Provider Forums Summary
As an independent contractor and owner of your own business, you determine what rates to charge families. State law (California Education Code 8222) requires these rates be the same as what a provider charges non-subsidized families. CDA is bound by the Regional Market Rate Ceiling (RMRC) which are the maximum amounts we can pay. We will honor what a provider invoices for child care services up to the maximum allowable amount dictated by the RMRC. Unfortunately, we understand we may not always be able to pay what you charge and invoice us for. In those situations, you should request the difference from the parent. We refer to this difference as a co-payment and it is an arrangement solely between the parent and you, as the child care provider. CDA does not track a family’s possible co-payment with a child care provider.
When a parent requests to change child care providers or to have their hours changed, CDA must honor the parent’s request as they are our primary client and entitled to make immediate changes in their child care provider or hours. CDA does advise parents to comply with any notice periods their individual providers may have. In situations where CDA is ending care, we do issue a 19-day notice to the parent and child care provider. If at any time you are unsure of a child’s authorization, you may always contact your Provider Specialist.
We will monitor the enrollment of CDA subsidized children based on the following: attendance records submitted, access publicly available Facility Evaluation reports posted on Community Care Licensing’s website, and make contact with other subsidy programs, requesting the number of children and their schedules. Identifying information (such as names, SSN, etc.) regarding children and families is not requested or shared amongst the subsidy agencies. In situations where it appears a provider may be operating over their license capacity, CDA may require the provider to document the schedules of all the children they are providing care for, visit the provider and/or make a report to Community Care Licensing. If a CDA staff person is to visit your home, they will always have CDA issued photo ID and business card.
Children with variable schedules, per Education Code 8221.5, are only eligible for reimbursement for the actual days and hours of attendance (actual hours used). If a child with a variable schedule is absent, CDA is not legally able to make a payment for that day, even if the reason for the absence is due to the provider’s allowable closure dates.
When a child utilizes only one provider for all their child care and the hours of care exceed 52.50 hours per week, an additional payment can be made under the hourly RMRC not to exceed the provider’s full-time weekly or monthly rate. If a provider charges non-subsidized families an additional rate for such situations and it is specified on the provider’s rate sheet, CDA can apply the additional hourly RMRC. The provider must indicate these additional amounts when they invoice CDA for services.
Providers are independent contractors and CDA does not instruct or coach providers on how to charge for their services. However, we do provide information on applicable adjustment factors in our CDA Alternative Payment Program Guidelines (pg. 54). When approved child care falls within evening or weekend hours (M-F 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. and/or Saturday and Sunday) a provider may be eligible for an increase to their payment. CDA’s Fiscal Department will apply adjustment factors according to Title 5 Section 18075.1 guidelines not to exceed the provider’s rates on file and the amount the provider invoices CDA.
CDA approves the total amount of child care hours for families based on the documentation they supply regarding their need for services and applicable travel and/or study time. Many families may also work more than one job or be participating in different activities that increase the number of child care hours they are eligible for per week. Since providers are independent contractors and run their own business they are in no way required to accept a family if they feel they are not able to accommodate all the hours the parent is eligible for. In those cases, the family will be advised to find a provider who can meet all of their child care needs or if they want to remain with the provider, make a voluntary request to reduce their child care hours to those that the provider is willing to accommodate.
We would like this to be an option as well, however, at this time, our software vendor is not able to accommodate this type of function. Providers are always welcome to contact their Provider Specialist if they have questions about a child’s authorization for child care services.
Yes, we do provide this information to families during their initial enrollment and review the Alternative Payment Program Guidelines with them. We understand this is an area we can improve and we have launched a plan to address these concerns by creating new tools and messaging for parents. We anticipate these new methods for enhancing our communication will help parents better understand their responsibilities (paying family fees, signing attendance records, co-payments) when participating on the Alternative Payment Program.
Yes, as an independent contractor and owner of your own business, you are able to set the rates and fees for your child care business. All applicable fees need to be listed on your rate sheet. When you invoice for these fees, CDA will compare your invoiced amount to the applicable RMRC. If the registration fee and the rate you charge for child care is less than the RMRC in the initial month of care, CDA will be able to pay the registration fee up to the RMRC. CDA will only pay one registration fee, per child, per fiscal year.
Our Provider Referral Program is a very basic database system that we developed in-house. We do not have the capability or funding to manage a comprehensive database and referral system. Our referral process was developed to provide additional resources to those families that are already on our program and not the general public. The YMCA Child Care Resource and Referral is the official Resource and Referral agency in San Diego County. They are able to provide more in-depth information about your program to any family who requests it. We will continue to provide families with the Resource and Referral information so they have multiple avenues for choosing a child care provider.