Provider Survey Feedback 2019
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, 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 (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.
We understand providers would like to receive a quicker turn around on their reimbursements or even be paid in advance of care taking place. The California Department of Education requires proof of attendance before we are allowed to reimburse child care providers. We are not allowed to pay in advance and we MUST have an accurate attendance record to process a reimbursement. Our current reimbursement schedule is to pay within 15 business days of receipt of a complete attendance record, and we are making most reimbursements to providers in 10 -13 business days.
We are continuously evaluating ways to issue reimbursements faster while still meeting state of California requirements and have recently increased our staffing levels to work towards this goal. We understand providers work hard every day caring for children and have their own families to support, so we will keep striving for faster reimbursements to providers.
Yes! We will be launching our Provider Referral Program to enrolled parents in the coming weeks. When a parent requests a referral they will be given a list of up to four randomly selected licensed child care providers who participate on CDA and have opted into the program. Providers MUST opt in to the program to have CDA refer them to CDA enrolled families. If you haven’t already opted in and want to receive referrals, contact your Provider Specialist, who can issue you the necessary form for participation.
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.
We understand when a provider accepts a child into their program they are reserving a slot and expect payment based on their policies for all families. This often means the provider requires payment for holding a slot, absences, holidays, etc. Unfortunately, when a family has a variable work schedule, state law only allows CDA to reimburse for actual child care used, not allowing for absences or holidays. This may result in a provider’s reimbursement being different every month and not what they are expecting. We understand this is a hardship for parents and providers and it can be a deterrent for providers to accept a family who has a variable schedule. As a result, CDA is actively participating with professional groups and organizations that are pursuing changes at the state level that would allow for Alternative Payment Programs to reimburse variable child care schedules on the total amount of hours approved, not used. We are hopeful that over the 2019-20 legislative cycle, we will see changes made in state law regarding variable schedules that is reflective of what non-subsidized families are responsible for paying for child care services when they have unpredictable schedules.
We agree the current EOP is not always easy to read and may require a call to CDA’s offices to get clarification on reimbursements made. Based on your feedback, we have asked our software vendor to make updates to the EOP so that it is easier to understand and better meets your needs. We anticipate the new EOP will be ready on our portal within the next 4 months. Once it is ready to go live we will issue an announcement to alert you of the changes. In the meantime, you may always call the CDA office at (619) 427 -4411 ext. 1300 and we will be happy to explain any reimbursement you receive.
At CDA we pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service which includes having staff available during our normal business hours and returning calls timely. We thank you for bringing this issue to our attention and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you are unable to reach a staff member or your message has not been returned within 24 hours please call (619) 427-4411 and request to speak to the department supervisor so they may be able to assist you.