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Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Policy Manual
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9.24.9 Higher Rates for Quality-Accreditation/Credential

ISSUE DATE: 02/2018

Child care assistance can pay up to 15 percent above the standard maximum rate, not to exceed the provider charge, if a provider requests the higher rate and submits verification showing that they hold a certain current early childhood development credential or is accredited by certain organizations.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) recommends that agencies contact their policy specialist to determine whether the verification submitted is an exact match which makes the provider eligible for the higher rate. DHS will review the actual documents and assist agencies to help prevent provider overpayments.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has developed a Quality Differential Rate Request Form DHS-4795 (PDF) that providers may use when requesting the higher rate.

Approved credentials and accreditations for family child care providers

A licensed family child care provider or legal nonlicensed provider is eligible for the 15 percent higher rate for quality if they hold one of the following early childhood development credentials or accreditations:

  • · A Child Development Associate credential (CDA).
  • · A diploma in child development from a Minnesota state technical college.
  • · An associate’s degree in child development.
  • · A bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate degree in early childhood education from an accredited college or university.
  • · Accreditation by the National Association for Family Child Care.
  • · Competency Based Training and Assessment Program Certificate. (This certificate has not been offered in Minnesota since 1997. If you get a copy of this certificate, contact DHS staff).
  • Multiple license holders

    Each adult on a licensed family child care license must have one of the credentials listed above to get the 15 percent higher rate for quality.

    Other credentials

    Licensed family child care providers and legal nonlicensed providers that do not hold one of the above credentials are NOT eligible for the higher rate. Licensed family child care providers and legal nonlicensed providers that hold a credential other than the ones listed above are NOT eligible for the higher rate.

    Approved accreditations for center-based providers

    Child care centers or programs with the following accreditations are eligible for the 15 percent higher rate for quality. Make sure the name of the accreditation and the listed organization match exactly as listed below for approving the higher rate:

  • · Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE) for Early Childhood Education Programs, offered by the Florida Association for Child Care Management (FACCM)
  • · AdvancED - Early Learning. The provider must submit a letter from AdvancED confirming that early learning protocols were used to achieve their accreditation.
  • · American Montessori Society (AMS) School Accreditation
  • · Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Accreditation
  • · Association of Montessori International – USA (AMI) – Montessori School Recognition
  • · Council on Accreditation (COA) – Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program Accreditation
  • · Council on Accreditation (COA) – Private Organizational Accreditation for Early Childhood Education
  • · Green Apple Accreditation of Children’s Services (GAACS) - Early Education Center (EEC) Accreditation
  • · National Accreditation Commission (NAC) for Early Care and Education Programs Accreditation
  • · National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation
  • · National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission INC. (NECPA) Accreditation
  • · National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA)
  • · Head Start Performance Excellence and Quality Recognition Program – Program of Excellence designation, offered by the National Head Start Association (NHSA)
  • School-age and after-school child care centers with the following accreditations are eligible for the 15 percent higher rate for quality:

  • · Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE) for School Age Programs, offered by the Florida Association for Child Care Management (FACCM)
  • · Council on Accreditation (COA) – Afterschool (ASP) & Youth Development (YDP) Program Accreditation
  • · Council on Accreditation (COA) – Private Organizational Accreditation for Youth Development
  • · Minnesota Afterschool Accreditation Program (MAAP), offered by the Minnesota School-Age Care Alliance (MNSACA)
  • Expired accreditations

    MEC² will automatically send new notices to providers and families when a Higher Rate for Quality is expiring.

    Accrediting organizations may issue an extension of a current accreditation if time is needed to complete the validation. Require a letter from a qualifying accrediting organization from the listing above that states that the timeframe has been extended. This letter must include the extension end date.

    Other accreditations

    Centers that are not accredited by one of the above organizations are NOT eligible for the higher rate. Centers that are accredited by an organization other than the ones listed above are NOT eligible for the higher rate.The 15 percent higher rate for quality can be paid to both licensed and legal nonlicensed providers.

    Providers eligible for more than one higher rate for quality

    The 15 percent higher rate for quality is the maximum rate that can be paid to an accredited or credentialed provider unless the provider has a four-star Parent Aware rating. Pay the provider the 15 percent higher rate for quality or the provider rate, whichever is less. See Minnesota Child Care Assistance Program 15 Percent Quality Differential Maximum Rates DHS-6442B (PDF).

    Providers who hold a credential/accreditation and a Parent Aware Rating qualify for the higher of the two Higher Rates for quality. They are not cumulative.

    Effective date of higher rates

    Providers are eligible for the higher rate the first Monday following the date the verification is received by the CCAP agency.

    Higher rates for quality entered in error

    If an agency discovers that a provider was incorrectly entered into MEC2 as being eligible for the 15 percent higher rate for quality, the information must be corrected in MEC2 and the agency who discovered the error should contact all other counties or tribes where the provider is registered. If the provider received payment at a higher rate than allowable, overpayments must be assessed according to overpayment policies. See Chapter 14 (Overpayments).

    Legal authority

    Minnesota Statutes 119B.13, subd. 3a

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