 

If the reapplication is more than 30 days old when the requested information is received, a new application should be requested.  However, the date the requested information was received is the first date of eligibility.

 

Payment Discrepancies

170-290-3850

  Payment discrepancies generally.

170-290-3855

  Termination of and redetermining eligibility for SCC program subsidies.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3850 Payment discrepancies generally

Child care subsidy payment discrepancies are described in WAC 170-290-0266 through 170-290-0275, with the exception of underpayments requested by licensed child care centers, which will only be considered for twelve months after the date of services.

 

Clarifying Information

 

Overpayment Disputes.

Overpayment disputes resulting from Payment Review Program (PRP) are handled by PRP.

 

Determining Consumer Income When Calculating an Overpayment

When an overpayment is processed, Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA) should use the same method of calculating income as chosen and documented by the worker.

 

 

WAC 170-290-3855  Termination of and redetermining eligibility for SCC program subsidies

(1) A consumer's continued eligibility for SCC program subsidies stops when:

(a) The consumer's monthly copayment is equal to or higher than the state maximum monthly child care rate for all of the consumer's children in care; or

(b) The consumer:

(i) Is not participating in an approved activity as defined in WAC 170-290-3555;

(ii) Does not meet other SCC eligibility requirements related to family size, income and approved activities;

(iii) Does not comply with the copayment requirements of WAC 170-290-3565 (6) and (7); or

(iv) Refuses to cooperate with the child care subsidy audit process or the DSHS office of fraud and accountability (OFA).

(2) A consumer might be eligible for SCC program subsidies again beginning on the date that the consumer:

(a) Meets all SCC program eligibility requirements;

(b) Complies with the copayment requirements of WAC 170-290-3565(6); and

(c) Cooperates with the child care subsidy audit process or with the DSHS office of fraud and accountability (OFA).

 

Administrative Hearings—SCC

170-290-3860

   Right to request an administrative hearing.

170-290-3865

Receipt of SCC program subsidies pending the outcome of an administrative hearing.

 

 

 

WAC 170-290-3860  Right to request an administrative hearing

SCC consumers and licensed or certified child care providers must follow WAC 170-290-0280 to request a hearing

 

Clarifying Information

 

Verbal Request

A verbal request for an administrative hearing may be accepted by any DSHS employee

 

 

                                           

WAC 170-290-3865  Receipt of SCC program subsidies pending the outcome of an administrative hearing

 

A consumer may receive SCC program subsidies while waiting for the outcome of a hearing as provided in WAC 170-290-0285

 

Clarifying Information

 

Eligibility for Benefits

The consumer is eligible for WCCC benefits through the end of the current certification period providing WAC 170-290-0285 (1)(a) or (b) is met.