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Comments on 3/30/04 Proposed Changes to RMR Regulations

Section 18074.2(b) (2) (B) on Page 3 line 30
This section eliminates the “under 2” category for family care.  Line 30 states that the 2-5 category shall be used for licensed family child care (type A2 providers) and in-home exempt (type A3 providers) “when the child is less than six years of age.”  This would mean that family care providers could not be paid at the “under 2” category when the child is age 1 and less than 1.  It should say, ”when the child is age 2-5.” (Possibly, CDE was trying to make it clear here that when a child age under age 6 is in kindergarten or first grade, they do not want to use the 6+ category for family child care and in-home/exempt reimbursements, even if the child is a Plus-2 school age child under age 6.)

Section 18074.3 and 18074.4 Adopting Differential Local Rates before July 1, 2004
These sections would still VIOLATE STATE LAW Education Codes 8222.5(c) because they still differentiate reimbursements based on the percentage of subsidized children.  This version differentiates reimbursements for providers with 100% subsidized children who cannot provide documentation of rates paid by private clients by using Comparable Local Rate ceilings rather than Region Market Rate ceilings.  State law 8222.5 (added by the passage of budget bill AB1754) states that “For the 2003-4 fiscal year, the Superintendent of Public Instruction may not ADOPT or implement regulations that differentiate provider reimbursement rates based upon the percentage of subsidized children receiving care in the facility.”  These regulations cannot be ADOPTED until after July 1, 2004, even though Section 18074.3 no longer requires 25 percent unsubsidized children for the establishment of rates, and even though the regulations would not be implemented until next fiscal year (July 1, 2004).

Section 18074.3 Requiring Private-Pay Clients to Sign Declarations
Page 5, lines 21-23 specify that contractors may require providers to submit declarations signed under penalty of perjury by their private-pay parents about their hours of care, the age of their child and their payment amount.  Private-pay clients should not be required to submit personal information.  They have a right to privacy.

Section 18075.1(b) (2) on Page 10, line 2
The last revision allowed weekend/evening adjustments for all percentages of the total time.  This new revision requires “at least ten percent” to receive the lowest adjustment of 1.125.  This a step backwards from the last revision.  Providers should receive adjustments for ALL burdensome hours.

Section 18076.3 (B) on page 13 line 9 Adds Unfair Center/Large Group Bias
This section is very insulting to family care providers!  The Department of Education is showing an unfair and unjustified center bias, allowing multiple providers only if the 2nd provider is a center.  Contractors would do more expensive paperwork in order to provide a center experience “...for the specific purpose of providing the child with large group school readiness experiences...”  The Department of Education should recognize that smaller groups in family child care homes can offer smaller group school readiness experiences that are just as valuable as large group experiences.

For example:
In a smaller group, the child has more opportunity to converse with an adult and develop language skills needed for success in school.  In a smaller group, a young child can receive more personal nurturing attention and build the self-esteem needed to become ready for school.

The revised RMR regulations contain some improvements to the emergency regulations.
 They are more detailed and more clear.  More providers will qualify for weekend/evening adjustments.

On the other hand, many will be disappointed that invasive documentation requirements were not softened and complicated formulas are still required.  

75% Rule regulations were added.

Here are some highlights:

Evening Weekend Adjustments:
Adjustments may now be applied for any % of care during 6 - 6 and on weekends....  The 25% minimum for a weekend/evening adjustment is gone.

15 Hour Limitation Lifted:
Hourly: The 15 hour per week maximum has been changed to "less than 30 hours per week."
Part-time weekly: The 15 hour minimum for part time weekly has been changed to "less than 30 hours per week."
Part-time monthly:  The 15 hour minimum is changed to "less than 30 hours per week."

75% Rule Regulations Added:
Providers must ask for a waiver in order to qualify.  The agency must respond in writing.
Waivers MAY be granted if:
1. Lack of licensed care
2. Lack of facilities
3. Can meet special need of child

Providers With 75% or More Subsidized:
If they can get a 75% Rule waiver, they will be paid a "local rate."  Five random rates from their area (zip code, etc.) are averaged to determine this local rate.

Kindergarten Children:
Children attending kindergarten will be paid as 6+, regardless of age.

Derived Rates:
If the provider cannot document a needed rate, and she does have at least one documented rate, the e-regs formula is used to derive a rate.

To establish a rate, providers must submit documentation regarding rates charged to private clients during the last 3 months.  Agencies may ask for canceled checks and signed contracts or accept other documentation, such as ledgers.  Written declarations are not enough.

Agencies MAY verify the documentation through visits, phone calls or "other means."

Rate Most Commonly Used:
The regulations now recognize that providers may have private pay clients paying different rates for the same state rate category.  The regulations ask agencies to determine the rate most commonly used when the provider has more than one documented rate for a category.

Categories Begin at Whole Numbers:
Daily is now 6 hours or more instead of more than 6 hours (6.01+).
Full -time weekly is now 30 hours or more, rather than 30.01+.