WSR 97-20-130




(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed October 1, 1997, 10:12 a.m., effective November 1, 1997]

Date of Adoption: September 30, 1997.

Purpose: To change chapter 388-290 WAC to implement a subsidized child care program needed by low-income families with dependent children to become employed or maintain employment. These rules will implement the mandate that all income and other eligible temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and non-TANF clients be eligible for the Department of Social and Health Services child care subsidies with a copayment. New rules WAC 388-290-025, 388-290-030, 388-290-035, 388-290-050, 388-290-055, 388-290-060, 388-290-070, 388-290-080, 388-290-090, and 388-290-105.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 388-290-040, 388-290-110, 388-290-115, 388-290-120, 388-290-123, 388-290-130, 388-290-135, 388-290-140, 388-290-155, 388-290-160, 388-290-170, 388-290-180, 388-290-210, 388-290-250, and 388-290-260; and amending WAC 388-290-010 and 388-290-020.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050.

Other Authority: EHB 3901, 401-404, chapter 58, Laws of 1997.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 97-17-104 on August 20, 1997.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: As a result of a regulatory improvement review, the Department of Social and Health Services has streamlined and simplified these rules to make them consistent with Governor Locke's and Secretary Quasim's executive orders. These rules are easier to understand, do not restate federal or state law and are more clear. Chapter 388-290 WAC also allows subsidized child care for noncitizen families.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 10, amended 2, repealed 15.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 10, amended 2, repealed 15.

Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Effective Date of Rule: November 1, 1997.

September 30, 1997

Jerry W. Friedman

Assistant Secretary

Economic Services Administration

Chapter 388-290 WAC


AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 3916, filed 11/8/95, effective 12/9/95 WAC 388-290-010 Subsidized child care ((and other work-related supportive services))--Purpose. The purpose of this program is to provide child care ((and other support)) services necessary to assist families with dependent children to become ((self-sufficient)) or remain employed.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050 and 45 CFR 255.4(F). 95-23-028 (Order 3916), 388-290-010, filed 11/8/95, effective 12/9/95.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 3916, filed 11/8/95, effective 12/9/95 WAC 388-290-020 Subsidized child care--Definitions. Except as specified in this chapter, terms used under chapter 388-290 WAC shall have the same meaning ((applied to the AFDC)) as in the WorkFirst and TANF program((, as terms defined under chapters 388-22 and 388-250 WAC, and to the JOBS program under chapter 388-47 WAC))s.

(((1))) "Able" means an adult physically ((and/))or mentally capable of caring for a child in a responsible manner.

(((2) "Applicable standards" means standards and practices related to child care under chapter 388-73 WAC or, in the case of a tribal JOBS program, tribal law.

(3) "Child care overpayment" means any child care payment received by or for an assistance unit for a month which exceeds the amount the unit was eligible to receive.

(4) "Co-payment" means the computed amount which the parent pays toward the child's cost of care.

(5) "JOBS" means the job opportunities and basic skills training program for eligible AFDC families which assists obtaining education, training, and employment needed to avoid long-term welfare dependence.

(6) "Support services" means child care, and other services provided for under federal law, that may be required, enabling an AFDC applicant or recipient to pursue employment, education, and training under chapter 388-47 WAC JOBS training program.))

"Adjusted earned income" means the gross earned income minus the average payroll and income tax paid at that income level.

"Available" means an adult able to provide care due to not participating in an approved WorkFirst activity and/or employment during the time child care is needed.

"Consumer" for the purposes of this chapter, means a parent or guardian who applies for, or receives subsidized child care services funded by the department.

"In-home/relative provider" means an unlicensed child care provider who is:

(1) One of the following adult relatives providing care in either the child's or relative's home:

(a) An adult sibling living outside the child's home; or

(b) A grandparent, aunt, uncle, first cousin, or great-grandparent, great-aunt, or great-uncle; and

(c) Not the child's biological, adoptive, or stepmother or stepfather.

(2) An adult friend or neighbor providing care in the child's own home; or

(3) An adult extended tribal family member as defined under chapter 74.15 RCW (Care of children, expectant mothers, developmentally disabled) who is providing care.

"Parent" for the purposes of this chapter, means a parent by blood, marriage, or adoption, or a legal guardian).

"Subsidy Unit" for the purposes of this chapter, means child care assistance unit.

"Total income" for the purposes of this chapter, means the sum of adjusted earned income, self-employment income, and unearned income.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050 and 45 CFR 255.4(F). 95-23-028 (Order 3916), 388-290-020, filed 11/8/95, effective 12/9/95.]


WAC 388-290-025 Subsidy units and copayments. (1) Only individuals residing in the same household can be included in subsidy unit size.

(2) The minimum copayment is assessed for minor parents who are:

(a) Receiving TANF and living independently;

(b) The TANF head of household;

(c) Part of another TANF grant.

(3) The department can assess copayments above the minimum for:

(a) Related adults, other than spouses, and their respective child(ren). These are each separate subsidy units.

(b) Unmarried parents with a mutual child(ren). This is a single subsidy unit.

(c) Married or unmarried parents and their mutual and nonmutual children, if there is at least one mutual child. This is a single subsidy unit.

(d) Unmarried adults without a mutual child(ren). These are each separate subsidy units.

(e) A non-TANF minor parent living independently. This is a single subsidy unit.

(f) A child or minor parent living with a nonresponsible caretaker. This is a separate subsidy unit.

(4) Eligibility for subsidized child care ends when the consumer fails to pay, or arrange payment for, required copayment fees.

(5) The department reinstates the subsidy unit's eligibility for subsidized child care when back copayment fees are paid or satisfactory arrangements are made to make full payments.



WAC 388-290-030 Responsibilities for the department, the consumer, and the provider under the subsidized child care program. (1) The department provides a program of subsidized child care for income-eligible consumers as follows:

(a) Only authorize payment to child care providers who allow parents or guardians access to their children whenever the children are in care;

(b) Take the child's needs into account when the department authorizes child care;

(c) Assure the parent's choice of child care facility or provider is protected;

(d) Only authorize payment when no adult in the subsidy unit is able and available to care for the children;

(e) Respond to requests for subsidized child care within ten days;

(f) Inform consumers of the child care options for which the department can make payment;

(g) Inform consumers of community resources which can help them select child care, if needed;

(h) Inform consumers of their rights and responsibilities in relation to child care; and

(i) Provide prompt child care payments to the provider.

(2) Consumers will:

(a) Be responsible to choose the provider and make the child care arrangements, including backup care arrangements;

(b) Notify the department of any change in providers within ten days;

(c) Pay the in-home/relative provider after the department pays the consumer for in-home/relative care;

(d) Be responsible to pay, or make arrangements to pay, any required copayment directly to the child care provider;

(e) Supply the department with necessary information to allow payment to the authorized provider;

(f) Notify the provider within ten days when the department discontinues or changes the child care authorization;

(g) Provide notice to the department within ten days of any change in household size or income level; and

(h) Assure the in-home/relative provider furnishes a valid social security number to the department, if the consumer chooses this kind of provider.



WAC 388-290-035 Providers eligible for payment under the subsidized child care program. (1) A licensed child care provider must be licensed as required by chapter 74.15 RCW and chapters 388-73, 388-155 (Minimum licensing requirements for family child day care homes), and 388-150 WAC (Minimum licensing requirements for child day care centers).

(2) Child care providers exempt from licensing but who must be certified by the department include:

(a) Tribal child care facilities meeting the requirements of tribal law;

(b) Child care facilities on a military installation;

(c) Child care facilities operated on public school property by a school district.

(3) In-home/relative providers are exempt from licensing and certification, but must be registered with the department and meet the requirements of WAC 388-15-170.



WAC 388-290-050 Eligible children and consumers under the subsidized child care program. (1) To be eligible for subsidized child care, the consumer must:

(a) Be a caretaker of one or more children; and

(b) Not care for their own child(ren) during the time child care is authorized, if the consumer is an employee of the child care facility to which the department has authorized payment.

(2) The department may authorize subsidized child care for a child between thirteen and nineteen years old if the child is:

(a) Under court supervision;

(b) Physically, mentally or emotionally incapable of self-care. This must be verified by a licensed medical practitioner or masters-level or above mental health professional.

(3) TANF consumers in sanction are not eligible for subsidized child care unless child care is necessary to:

(a) Obtain or maintain employment;

(b) Enroll in, or maintain enrollment in, an approved WorkFirst activity; or

(c) Remove the sanction.

(4) The child(ren) for whom the consumer applies must be a citizen or legally residing in the country.



WAC 388-290-055 Payment for subsidized child care. (1) The department pays for child care for:

(a) A consumer's hours of participation in an approved WorkFirst activity and/or hours of employment;

(b) Transportation time between the place of employment or approved WorkFirst activity and the location of child care, if needed;

(c) Self-employment under WAC 388-290-070.

(2) The department may authorize child care payments for up to two weeks for a TANF consumer waiting to enter an approved WorkFirst activity.

(3) The department may authorize child care payments for up to four weeks for a consumer who experiences a gap in employment, or approved WorkFirst activity, if all the following conditions are met:

(a) The gap is for reasons out of the consumer's control;

(b) Employment, or the approved WorkFirst activity, will resume within that period;

(c) The consumer received subsidized child care immediately before the gap in employment, or approved WorkFirst activity; and

(d) Child care arrangements would otherwise be lost.

(4) The department pays initial and ongoing annual registration/equipment fees only if the fees are:

(a) Required of all parents whose (child(ren) are in care with that provider; and

(b) Needed to maintain a child care arrangement.

(5) The department may pay ongoing activity fees to the child care provider if the conditions in subsection (4)(a) and (b) of this section are met.

(6) The department may establish a protective payee due to mismanagement of funds for consumers who fail to pay the in-home/relative child care provider, when:

(a) The department issued a child care warrant to the correct address and twelve or more working days have passed since the issuance date; and

(b) The consumer has not reported the warrant lost, stolen, or destroyed.



WAC 388-290-060 Adequate notice requirements and effective dates. (1) The department authorizes subsidized child care payments effective the following dates:

(a) For TANF consumers, the date an approved WorkFirst activity begins, or the date of request for TANF assistance, whichever is later.

(b) For non-TANF consumers, the date employment begins, or the date of request for child care, whichever is later.

(2) The department provides advance and adequate notice to consumers for changes in payment when the change results in a discontinuation, suspension, reduction, termination, or forces a change in child care arrangements.

(3) Advance and adequate notice requirements do not apply for other changes in the manner of payment.



WAC 388-290-070 Self-employment and subsidized child care. (1) To be and remain eligible for subsidized child care, a self-employed person must maintain and make available to the department a record which clearly documents all claimed business expenses and income.

(2) For the first twelve months of self-employment starting from the date the consumer first became eligible for child care for self-employment, the consumer's required hours of child care are based on the greater of the following:

(a) Written documentation of the number of hours needed based on hours worked, as approved by the department; or

(b) The number of hours calculated by dividing the consumer's monthly self-employment income by the federal minimum wage.

(3) After the first twelve months, the consumer's necessary hours of child care are based on the lesser amount in subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section.



WAC 388-290-080 Subsidized child care--Fair hearings. (1) Consumers may request fair hearings under chapter 388-08 WAC (Practice and procedure--Fair hearing) on any action affecting child care benefits except for changes resulting from a change in policy or law.

(2) Consumers of subsidized child care may be eligible for continued child care benefits pending the outcome of a fair hearing if the consumer requests the fair hearing on or before the effective date of the action or within ten days of the notice of adverse action.

(3) The department shall consider any child care benefits the consumer receives pending a fair hearing or hearing decision to be an overpayment if the fair hearing decision subsequently finds against the consumer.



WAC 388-290-090 Income eligibility and copayments. (1) The department determines income eligibility for subsidized child care by using the best available documentation of the subsidy unit's current and expected income.

(2) All consumers contribute to the subsidized child care cost by making monthly copayments, as follows:

(a) Ten dollars for subsidy units with total income at or below seventy-four percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL);

(b) Twenty dollars for subsidy unit with total income above seventy-four percent and up to one hundred percent of the FPL;

(c) Subsidy units with total income over one hundred percent of the FPL pay the greater of:

(i) Twenty dollars; or

(ii) Forty-seven percent of total income exceeding one hundred percent of the FPL.

(3) The department shall calculate copayments:

(a) At the time of the initial eligibility determination or authorization;

(b) At least every six months, starting from the first month of eligibility;

(c) When monthly income increases one hundred dollars or more;

(d) When monthly income decreases; or

(e) When subsidy unit size increases or decreases.

(4) The department authorizes subsidized child care for up to six months at a time.

(5) The military family's housing and food allowance is counted as unearned income for the purposes of subsidized child care.



WAC 388-290-105 Subsidized child care--Overpayments. (1) In areas not covered by this section, child care consumers are subject to chapter 388-270 WAC (Incorrect payments).

(2) When establishing an overpayment, the department reduces child care overpayment by the amount of a child care underpayment when applicable.

(3) When a provider receives payment for child care services not provided, the department establishes the overpayment in the provider's name.

(4) The department recovers overpayments in cases:

(a) Of fraud;

(b) Involving current or past consumers; and

(c) Where cost of recovery does not exceed the overpayment amount.

(5) The department may recover child care overpayments from current TANF or non-TANF consumers from their child care benefits. Recovery may not interfere with child care arrangements.

(6) The department may recover child care overpayments from TANF benefits on voluntary request of the TANF recipient.



The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:

WAC 388-290-040 Assurances and responsibilities under JOBS, income assistance, and transitional child care.

WAC 388-290-110 JOBS, income assistance, and transitional child care programs.

WAC 388-290-115 JOBS, income assistance, and transitional child care programs--Eligible children and recipients.

WAC 388-290-120 JOBS, income assistance, and transitional child care program--Payment.

WAC 388-290-123 JOBS, income assistance, and transitional child care programs--Effective dates.

WAC 388-290-130 Income assistance and transitional child care programs--Effect on eligibility and payments.

WAC 388-290-135 JOBS, income assistance, and transitional child care--Hearings.

WAC 388-290-140 Income assistance child care program--Conversion.

WAC 388-290-155 Transitional child care--Purpose and initial eligibility.

WAC 388-290-160 Transitional child care--Co-payment.

WAC 388-290-170 Transitional child care--Ongoing eligibility.

WAC 388-290-180 Child care overpayments.

WAC 388-290-210 Other supportive services.

WAC 388-290-250 Transitional supportive services.

WAC 388-290-260 Supportive services overpayments.

Legislature Code Reviser


Washington State Code Reviser's Office