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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES
Division of Social Services
Statutory Authority: 31 Delaware Code, Section 512 (31 Del.C. §512)
16 DE Admin. Code 11002.9
 
FINAL
 
ORDER
 
Child Care Subsidy Program Definitions and Explanation of Terms
 
NATURE OF THE PROCEEDINGS:
 
Delaware Health and Social Services (“Department”) / Division of Social Services initiated proceedings to amend the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding the Child Care Subsidy Program, specifically, Definitions and Explanation of Terms. The Department’s proceedings to amend its regulations were initiated pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10114 and its authority as prescribed by 31 Delaware Code Section 512.
The Department published its notice of proposed regulation changes pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10115 in the May 2012 Delaware Register of Regulations, requiring written materials and suggestions from the public concerning the proposed regulations to be produced May 31, 2012 at which time the Department would receive information, factual evidence and public comment to the said proposed changes to the regulations.
 
SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL
 
The proposal described below amends policies in the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding the Child Care Subsidy Program, specifically, Definitions and Explanation of Terms.
 
Statutory Authority
45 CFR Part 98, Child Care and Development Fund
 
Background
The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program is authorized by the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act and Section 418 of the Social Security Act and assists low-income families in obtaining child care so that they can work or attend training and/or education activities. The program also improves the quality of child care and promotes coordination among early childhood development and afterschool programs.
Every two years, states and territories receiving CCDF funds must prepare and submit to the federal government a CCDF state plan detailing how these funds will be allocated and expended (45 CFR Part 98).
 
Summary of Proposed Changes
Federal regulation at 45 CFR §98.44 provides that states must give priority for child care services to children from very low income families. States have the flexibility to define “children in families with very low income”.
As a result of recent federal guidance, DSSM 11002.9, Definition and Explanation of Terms, is amended to add a definition of “children from low income families” as required by the Administration of Children and Families (ACF). During preparation of Delaware’s Child Care and Development Fund State Plan for 2012 - 2013, ACF required the definition be placed in the State’s policy manual.
DSSM 11002.9 is also being reformatted to alphabetize the definitions for clarity and ease of readability.
 
SUMMARY OF COMMENTS RECEIVED WITH AGENCY RESPONSE AND EXPLANATION OF CHANGE(S)
 
The Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) and the State Council for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) offered the following observations and recommendations summarized below. The Division of Social Services (DSS) has considered each comment and responds as follows.
The Summary of Proposed Changes section recites that the rationale for the amendments is twofold: 1) federal prompting to add a definition of “children in families with very low income”; and 2) the desire to reformat and alphabetize the existing list of definitions. The proposed regulation was published as 15 DE Reg. 1551 in the May 1, 2012 issue of the Register of Regulations. We have the following observations and recommendations.
First, the new definition of “children from low income families” is acceptable. It adopts a “200% of the Federal Poverty Limit” standard which mirrors the existing standard reflected in the definition of “income limit”.
Agency Response: DSS acknowledges your concurrence.
Second, in the definition of “Child”, we recommend the following amendment: “...or are in need of protective services.”
Agency Response: DSS agrees. The proposed amendment is indicated by bold, bracketed type.
Third, in the definition of “Child Care Category, 41", amend the example to read as follows: “(Example: One child is a citizen and one is not. The citizen child is a 41).” This would then be identical to the superseded version. At 1553.
Agency Response: DSS agrees. The proposed amendment is indicated by bold, bracketed type.
Fourth, in the definition of “Child Care Certificate”, second sentence, substitute “parents who wish” for “a parent who wishes” since the following pronoun (“their”) is plural.
Agency Response: DSS agrees. The proposed amendment is indicated by bold, bracketed type.
Fifth, in the definition of “Educational Program”, the semicolons are omitted and the word “or” is omitted after Par. “4". Compare the current definition. At 1553-1554.
Agency Response: DSS agrees. The proposed amendment is indicated by bold, bracketed type.
Sixth, in the definition of “Physical or Mental Incapacity”, DSS deleted the term “dysfunctional”. Compare the existing definition. At 1555. This conforms to Title 29 Del.C. §608 and merits endorsement.
Agency Response: DSS apologizes. The term “dysfunctional” was inadvertently omitted and has been reinstated.
The Councils endorse the proposed regulation subject to adopting the above technical corrections.
Agency Response: DSS thanks the Councils for their endorsement.
 
FINDINGS OF FACT:
The Department finds that the proposed changes as set forth in the May 2012 Register of Regulations should be adopted.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, that the proposed regulation to amend the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding the Child Care Subsidy Program, specifically, Definitions and Explanation of Terms is adopted and shall be final effective July 10, 2012.
 
Rita M. Landgraf, Secretary, DHSS
 
DSS FINAL ORDER REGULATION #12-15
REVISION
 
11002.9 Definitions and Explanation of Terms
The following words and terms, when used in the context of these policies will, unless clearly indicated otherwise, have the following meanings.
A. TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a program established by Title IV-A of the Social Security Act and authorized by Title 31 of the Delaware Code to provide benefits to needy children who are deprived of parental support and care. While on TANF, families are eligible for child care only as long as they are working or participating in a TANF Employment and Training activity (Categories 11 and 12).
B. Authorization - Form 618d is the parents/caretakers authority to receive subsidized child care services and is the provider's authority to provide subsidized child care services to eligible parents/caretakers. The authorization informs providers how much care a parent is authorized to receive, what DSS will pay the provider, and what parents/caretakers must pay as part of their fee.
C. Caregiver/Provider - The person(s), other than the parent/caretaker, whom DSS approves to provide child care services or the approved place where care is provided.
D. Caretaker - The adult responsible for the primary support and guardianship of the child. As used here, this adult is someone other than the child's parent who acts in place of the parent. If a caretaker is unrelated to the child and has not been awarded custody by Family Court or guardianship, the caretaker is referred to the Division of Family Services to make a determination to either approve the non-relative placement or remove the child.
E. CCDBG - Child Care and Development Block Grant. 45 CFR Parts 98 and 99 created by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 to provide federal funds without State match to:
1. provide child care to low income families,
2. enhance the quality and increase the supply of child care,
3. provide parents the ability to choose their provider, and
4. increase the availability of early childhood programs and before and after school services.
Under the Division's DCIS II Child Care Sub system, CCDBG is part of Categories 31 and 41.
F. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations. These are the rules the Federal Government writes to implement federal legislation. Once written and approved, they have the force of law.
G. CCMIS - Child Care Management Information System, the name used to describe the Division's payment system for child care.
H. Child - A person under the age of 13, or children 13 through 18 years of age if they are physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves or in need of protective services.
I. Child Care Category - The DCIS II Child Care Sub system code for the child care funding source. Case Managers choose category codes based on the parents/caretaker’s technical eligibility for service. The codes are:
11 – Participants receiving TANF and not working, but participating in TANF E&T;
12 – Participants receiving TANF and working;
21 --Participants receiving Food Benefits who are mandatory or voluntary participants in E&T and not receiving TANF;
31 - SSBG, CCDBG, and State funds: Income eligible participants. Participants who receive FS and are not E&T mandatory or voluntary;
41 – A participant who is a qualified alien or U.S. citizen is coded as a category 41 when his or her eligibility allows a non U.S. citizen or nonqualified alien to receive child care services. (Example: One child is a citizen and one is not. The citizen child is a 41.)
51 – A participant is coded category 51 when s/ he is not a U.S. citizen or legal alien but receives Child Care services due to a family member in category 41.
J. Child Care Certificate - A form issued to a parent/caretaker which allows a parent/caretaker to choose a child care provider who does not have a contract with DSS. A certificate is not an authorization for child care, but a parent who wishes to select a non-contracted provider of their choice cannot get care unless the provider completes one.
K. Child Care Parent Fee - The amount the parent/ caretaker must pay toward the cost of child care. The fee is based on the income of the parent(s) and children, or the child if the child lives with a caretaker, family size and a percentage of the cost of care based on type of care requested.
L. Child Care Services - Those activities that assist eligible families in the arrangement of child care for their children.
M. Child Care Centers - A place where licensed or license-exempt child care is provided on a regular basis for periods of less than 24 hours a day to 12 or more children, who are unattended by a parent or guardian.
N. Child Care Type - Refers to the setting or place where child care is provided. The four types of care are:
1. Center based (under DCIS II Child Care Sub system Site #17 or 18),
2. Large Family Home (under DCIS II Child Care Sub system Site #16),
3. Family Home (under DCIS II Child Care Sub system Site #15), and
4. In-Home (under DCIS II Child Care Sub system Site #19).
O. DCIS II - Delaware Client Information System, the automated client information system for the Department of Health and Social Services.
P. Educational Program - A program of instruction to achieve:
1. a basic literacy level of 8.9;
2. instruction in English as a second language;
3. a GED, Adult Basic Education (ABE), or High School Diploma;
4. completion of approved special training or certificate courses; or
5. a post-secondary degree where the degree is part of an approved
DSS Employment and Training program.
The above definition excludes the pursuit of a graduate degree or second four-year college degree. A second associate’s degree may be attained if it leads to a bachelor’s degree. The completion of a second associate’s degree can be authorized only if it has a significant chance of leading to employment.
Q. Employment - Either part-time or full time work for which the parent/caretaker receives wages equal to the federal minimum wage or an equivalent. It also includes periods of up to three months of continued child care services when parents/caretakers lose one job and need to search for another, or when one job ends and another job has yet to start.
R. Family Size - The total number of persons whose needs and income are considered together. This will always include the parent(s) (natural, legal, adoptive, step, and unmarried partners with a child in common) and all their dependent children under 18 living in the home.
S. Family Child Care Home - A private residence other than the child’s residence, where licensed care is provided for one to six children who are not related to the caregiver.
T. TANF Child Care - The name of the child care program for TANF recipients who work or who are participating in a TANF Employment and Training program. Under the DCIS II Child Care Sub system, this is Category 11 and 12.
U. Food Benefit Employment and Training - The program by which certain unemployed mandatory and/ or voluntary Food Benefit recipients participate in activities to gain skills or receive training to obtain regular, paid employment. Persons can receive child care if they need care to participate. This is referred to as Food Benefit Employment & Training (FS E&T). Under the Division's DCIS II Child Care Sub system, this is Category 21.
V. In-Home Care - Care provided for a child in the child's own home by either a relative or non-relative, other than the parent/caretaker, where such care is exempt from licensing requirements. Care is limited to the child(ren) residing in the household. It also refers to situations where care is provided by a relative in the relative's own home. This care is also exempt from licensing requirements and is also limited to the children of one household.
It also refers to situations where care is provided by a relative in the relative's own home. This care is also exempt from licensing requirements.
W. Income - Any type of money payment that is of gain or benefit to a family. Examples of income include wages, social security pensions, public assistance payments, child support, etc.
X. Income Eligible - A family is financially eligible to receive child care services based on the family's gross income. It also refers to child care programs under Category 31.
Y. Income Limit - The maximum amount of gross income a family can receive to remain financially eligible for child care services. Current income limit is 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Z. Job Training/Training - A program which either establishes or enhances a person's job skills. Such training either leads to employment or allows a person to maintain employment already obtained. Such training includes, but is not limited to: Food Benefit Employment & Training (FB E&T) contracted programs, WIA sponsored training programs, recognized school vocational programs, and on-the-job training programs.
AA. Large Family Child Care Home - A private residence other than the child’s residence, where licensed care is provided for more than six but less than twelve children who are not related to the caregiver.
BB. Legal Care - Care which is either licensed or exempt from licensing requirements.
CC. Parent - The child's natural mother, natural legal father, adoptive mother or father, or step-parent.
DD. Parental Choice - The right of parents/caretakers to choose from a broad range of child care providers, the type and location of child care.
EE. Protective Services - The supervision/ placement of a child by the Division of Family Services in order to monitor and prevent situations of abuse or neglect.
FF. Physical or Mental Incapacity - A dysfunctional condition which disrupts the child's normal development patterns during which the child cannot function without special care and supervision. Such condition must be verified by either a doctor or other professional with the competence to do so.
GG. Reimbursement Rates - The maximum dollar amount the State will pay for child care services.
HH. Relative - Grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, and any other relative as defined by TANF policy, as they are related to the child.
II. Residing With - Living in the home of the parent or caretaker.
JJ. SSBG - Social Services Block Grant. Under the DCIS II Child Care Sub system, this is Category 31 child care.
KK. Seamless Services - To the extent permitted by applicable laws, a family is able to retain the same provider regardless of the source of funding, and providers are able to provide services to children regardless of the basis for the family's eligibility for assistance or the source of payment.
LL. Self-Arranged Care - Child care which either parents or caretakers arrange on their own between themselves and providers. In this instance, the parents/caretakers choose to use a child care certificate, but the provider does not accept the State reimbursement rate for child care services. DSS limits payment for self-arranged care to its regular provider rates. Parents/caretakers, in addition to any parent fee they pay, must also pay the difference between DSS’ reimbursement rates and the providers’ charge.
MM. Self-Initiated - Clients who enter an education or training program on their own. The education or training program must be comparable to a Food Benefit Employment & Training (FB E&T) - TANF education or training component. Self-initiated clients must receive child care services if there is a child care need.
NN. Special Needs Child - A child under 19 years of age whose physical, emotional, or developmental needs require special care. Both the need and care must be verified by a doctor or other professional with the authority to do so.
OO. Special Needs Parent/Caretaker - An adult, who because of a special need, is unable on his/her own to care for children. The need must be verified by a doctor or other professional with the competence to do so.
PP. Technical Eligibility - Parents/caretakers meet requirements, other than financial, to receive child care services based on need and category.
QQ. Verification - Written or oral documentation, demonstrating either need for service or sources of income.
RR. Purchase of Care Plus (POC+) – Care option that allows providers to charge most DSS clients the difference between the DSS reimbursement rate up to the provider’s private fee for service. The provider receives DSS rate, the DSS determined child care parent fee if applicable, and any additional provider-determined co-pay.
SS. Work Force Investment Act (WIA) - Federal Legislation that consolidates Employment and Training programs and funding streams. This legislation embodies the One Stop Employment and Training Service system under DOL.
The following words and terms, when used in the context of these policies will, unless clearly indicated otherwise, have the following meanings.
Form 618d or 626 is the parents/caretakers authority to receive subsidized child care services and is the provider's authority to provide subsidized child care services to eligible parents/caretakers. The authorization informs providers how much care a parent is authorized to receive, what DSS will pay the provider, and what parents/caretakers must pay as part of their fee.
The adult responsible for the primary support and guardianship of the child. As used here, this adult is someone other than the child's parent who acts in place of the parent. If a caretaker is unrelated to the child and has not been awarded custody by Family Court or guardianship, the caretaker is referred to the Division of Family Services to make a determination to either approve the non-relative placement or remove the child.
Child Care and Development Block Grant. 45 CFR Parts 98 and 99 created by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 to provide federal funds without state match to:
4. Increase the availability of early childhood programs and before and after school services. Under the Division's DCIS II Child Care Sub system, CCDBG is part of Categories 31 and 41
Code of Federal Regulations. These are the rules the Federal Government writes to implement federal legislation. Once written and approved, they have the force of law.
A person under the age of 13, or children 13 through 18 years of age if they are physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves or [are] in need of protective services.
The DCIS II Child Care Sub system code for the child care funding source. Case Managers choose category codes based on the parents/caretaker’s technical eligibility for service. The codes are:
41 - A participant who is a qualified alien or U.S. citizen is coded as a category 41 when his or her eligibility allows a non U.S. citizen or non-qualified alien to receive child care services. (Example: [One child is a citizen and one is not a citizen child is a 41) One child is a citizen and one is not. The citizen child is a 41.)]
51 - A participant is coded category 51 when s/he is not a U.S. citizen or legal alien but receives Child Care services due to a family member in category 41
A place where licensed or license-exempt child care is provided on a regular basis for periods of less than 24 hours a day to 12 or more children, who are unattended by a parent or guardian.
A form issued to a parent/caretaker which allows a parent/caretaker to choose a child care provider who does not have a contract with DSS. A certificate is not an authorization for child care, but [a parent who wishes parents who wish] to select a non-contracted provider of their choice cannot get care unless the provider completes one.
The amount the parent/caretaker must pay toward the cost of child care. The fee is based on the income of the parent(s) and children, or the child if the child lives with a caretaker, family size and a percentage of the cost of care based on type of care requested.
The above definition excludes the pursuit of a graduate degree or second four-year college degree. A second associate’s degree may be attained if it leads to a bachelor’s degree. The completion of a second associate's degree can be authorized only if it has a significant chance of leading to employment.
Employment - Either part-time or full time work for which the parent/caretaker receives wages equal to minimum wage or an equivalent. It also includes periods of up to three months of continued child care services when parents/caretakers lose one job and need to search for another, or when one job ends and another job has yet to start.
The total number of persons whose needs and income are considered together. This will always include the parent(s) (natural, legal, adoptive, step, and unmarried partners with a child in common) and all their dependent children under 18 living in the home.
The program by which certain unemployed mandatory and/or voluntary Food Benefit recipients participate in activities to gain skills or receive training to obtain regular, paid employment. Persons can receive child care if they need care to participate. This is referred to as Food Benefit Employment & Training. Under the Division's DCIS II Child Care Sub system, this is Category 21.
Any type of money payment that is of gain or benefit to a family. Examples of income include wages, social security pensions, public assistance payments, child support, etc.
A family is financially eligible to receive child care services based on the family's gross income. It also refers to child care programs under Category 31.
The maximum amount of gross income a family can receive to remain financially eligible for child care services. Current income limit is 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Care provided for a child in the child's own home by either a relative or non-relative, other than the parent/caretaker, where such care is exempt from licensing requirements. Care is limited to the child(ren) residing in the household. It also refers to situations where care is provided by a relative in the relative's own home. This care is also exempt from licensing requirements and is also limited to the children of one household.
A program which either establishes or enhances a person's job skills. Such training either leads to employment or allows a person to maintain employment already obtained. Such training includes, but is not limited to: Food Benefit Employment & Training (FB E&T) contracted programs; WIA sponsored training programs, recognized school vocational programs, and on-the-job training programs.
A private residence other than the child’s residence, where licensed care is provided for more than six but less than twelve children who are not related to the caregiver.
A [dysfunctional] condition which disrupts the child's normal development patterns during which the child cannot function without special care and supervision. Such condition must be verified by either a doctor or other professional with the competence to do so.
Care option that allows providers to charge most DSS clients the difference between the DSS reimbursement rate up to the provider's private fee for service. The provider receives DSS rate, the DSS determined child care parent fee, if applicable, and any additional provider-determined co-pay.
To the extent permitted by applicable laws, a family is able to retain the same provider regardless of the source of funding, and providers are able to provide services to children regardless of the basis for the family's eligibility for assistance or the source of payment.
Child care which either parents or caretakers arrange on their own between themselves and providers. In this instance, the parents/caretakers choose to use a child care certificate, but the provider does not accept the State reimbursement rate for child care services. DSS limits payment for self-arranged care to its regular provider rates. Parents/caretakers, in addition to any parent fee they pay, must also pay the difference between DSS' reimbursement rates and the providers' charge.
Clients who enter an education or training program on their own. The education or training program must be comparable to a Food Benefit Employment & Training (FB E&T) - TANF education or training component. Self-initiated clients must receive child care services if there is a child care need.
A child under 19 years of age whose physical, emotional, or developmental needs require special care. Both the need and care must be verified by a doctor or other professional with the authority to do so.
An adult, who because of a special need, is unable on his/her own to care for children. The need must be verified by a doctor or other professional with the authority to do so.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a program established by Title IV-A of the Social Security Act and authorized by Title 31 of the Delaware Code to provide benefits to needy children who are deprived of parental support and care. While on TANF, families are eligible for child care only as long as they are working or participating in a TANF Employment and Training activity (Categories 11 and 12).
The name of the child care program for TANF recipients who work or who are participating in a TANF Employment and Training program. Under the DCIS II Child Care Sub system, this is Category 11 and 12.
Federal Legislation that consolidates Employment and Training programs and funding streams. This legislation embodies the One Stop Employment and Training Service system under DOL.
8 DE Reg. 1154 (02/1/05)
9 DE Reg. 572 (10/01/05)
10 DE Reg. 564 (09/01/06)
11 DE Reg. 1488 (05/01/08)
13 DE Reg. 1088 (02/01/10)
15 DE Reg. 222 (08/01/11)
16 DE Reg. 78 (07/01/12) (Final)