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Issue Alert - 13-06-05

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Date:

Jun 13, 2013

Program Area:

Child Development and Care (CDC)

Issue Summary:

Unlicensed provider applications are now processed at the Michigan Department of Education, job searching is an “approved activity” only if it is part of the parents’ Family Self Sufficiency Plan, and providers may be paid for days even when the child is absent from care

Persons Affected:

Unlicensed CDC provider applicants, CDC recipients whose “approved activity” includes job searching, and CDC providers who have child absences

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice 320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558 E-mail: info@ccj-mi.org Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000 (734) 998-6100 (734) 998-9125 Fax


Background

This Issue Alert is based on updates to some of the Department of Human Services’s (DHS) policies regarding the Child Development and Care (CDC) program.  Specifically, effective July 1, 2013, the following policies will be updated:

·         BAM 110, located at http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/bam/110.pdf

·         BEM 703, located at http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/bem/703.pdf

·         BEM 706, located at http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/bem/706.pdf

 

To see the changes prior to July 1, 2013, go to http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/OLMWeb/exf/html/index.html

 

Child Development and Care (CDC) payments are available to help low-income families pay for child care when parents (or other adults acting as the child(ren)’s parents) are unavailable to provide care for the child(ren) because of employment, approved education or other work-related activities, or approved family preservation activities.  Child care may be provided in licensed child care centers or licensed child care homes, or by unlicensed providers, such as providers caring for the child(ren) in the child(ren)’s home or certain relatives providing care for the child(ren) in the relative’s home.

 

 

What's Happening?

BAM 110 – Application for unlicensed providers:  Local DHS offices no longer have the DHS-220 (Child Development and Care Unlicensed Provider Application) available for clients at the local DHS office.  This is because unlicensed provider enrollment processing is now completed by the Michigan Department of Education.  It appears that the DHS-220 is now obsolete.  Instead of using the DHS-220, applicants should be referred to www.michigan.gov/childcare.  At that website, applicants should complete the Unlicensed Provider Application.  The application and instructions are located on the right-hand side of the screen under the “Unlicensed Providers” section in green. 

 

BEM 703 – Approved activity:  Pursuant to the policy, there are four valid CDC “need” reasons. Each parent/substitute parent of the child needing care must have a valid “need” during the time child care is provided.  Each “need” must be verified and exists only when the parent/substitute parent (or both, in a two-parent household) is/are unavailable to provide the care because of one of the need reasons.  One of the listed reasons is an “approved activity.”  Looking for a job is an “approved activity” only if the job search is part of the parent’s Family Self-Sufficiency Plan (FSSP).  Federal and state laws require each family receiving FIP to develop an FSSP plan and participate in activities that will strengthen the family and/or help them reach self sufficiency.  DHS will not approve job search, for CDC purposes, for more than 80 hours per two-week pay period, if participation is required by the OSC/MWA, or 20 hours per pay period, if the parent is not participating with OSC/MWA.

 

BEM 706 – Payments regarding child absences:  Providers can bill and be paid by CDC for hours that a childis not in care, but normally would have been.  However, the child’s absent hours cannot be billed in order to hold a spot for a child, or if the child is not expected to return to the provider’s care.  In order for the CDC program to pay for absences, licensed and registered providers must have a written policy to charge all families for child absences.  DHS will pay for absences even if the child care provider is closed (the policy does not give an explanation for, or examples of, this type of closure).  There is a fiscal year limit of 208 hours per child in care that the CDC program will pay for child absences.

 

 

What Should Advocates Do?

1.      Educate clients and community organizations about these changes.

2.      Share information with CCJ and other advocates about the positive and negative effects of the changes to the CDC program. 

3.      When appropriate, help clients request and present information at administrative hearings, and seek legal help if necessary. 

What Should Clients Do?

1.      If you live in Genesee County and have questions about the CDC changes, call the Center for Civil Justice at 810-244-8044.  If you live in any other county and have questions, contact your local Legal Services office (ways of finding legal help are below).  

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate various sources of legal and related services, including the free legal aid office that serves your county, at MichiganLegalAid.org. You can also look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.