Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 10-15-116.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 170-290 WAC, Working connections and seasonal child care programs, amending WAC 170-290-0031 Notification of changes and 170-290-0032 Failure to report changes.
Hearing Location(s): 1. Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in person at the Department of Early Learning (DEL), Tumwater Office, Point Plaza East, Nisqually Room, 6860 Capitol Boulevard S.E., Building 2, Tumwater, WA 98501; on-line at "Go to Webinar" https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/956405538. To join the hearing on-line, you must register at this web site and give your name and e-mail address; or by telephone conference call toll free at 1-866-441-7284. When directed by the operator, enter the number 990391 and the "#" (pound) sign.
2. Saturday, October 30, 2010, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., in person at the Spokane Public Library, Shadle Branch, West 2111 Wellesley Avenue, Spokane, WA 99205; on-line at "Go to Webinar" https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/705247298. To join the hearing on-line, you must register at this web site and give your name and e-mail address; or by telephone conference call toll free at 1-866-441-7284. When directed by the operator, enter the number 740227 and the "#" (pound) sign.
You may join these hearings anytime during the posted hours to offer your input or to hear what others are saying about the proposed rules.
The deadline for sending written comments on the proposed rules is midnight on Sunday, October 31, 2010. See the "submit written comments to" section of this notice about how to submit written input on this proposal.
Everyone who comments on the proposed rules either in writing or at a public hearing will receive the department's combined written response, called a concise explanatory statement. This statement is also available to anyone who requests it, by contacting the DEL rules coordinator at the address above, or by e-mailing Rules@del.wa.gov.
DEL encourages the public to use of the department Facebook and DEL blog pages on the internet to post input about DEL programs and initiatives. However, for a written comment to be considered part of the official record for this proposal, and for the sender to receive the department's official response to comments in the concise explanatory statement, the comment must be received at the on-line, e-mail, fax or postal mail locations as described in this notice under "submit written comments to."
Date of Intended Adoption: After November 1, 2010.
Submit Written Comments to: DEL Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 40970, Olympia, WA 98504-0970, DEL on-line comment web site https://apps.del.wa.gov/PolicyProposalComment/Detail.aspx, e-mail Rules@del.wa.gov, fax (360) 725-4939, by 11:59 p.m., October 31, 2010.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact DEL rules coordinator by October 22, 2010, (360) 725-4665.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: DEL is revising rules regarding changes that a family receiving working connections child care (WCCC) subsidies must report to the department of social and health services (DSHS). Under this proposal:
• A family must report when their countable income rises, only if the increase may put the family over the income limit to remain eligible for WCCC.
• A WCCC family may, but is not required to, report when their income decreases. Reporting an income decrease may lower a family's monthly out-of-pocket child care copayment amount.
• A family that has a twelve-month WCCC eligibility
period, due to having a child enrolled in head
start, early head start or early childhood education
and assistance program (ECEAP), must report within
ten days when their child is no longer enrolled in
one of those preschool programs. But the family
would not be penalized if they miss the ten-day
Reasons Supporting Proposal: On July 15, 2010, DEL adopted amendments to WAC 170-290-0082 to implement E2SHB 3141 (chapter 273, Laws of 2010 regular session). HB 3141 directs DEL, in part, to "establish and implement policies in the working connections child care program to promote stability and quality of care for children from low income households ..." In comments on proposed changes to WAC 170-290-0082, stakeholders recommended reducing the types of changes a WCCC family must report, particularly reporting when a family's income goes up or down. Under the current WCCC rules, families must report any monthly income increase or decrease.
In responding to the public comments on proposed WAC 170-290-0082 (see the concise explanatory statement prepared for the permanent adoption of the rule), DEL offered to propose a future amendment to WAC 170-290-0031 that would:
• Limit required reporting of monthly income increases only to an increase that may put the family income over the limit to remain eligible for WCCC.
• Allow - but not require - a WCCC family to report when their monthly income decreases. Reporting a decrease may lower the family's monthly out-of-pocket copayment to as low as the minimum $15 per child per month.
This proposed rule carries out the department's concise explanatory statement for amended WAC 170-290-0082.
In addition, the proposed new subsection (6) to WAC 170-290-0031 requires the family who receives twelve months of WCCC eligibility under WAC 170-290-0082 to report within ten days when their child is no longer enrolled in head start, early head start or ECEAP. The families' reports are intended to help DEL and DSHS study how the twelve-month eligibility program impacts child care stability of the participating WCCC families. This study is required by HB 3141. Under the proposed amendment of WAC 170-290-0032, a family would not be penalized for reporting later than ten days when their child is no longer enrolled in head start, early head start or ECEAP.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.215.060 and 43.215.070; chapter 43.215 RCW.
Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 273, Laws of 2010, regular session (E2SHB 3141); chapter 43.215 RCW.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: Under section 501 (uncodified), chapter 265, Laws of 2006, DEL and DSHS jointly operate the WCCC program. DEL is responsible for WCCC policy-making and adopting rules for the program. DSHS staff accept WCCC applications, determine family eligibility, and process payments to child care providers who care for children who receive WCCC subsidized care.
The WCCC program helps pay for child care for eligible families while the parents work or attend training, education or other approved activities. Families pay a monthly out-of-pocket copayment for each child receiving WCCC subsidized child care. The copayment amount is based on the family's countable income.
Name of Proponent: Department of early learning, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Mark Rosen/Andy Fernando, DEL, Lacey, Washington, (360) 725-4665; Implementation: DSHS field offices and call centers, statewide; and Enforcement: DSHS field offices, statewide.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rules are expected to create a cost for affected small businesses, or if costs are created they are likely to be minor. The proposal is intended to improve child care stability for WCCC families, which may also have a beneficial effect to small business child care providers that the state pays to provide subsidized care under the WCCC program.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. DEL is not listed among the state agencies required to comply with RCW 34.05.328.
September 21, 2010
Elizabeth M. Hyde
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-22-043, filed 10/28/09, effective 12/1/09)
WAC 170-290-0031 Notification of changes. When a consumer applies for or receives WCCC benefits, he or she must:
(1) Notify DSHS's WCCC staff, within five days, of any change in providers;
(2) Notify the consumer's provider within ten days when DSHS changes his or her child care authorization;
(3) Notify DSHS's WCCC staff within ten days of any change in:
(a) The number of child care hours the consumer needs (more or less hours);
(b) The consumer's ((
household)) countable income,
including any TANF grant or child support increases or
decreases, only if the change would cause the consumer's
countable income to exceed the maximum eligibility limit as
provided in WAC 170-290-0005 (2)(d). A consumer may notify
DSHS's WCCC staff at any time of a decrease in the consumer's
household income, which may lower the consumer's copayment
under WAC 170-290-0085;
(c) The consumer's household size such as any family member moving in or out of his or her home;
(d) Employment, school or approved TANF activity (starting, stopping or changing);
(e) The address and telephone number of the consumer's in-home/relative provider;
(f) The consumer's home address and telephone number; and
(g) The consumer's legal obligation to pay child support;
(4) Report to DSHS's WCCC staff, within twenty-four
hours, any pending charges or conviction information the
consumer learns about his or her in-home/relative provider;
(5) Report to DSHS's WCCC staff, within twenty-four hours, any pending charges or conviction information the consumer learns about anyone sixteen years of age and older who lives with the provider when care occurs outside of the child's home; and
(6) Notify DSHS's WCCC staff within ten days when a family receiving a twelve-month eligibility period under WAC 170-290-0082(2) no longer has a child receiving services from head start, early head start, or an early childhood education and assistance program.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070, 2006 c 265, and chapter 43.215 RCW. 09-22-043, § 170-290-0031, filed 10/28/09, effective 12/1/09. 08-08-047, recodified as § 170-290-0031, filed 3/27/08, effective 3/27/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.12.340, 74.13.085, and 2003 1st sp.s. c 25. 04-08-021 and 04-08-134, § 388-290-0031, filed 3/29/04 and 4/7/04, effective 5/28/04.]
(1) A copayment error. The consumer may be required to pay a higher copayment as stated in WAC 170-290-0085; or
(2) A WCCC payment error. If an overpayment occurs, the consumer may receive an overpayment for what the provider is allowed to bill, including billing for absent days (see publication Child Care Subsidies, A Booklet for Licensed and Certified Child Care Providers, DEL 22-877, revised 2009).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070, 2006 c 265, and chapter 43.215 RCW. 09-22-043, § 170-290-0032, filed 10/28/09, effective 12/1/09. 08-08-047, recodified as § 170-290-0032, filed 3/27/08, effective 3/27/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.12.340, and 74.13.085. 05-22-078, § 388-290-0032, filed 10/31/05, effective 12/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.12.340, 74.13.085, and 2003 1st sp.s. c 25. 04-08-021 and 04-08-134, § 388-290-0032, filed 3/29/04 and 4/7/04, effective 5/28/04.]