(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that greater efficiencies may be achieved in the execution of state subsidized child care and development program contracts with public and private agencies by the timely approval of contract provisions by the Department of Finance, the Department of General Services, and the department and by authorizing the department to establish a multiyear application, contract expenditure, and service review as may be necessary to provide timely service while preserving audit and oversight functions to protect the public welfare.
(b) (1) The Department of Finance and the Department of General Services shall approve or disapprove annual contract funding terms and conditions, including both family fee schedules and regional market rate schedules that are required to be adhered to by contract, and contract face sheets submitted by the department not more than 30 working days from the date of submission, unless unresolved conflicts remain between the Department of Finance, the department, and the Department of General Services. The department shall resolve conflicts within an additional 30 working day time period. Contracts and funding terms and conditions shall be issued to child care contractors no later than June 1. Applications for new child care funding shall be issued not more than 45 working days after the effective date of authorized new allocations of child care moneys.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the department shall implement the regional market rate schedules based upon the county aggregates, as specified in Section 8357 and the annual Budget Act.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature to fully fund the third stage of child care for former CalWORKs recipients.
(c) With respect to subdivision (b), it is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Finance annually review contract funding terms and conditions for the primary purpose of ensuring consistency between child care contracts and the child care budget. This review shall include evaluating any proposed changes to contract language or other fiscal documents to which the contractor is required to adhere, including those changes to terms or conditions that authorize higher reimbursement rates, modify related adjustment factors, modify administrative or other service allowances, or diminish fee revenues otherwise available for services, to determine if the change is necessary or has the potential effect of reducing the number of full-time equivalent children that may be served.
(d) Alternative payment child care systems, as set forth in Article 3 (commencing with Section 8220), shall be subject to the rates established in the Regional Market Rate Survey of California Child Care Providers for provider payments. The department shall contract to conduct and complete a regional market rate survey no more frequently than once every two years, consistent with federal regulations, with a goal of completion by March 1.
(e) By March 1 of each year, the Department of Finance shall provide to the department the state median income amount for a four-person household in California using the methodology provided in subdivision (c) of Section 8263.1. The department shall adjust its fee schedule for child care providers to reflect this updated state median income; however, no changes based on revisions to the state median income amount shall be implemented midyear.
(f) Notwithstanding the June 1 date specified in subdivision (b), changes to the regional market rate schedules and fee schedules may be made at any other time to reflect the availability of accurate data necessary for their completion, provided these documents receive the approval of the Department of Finance. The Department of Finance shall review the changes within 30 working days of submission and the department shall resolve conflicts within an additional 30 working day period. Contractors shall be given adequate notice before the effective date of the approved schedules. It is the intent of the Legislature that contracts for services not be delayed by the timing of the availability of accurate data needed to update these schedules.
(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 250, Sec. 4 .)