Maryland Child Care SubsidyProvider Information Orientation and Overview
Welcome • This presentation is an orientation and overview of The Child Care Subsidy Program. • As you go through the slides you will learn about: • The Child Care Subsidy Program • The types of child care providers • The responsibilities of the provider, family, the Local Department of Social Services (LDSS) and the Maryland State Department of Education • Getting paid for the services you provide • Payment policies • Developing your business practices • Who do you contact with a question or problem
Child Care Subsidy • Welcome to Maryland’s Child Care Subsidy program. • Our program is a partnership between parents, providers, and the Division of Early Childhood Development of the Maryland State Department of Education • Thank you for providing care for children whose families receive Child Care Subsidy.
Provider Types • In Maryland, parents have a range of choices available to them when choosing a child care provider. • Formal Care, which consists of Registered Family Child Care Homes and Licensed Child Care Centers • Informal Care, which is relative care, in-home care, and babysitting
Provider Types • Formal Child Care: • The Office of Child Care Licensing Branch monitors and licenses family child care homes and child care centers. • Informal Child Care: • The parent has set up a legal child care arrangement. The provider is required to submit a signed affirmation of compliance with child care health and safety standards. They are not required to be licensed, however, they must: • Be a relative, or • Provide care in the child’s own home.
Providers are Independent Contractors • This means: • MSDE - Maryland Child Care Subsidy is not the child care provider’s employer • The parent is the employer • Maryland’s Child Care Subsidy program does not determine your hours of operation, cost of child care and/or how child care services are provided • Maryland’s Child Care Subsidy program does not withhold or pay income or payroll taxes and/or provide fringe benefits for child care providers • Maryland issues subsidy reimbursement to child care providers on behalf of families enrolled in the Child Care Subsidy Program.
Provider Responsibilities • The provider is responsible for: • Maintaining a facility that is licensed • Maintaining health and safety standards • Keeping accurate attendance and financial records • Completing the invoices with accurate information based on attendance records, and return them in a timely manner • Communicate with the families of children in care to ensure vouchers are renewed timely
Family Responsibilities • Families are responsibilities include: • Report to LDSS any changes in provider, family income, or parent activity • Pay the weekly co-payment to the provider • Provide to the LDSS information to determine the family’s eligibility and authorize child care correctly • Understand their contractual obligations to the child care provider.
LDSS Responsibilities • The Local Department of Social Services is responsible for: • Establish a family’s eligibility for subsidized child care • Giving a family and provider 5 days advance notice if their child care benefits are being reduced, terminated or suspended • Assist in answering questions regarding eligibility
MSDE Responsibilities • The Maryland State Department of Education is responsible for: • Oversight of the Child Care Subsidy Program • Payment of invoices submitted by child care providers through Maryland Child Care Subsidy Payment Processing (MDCCSPP)
Getting Paid for Services Provided • Invoices are mailed to providers for each two-week service period. • All children with receipted vouchers are pre-printed on the invoice. • If a child name does not appear on the invoice, speak with the parent to make sure the signed voucher was returned to the LDSS. • If the voucher was returned, the child’s name will appear on an adjusted invoice • Do not write in the name of the child on your invoice
Getting Paid • To initiate payment: • As soon as the service period is over the invoice must be accurately completed, signed and sent to MDCCSPP: Mail: FAX: MDCCSPP 443-957-2641 P.O. Box 17543 Baltimore, MD 21297-1543
Getting Paid • The Invoice Processor at MDCCSPP will review the invoice to ensure that it is filled our completely and signed by the provider • The invoice data is entered into the Child Care Automated Tracking System (CCATS) • Errors on the invoice are a common reason for payment delays, so it is important to take a few extra minutes to double check the information before sending in for payment
Getting Paid • Once the Invoice Processor has signed off on the invoice, the Supervisor reviews the information and gives the final approval in CCATS. • After the invoice is approved by MDCCSPP, the request for payment is processed through the Comptroller’s Office which will take 7-10 business days • Invoice Detail Report • Once the payment is approved and the payment processed through the Comptrollers’ Office, providers will be sent an invoice detail report. • The report will specify payment for each child receiving child care subsidy. • Review the report carefully to ensure that proper payment has been issued for each child. • It is good business practice to keep copies of all detail reports for tax purposes.
Payment Policy • Reimbursement rates are based on a market rate survey on the cost of child care. • The rate established for each payment region is determined by the information provided by providers about the amount they charge to families in care. • Rates are grouped by type of care and areas of the State based on fees charged to families. • For information on payment rates visit www.marylandpublicschools.org
Payment Policy • A provider is paid only for the time authorized by the terms stated on the voucher. • If the fee you charge to families is more than the amount on the voucher, you are responsible for ensuring that families are aware of the difference in the amount of the voucher and the fee charged to families • Families must be informed of any additional fees they may be charged above the amount the State is agreeing to reimburse the provider on behalf of the family • For example: • If the voucher issued is for $100 and the assigned parent co-pay amount is $10, but the provider charges $150 for the child care slot – there is a difference of $40. • It is the responsibility of the provider and parent to agree as to the fee. The State has determined that the parent is required to pay a co-payment in the amount of $10. However, the provider may add the difference of $40 to the amount required of the parent for the care of their child. • The provider may not charge a family receiving a child care subsidy voucher more than another family in care. Therefore, if your tuition is $110 per week, then this same family would not have an additional amount due to you. The State reimbursement and parent co-pay would cover the entire cost of care for the child.
Payment Policy • Family Child Care and Child Care Center Providers are paid for: • Six holidays each year including: • New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day • Day the State or local government declares a weather emergency • Voluntary closure days when child care services are not provided as long as the parent is given at least two weeks written notice of the closure and the information is provided to MDCCSPP • Child absences up to 60 days per calendar year.
Payment Policy • Informal Providers are: • Paid for only the time the child receives care • Not paid for any holidays or child absences
Parent Co-Pay • The intent of the Child Care Subsidy Program is to assist eligible families with the cost of child care. • Most subsidy customers will be assessed an assigned co-payment based on their income • The assigned co-pay is federally mandated to assure that families are contributing to the cost of child care • The amount of the co-payment will show on the voucher issued to the parent • Parents are responsible for paying the co-pay directly to the provider, as well as any additional fee agreed upon
Developing Your Business Practices • Whether you are a licensed child care provider or an informal provider, you can benefit from developing good business practices such as: • Entering into a contract with parents • Keeping appropriate and complete documentation • Establishing a method to track and pay taxes on the money earned, and • Participating in professional development activities and, if eligible The Maryland Child Credential Program
Contracts • A contract between you and a family can prevent misunderstandings about payment expectations and other issues such as hours and days of care, food service, child guidance practices, fees, closure days, and other child care policies and practices. • Contracts should be established before care is provided and updated as needed, but at least once per year.
Documentation • Maintaining copies of vouchers, invoices, Invoice Detail Reports and payment records is good business practice • Setting up a filing system will help you keep organized • Monitoring when a voucher will expire is important and communicating with parents about a voucher ready to expire can eliminate late reimbursement payments or denial of reimbursement.
Taxes • The Maryland State Comptroller’s Office will automatically mail a 1099 Form to you each January for income tax purposes if the amount paid to you during the previous calendar year was $600 or more. • It is important for you to comply with all Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations. For questions or specific filing information contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 • The Maryland State Department of Education does not withhold taxes from child care reimbursement payments. You are self-employed and responsible for all tax liability to the State and Federal government.
Professional Development • Professional development, completing training, is good for you and the children for whom you are providing care • Training is categorized into six major areas known as the Core of Knowledge: • Child Development • Curriculum • Health, Safety and Nutrition • Special Needs • Professionalism, and • Community (knowing your community resources and diversity) • Taking training in a variety of areas helps you develop skills and knowledge to improve your business and your day-to-day interactions with the children in your care and their families
Professional Development Resources • The Maryland Child Care Credential Program is available to all licensed and registered child care providers. • It recognizes individuals working directly with children for their education (training), experience and professional activity. • It is a voluntary program, but by participating you could be eligible for bonuses and monetary support to take additional training • For more information about the Maryland Child Care Credential program visit: www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions/child_care/credentials
Tiered Reimbursement • Tiered Reimbursement: • Is a voluntary program for all licensed and registered child care providers. • Recognizes child care programs that go beyond the requirements of State licensing regulations. • Provides incentives in the form of additional quality payment amounts based on each child receiving child care subsidy in the program. • For more information on Tiered Reimbursement visit: www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions/child_care/credentials/tiered
Provider Resources • Provider Helpline: • Phone: 1-866-243-8796 • E-mail: email@example.com • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) • Tired of waiting for the mail. Sign up for EFT. The Comptroller’s Office will deposit your money directly into your bank account. For more information visit: http://compnet.comp.state.md.us/General_Accounting_Division/Vendors/Electronic_Funds_Transfer/
More Resources • Child and Adult Care Food Program • The program is a key source of support for child care providers and programs. • This program provides reimbursement for food and meal preparation costs, ongoing training, and onsite technical assistance. For additional information visit: www.eatsmartmaryland.org or call 410-767-0199
SEIU 500 – Kids First Family Child Care Providers who participate in the Child Care Subsidy program are represented by a Union.SEIU Local 500 Kids First Union represents family child care providers (both informal and formal) in the state of Maryland. The Union can offer family child care providers: • mentoring for assistance in licensing and credentialing, • a place to meet other providers, • a voice in your profession, and • discounts on training, computers and other essential items. For information about the Union or to join call 301-740-7100 For more information visit: http://www.kidsfirstmaryland.org
Child Care Associations Child care associations provide child care providers with support, networking, training and information about child care practices and standards. There are statewide and local organizations. The statewide organizations include: • Maryland Child Care Association (center association) www.mscca.org or 1-877-820-9196 • Maryland State Family Child Care Association www.msfcca.org or 240-529-6556
Forms • Providers have access to the following forms to assist with child care subsidy record keeping: • Parent’s Consent to Release Information • Parent’s Change Reporting Form (392) • See next slide for more information.
Form Uses • Parent’s Consent to Release Information – allows the provider hotline and LDSS staff to share voucher information about the children in care • Parent’s Change Reporting Form (392)– allows the parent and the provider to indicate whether or not any copayment is owed when a parent changes providers
Form Availability • Providers can obtain these forms from an LDSS, the provider hotline, or the MSDE website at: http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/ divisions/child_care/subsidy/forms.htm