D-301: Eligibility for Choices Child Care

Workforce Development Boards must be aware that a child is eligible for Choices child care if the child's parent is participating in the Choices program at initial eligibility or at eligibility redetermination.

- Rule Reference: §809.45(a)

Boards must be aware that a child must continue to be considered eligible and receive Choices child care for 12 months unless the parent ceases to participate in the Choices program and is not engaged in any other work, training, or education activity for three months. If a former Choices participant is working or participating in education or training at any level, the child is considered eligible even when participation in the Choices program has ended.

Rule Reference: §809.45(b)

Boards must be aware that if a Choices customer owes a recoupment for parent share of cost, that recoupment does not affect Choices child care eligibility.

D-301.a: Early Engagement in Choices

Boards must be aware that a parent applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and participating in Choices early engagement is considered to be participating in Choices and eligible for Choices child care.

D-301.b: Authorization for Choices Child Care Services

Boards may use Form E-2510, Notification of Child Care Eligibility, or a locally modified Form E-2510 when arranging child care services for Choices customers. Initial authorizations for care must include the following information:

  • Eligibility start date
  • 12-month eligibility redetermination date
  • Child’s information
  • Care type to be authorized

Boards must ensure that Choices customers receive the following child care services information:

  • The basic rights listed in the Texas Workforce Commission Sample Parent Rights form
  • A signed Parent Agreement to Report Attendance, which must contain, at a minimum, the following:
  • Information about selecting a provider
  • Information about developmental screenings

D-301.c: Choices Nonparticipation

Boards must be aware that for the purposes of beginning the three-month continuation of care (job search) period, ceasing to participate in the Choices program means that the parent is not meeting the Choices participation requirements and the Choices caseworker has closed the Choices case.

Additionally, the customer must have experienced a permanent cessation of work/training activity. If the customer ceases to participate in Choices but is still in a work or training activity, job search is not required and child care should continue for the duration of the eligibility period.

Boards must ensure that when the Choices case is closed and the customer is not in any work, training or education activity, an "Activity Interruption" record must be entered on the TWIST "Program Detail." The "Activity Interruption" start date should immediately follow the Choices case closure.

Boards must also be aware that a customer who has been sanctioned but whose Choices case remains open is considered to be in an employment/training activity as long as the Choices case is open.

D-301.d: Notice of Choices Case Closure

Boards may use Form E-2510, Notification of Child Care Eligibility, or a locally developed form to notify child care staff of changes in Choices customer participation. Boards must ensure that Choices staff notifies Child Care staff when a Choices case closes.

Child care staff must act upon notice of a closed Choices case by determining whether the customer has ceased participating in all work, training, or education:

  • If the former Choices customer is engaged in work, training, or education at any level, then the Board must ensure that Choices child care continues for the duration of the 12-month eligibility period, and no "Activity Interruption" is entered.
  • If the customer is no longer participating in any work, training, or education activity at any level, then the Board child care contractor must enter an "Activity Interruption" into the TWIST Choices Child Care "Program Detail." The "Activity Interruption Start Date" will match the date of the Choices case closure. 

Board child care contractors must be aware that the Choices program will outreach former Choices customers whose cases were closed for noncompliance. Choices program outreach results in the creation of a new Choices "Program Detail" in TWIST. However, Choices outreach does not indicate that a customer is participating again. Choices staff will issue a new 2510 (or other locally developed form) when a Choices customer whose Choices case was previously closed begins participating again.

Boards must be aware that Choices customers may choose to voluntarily withdraw children from child care services.

D-301.e: Notice of Choices Case Reopening

Boards must be aware that a customer who was previously in the Choices program may return to the Choices program during the 12-month eligibility period for child care services. Board child care contractors are required to ensure that when a Choices child care customer returns to participating in the Choices program, any open child care "Activity Interruption" is ended and the current 12-month eligibility period for child care services continues. The "Activity Interruption Return Date" should match the begin date on the Choices 2510 form.

D-301.f: Activity Interruptions for Choices Child Care Customers

Boards must ensure that Activity Interruptions are entered into TWIST only when a Choices case is closed and a customer experiences a permanent cessation of any work, training, or education activity.

For customers experiencing a permanent cessation of work, training, or education activity, child care must continue for a minimum of three months or until the scheduled redetermination, whichever is sooner. If the customer enters an activity at any level within the three months, then care must continue for the duration of the 12-month eligibility period.

As described in D-801, Boards must ensure that temporary changes in work, training, or education participation do not affect a customer’s eligibility for child care services.

Figure 1: Example of Choices Participation Starting and Stopping within the Child Care 12-Month Eligibility Period

 Choices case was closed and customer was not in any work or training activity. A TWIST "Activity Interruption" for "Job Search" was entered. Customer was informed of three months of continued care to job search or return to an education/training activity. May 15–August 30: Customer began participating in the Choices program again. TWIST "Activity Interruption" ended because customer was participating again. Existing 12-month eligibility period continues. September 1: Choices case was closed due to sanctions. However, the customer was working a few hours per week, so eligibility for child care services was unaffected by the case closure. Child care services continue through the end of the 12-month eligibility period (December 31).

  • January 1–February 28: Customer was participating in the Choices program with an open Choices case.
  • March 1–May 14: Choices case was closed and customer was not in any work or training activity. A TWIST "Activity Interruption" for "Job Search" was entered. Customer was informed of three months of continued care to job search or return to an education/training activity.
  • May 15–August 30: Customer began participating in the Choices program again.  "Activity Interruption" ended because customer was participating again. Existing 12-month eligibility period continues.
  • September 1: Choices case was closed due to sanctions. However, the customer was working a few hours per week, so eligibility for child care services was unaffected by the case closure.
  • Child care services continue through the end of the 12-month eligibility period (December 31).

D-301.g: Communication between Choices and Child Care Staff

The following table describes the actions that Choices staff may take regarding a Choices participant’s case and the related child care staff actions.

Choices Child Care Staff Actions & Communications

Action

Choices Staff

Child Care Staff

Provide Choices Child Care

Choices staff sends E-2510, Notification of Child Care Eligibility (2510), to Child Care staff with the following new information:

  • Eligibility start date
  • Parent and/or caretaker information
  • Information about each child who needs care

Child Care staff sets up a 12-month eligibility period for the customer under Choices Child Care.

Choices case closure

Choices staff sends a 2510 to Child Care staff with the following information:

  • Program closure date
  • Indication as to whether the parent is engaged in any work, training, or educational activity at any level
  • Date of TANF denial or voluntary withdrawal due to employment or increased earnings (if applicable)

Child Care staff determines whether the parent is engaged in any work, training, or education activity at any level.

  • If the parent is not engaged in any work, education, or training activity, Child Care staff creates an Activity Interruption record in TWIST to track three months of continued care while the parent searches for a job or an education and/or training activity.
  • If the parent is engaged in work, education, and/or training, then care continues for the duration of the eligibility period; no Activity Interruption should be created in TWIST.
  • Staff enter date of TANF denial or voluntary withdrawal into  TWIST Counselor Notes or other locally developed system so 12-month tracking can begin for priority group.

Change of address

Choices staff sends a 2510 to Child Care staff with the following information:

  • Date of change
  • Address and indication as to whether it is in another Board area in the Comment field

 

If the address is in another local workforce development area (workforce area), Choices staff tells the parent to contact the new area immediately to continue care.

  • Child Care staff updates the customer’s information in TWIST.
  • If the customer has moved to a new workforce area, Child Care staff notifies Child Care staff in the new workforce area that the customer is being transferred.

Add or remove child from care

If the Choices case is open, Choices staff sends a 2510 to Child Care staff with the following information:

  • Date of change
  • Child’s information
  • Indication as to whether staff is adding or removing the child and the reason for the action

 

If the Choices case is closed, the parent works directly with Child Care staff to request the addition or removal of the child from care. A 2510 is not required.

  • If the Choices case is open, Child Care staff adds or removes the child from care per the family’s current eligibility period and the 2510 received from Choices staff*
  • If the Choices case is closed, Child Care staff adds or removes the child based on the customer’s request*
  • A new TWIST Program Detail might be required to add a child.

 

*Note: The addition to or removal of a child from Choices Child Care does not change the family’s current Child Care 12-month eligibility period.

Return to Choices from a recent Choices case closure

If the parent participates in Choices child care:

  • Choices staff notifies Child Care staff that the parent is participating in Choices again; and
  • optionally, Choices staff sends a 2510 with the following information:
  • Date of change
  • Indication as to whether the customer is returning to the Choices program in the Comment field. No new child care eligibility period is needed.
  • If the number of children requiring care has changed, Choices staff refers to “Add or remove child from care” for further instructions.

 

If the parent is not currently in Choices Child Care or if Choices Child Care was terminated, Choices staff sends a 2510 to Child Care staff with the following information:

  • Date of change
  • List of children, confirming that the same children on the TANF case are receiving care

Choices staff discusses discrepancies regarding children with the parent. See “Add or remove child from care” for further instructions.

Child Care staff determines whether the parent is still within a 12-month eligibility period.

  • If the parent is within a 12-month eligibility period, care continues within that eligibility period, and the open Activity Interruption record is ended.
  • If the parent is no longer enrolled in Child Care, Child Care staff requests that Choices staff send a new 2510 to authorize a new 12-month eligibility period.
  • If changes in the status occur with respect to the children requiring care, Child Care staff refers to “Add or remove child from care” for further instructions.

Discontinue care immediately

Choices staff sends a 2510 with the following information:

  • Discontinue date
  • Reason for discontinuing: Moved out of state or voluntary withdrawal from Child Care

Child Care staff ends care immediately, terminating Program Detail with Termination Reason 151—Voluntarily Withdrew.

Parent/caregiver is determined eligible for At-Risk child care at end of Choices Child Care period

No action

Staff complete eligibility process for At-Risk child care.

Parent/caregiver is determined ineligible for At-Risk care at end of Choices Child Care period

No action

Inform parent/caregiver if additional time in the 12-month time frame is available based on TANF denial or withdrawal.

 

Notify parent/caregiver that timeframe allows them to by-pass waitlist process if parent/caregiver begins meeting At-Risk eligibility before timeframe expires.

Former Choices parent/Caregiver applies for Child Care Services

No action

Staff check to see if parent/caregiver falls into priority group based on dates of TANF Denial or withdrawal-

 

  • If parent/caregiver is within 12 months of TANF Denial or withdrawal, waitlist is bypassed and eligibility process is started.

 

If parent/caregiver is outside 12-month time frame since TANF Denial or withdrawal, parent/caregiver would be added to waitlist based on information provided.

 

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D-302: In Loco Parentis for Choices Child Care

Workforce Development Boards (Boards) must be aware that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission determines caretaker status—including individuals standing in loco parentis—for children of Choices participants receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  Therefore, Choices participants are assumed to meet the definition of a parent, including the requirements for individuals standing in loco parentis, for each child listed on their TANF grant.

If a Choices participant requests child care for a child not listed on the TANF grant, Boards must ensure that the Choices participant meets the in loco parentis documentation requirements for that child described in the table in D-105.c: In Loco Parentis prior to authorizing Choices child care. 

If the Board determines that the Choices participant is not standing in loco parentis for the child, the Board must ensure that good cause is not granted based on the participant’s inability to obtain child care for the child.

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Part A - Definitions

Part H - Consumer Education and Child Care Quality Activities

Part J – Appendix