2019 Parent Survey Responses

We want to thank all the parents who responded to Child Development Associates (CDA’s) 2019 Parent Survey.

We were pleased to find that 95% of respondents were satisfied with the overall quality of services provided by CDA. The feedback provided is helpful for us to assess our work and determine how we can make improvements to better serve you. In reviewing the comments we found some common themes and have addressed those below. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding your participation in the Alternative Payment Program, please do not hesitate in contacting your Child Care Eligibility Specialist.

Finding affordable housing in San Diego is a challenge for many families. We have recently completed a search of resources available in San Diego County and updated our Family Resources guide with additional information on housing.  Click here to access our updated Family Resource Guide.

CDA’s Family Resource Coordinator, Jennifer Ordinario, can also help connect families to housing and other resources in the community.  She is available to assist Monday through Friday and can be reached at (619) 427-4411 x 1416 or via email at [email protected].  To ensure we meet your needs beyond child care services, we will be increasing our family support capacity by hiring dedicated resource staff at each of our offices and collaborating with 2-1-1 San Diego to provide you access to more community resources.

Choosing the right child care for your child is a very important decision and can be difficult at times. To better assist you, CDA will be launching our own Provider Referral Program where we can refer licensed providers who are active on our program. This program will begin on August 15, 2019, when your Child Care Eligibility Specialist can assist you if you would like a referral to a provider who is active in our program. Also, the YMCA Child Care Resource and Referral is available to assist you in providing referrals to licensed child care providers who are located in your neighborhood or close to where you work or go to school, they can be reached at 1-800-481-2151, or email [email protected].  Ensuring the provider you choose is safe and meets your standards remains your responsibly as CDA does not inspect or validate the quality of child care providers participating in the Alternative Payment Program.

We agree! We accept documents through the mail, fax, or electronically so you don’t have to make a special trip to the office.  Our website has a link that allows you to electronically submit information securely through the website. To access, visit the Resource page and click on: Report a Change.

In addition, to better meet your needs, we have just launched DocuSign which allows staff to send some of our most commonly used documents that can be signed and submitted electronically using your computer, tablet, or telephone. If you have questions about how to submit any of your documentation please contact your Child Care Eligibility Specialist.

The State of California requires families to pay some of their child care costs depending on several state program rules. CDA recognizes that paying these fees are not easy for parents. CDA has advocated on behalf of parents for program changes to ease family burdens.  Recently, on July 1st, the State of California lowered family fees for most parents participating in the Alternative Payment Program.

Family Fees are sometimes confused with co-payments. They are not one and the same but some families may have both a co-payment and family fees.  Co-payments are the difference between what CDA can pay for child care services and what the provider charges. For example, if CDA can only pay a provider $200.00 but the provider charges $250.00. The provider will require the parent to pay the difference (co-payment) of $50.00. These are paid directly to your child care provider and not tracked by CDA.

Family fees are what the state considers a family’s share of the cost for subsidized child care services and are required by state law. Family fees are assigned based on a sliding fee scale established by the California Department of Education. A sliding scale means a family’s adjusted gross monthly income, family size and the total amount of care (for the child using the most childcare) are used to determine the fee amount.  As parent’s income increases, the family fee increases. The assigned fees are either a flat full-time monthly fee or a flat part-time monthly fee. California regulations prohibit CDA or the child care provider from waiving the fees or from adjusting the fee based on actual child care usage.

You can see your monthly family fee printed on your monthly attendance record. If you are unclear about what your family fee is and how it is to be paid to your child care provider, please contact your Child Care Eligibility Specialist.

We understand that enrolling or recertifying for child care services can take one or more hours.  While we want to make the experience as quick as possible, we are required by state regulations to gather many documents and verify all information before a family can be certified or recertified for a 12 month eligibility period. We recognize this is burdensome for parents but worth it to receive 12 months of child care services and we are here to help you through the process!

To make the process easier for you when recertifying we have recently launched a new change to our recertification process. This change requires a parent to submit all of their documentation in advance of their recertification.  Parents will then select whether they want to come into the office to sign their application in person or electronically. Parents who elect to sign their application electronically will do so through DocuSign and this will eliminate the need for families to come into our office to sign the application. We anticipate this new technology will allow families to complete their recertification without having to come into our offices and reduce the time it currently takes for a family to complete the process. Families who have never met with a CDA Child Care Eligibility Specialist before, such as for a first-time enrollment appointment and families transferring from another agency are not eligible to complete their first application electronically.

We agree! And last year we tested software that we had hoped would allow us to offer electronic attendance, digital signatures, and on-line submittal of attendance records to providers. Unfortunately, after testing the software we found it did not meet all of the Department of Education’s requirements for digital signatures and data collection.  However, we are not giving up on the idea of using technology to record attendance and submitting the records digitally. We have made a commitment to continue to explore other options and will be making this a focus of our work in the upcoming year.

CDA has limitations on how much we can reimburse for child care. These limits, called the Regional Market Rate Ceilings (RMRC), are set by the State of California.  These rates are based on the age of the child, the type of child care provider and the amount and type of schedule the parent is approved for child care services. Approved child care services are determined based on the documentation a parent supplies CDA that supports their need for child care services.  Sometimes, the child care provider’s normal and customary rates exceed the RMRC, and we are required to cap the reimbursement at the lower of the two amounts.  If CDA is not able to reimburse a provider’s full rate, the parent is responsible for making up the difference (called a co-payment) to the child care provider directly. This means if the provider charges $250.00 per week and CDA is only able to pay $200.00 due to RMR ceilings, the parent is responsible for paying a co-payment of $50.00 directly to the child care provider.

CDA continuously advocates on behalf of parents and child care providers to increase these reimbursement rates to provide parents with access to quality child care and ensure providers receive reimbursement that reflects the important work they do.  CDA and partners were successful in advocating for recent rate increases in 2015, 2017, and 2018.

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