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.
Authorized activity requirements differ depending on the family’s sub-program:
· For MFIP/DWP child care, see Chapter 18.104.22.168 (MFIP/DWP authorized activities).
· For Transition Year (TY) child care, see Chapter 22.214.171.124 (TY authorized activities).
· For Transition Year Extension (TYE) child care, see Chapter 126.96.36.199 (TYE authorized activities).
· For Basic Sliding Fee (BSF) child care, see Chapter 188.8.131.52 (BSF authorized activities & hours).
Rules for authorizing child care differ depending on the family’s authorized activities:
· For parents with approved Employment Plans, see Chapter 9.1.5 (Authorizing care – Employment plans).
· For parents attending school, see Chapter 9.1.2 (Authorizing Care– Students).
· For employed parents, see Chapter 9.1.1 (Authorizing care– Employment).
· For self-employment parents, see Chapter 184.108.40.206 (Authorizing care– Self employment).
· For parents who are job searching, see Chapter 9.1.4 (Authorizing care– Job search).
· For parents who are participating in a combination of activities, see Chapter 9.1.7 (Authorizing care– Combinations of activities).
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 information – 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. If the amount of care needed is in increments of less than a full hour, round up to the full hour to obtain a daily total of hours to be authorized.
· 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.
Sessions of child care
When authorizing care for school age children or preschool children who attend preschool or Head Start programs in addition to child care, if the amount of care needed is in increments of less than a full hour, round up the amount of care to the full hour for each separate session and add together to obtain a daily total of hours to be authorized.
· Example: Child needs the following care five days per week.
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
The number of hours authorized per biweekly period is listed on the Service Authorization. Workers can include comments on the Service Authorization:
· 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).
· Temporary leave
- In some cases child care can continue to be authorized and paid while a parentis on a temporary leave of absence from employment or education. See Chapter 9.15.3 (Care during temporary 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 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 9.1.1 (Authorizing care– Employment).
· For 12 Month Reporters, it is not necessary to communicate scheduled and authorized hour information. Workers can include a comment to let families know how their authorized hours were determined, but are not required to do so. Families and providers can determine when the authorized hours can be scheduled.
· For Schedule Reporters, it is recommended that workers include a comment to let families and providers know what the scheduled and authorized hours are.
Minnesota Statutes 119B.09
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Minnesota Rules 3400.0110