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Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Policy Manual
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9.1.12 Weekly Authorization To High Quality Providers

ISSUE DATE: 04/2018

The Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers policy supports consistent care for young children attending high quality care.

Some children attending high quality care can be authorized for more hours than they would normally be eligible for. Their providers can be paid up to the applicable weekly maximum rate, not to exceed the provider’s charge. The parent and provider to determine a schedule of care that is not tied to the specific days and times the parent is in an authorized activity.

The child may attend care according to the schedule of care, even if some of the care is not needed to support the parent’s activities. Under this policy, CCAP may routinely pay providers for some scheduled and authorized care that is not needed to support the parent’s activities. These payments are not overpayments unless other policy guidelines are not being followed.

Provider requirements

Providers must be eligible for a higher rate for quality in order to be eligible for this policy. Eligible providers are:

  • · Providers with a three or four-star Parent Aware rating. See Chapter 9.24.12 (Higher Rates for Quality – Parent Aware Rated Providers).
  • · Centers accredited by certain organizations. See Chapter 9.24.9 (Higher Rates for Quality – Accreditation/Credential).
  • · Licensed family child care providers that hold certain current early childhood development credentials or are accredited by the National Association for Family Child Care. See Chapter 9.24.9 (Higher Rates for Quality – Accreditation/Credential).
  • Agency identified/Department of Human Services (DHS) approved at-risk providers are eligible if they meet the provider requirements. See Chapter 9.15.15 (Special Needs) for more information on at-risk providers.

    Legal nonlicensed providers are not eligible for weekly authorizations to high quality providers.

    Child requirements

    To be eligible for this policy, the child must:

  • · Be ages zero through five but not yet in kindergarten,
  • · Qualify for at least 30 hours of child care per week at the high quality provider, and
  • · Attend a high quality provider.
  • Qualifying for 30 hours of child care per week

    The child must qualify for at least 30 hours of child care per week at the high quality provider to be eligible for this policy:

  • · Determine the number of hours that the child qualifies for using the guidance for authorizing child care in Chapter 9.1 (Authorizing child care).
  • · Count authorized hours needed for travel time and breaks toward meeting the 30 hours of child care needed per week.
  • · In a two-parent family, count only times when a parent is not available to care for the child towards the 30 hours of child care needed per week.
  • · The amount of care needed can be averaged between two weeks to meet the 30 hours of child care needed per week. For example, if child care is needed for 20 hours one week and 40 hours the next week, that averages to 30 hours per week and the child would qualify for this policy.
  • Authorizing care

    Children who qualify for this policy will have Service Authorizations of 50 hours per week (100 hours biweekly).

    The parent and provider can determine a schedule of up to 50 hours per week (100 hours biweekly). If the parent and provider agree to a weekly schedule of care, it will typically result in payment at the applicable maximum weekly rate, not to exceed the provider’s charge. Providers are not required to offer the full 50 hours of care per week (100 hours biweekly).

    Decrease in authorized hours allowed during the 12 month eligibility period

    For children that qualify for this policy, the authorized hours can decrease when:

  • · The child starts kindergarten
  • · The family has a redetermination
  • · The child’s family is a Schedule Reporter and the child begins qualifying for less than 30 hours of child care per week based on the parents’ activities.
  • Decrease in authorized hours not allowed during the 12 month eligibility period

    For children that qualify for this policy, the authorized hours cannot decrease when:

  • · A child turns six
  • · The provider’s status as a high quality provider changes
  • · The child moves to a new provider
  • · The child’s family is a 12 Month Reporter and the child begins qualifying for less than 30 hours of child care per week based on the parents’ activities.
  • Child’s provider window

    MEC² will determine whether a child is eligible for the Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers and generate Service Authorizations with 50 hours of care per week authorized (100 hours biweekly). Once MEC² determines that a child is eligible for this policy, update the Child’s Provider window to indicate 100 hours of care is authorized biweekly. Case note this change. At redetermination, reevaluate the child’s authorized hours and update the authorized hours in the Child’s Provider window. If MEC² determines that the child is still eligible for the Weekly Authorization policy, update the Child’s Provider window to indicate 100 hours of care is authorized biweekly and case note the change.

    Schedule Reporters

    If a child in a Schedule Reporter family qualifies for Weekly Authorization to High Quality providers and there is a change in their parents’ activities that results in the child qualifying for a different number of hours, determine the number of hours the child qualifies for.

  • · If the number of hours is 30 hours or more per week, keep the number of hours on the Child’s Provider window at 100 hours.
  • · If the number of hours is less than 30 hours per week, change the number of hours on the Child’s Provider window and allow for a 15 day notice of adverse action.
  • Multiple providers

    The number of hours that can be paid per biweekly period per child is 120 hours. A child can use up to two providers that can be paid by CCAP, one primary provider and one secondary provider. The amount of care that can be authorized with a secondary provider is limited to 20 hours in a biweekly period. See Chapter 9.1.9 (Authorizing care – Multiple providers). If the child meets the requirements and attends a high quality provider for at least 30 hours per week, the child will be eligible for 50 hours of care per week (100 hours biweekly). Increasing the authorization to 100 hours biweekly means there are 20 hours of care left for the child’s secondary provider.

    Legal nonlicensed (LNL) child care providers do not count toward the two provider limit. If a child is using care with a high quality provider for at least 30 hours a week and is also using an LNL provider, work with the family to determine whether 50 hours of care should be authorized with the high quality provider (100 hours biweekly). If the child is using an LNL provider in this circumstance, the family can choose to not have the high quality provider authorized for 50 hours of care per week (100 hours biweekly).

    Information for parents and providers

  • · The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers DHS-6954-ENG (PDF) may be sent to providers eligible for this policy.
  • · The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers DHS-6954A-ENG (PDF) may be sent to families eligible for this policy.
  • Legal authority

    Minnesota Statutes 119B.097
    Minnesota Statutes 119B.13, subd. 3c

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