Backdating an Authorization
If the parent submits his or her schedule of approved activities, information on the child care provider, and other required information to the agency within 30 days after submitting the request for assistance, the agency may backdate an authorization so the parent can receive a subsidy for ongoing child care. Assistance under the subsidy program may begin on the date that all of the following conditions are met:
• The parent has submitted a request for assistance.
• The child is receiving child care services from a child care provider.
• The provider is in compliance with program requirements.
Assistance for a kinship care relative providing care and maintenance for a child placed in his or her home pursuant to a court order under ch. 48 or 938, Stats., begin on the later of the date of child placement or the first day of the month in which the parent submitted the request for assistance if all of the conditions are met on or before the last day of the month.
If the parent submits the required information more than 30 days after submitting the request for assistance, the agency may authorize payment beginning the first day of the month in which the parent submits the required information if all of the conditions are met.
The proposed rule requires child care providers to be licensed, certified, licensed or regulated in an adjacent state, or a child care program established or contracted for by a school board. In addition, providers must participate in the department’s quality rating system under ss. 48.659 and 49.155 (6) (e), Stats. In-home providers and out-of-state providers are exempt and instead sign a Wisconsin Shares participation contract. Providers must also comply with the requirements in s. 48.685 (2) (br), Stats., on fingerprint-based background checks and complete the procedures necessary to receive payments by electronic fund transfer.
Obsolete Policies and Terminology
The rule repeals the requirement that a child care provider submit a request for reimbursement and attendance report form to the department within 3 months after providing care for a child whose care is subsidized. With the new payment system, providers will no longer be submitting attendance report forms and the term “reimbursement” will no longer be used. Also, the term “voucher” is replaced by the term “authorization notice” to signify agency approval of a subsidy for child care based on the terms specified in the notice.
In addition, the rule repeals the requirement that an agency issue an authorization for payment based on authorized hours if the care will be by a licensed group provider and an authorization for payment based on attendance if the care will be by a licensed family provider or a certified provider. Under the new payment system, authorizations for all types of providers will be based on a family’s need for care. Existing policies on authorizations are reorganized for clarity.
The section of the rule on maximum rates for child care services is rewritten to incorporate the change from counties establishing maximum rates and the department approving the rates to the department having sole responsibility for rates under 2013 Wisconsin Act 20.
Summary of Factual Data and Analytical Methodologies
The rule is updated to incorporate changes in policy and terminology related to the issuance of child care subsidy payments to parents instead of child care providers.
Summary of Related Federal Law
42 USC 9858c (c) (2) (S) requires that the payment practices of child care providers that serve children who receive assistance reflect generally accepted payment practices of child care providers that serve children who do not receive assistance, so as to provide stability of funding and encourage more child care providers to serve children who receive assistance.
The proposed rule does not include requirements of the final rule adopted by the Administration for Children and Families on September 30, 2016. The federal rule makes significant changes to the Child Care Development Fund program that will require state statutory changes before implementation.
Comparison to Adjacent States
In the adjacent states, child care providers generally receive subsidy payments directly from the state after providing child care and submitting attendance report forms to the department.
Effect on Small Businesses
The proposed rule will reduce compliance costs for child care providers that care for children whose care is subsidized, including child care providers that are small businesses as defined in s. 227.114 (1), Stats.
Analysis Used to Determine Effect on Small Businesses
With the new payment system, child care providers will no longer be required to submit attendance report forms to the department and will receive payments for child care services that are subsidized more quickly.
SECTION 1. DCF 101.26 (1) is repealed.
SECTION 2. DCF 101.26 (2) is renumbered DCF 101.26.
SECTION 3. Chapter DCF 201 (title) is repealed and recreated to read:
CHILD CARE SUBSIDY PROGRAM
SECTION 4. DCF 201.01 is repealed and recreated to read:
DCF 201.01 Purpose and applicability. This chapter provides standards and procedures for the administration of the child care subsidy program under ss. 49.155 and 227.11 (2) (a), Stats. This chapter applies to the department, child care administrative agencies, child care providers, and eligible parents.
SECTION 5. DCF 201.02 (2) is repealed.
SECTION 6. DCF 201.02 (3) is repealed and recreated to read:
DCF 201.02 (3) “Child care administrative agency” or “agency” means any of the following:
(a) An agency that has a contract with the department to administer the child care subsidy program.
(b) An agency that has a subcontract to administer the child care subsidy program with an agency that has a contract with the department.
(c) In a county with a population of 750,000 or more, the department or the Milwaukee County enrollment services unit as provided in ss. 49.155 (3g) (a) and 49.825 (2) (b), Stats.
SECTION 7. DCF 201.02 (5) is repealed and recreated to read:
DCF 201.02 (5) “Child care price” means the amount a child care provider charges for child care services.
SECTION 8. DCF 201.02 (6) is amended to read:
DCF 201.02 (6) “Child care provider” or “provider” means a provider licensed under s. 48.65, Stats.; certified under s. 48.651, Stats.; established or contracted for under s. 120.13 (14), Stats.; or licensed or regulated in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, or Michigan.
SECTION 9. DCF 201.02 (6m) is repealed and recreated to read:
DCF 201.02 (6m) “Child care subsidy program” or “subsidy program” means the program under which the department issues payments to assist parents who are eligible under s. 49.155 (1m), Stats., with child care expenses.
SECTION 10. DCF 201.02 (7) is repealed.
SECTION 11. DCF 201.02 (7r) is repealed and recreated to read:
SECTION 12. DCF 201.02 (11) is repealed.
SECTION 13. DCF 201.02 (12) is amended to read:
DCF 201.02 (12) “Foster parent” means a person licensed under s. 48.62 (1), Stats., or licensed by a tribal social services agency as a tribal placement home.
SECTION 14. DCF 201.02 (13) is repealed and recreated to read:
DCF 201.02 (13) “Gross income” means the income used in determining financial eligibility under s. 49.155 (1m) (c), Stats.
SECTION 15. DCF 201.02 (15m) is created to read:
DCF 201.02 (15m) “Maximum rate” means the maximum rate that the department will use in calculating the amount of a payment under the child care subsidy program.
SECTION 16. DCF 201.02 (19) is repealed and recreated to read:
DCF 201.02 (19) “Slots” means the number of children within the capacity of a child care provider under the applicable law for that type of provider.
SECTION 17. DCF 201.02 (23) and (25) are repealed.