Child Care Services Guide - E-600: Attendance Standards and Reporting Requirements

E-601: Attendance Standards

Workforce Development Boards (Boards) must ensure that parents (including parents of children receiving protective services as described in D-700: Child Care for Children in Protective Services) are notified of the following:

  • Parents must ensure that the eligible child attends on a regular basis consistent with the child’s authorization for enrollment. Failure to meet attendance standards may:
  • Meeting attendance standards for child care services requires fewer than the following:
  • If a child exceeds 65 total absences during the most recent eligibility period, then the child is not eligible for care at the next eligibility determination and must not be determined eligible for care for 12 months from the end of the most recent eligibility period
  • Child care providers may end a child’s enrollment with the provider if the child does not meet the provider’s established attendance policy

Rule Reference: §809.78(a)(1)-(4)

Boards must have a local policy on lost Child Care Attendance Automation (CCAA) cards, allowing parents to report lost cards and obtain replacement cards. The policy must include the number of Z-days allowable that will not be counted as absences due to the lost card.

Boards must ensure that in instances in which a child’s absences exceed the allowable attendance standards described above, the parent is contacted to determine the cause of the child’s absences.

E-601.a: Absence Exceptions

Boards must ensure that absences due to a child’s documented chronic illness, disability, or court-ordered visitation are not counted in the number of absences in E-601.

E-601.b: Provider Attendance Policies 

Child care providers may end a child’s enrollment with the provider if the child does not meet the provider’s established attendance policy. When a child’s enrollment has been ended by a provider for this reason, Boards must work with the parent to place the otherwise eligible child with another eligible provider.

Rule Reference: §809.78(d)

E-601.c: Attendance Standards & DFPS General Protective Care

Boards must be aware that for children who are receiving care under a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) General Protective Care authorization, care must continue in accordance with the authorization regardless of accrued absences.

Boards shall not count absences accrued under DFPS General Protective Services Care toward a child’s absence total within a 12-month eligibility period. However, Boards should coordinate with DFPS and the child’s caregiver to encourage attendance and the appropriate utilization of child care services.

Boards must be aware that if a parent cannot be reached after repeated contact attempts, is not communicating with the provider or bringing the child to care, the Board’s child care contractor shall end the child care referral after 30 days of no contact but leave the child’s eligibility and Program Detail open. Boards must ensure that these voluntary withdrawals are documented in TWIST "Counselor Notes."

Return to Top

E-602: Parent Attendance Reporting Requirements

Workforce Development Boards (Boards) must ensure that parents are notified that they are required to use the Child Care Attendance Automation (CCAA) card to report daily attendance and absences in one of the following ways:

  • At a point of service machine
  • Through an Interactive Voice Response telephone system

Rule Reference: §809.78(a)(5)

Boards must ensure that parents are notified of the following:

  • Parents must report to the child care contractor instances in which a parent’s attempt to record attendance in CCAA is denied or rejected and cannot be corrected at the provider site 
  • Failure to report such instances may result in an absence counted toward the Board’s maximum number of allowable absences
  • Giving the CCAA card or the personal identification number (PIN) to another individual other than the parent or secondary cardholder, including the child care provider, is grounds for a potential fraud determination pursuant to Part G of this guide

Rule Reference: §809.78(a)(9)-(10)

Return to Top

E-603: Secondary Cardholders

Boards must ensure that parents are informed that they can designate up to three individuals as secondary cardholders to report attendance and absences if a parent is occasionally unable to drop off or pick up the child at the child care facility.

Boards must ensure that parents:

  • Do not designate anyone under age 16 as a secondary cardholder, unless the individual is a parent of the child
  • Do not designate the owner, assistant director, or director of the child care facility as a secondary cardholder
  • Are informed of their responsibility for:

Rule Reference: §809.78(a)(6)-(8)

Return to Top

E-604: Parent Attendance Agreement

Boards must ensure that parents sign a written acknowledgment indicating their understanding of the attendance standards and reporting requirements at each of the following stages:

  • Initial eligibility determination
  • Each eligibility redetermination

Boards may use the Parent Agreement to Report Child Care Attendance (Appendix J) to obtain written acknowledgment of the parent’s agreement with the attendance card responsibilities.

Boards choosing to create a locally developed parent agreement must ensure that it contains all of the elements in the Parent Agreement to Report Child Care Attendance, including the parent’s signature (electronic signature acceptable).

Boards must ensure that local policy regarding lost CCAA cards is addressed in the Parent Agreement to Report Child Care Attendance.

Return to Top

E-605: Parent Failure to Report Attendance

Boards must be aware that Z-Days—authorized care days on which a parent fails to report attendance using the Child Care Attendance Automation (CCAA) system—are treated as paid absences and included in the absence count described in E-601. 

E-605.a: Exceptions to Counting Z-Days as Absences

Boards must allow Z-Day exceptions for instances in which the failure to report attendance using CCAA was beyond the control of the parent, including documented instances in which:

The CCAA card was not available to the parent within the time period allotted for the parent to record attendance

The provider’s point of service device or phone system for the interactive voice response system was temporarily unavailable within the time period available for the parent to record attendance.

Return to Top

E-606: Special Provisions for Parents with Variable Schedules

Boards must be aware that authorizations for child care services need not align exactly with parents’ work schedules. Boards are encouraged to establish child care authorization procedures that take into account the developmental needs of the child, the child care needs of the parent and the requirement to ensure proper use of public funds.

Boards must be aware that in order to prevent over-counting of absences caused by a parent’s variable work schedule and minimize the potential for excess authorizations to providers, TWIST will generate claims under one of the following two calculations for a service month: 

TWIST Calculation 1

If the actual number of days reported as present in Child Care Attendance Automation (CCAA) plus the number of paid holidays is greater than the number of days in the month minus eight, then the claim is the actual days reported present plus paid holidays reported in CCAA

TWIST Calculation 2

If the actual number of days reported as present plus the number of paid holidays is equal to or less than the number of days in the month minus eight, then the claim is the lesser of:

  • The number of days in a month minus eight
  • The maximum number of days authorized in the month. 

Boards must be aware that the two calculations apply only to child care referrals for parents with flexible work, education or job training schedules.

The desk aid Including Absences and Z-Days with Variable Schedules Examples provides examples of each of these calculations.

Return to Top

E-607: Choices and SNAP E&T Child Care

Boards must ensure that all attendance requirements are included as child care program requirements for Choices and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) participants.

Return to Top

E-608: Child Protective Services Child Care

Boards must ensure that child care continues as long as it is authorized and funded by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, regardless of the number of paid absences.

 

Return to Top

Part A - Definitions

Part H - Consumer Education and Child Care Quality Activities

Part J - Appendix