60BB-9.300: Child Care Resource and Referral
PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The purpose of the proposed rule development is to implement the authority of the Agency for Workforce Innovation to adopt rules related to the establishment of uniform child care resource and referral programs.
SUBJECT AREA TO BE ADDRESSED: The subject areas to be addressed by the proposed rules are minimum standards for providing child care resource and referral services to families within each early learning coalition’s county or multicounty service area including the methods of providing referrals and the use of the Agency’s statewide information system with respect to resource and referral.
SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: 411.0101 FS.
LAW IMPLEMENTED: 411.0101 FS.
A RULE DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP WILL BE HELD AT THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE SHOWN BELOW:
DATE AND TIME: Friday April 17, 2009, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. or until business is concluded
PLACE: Agency for Workforce Innovation, 107 East Madison Street, Room B-49, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4128
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT AND A COPY OF THE PRELIMINARY DRAFT, IF AVAILABLE, IS: Kristin R. Harden, Assistant General Counsel, Agency for Workforce Innovation, 107 East Madison Street, MSC #110, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4128; (850)245-7150
THE PRELIMINARY TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT IS:
60BB-9.300 Child Care Resource and Referral.
(1) Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Services.
(a) CCR&R services shall be locally administered, coordinated, and overseen by CCR&R agencies as established in accordance with section 411.0101, F.S.
(b) Early learning coalitions and/or their contracted CCR&R agencies shall offer CCR&R services including early learning referrals, consumer education resources, and information regarding community resources to each individual requesting CCR&R services, including but not limited to individuals specifically requesting CCR&R services, individuals applying for School Readiness services, and individuals with a child who has a suspected or diagnosed special need or disability. CCR&R services shall be offered without regard to the age of an individual’s child(ren), level of income, or individual circumstances.
(c) Each CCR&R agency shall provide CCR&R services without cost to the individual requesting services within three (3) business days of the individual’s request for services. Each CCR&R agency shall provide services within twenty-four (24) hours to an individual requesting services in emergency situations. Emergency situations include but are not limited to:
1. Closure of a child care or early learning provider with less than forty-eight (48) hours of notice;
2. Declaration of a state of emergency is by local, state, or federal officials; and
3. Family emergencies including the death or hospitalization of a parent or guardian, a change in custody of a child with less than forty-eight (48) hours of notice, or a change in employment or employment status with less than forty-eight (48) hours of notice.
(d) Each CCR&R agency shall maintain at least one physical location for CCR&R services, in each county of the coalition’s service area. Each CCR&R agency shall designate a minimum of eight (8) hours each week at each physical location when individuals requesting services may meet with staff in person on an appointment or walk-in basis. In addition, each CCR&R agency shall make staff members available for a minimum of forty (40) hours per week via telephone.
(e) Each CCR&R agency shall maintain a web site and an advertisement in the yellow pages of the telephone directory that describes the services offered and provides the CCR&R agency’s contact information and, if the CCR&R agency is not also an early learning coalition, the contact information of the early learning coalition in which the CCR&R agency operates.
(2) Child care referrals and information may be offered via telephone, e-mail, on-line, fax or in person. Child care referrals shall be generated using the statewide information system maintained by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Each referral shall be customized by entering the following information:
(a) Type of household;
(b) Relationship to child;
(c) Reason for care;
(d) Child care issues;
(e) Days/time care is needed;
(f) Child’s date of birth;
(g) Type of program requested;
(h) Child’s special need, if applicable; and
(i) Requests for enhanced services.
(3) Each CCR&R agency shall provide an informational packet to each individual requesting service within three (3) business days of the date upon which the individual requesting services received an early learning referral. The early learning coalition and/or CCR&R agency is not required to provide an informational packet if the individual requesting services has declined receipt of an informational packet. The individual requesting services may choose to pick up an informational packet in person or to receive an informational packet by mail, email, or fax. At a minimum, an informational packet shall contain:
(a) A cover letter including:
1. A disclaimer statement indicating that the information contained in the informational packet constitutes an unbiased referral for child care services and is not a recommendation regarding the quality of a child care program or the provider’s services;
2. Suggestions describing how a family may proceed in the search for an appropriate provider;
3. The web address of the state child care provider licensing database and, if available, the phone number of the local licensing agency;
4. An invitation to contact the CCR&R agency again if further assistance is required; and
5. The contact information of the CCR&R agency, the contact information of the early learning coalition in the event that the early learning coalition is not the CCR&R agency, and the toll-free phone number and website (flready.com) of the Agency for Workforce Innovation’s Office of Early Learning.
(b) A child care referral printout which lists a minimum of five (5) providers matching the criteria requested by the individual requesting information unless less than five (5) providers within the CCR&R agency’s service area meet the criteria requested.
(c) Other information deemed appropriate by the CCR&R agency, as requested by the individual requesting services. Requests for other appropriate information shall be recorded in the statewide information system maintained by the Agency.
(4) Each CCR&R agency shall offer relevant consumer education resources and community resources to all individuals requesting CCR&R services based upon the information provided by the individual requesting services. The CCR&R agency is not required to provide consumer education resources or community resources if the individual requesting services has declined receipt. Relevant consumer education resources and community resources may include:
(a) A resource list or directory of community services for all counties in the early learning coalition service area in which the CCR&R agency operates;
(b) United Way Directory, FLAIRS, 2-1-1;
(c) Information from and contact information for the Department of Children and Families;
(d) Information from and contact information for the Department of Education;
(e) Information regarding Florida KidCare;
(f) Information regarding Abuse Registry;
(g) The Florida Directory of Early Childhood Services (Central Directory);
(h) Resources provided by the Agency for Workforce Innovation including “A Family Guide for Selecting Quality Early Learning Programs” and “A Quality Checklist for Evaluating Early Learning Programs”; and
(i) Any other resources as needed and appropriate to the specific needs of the individual family.
(5) Each CCR&R agency shall ensure that all early learning and school-age child care providers, including licensed, registered, and license-exempt providers, legally operating within the early learning coalition’s service area, are included in the statewide information system maintained by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Early learning coalitions and/or CCR&R agencies are prohibited from charging a provider a fee for identifying the provider through the statewide information system. At a minimum, each CCR&R agency shall provide and annually update the following information for each legally operating provider:
(a) Contact information;
(b) Accreditation status;
(c) Program styles offered;
(e) Ages served;
(f) Enrollment information and vacancies;
(g) Curriculum type;
(h) Private pay rates charged;
(j) Special services offered;
(l) Transportation; and
(m) Meal options.
Rulemaking Authority 411.0101 FS. Law Implemented 411.0101 FS. History–New ________.