Skip To: Main content|Subnavigation|
Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Policy Manual
Advanced Search|  

9.1.12 Weekly Authorization To High Quality Providers

ISSUE DATE: 03/2017

The Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers policy is designed to support consistent care scheduled for young children attending high quality care and to allow for higher Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) payments.

Under this policy, 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. See Chapter 9.24 (Provider Rates) and Chapter 9.24.3 (Child Care Rates, Registration Fees, Copayments). This policy allows the parent and provider to determine a schedule of care that is not tied to the specific days and times that 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, the Child Care Assistance Program may routinely pay providers for some scheduled and authorized care that is not needed to support the parent’s activities. When these payments occur in line with this policy they 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 9.30 (Higher Rates for Quality – Parent Aware Rated Providers).
  • · Centers accredited by certain organizations. See Chapter 9.27 (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 9.27 (Higher Rates for Quality – Accreditation/Credential).
  • County identified/Department of Human Services (DHS) approved at-risk providers are eligible for this policy if they meet the provider requirements. See Chapter 9.54 (Special Needs) for more information on at-risk providers.

    Legal nonlicensed providers are not eligible for this policy.

    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.
  • When a child is no longer eligible for this policy and the number of hours authorized is reduced, a 15 day notice of adverse action is required.

    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 (Child Care Authorization).
  • · 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.
  • Children may have more than one provider. The child must qualify for at least 30 hours of child care per week at an individual high quality provider to be eligible for this policy.

    AUTHORIZING CARE

    Children that qualify for this policy will have Service Authorizations that authorize 50 hours of care per week (100 hours biweekly). Children who previously would have been authorized for 30 to 49 hours per week (60 to 99 hours per weekly period) will be authorized for 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).

    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).

    CHILD’S PROVIDER WINDOW

    The number of hours on the Child’s Provider Window will not match the number of hours on the Service Authorization for children eligible for the Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers. This is appropriate.

    Workers should continue to enter the number of hours that the child is eligible for on the Child’s Provider Window, according to the guidance in Chapter 9.1 (Child Care Authorization). A new Service Authorization will be generated each time the Child’s Provider Window is updated. If nothing has changed since the previous Service Authorization, the worker should approve the Service Authorization but may then cancel the Service Authorization notice. This would prevent the family and provider being confused when they receive a new Service Authorization that is exactly the same as their previous Service Authorization. We recommend that the worker case notes when a notice is cancelled.

    It is important to update the Child’s Provider Window even though it may not change the Service Authorization. When a child stops meeting the requirements for this policy (turns six, starts kindergarten, needs less than 30 hours of care per week, or the provider’s status as a high quality provider ends), the number of authorized hours shown on the Service Authorization will go back to being the number on the Child’s Provider Window. Therefore, it is important that the Child’s Provider Window is accurate.

    MULTIPLE PROVIDERS

    If a child has multiple providers, this policy may or may not benefit the child. The number of hours that can be paid per biweekly period is 120 hours. 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 that there are only 20 hours of care left for the child’s other provider(s). This may not meet the family’s needs If a child has multiple providers, 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 has multiple providers, 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) may be sent to providers eligible for this policy.
  • · The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Weekly Authorization to High Quality Providers (DHS-6954A-ENG) may be sent to families eligible for this policy.
  • LEGAL AUTHORITY

    Minnesota Statutes 119B.13, Subd. 3c

    Rate/Report this pageReport/Rate this page

    © 2017 Minnesota Department of Human Services Updated: 3/6/17 2:26 PM | Accessibility | Terms/Policy | Contact DHS | Top of Page | Updated: 3/6/17 2:26 PM