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Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Policy Manual
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9.1 Child Care Authorization

ISSUE DATE: 07/2017

The amount of child care authorized must reflect the needs of the family and minimize out of pocket child care costs to the family. Include information in the case notes describing how care is authorized.

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORIZING CHILD CARE

Authorized activity requirements differ depending on the family’s sub-program:

  • · For MFIP/DWP child care, see Chapter 4.3.3.21 (MFIP/DWP Authorized Activities).
  • · For Transition Year (TY) child care, see Chapter 4.3.6.3 (TY Authorized Activities).
  • · For Transition Year Extension (TYE) child care, see Chapter 4.3.9.3 (TYE Authorized Activities).
  • · For Basic Sliding Fee (BSF) child care, see Chapter 4.3.12.6 (BSF Authorized Activities & Hours).
  • Rules for authorizing child care differ depending on the family’s authorized activities:

  • · For clients with approved Employment Plans, see Chapter 16.1 (Authorizations for Client with an Employment Plan).
  • · For students, see Chapter 9.12 (Authorized Hours – Students).
  • · For employed clients, see Chapter 9.15 (Authorized Hours – Employment).
  • · For self-employment clients, see Chapter 9.15.1 (Authorized Hours – Self Employment).
  • · For clients who are job searching, see Chapter 9.18 (Authorized Hours – Job Search).
  • · For clients who are participating in a combination of activities, see Chapter 9.21 (Authorized Hours – Combinations of Activities).
  • There are special rules for authorizing care for children that are eligible for the Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers policy. See Chapter 9.1.12 (Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers).

    DETERMINING THE NUMBER OF HOURS TO AUTHORIZE

    Do NOT pay for more than 120 hours of child care assistance per child every 2 weeks.

    The number of hours authorized for each child should be the number of hours that care is needed to support parental authorized activities, excluding the hours that the child does not need child care and the hours that the provider is not available. The child may not need child care due to the child being in school or the parent having another care arrangement. To determine the number of hours that care is needed for each child, the worker must examine the family’s authorized activity schedule, the child’s school schedule and the provider’s availability. See Chapter 7.27 (Schedule Verification – Employment and Education) and Chapter 7.30 (Schedule Verification – Child’s School Schedule).

    In a two parent family where both parents are in an authorized activity and are able to care for the child, care should only be authorized during time periods when both parents are participating in authorized activities, including travel time and breaks/meals. During times when only one parent is participating in authorized activities, care is not needed because the other parent is available to care for the child.

    Care must be authorized in full hour increments. In many cases, care is needed for partial hour increments during a day or session. If the amount of care needed is in increments of less than a full hour, the care should be rounded up to obtain a daily total of hours to be authorized. For example, if care is needed for 5.5 hours per day, 5 days per week, the number of hours authorized per day should be rounded up to 6 hours. 6 hours per day times 5 days per week is 30 hours of care per week. 60 hours of care biweekly should be authorized.

    When authorizing care for school age children, if the amount of care needed is in increments of less than a full hour, care and transportation should be rounded up during each separate session and added together to obtain a daily total of hours to be authorized. In many cases, school age children need care authorized for before and after school sessions. Often the care needed is in such a small amount that it will be difficult for families to find providers that are willing to care for their children.

    Example: Child needs the following care 5 days per week.

    AM

    PM

    Care Authorized

    1.5 hours = 2 hours

    1.5 hours = 2 hours

    4 hours=40 hours biweek rather than 30 hours biweekly

    15 minutes =1 hour

    1.5 hours = 2 hours

    3 hours=30 hours biweekly rather than 20 hours biweekly

    WEEKLY AUTHORIZATION TO HIGH QUALITY PROVIDERS

    Children that are eligible for the Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers policy can be authorized for 50 hours per week (100 hours biweekly). See Chapter 9.1.12 (Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers).

    SCHOOL RELEASE DAYS

    Child care may be authorized for families who only need child care on school release days and for families who need more care on school release days. See Chapter 9.1.3 (Authorizing Care – School Release Days).

    FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES

    Child care may be authorized for families who have flexible schedules. See Chapter 9.1.6 (Authorizing Care – Flexible Schedules).

    MULTIPLE PROVIDERS

    Child care may be authorized for more than one provider per child. Families may choose to have more than one provider on a regular basis or choose to have a back-up provider who is used only when the primary provider(s) is unavailable. See Chapter 9.1.9 (Authorizing Care – Multiple Providers).

    SWITCHING PROVIDERS

    When a child switches to a new provider, the worker must give the original provider a 15 day notice of adverse action to end the service authorization:

  • · If the end of the 15 day notice of adverse action falls in the middle of a biweekly period, the worker may authorize more than a total of 120 hours to allow for care with the original provider for the first part of the biweekly period and care with the new provider for the last part of the biweekly period. Do not pay for more than a total of 120 hours of child care assistance per child during the 2 week time period.
  • · If the original provider informs the county that they will not bill for the full 15 day notice of adverse action period, the county may authorize care with the new provider during that time period. The worker may authorize more than a total of 120 hours to allow for care to begin with the new provider. The county should inform the new provider that they will not be paid for the time period if the original provider bills for the time period since 2 providers cannot be paid for the same time period. Do not pay for more than a total of 120 hours of child care assistance per child during the 2 week time period.
  • LICENSED FAMILY CHILD CARE PROVIDERS AND LEGAL NONLICENSED PROVIDERS
  • Licensed family child care providers and their employees, legal nonlicensed child care providers and their employees, and any provider providing care in a setting other than a child care center, are NOT eligible to receive child care subsidies for their own children or children in their family during the hours they are providing child care or being paid to provide child care. They are eligible to receive child care assistance subsidies for their children when they are engaged in other authorized activities, as long as the hours do not overlap with the hours they provide or are being paid for providing child care services. This includes the full 10 hours counted when care is provided by a licensed family child care provider for more than 5 hours. This does not apply to child care centers and their employees.

    MEDICAL LEAVE

    In some cases child care can continue to be authorized and paid while a client is on a medical leave of absence from employment or education. See Chapter 9.36 (Care During Medical Leaves of Absence).

    ONE PARENT UNABLE TO CARE

    In a two parent family child care may sometimes be authorized and paid if one parent is not in an authorized activity AND that parent is unable to care for the applicant’s child. See Chapter 4.6 (Employment and Training Requirements).

    CHILD CARE IN SUPPORT OF EMPLOYMENT

    There are limited circumstances where care can be authorized in support of employment. See Chapter 9.15 (Authorization Hours – Employment).

    LEGAL AUTHORITY

    Minnesota Statutes 119B.09
    Minnesota Rules 3400.0110

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    © 2017 Minnesota Department of Human Services Updated: 7/11/17 10:07 AM | Accessibility | Terms/Policy | Contact DHS | Top of Page | Updated: 7/11/17 10:07 AM