B-701: About Maximum Provider Reimbursement Rates

Based on local factors, including a market rate survey provided by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Workforce Development Boards (Boards) must establish maximum reimbursement rates for child care subsidies to ensure that the rates provide equal access to child care in the local market and in a manner consistent with state and federal statutes and regulations governing child care.  (As required by TWC rule at 40 TAC §802.1(f) and as detailed in WD Letter 10-07 PDF, Board members must take such actions in an open meeting.)

- Rule Reference: §809.20(a)

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B-702: Reimbursement Rates Based on Categories of Care

Workforce Development Boards (Boards) must be aware that subsidized child care reimbursement rates are based on categories of care. 

B-702.a: Provider Types

At a minimum, Boards must establish reimbursement rates for full-day and part-day units of service, as described in F-300: Provider Reimbursement, for the following provider types:

  • Licensed child care centers, including before- or after-school programs and school-age programs, as defined by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
  • Licensed child care homes as defined by DFPS
  • Registered child care homes as defined by DFPS
  • Relative child care providers as defined in A-100: Definitions

- Rule Reference: §809.20(a)(1)

B-702.b: Age Groups

At a minimum, Boards must establish reimbursement rates for full-day and part-day units of service, as described in F-300: Provider Reimbursement, for the following age groups in each provider type:

  • Infants age zero to 17 months
  • Toddlers age 18 to 35 months
  • Preschool children age 36 to 71 months
  • Schoolchildren age 72 months and older

- Rule Reference: §809.20(a)(2)

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B-703: Enhanced Reimbursement Rate

Workforce Development Boards (Boards) must establish enhanced reimbursement rates for all age groups at Texas Rising Star (TRS) provider facilities.

Boards must establish enhanced reimbursement rates for preschool-age children enrolled Child care providers participating in integrated school readiness models pursuant to TEC §29.160, the Texas School Ready! (TSR!) project.

- Rule Reference: §809.20(b)

Boards must be aware that TRS certified providers, including TRS certified providers that are also either Kindergarten Readiness System-certified or participating in the TSR! project, receive the enhanced reimbursement rate for all age groups.

B-703.a: Minimum Requirements for Enhanced Reimbursement Rates

The minimum enhanced reimbursement rates established above, under B-703: Enhanced Reimbursement Rates, must be greater than the maximum rate established for the same category of care as providers not meeting the requirements of B-703: Enhanced Reimbursement Rates up to, but not to exceed, the enhanced care provider’s published rate.

The maximum enhanced provider rate must be at least:

  • 5 percent greater for a TRS 2-Star Program Provider, TSR! Project participant, or a provider certified pursuant to TEC §29.161 (if such certification is available)
  • 7 percent greater for a TRS 3-Star Program Provider
  • 9 percent greater for a TRS 4-Star Program Provider

- Rule Reference: §809.20(c)

B-703.b: Additional Requirements for Enhanced Reimbursement Rates

Boards may establish a higher enhanced reimbursement rate than those specified above in B-703.a: Minimum Requirements for Enhanced Reimbursement Rates, as long as there is a minimum 2 percentage point difference between each star level.

- Rule Reference: §809.20(d)

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B-704: Reimbursement for Transportation

 Workforce Development Boards must determine whether to reimburse providers that offer transportation—as long as the combined total of the provider’s published rate, plus the transportation rate, does not exceed the maximum reimbursement rate established above in B-702: Reimbursement Rates Based on Categories of Care and B-703: Enhanced Reimbursement Rates.       

- Rule Reference: §809.20(f)

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B-705: Increasing Board Maximum Rates

A Board intending to increase maximum reimbursement rates must ensure that the rate increases will allow the Board to:

  • Meet its contracted target for the Average Number of Children Served per Day performance measure
  • Keep expenditures within its child care allocation

Boards must be aware that that failure to meet the above performance standards may result in Board corrective actions pursuant to the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) General Administration rules, Chapter 800, Subchapter E.  Boards may consult with TWC’s Division of Operational Insight (DOI) and use the interactive Child Care Reimbursement Rate Tool (Rate Tool) developed by DOI as part of the consultation.

The Rate Tool is available on the Intranet (the Intranet is not available to the general public). 

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B-706: Inclusion Assistance Rate for Children with Disabilities

The Workforce Development Board (Board) or its child care contractor must ensure that providers that are reimbursed for additional staff or equipment needed to assist in the care of a child with disabilities are paid a rate up to 190 percent of the provider’s reimbursement rate for a child without disabilities of that same age.

The higher rate must take into consideration the estimated cost of the additional staff or equipment needed by a child with disabilities.

Boards must ensure that a qualified professional familiar with assessing the needs of children with disabilities certifies the need for the higher reimbursement rate.

- Rule Reference: §809.20(e)

 

B-706.a: Information Regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 protects children with disabilities and requires child care providers to serve children with disabilities if reasonable accommodations can be made.  However, child care providers cannot charge parents for the cost of making such accommodations available. 

Commonly Asked Questions about Child Care Centers and the Americans with Disabilities Act, published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, is a useful resource for child care providers regarding ADA.

 

B-706.b: Intent of the Inclusion Assistance Rate

While child care providers are legally responsible for making reasonable modifications for any child with disabilities, the inclusion assistance rate is made available to providers serving low-income families to assist them in making such reasonable accommodations.  The inclusion assistance rate also is available to assist providers and families if a child’s disability requires more than just reasonable modifications for the child to be fully included in the child care provider’s daily activities.

 

B-706.c: Authorizing the Inclusion Assistance Rate

Boards must be aware of the following two-step process for authorizing the inclusion assistance rate:

1.  Verifying a Child’s Eligibility for the Inclusion Assistance Rate

Boards must ensure that Workforce Solutions office staff verify a child’s eligibility for the inclusion assistance rate by confirming the child’s enrollment in or receipt of benefits from one or more of the following programs:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits
  • Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program
  • A Head Start program that identified the child as having a disability
  • Public school special education services, including preschool programs for children with disabilities (PPCD)

2.  Assessing the Provider’s Need for the Inclusion Assistance Rate

Verification of a child’s participation in one of the programs listed above does not approve the child care provider for the inclusion assistance rate.  Under Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) rule §809.20(d), as described above in this section, Boards must ensure that a qualified professional familiar with assessing the needs of children with disabilities certifies the need for the inclusion assistance rate.

Boards must develop a procedure for designating qualified professionals familiar with assessing the needs of children with disabilities to certify the need for the inclusion assistance rate. 

Boards must ensure that designated qualified professionals consider the cost of the following when certifying a need for the inclusion assistance rate:

  • Additional staff and necessary training
  • Necessary equipment
  • Necessary minor renovations
  • Expected duration of the inclusion assistance rate
  • The percentage of the increase rate, which is not to exceed 190 percent of the provider’s reimbursement rat

Boards must ensure that the designated qualified professional:

Uses Form CC-2419 (2011) – Certification for Inclusion Assistance Rate to determine the need for the inclusion assistance rate

  • Evaluates the parent and provider questionnaire included in form CC-2419
  • Conducts observations at the provider site to confirm a need for the inclusion assistance rate
  • Ensures that the provider has met the minimum standards set forth in 40 TAC §746.1315 for CPR and first aid training during the provider’s most recent inspection by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
  • Reviews one of the following, depending on which program the child is enrolled in:

Boards must ensure that child care contractors verify provider compliance with approved activities within 30 calendar days of receiving approval for the inclusion assistance rate.

Initiating the Inclusion Assistance Rate Process

Boards must be aware that the inclusion assistance rate process:

  • Can be initiated only by a child’s parent
  • Cannot be initiated by child care providers

If a child care provider requests that a child receive the inclusion assistance rate, Boards must ensure that the provider is informed of the following:

  • The inclusion assistance rate can be requested only by the parent.
  • The provider should discuss with the parent the provider’s concerns regarding the child’s special needs.
  • The provider can recommend that the parent contact the Board’s child care contractor to discuss inclusion assistance rate benefits and process.
  • The provider can refer the parent to the following appropriate programs and services for children with disabilities:

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B-707: Determining the Amount of the Provider Reimbursement

The actual reimbursement that the Workforce Development Boards (Boards) or the Board’s child care contractor pays to the provider must be the Board’s maximum daily rate or the provider’s published daily rate, whichever is lower, less the following amounts:

  • The parent share of cost assessed (and adjusted when the parent share of cost is reduced)
  • Any child care funds received by the parent from other public or private entities

- Rule Reference: §809.21(a)

B-707.a: Provider Published Rates

The Board or its child care contractor must ensure that the provider’s published daily rates are calculated according to Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) guidance and include the provider’s enrollment fees, supply fees and activity fees.

- Rule Reference: §809.21(a)

B-707.b: Calculating Providers’ Published Rate

Boards must be aware that the published daily rate is the sum of calculated daily rates and calculated daily fees.

Boards must ensure that child care contractors use the following methodology to calculate providers’ published rates and applicable fees upon renewal of provider agreements:

Calculating Daily Rates

Provider types

To obtain the daily rate:

Providers with monthly rates

Divide the rate by

4.33, then divide the result by 5

Providers with biweekly rates

Divide the rate by 2.165, then divide the result by 5

Providers with weekly rates

Divide the weekly amount by 5

Providers with hourly rates

Multiply the hourly rate by 12 to calculate the full-day rate and by 6 to calculate the part-day rate

Providers with multiple rates within an age category, as defined in TWC's Child Care Services rule §809.20(a)(2), will average all applicable rates to obtain the published rate for the age category, then determine the daily rate using the appropriate method.

Daily fees include the following:

  • Enrollment and registration fees
  • Supply fees
  • Activity fees

The calculated daily fee amount is the total reported fees prorated by the number of days in the provider’s program year.

Calculating Daily Fees

Program Type

Program Days

Full Year

260

School Year

194

Summer Only

  66

When identifying applicable fees, Boards must be aware that activity fees include only the fees that all parents are required to pay and do not include fees for optional activities such as field trips or optional classes.

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B-708: Methods of Reimbursement to Providers

Workforce Development Boards (Boards) must reimburse child care providers using either Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or debit card payments. 

Boards may determine which of the following payment methods is most practical for its workforce area:

  • EFT and debit card
  • EFT only
  • Debit card only

In exceptional circumstances, Boards may determine that a check is required.  These exceptions are to enable Boards to provide payment only when the EFT and/or debit card is not a viable payment method. 

Boards must ensure that a justification for the exception check is documented.

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Part A - Definitions

Part H - Consumer Education and Child Care Quality Activities

Part J - Appendix