Florida Senate - 2016                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 7058
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  02/18/2016           .                                

       The Committee on Appropriations (Galvano) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Subsection (6) of section 39.201, Florida
    6  Statutes, is amended to read:
    7         39.201 Mandatory reports of child abuse, abandonment, or
    8  neglect; mandatory reports of death; central abuse hotline.—
    9         (6) Information in the central abuse hotline may not be
   10  used for employment screening, except as provided in s.
   11  39.202(2)(a) and (h) or s. 402.302(15). Information in the
   12  central abuse hotline and the department’s automated abuse
   13  information system may be used by the department, its authorized
   14  agents or contract providers, the Department of Health, or
   15  county agencies as part of the licensure or registration process
   16  pursuant to ss. 402.301-402.319 and ss. 409.175-409.176.
   17         Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
   18  39.202, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   19         39.202 Confidentiality of reports and records in cases of
   20  child abuse or neglect.—
   21         (2) Except as provided in subsection (4), access to such
   22  records, excluding the name of the reporter which shall be
   23  released only as provided in subsection (5), shall be granted
   24  only to the following persons, officials, and agencies:
   25         (a) Employees, authorized agents, or contract providers of
   26  the department, the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons
   27  with Disabilities, the Office of Early Learning, or county
   28  agencies responsible for carrying out:
   29         1. Child or adult protective investigations;
   30         2. Ongoing child or adult protective services;
   31         3. Early intervention and prevention services;
   32         4. Healthy Start services;
   33         5. Licensure or approval of adoptive homes, foster homes,
   34  child care facilities, facilities licensed under chapter 393, or
   35  family day care homes, or informal child care providers who
   36  receive school readiness funding under part VI of chapter 1002,
   37  or other homes used to provide for the care and welfare of
   38  children; or
   39         6. Services for victims of domestic violence when provided
   40  by certified domestic violence centers working at the
   41  department’s request as case consultants or with shared clients.
   43  Also, employees or agents of the Department of Juvenile Justice
   44  responsible for the provision of services to children, pursuant
   45  to chapters 984 and 985.
   46         Section 3. Subsections (2) and (3) of section 383.141,
   47  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   48         383.141 Prenatally diagnosed conditions; patient to be
   49  provided information; definitions; information clearinghouse;
   50  advisory council.—
   51         (2) When a developmental disability is diagnosed based on
   52  the results of a prenatal test, the health care provider who
   53  ordered the prenatal test, or his or her designee, shall provide
   54  the patient with current information about the nature of the
   55  developmental disability, the accuracy of the prenatal test, and
   56  resources for obtaining relevant support services, including
   57  hotlines, resource centers, and information clearinghouses
   58  related to Down syndrome or other prenatally diagnosed
   59  developmental disabilities; support programs for parents and
   60  families; and developmental evaluation and intervention services
   61  under this part s. 391.303.
   62         (3) The Department of Health shall develop and implement a
   63  comprehensive information clearinghouse to educate health care
   64  providers, inform parents, and increase public awareness
   65  regarding brain development, developmental disabilities and
   66  delays, and all services, resources, and interventions available
   67  to mitigate the effects of impaired development among children.
   68  The clearinghouse must use the term “unique abilities” as much
   69  as possible when identifying infants or children with
   70  developmental disabilities and delays. The clearinghouse must
   71  provide:
   72         (a)Health information on conditions that may lead to
   73  impaired development of physical, learning, language, or
   74  behavioral skills.
   75         (b)Education and information to support parents whose
   76  unborn children have been prenatally diagnosed with
   77  developmental disabilities or whose children have diagnosed or
   78  suspected developmental delays.
   79         (c) Education and training for health care providers to
   80  recognize and respond appropriately to developmental
   81  disabilities, delays, and conditions related to disabilities or
   82  delays. Specific information approved by the advisory council
   83  shall be made available to health care providers for use in
   84  counseling parents whose unborn children have been prenatally
   85  diagnosed with developmental disabilities or whose children have
   86  diagnosed or suspected developmental delays.
   87         (d) Promotion of public awareness of availability of
   88  supportive services, such as resource centers, educational
   89  programs, other support programs for parents and families, and
   90  developmental evaluation and intervention services.
   91         (e) Hotlines specific to Down syndrome and other prenatally
   92  diagnosed developmental disabilities. The hotlines and the
   93  department’s clearinghouse must provide information to parents
   94  and families or other caregivers regarding the Early Steps
   95  Program under s. 391.301, the Florida Diagnostic and Learning
   96  Resources System, the Early Learning program, Healthy Start,
   97  Help Me Grow, and any other intervention programs. Information
   98  offered must include directions on how to obtain early
   99  intervention, rehabilitative, and habilitative services and
  100  devices establish on its Internet website a clearinghouse of
  101  information related to developmental disabilities concerning
  102  providers of supportive services, information hotlines specific
  103  to Down syndrome and other prenatally diagnosed developmental
  104  disabilities, resource centers, educational programs, other
  105  support programs for parents and families, and developmental
  106  evaluation and intervention services under s. 391.303. Such
  107  information shall be made available to health care providers for
  108  use in counseling pregnant women whose unborn children have been
  109  prenatally diagnosed with developmental disabilities.
  110         (4)(a) There is established an advisory council within the
  111  Department of Health which consists of health care providers and
  112  caregivers who perform health care services for persons who have
  113  developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome and autism.
  114  This group shall consist of nine members as follows:
  115         1. Three members appointed by the Governor;
  116         2. Three members appointed by the President of the Senate;
  117  and
  118         3. Three members appointed by the Speaker of the House of
  119  Representatives.
  120         (b) The advisory council shall provide technical assistance
  121  to the Department of Health in the establishment of the
  122  information clearinghouse and give the department the benefit of
  123  the council members’ knowledge and experience relating to the
  124  needs of patients and families of patients with developmental
  125  disabilities and available support services.
  126         (c) Members of the council shall elect a chairperson and a
  127  vice chairperson. The elected chairperson and vice chairperson
  128  shall serve in these roles until their terms of appointment on
  129  the council expire.
  130         (d) The advisory council shall meet quarterly to review
  131  this clearinghouse of information, and may meet more often at
  132  the call of the chairperson or as determined by a majority of
  133  members.
  134         (e) The council members shall be appointed to 4-year terms,
  135  except that, to provide for staggered terms, one initial
  136  appointee each from the Governor, the President of the Senate,
  137  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be
  138  appointed to a 2-year term, one appointee each from these
  139  officials shall be appointed to a 3-year term, and the remaining
  140  initial appointees shall be appointed to 4-year terms. All
  141  subsequent appointments shall be for 4-year terms. A vacancy
  142  shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the
  143  same manner as the original appointment.
  144         (f) Members of the council shall serve without
  145  compensation. Meetings of the council may be held in person,
  146  without reimbursement for travel expenses, or by teleconference
  147  or other electronic means.
  148         (g) The Department of Health shall provide administrative
  149  support for the advisory council.
  150         Section 4. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
  151  391.025, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  152         391.025 Applicability and scope.—
  153         (1) The Children’s Medical Services program consists of the
  154  following components:
  155         (c) The developmental evaluation and intervention program,
  156  including the Early Steps Florida Infants and Toddlers Early
  157  Intervention Program.
  158         Section 5. Subsection (19) is added to section 391.026,
  159  Florida Statutes, to read:
  160         391.026 Powers and duties of the department.—The department
  161  shall have the following powers, duties, and responsibilities:
  162         (19) To serve as the lead agency in administering the Early
  163  Steps Program pursuant to part C of the federal Individuals with
  164  Disabilities Education Act and part III of this chapter.
  165         Section 6. Section 391.301, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  166  read:
  167         391.301 Early Steps Program; establishment and goals
  168  Developmental evaluation and intervention programs; legislative
  169  findings and intent.—
  170         (1) The Early Steps Program is established within the
  171  department to serve infants and toddlers who are at risk of
  172  developmental disabilities based on a physical or mental
  173  condition and infants and toddlers with developmental delays by
  174  providing developmental evaluation and early intervention and by
  175  providing families with training and support services in a
  176  variety of home and community settings in order to enhance
  177  family and caregiver competence, confidence, and capacity to
  178  meet their child’s developmental needs and desired outcomes The
  179  Legislature finds that the high-risk and disabled newborn
  180  infants in this state need in-hospital and outpatient
  181  developmental evaluation and intervention and that their
  182  families need training and support services. The Legislature
  183  further finds that there is an identifiable and increasing
  184  number of infants who need developmental evaluation and
  185  intervention and family support due to the fact that increased
  186  numbers of low-birthweight and sick full-term newborn infants
  187  are now surviving because of the advances in neonatal intensive
  188  care medicine; increased numbers of medically involved infants
  189  are remaining inappropriately in hospitals because their parents
  190  lack the confidence or skills to care for these infants without
  191  support; and increased numbers of infants are at risk due to
  192  parent risk factors, such as substance abuse, teenage pregnancy,
  193  and other high-risk conditions.
  194         (2) The program may include screening and referral It is
  195  the intent of the Legislature to establish developmental
  196  evaluation and intervention services at all hospitals providing
  197  Level II or Level III neonatal intensive care services, in order
  198  to promptly identify newborns with disabilities or with
  199  conditions associated with risks of developmental delays so that
  200  families with high-risk or disabled infants may gain as early as
  201  possible the services and skills they need to support their
  202  infants’ development infants.
  203         (3) The program must It is the intent of the Legislature
  204  that a methodology be developed to integrate information and
  205  coordinate services on infants with potentially disabling
  206  conditions with other programs serving infants and toddlers
  207  early intervention programs, including, but not limited to, Part
  208  C of Pub. L. No. 105-17 and the Healthy Start program, the
  209  newborn screening program, and the Blind Babies Program.
  210         (4) The program must:
  211         (a) Provide services to enhance the development of infants
  212  and toddlers with disabilities and delays.
  213         (b)Expand the recognition by health care providers,
  214  families, and the public of the significant brain development
  215  that occurs during a child’s first 3 years of life.
  216         (c)Maintain the importance of the family in all areas of
  217  the child’s development and support the family’s participation
  218  in early intervention services and decisions affecting the
  219  child.
  220         (d)Operate a comprehensive, coordinated interagency system
  221  of early intervention services and supports in accordance with
  222  part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education
  223  Act.
  224         (e)Ensure timely evaluation, individual planning, and
  225  early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs
  226  of eligible infants and toddlers.
  227         (f)Build the service capacity and enhance the competencies
  228  of health care providers serving infants and toddlers with
  229  unique needs and abilities.
  230         (g)Ensure programmatic and fiscal accountability through
  231  establishment of a high-capacity data system, active monitoring
  232  of performance indicators, and ongoing quality improvement.
  233         Section 7. Section 391.302, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  234  read:
  235         391.302 Definitions.—As used in ss. 391.301-391.308 ss.
  236  391.301-391.307, the term:
  237         (1) “Developmental delay” means a condition, identified and
  238  measured through appropriate instruments and procedures, which
  239  may delay physical, cognitive, communication, social or
  240  emotional, or adaptive development.
  241         (2) “Developmental disability” means a condition,
  242  identified and measured through appropriate instruments and
  243  procedures, which may impair physical, cognitive, communication,
  244  social or emotional, or adaptive development.
  245         (3) “Developmental intervention” or “early intervention”
  246  means individual and group individualized therapies and services
  247  needed to enhance both the infant’s or toddler’s growth and
  248  development and family functioning. The term includes
  249  habilitative services and assistive technology devices,
  250  rehabilitative services and assistive technology devices, and
  251  parent support and training.
  252         (4) “Habilitative services and devices” means health care
  253  services and assistive technology devices that help a child
  254  maintain, learn, or improve skills and functioning for daily
  255  living.
  256         (5)(2) “Infant or toddler” or “child” means a child from
  257  birth until the child’s third birthday.
  258         (6) “Local program office” means an office that administers
  259  the Early Steps Program within a municipality, county, or
  260  region.
  261         (7) “Rehabilitative services and devices” means restorative
  262  and remedial services that maintain or enhance the current level
  263  of functioning of a child if there is a possibility of
  264  improvement or reversal of impairment.
  265         (3) “In-hospital intervention services” means the provision
  266  of assessments; the provision of individualized services;
  267  monitoring and modifying the delivery of medical interventions;
  268  and enhancing the environment for the high-risk, developmentally
  269  disabled, or medically involved infant or toddler in order to
  270  achieve optimum growth and development.
  271         (4) “Parent support and training” means a range of services
  272  to families of high-risk, developmentally disabled, or medically
  273  involved infants or toddlers, including family counseling;
  274  financial planning; agency referral; development of parent-to
  275  parent support groups; education concerning growth, development,
  276  and developmental intervention and objective measurable skills,
  277  including abuse avoidance skills; training of parents to
  278  advocate for their child; and bereavement counseling.
  279         Section 8. Sections 391.303, 391.304, 391.305, 391.306, and
  280  391.307, Florida Statutes, are repealed.
  281         Section 9. Section 391.308, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  282  read:
  283         391.308 Early Steps Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention
  284  Program.—The department shall Department of Health may implement
  285  and administer part C of the federal Individuals with
  286  Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which shall be known as the
  287  Early Steps “Florida Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention
  288  Program.”
  289         (1) PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.—The department shall ensure that
  290  the Early Steps Program complies with the following performance
  291  standards:
  292         (a)The program must provide services from referral through
  293  transition in a family-centered manner that recognizes and
  294  responds to unique circumstances and needs of infants and
  295  toddlers and their families as measured by a variety of
  296  qualitative data, including satisfaction surveys, interviews,
  297  focus groups, and input from stakeholders.
  298         (b)The program must provide individualized family support
  299  plans that are understandable and usable by families, health
  300  care providers, and payers and that identify the current level
  301  of functioning of the infant or toddler, family supports and
  302  resources, expected outcomes, and specific early intervention
  303  services needed to achieve the expected outcomes, as measured by
  304  periodic system independent evaluation.
  305         (c)The program must help each family to use available
  306  resources in a way that maximizes the child’s access to services
  307  necessary to achieve the outcomes of the individualized family
  308  support plan, as measured by family feedback and by independent
  309  assessments of services used by each child.
  310         (d)The program must offer families access to quality
  311  services that effectively enable infants and toddlers with
  312  developmental disabilities and developmental delays to achieve
  313  optimal functional levels as measured by an independent
  314  evaluation of outcome indicators in social or emotional skills,
  315  communication, and adaptive behaviors.
  316         (2) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.—The department shall:,
  317         (a)Jointly with the Department of Education, shall
  318  Annually prepare a grant application to the United States
  319  Department of Education for funding early intervention services
  320  for infants and toddlers with disabilities, from birth through
  321  36 months of age, and their families pursuant to part C of the
  322  federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  323         (b)(2)The department, Jointly with the Department of
  324  Education, provide shall include a reading initiative as an
  325  early intervention service for infants and toddlers.
  326         (c) Annually develop a state plan for the Early Steps
  327  Program.
  328         1. The plan must assess the need for early intervention
  329  services, evaluate the extent of the statewide need that is met
  330  by the program, identify barriers to fully meeting the need, and
  331  recommend specific action steps to improve program performance.
  332         2. The plan must be developed through an inclusive process
  333  that involves families, local program offices, health care
  334  providers, and other stakeholders.
  335         (d)Ensure local program offices educate hospitals that
  336  provide Level II and Level III neonatal intensive care services
  337  about the Early Steps Program and the referral process for the
  338  provision of developmental evaluation and intervention services.
  339         (e) Establish standards and qualifications for
  340  developmental evaluation and early intervention service
  341  providers, including standards for determining the adequacy of
  342  provider networks in each local program office service area.
  343         (f) Establish statewide uniform protocols and procedures to
  344  determine eligibility for developmental evaluation and early
  345  intervention services.
  346         (g) Establish a consistent, statewide format and procedure
  347  for preparing and completing an individualized family support
  348  plan.
  349         (h)Promote interagency cooperation and coordination, with
  350  the Medicaid program, the Department of Education program
  351  pursuant to part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities
  352  Education Act, and programs providing child screening such as
  353  the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System, the Office
  354  of Early Learning, Healthy Start, and the Help Me Grow program.
  355         1. Coordination with the Medicaid program shall be
  356  developed and maintained through written agreements with the
  357  Agency for Health Care Administration and Medicaid managed care
  358  organizations as well as through active and ongoing
  359  communication with these organizations. The department shall
  360  assist local program offices to negotiate agreements with
  361  Medicaid managed care organizations in the service areas of the
  362  local program offices. Such agreements may be formal or
  363  informal.
  364         2. Coordination with education programs pursuant to part B
  365  of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act shall
  366  be developed and maintained through written agreements with the
  367  Department of Education. The department shall assist local
  368  program offices to negotiate agreements with school districts in
  369  the service areas of the local program offices.
  370         (i)Develop and disseminate the knowledge and methods
  371  necessary to effectively coordinate benefits among various payer
  372  types.
  373         (j) Provide a mediation process and if necessary, an
  374  appeals process for applicants found ineligible for
  375  developmental evaluation or early intervention services or
  376  denied financial support for such services.
  377         (k)Competitively procure local program offices to provide
  378  services throughout the state in accordance with chapter 287.
  379  The department shall specify the requirements and qualifications
  380  for local program offices in the procurement document.
  381         (l) Establish performance standards and other metrics for
  382  evaluation of local program offices, including standards for
  383  measuring timeliness of services, outcomes of early intervention
  384  services, and administrative efficiency. Performance standards
  385  and metrics shall be developed in consultation with local
  386  program offices.
  387         (m) Provide technical assistance to the local program
  388  offices.
  389         (3) ELIGIBILITY.—The department shall apply the following
  390  eligibility criteria if specific funding is provided, and the
  391  associated applicable eligibility criteria are identified, in
  392  the General Appropriations Act:
  393         (a) Infants and toddlers are eligible for an evaluation to
  394  determine the presence of a developmental disability or the risk
  395  of a developmental delay based on a physical or medical
  396  condition.
  397         (b) Infants and toddlers determined to have a developmental
  398  delay based on informed clinical opinion and an evaluation using
  399  a standard evaluation instrument which results in a score that
  400  is 1.5 standard deviations from the mean in two or more of the
  401  following domains: physical, cognitive, communication, social or
  402  emotional, and adaptive.
  403         (c) Infants and toddlers determined to have a developmental
  404  delay based on informed clinical opinion and an evaluation using
  405  a standard evaluation instrument which results in a score that
  406  is 2.0 standard deviations from the mean in one of the following
  407  domains: physical, cognitive, communication, social or
  408  emotional, and adaptive.
  409         (d) Infants and toddlers determined to have a developmental
  410  delay based on informed clinical opinion and an evaluation using
  411  a standard evaluation instrument which results in a score that
  412  is 1.5 standard deviations from the mean in one or more of the
  413  following domains: physical, cognitive, communication, social or
  414  emotional, and adaptive.
  415         (e) Infants and toddlers determined to have a developmental
  416  delay based on informed clinical opinion.
  417         (f) Infants and toddlers at risk of developmental delay
  418  based on an established condition known to result in
  419  developmental delay, or a physical or mental condition known to
  420  create a risk of developmental delay.
  421         (4) DUTIES OF THE LOCAL PROGRAM OFFICES.—A local program
  422  office shall:
  423         (a)Evaluate a child to determine eligibility within 45
  424  calendar days after the child is referred to the program.
  425         (b)Notify the parent or legal guardian of his or her
  426  child’s eligibility status initially and at least annually
  427  thereafter. If a child is determined not to be eligible, the
  428  local program office must provide the parent or legal guardian
  429  with written information on the right to an appeal and the
  430  process for making such an appeal.
  431         (c) Secure and maintain interagency agreements or contracts
  432  with local school districts in a local service area.
  433         (d) Provide services directly or procure services from
  434  health care providers that meet or exceed the minimum
  435  qualifications established for service providers. The local
  436  program office must become a Medicaid provider if it provides
  437  services directly.
  438         (e) Provide directly or procure services that are, to the
  439  extent possible, delivered in a child’s natural environment,
  440  such as in the child’s home or community setting. The inability
  441  to provide services in the natural environment is not a
  442  sufficient reason to deny services.
  443         (f) Develop an individualized family support plan for each
  444  child served. The plan must:
  445         1. Be completed within 45 calendar days after the child is
  446  referred to the program;
  447         2. Be developed in conjunction with the child’s parent or
  448  legal guardian who provides written consent for the services
  449  included in the plan;
  450         3. Be reviewed at least every 6 months with the parent or
  451  legal guardian and updated if needed; and
  452         4. Include steps to transition to school or other future
  453  services by the child’s third birthday.
  454         (g) Assess the progress of the child and his or her family
  455  in meeting the goals of the individualized family support plan.
  456         (h) For each service required by the individualized family
  457  support plan, refer the child to an appropriate service provider
  458  or work with Medicaid managed care organizations or private
  459  insurers to secure the needed services.
  460         (i) Provide service coordination, including contacting the
  461  appropriate service provider to determine whether the provider
  462  can timely deliver the service, providing the parent or legal
  463  guardian with the name and contact information of the service
  464  provider and the date and location of the service of any
  465  appointment made on behalf of the child, and contacting the
  466  parent or legal guardian after the service is provided to ensure
  467  that the service is timely delivered and to determine whether
  468  the family requests additional services.
  469         (j) Negotiate and maintain agreements with Medicaid
  470  providers and Medicaid managed care organizations in its area.
  471         1. With the parent’s or legal guardian’s permission, the
  472  services in the child’s approved individualized family support
  473  plan shall be communicated to the Medicaid managed care
  474  organization. Services that cannot be funded by Medicaid must be
  475  specifically identified and explained to the family.
  476         2. The agreement between the local program office and
  477  Medicaid managed care organizations must establish methods of
  478  communication and procedures for the timely approval of services
  479  covered by Medicaid.
  480         (k) Develop agreements and arrangements with private
  481  insurers in order to coordinate benefits and services for any
  482  mutual enrollee.
  483         1. The child’s approved individualized family support plan
  484  may be communicated to the child’s insurer with the parent’s or
  485  legal guardian’s permission.
  486         2. The local program office and private insurers shall
  487  establish methods of communication and procedures for the timely
  488  approval of services covered by the child’s insurer, if
  489  appropriate and approved by the child’s parent or legal
  490  guardian.
  491         (l)Provide to the department data necessary for an
  492  evaluation of the local program office performance.
  493         (5)ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTING.—By December 1 of each year,
  494  the department shall prepare and submit a report that assesses
  495  the performance of the Early Steps Program to the Governor, the
  496  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
  497  Representatives, and the Florida Interagency Coordinating
  498  Council for Infants and Toddlers. The department must address
  499  the performance standards in subsection (1) and report actual
  500  performance compared to the standards for the prior fiscal year.
  501  The data used to compile the report must be submitted by each
  502  local program office in the state. The department shall report
  503  on all of the following measures:
  504         (a) Number and percentage of infants and toddlers served
  505  with an individualized family support plan.
  506         (b) Number and percentage of infants and toddlers
  507  demonstrating improved social or emotional skills after the
  508  program.
  509         (c) Number and percentage of infants and toddlers
  510  demonstrating improved use of knowledge and cognitive skills
  511  after the program.
  512         (d) Number and percentage of families reporting positive
  513  outcomes in their infant’s and toddler’s development as a result
  514  of early intervention services.
  515         (e) Progress toward meeting the goals of individualized
  516  family support plans.
  517         (f) Any additional measures established by the department.
  519  Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers shall
  520  serve as the state interagency coordinating council required by
  521  34 C.F.R. s. 303.600. The council shall be housed for
  522  administrative purposes in the department, and the department
  523  shall provide administrative support to the council.
  524         (7)TRANSITION TO EDUCATION.—
  525         (a)At least 90 days before a child reaches 3 years of age,
  526  the local program office shall initiate transition planning to
  527  ensure the child’s successful transition from the Early Steps
  528  Program to a school district program for children with
  529  disabilities or to another program as part of an individual
  530  family support plan.
  531         (b) At least 90 days before a child reaches 3 years of age,
  532  the local program office shall:
  533         1. Notify the local school district in which the child
  534  resides and the Department of Education that the child may be
  535  eligible for special education or related services as determined
  536  by the local school district pursuant to ss. 1003.21 and
  537  1003.57, unless the child’s parent or legal guardian has opted
  538  out of such notification; and
  539         2.Upon approval by the child’s parent or legal guardian,
  540  convene a transition conference that includes participation of a
  541  local school district representative and the parent or legal
  542  guardian to discuss options for and availability of services.
  543         (c) The local school district shall evaluate and determine
  544  a child’s eligibility to receive special education or related
  545  services pursuant to part B of the federal Individuals with
  546  Disabilities Education Act and ss. 1003.21 and 1003.57.
  547         (d)The local program office, in conjunction with the local
  548  school district, shall modify a child’s individual family
  549  support plan or, if applicable, the local school district shall
  550  develop an individual education plan for the child pursuant to
  551  ss. 1003.57, 1003.571, and 1003.5715, which identifies special
  552  education or related services that the child will receive and
  553  the providers or agencies that will provide such services.
  554         (e) If a child is determined to be ineligible for school
  555  district program services, the local program office and the
  556  local school district shall provide the child’s parent or legal
  557  guardian with written information on other available services or
  558  community resources.
  559         (f)The local program office shall negotiate and maintain
  560  an interagency agreement with each local school district in its
  561  service area pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities
  562  Education Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1435(a)(10)(F). Each interagency
  563  agreement must be reviewed at least annually and updated upon
  564  review, if needed.
  565         Section 10. Subsection (15) of section 402.302, Florida
  566  Statutes, is amended to read:
  567         402.302 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  568         (15) “Screening” means the act of assessing the background
  569  of child care personnel, in accordance with state and federal
  570  law, and volunteers and includes, but is not limited to:,
  571         (a) Employment history checks, including documented
  572  attempts to contact each employer that employed the applicant
  573  within the preceding 5 years and documentation of the findings.
  574         (b)A search of the criminal history records, sexual
  575  predator and sexual offender registry, and child abuse and
  576  neglect registry of any state in which the applicant resided
  577  during the preceding 5 years.
  579  An applicant must submit a full set of fingerprints to the
  580  department or to a vendor, entity, or agency authorized by s.
  581  943.053(13). The department, vendor, entity, or agency shall
  582  forward the fingerprints to local criminal records checks
  583  through local law enforcement agencies, fingerprinting for all
  584  purposes and checks in this subsection, statewide criminal
  585  records checks through the Department of Law Enforcement for
  586  state processing, and the Department of Law Enforcement shall
  587  forward the fingerprints to federal criminal records checks
  588  through the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national
  589  processing. Fingerprint submission must comply with s. 435.12.
  590         Section 11. Section 402.3057, Florida Statutes, is
  591  repealed.
  592         Section 12. Subsection (3) of section 402.306, Florida
  593  Statutes, is amended to read:
  594         402.306 Designation of licensing agency; dissemination by
  595  the department and local licensing agency of information on
  596  child care.—
  597         (3) The department and local licensing agencies, or the
  598  designees thereof, shall be responsible for coordination and
  599  dissemination of information on child care to the community and
  600  shall make available through electronic means upon request all
  601  licensing standards and procedures, health and safety standards
  602  for school readiness providers, monitoring and inspection
  603  reports, and in addition to the names and addresses of licensed
  604  child care facilities, school readiness program providers, and,
  605  where applicable pursuant to s. 402.313, licensed or registered
  606  family day care homes. This information shall also include the
  607  number of deaths, serious injuries, and instances of
  608  substantiated child abuse that have occurred in child care
  609  settings each year; research and best practices in child
  610  development; and resources regarding social-emotional
  611  development, parent and family engagement, healthy eating, and
  612  physical activity.
  613         Section 13. Section 402.311, Florida Statutes, is amended
  614  to read:
  615         402.311 Inspection.—
  616         (1) A licensed child care facility shall accord to the
  617  department or the local licensing agency, whichever is
  618  applicable, the privilege of inspection, including access to
  619  facilities and personnel and to those records required in s.
  620  402.305, at reasonable times during regular business hours, to
  621  ensure compliance with the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319.
  622  The right of entry and inspection shall also extend to any
  623  premises which the department or local licensing agency has
  624  reason to believe are being operated or maintained as a child
  625  care facility without a license, but no such entry or inspection
  626  of any premises shall be made without the permission of the
  627  person in charge thereof unless a warrant is first obtained from
  628  the circuit court authorizing such entry or inspection same. Any
  629  application for a license or renewal made pursuant to this act
  630  or the advertisement to the public for the provision of child
  631  care as defined in s. 402.302 shall constitute permission for
  632  any entry or inspection of the premises for which the license is
  633  sought in order to facilitate verification of the information
  634  submitted on or in connection with the application. In the event
  635  a licensed facility refuses permission for entry or inspection
  636  to the department or local licensing agency, a warrant shall be
  637  obtained from the circuit court authorizing entry or inspection
  638  before same prior to such entry or inspection. The department or
  639  local licensing agency may institute disciplinary proceedings
  640  pursuant to s. 402.310, for such refusal.
  641         (2)A school readiness program provider shall accord to the
  642  department or the local licensing agency, whichever is
  643  applicable, the privilege of inspection, including access to
  644  facilities, personnel, and records, to verify compliance with
  645  the requirements of s. 1002.88. Entry, inspection, and issuance
  646  of an inspection report by the department or the local licensing
  647  agency to verify compliance with the requirements of s. 1002.88
  648  is an exercise of a discretionary power to enforce compliance
  649  with the laws duly enacted by a governmental body.
  650         (3)The department’s issuance, transmittal, or publication
  651  of an inspection report resulting from an inspection under this
  652  section does not constitute agency action subject to chapter
  653  120.
  654         Section 14. Subsection (3) is added to section 402.319,
  655  Florida Statutes, to read:
  656         402.319 Penalties.—
  657         (3)Each child care facility, family day care home, and
  658  large family child care home shall annually submit an affidavit
  659  of compliance with s. 39.201.
  660         Section 15. Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (4) of
  661  section 435.07, Florida Statutes, to read:
  662         435.07 Exemptions from disqualification.—Unless otherwise
  663  provided by law, the provisions of this section apply to
  664  exemptions from disqualification for disqualifying offenses
  665  revealed pursuant to background screenings required under this
  666  chapter, regardless of whether those disqualifying offenses are
  667  listed in this chapter or other laws.
  668         (4)
  669         (c)Disqualification from employment under this chapter may
  670  not be removed from, and an exemption may not be granted to, any
  671  current or prospective child care personnel of a provider
  672  receiving school readiness funding under part VI of chapter
  673  1002, and such a person is disqualified from employment as child
  674  care personnel with such providers, regardless of any prior
  675  exemptions from disqualification, if the person has been
  676  registered as a sex offender as described in 42 U.S.C. s.
  677  9858f(c)(1)(C) or has been arrested for and is awaiting final
  678  disposition of, has been convicted or found guilty of, or
  679  entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of
  680  adjudication, or has been adjudicated delinquent and the record
  681  has not been sealed or expunged for, any offense prohibited
  682  under any of the following provisions of state law or a similar
  683  law of another jurisdiction:
  684         1.A felony offense prohibited under any of the following
  685  statutes:
  686         a.Chapter 741, relating to domestic violence.
  687         b.Section 782.04, relating to murder.
  688         c.Section 782.07, relating to manslaughter, aggravated
  689  manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, aggravated
  690  manslaughter of a child, or aggravated manslaughter of an
  691  officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a
  692  paramedic.
  693         d.Section 784.021, relating to aggravated assault.
  694         e.Section 784.045, relating to aggravated battery.
  695         f.Section 787.01, relating to kidnapping.
  696         g.Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child.
  697         h.Section 787.04(2), relating to leading, taking,
  698  enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or
  699  concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending
  700  custody proceedings.
  701         i.Section 787.04(3), relating to leading, taking,
  702  enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or
  703  concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending
  704  dependency proceedings or proceedings concerning alleged abuse
  705  or neglect of a minor.
  706         j.Section 794.011, relating to sexual battery.
  707         k.Former s. 794.041, relating to sexual activity with or
  708  solicitation of a child by a person in familial or custodial
  709  authority.
  710         l.Section 794.05, relating to unlawful sexual activity
  711  with certain minors.
  712         m.Section 794.08, relating to female genital mutilation.
  713         n.Section 806.01, relating to arson.
  714         o.Section 826.04, relating to incest.
  715         p.Section 827.03, relating to child abuse, aggravated
  716  child abuse, or neglect of a child.
  717         q.Section 827.04, relating to contributing to the
  718  delinquency or dependency of a child.
  719         r.Section 827.071, relating to sexual performance by a
  720  child.
  721         s.Chapter 847, relating to child pornography.
  722         t.Section 985.701, relating to sexual misconduct in
  723  juvenile justice programs.
  724         2.A misdemeanor offense prohibited under any of the
  725  following statutes:
  726         a.Section 784.03, relating to battery, if the victim of
  727  the offense was a minor.
  728         b.Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child.
  729         c.Chapter 847, relating to child pornography.
  730         3.A criminal act committed in another state or under
  731  federal law which, if committed in this state, constitutes an
  732  offense prohibited under any statute listed in subparagraph 1.
  733  or subparagraph 2.
  734         Section 16. Paragraph (i) of subsection (2) of section
  735  1002.82, Florida Statutes, is amended, and paragraphs (s)
  736  through (x) are added to that subsection, to read:
  737         1002.82 Office of Early Learning; powers and duties.—
  738         (2) The office shall:
  739         (i) Enter into a memorandum of understanding with local
  740  licensing agencies and Develop, in coordination with the Child
  741  Care Services Program Office of the Department of Children and
  742  Families for inspections of school readiness program providers
  743  to monitor and verify compliance with s. 1002.88 and the health
  744  and safety checklist adopted by the office. The provider
  745  contract of a school readiness program provider that refuses
  746  permission for entry or inspection shall be terminated. The, and
  747  adopt a health and safety checklist may to be completed by
  748  license-exempt providers that does not exceed the requirements
  749  of s. 402.305 and the Child Care and Development Fund pursuant
  750  to 45 C.F.R. part 98.
  751         (s)Develop and implement strategies to increase the supply
  752  and improve the quality of child care services for infants and
  753  toddlers, children with disabilities, children who receive care
  754  during nontraditional hours, children in underserved areas, and
  755  children in areas that have significant concentrations of
  756  poverty and unemployment.
  757         (t)Establish preservice and inservice training
  758  requirements that address, at a minimum, school readiness child
  759  development standards, health and safety requirements, and
  760  social-emotional behavior intervention models, which may include
  761  positive behavior intervention and support models.
  762         (u)Establish standards for emergency preparedness plans
  763  for school readiness program providers.
  764         (v)Establish group sizes.
  765         (w)Establish staff-to-children ratios that do not exceed
  766  the requirements of s. 402.302(8) or (11) or s. 402.305(4), as
  767  applicable, for school readiness program providers.
  768         (x)Establish eligibility criteria, including limitations
  769  based on income and family assets, in accordance with s. 1002.87
  770  and federal law.
  771         Section 17. Subsections (7) and (8) of section 1002.84,
  772  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  773         1002.84 Early learning coalitions; school readiness powers
  774  and duties.—Each early learning coalition shall:
  775         (7) Determine child eligibility pursuant to s. 1002.87 and
  776  provider eligibility pursuant to s. 1002.88. At a minimum, Child
  777  eligibility must be redetermined annually. Redetermination must
  778  also be conducted twice per year for an additional 50 percent of
  779  a coalition’s enrollment through a statistically valid random
  780  sampling. A coalition must document the reason why a child is no
  781  longer eligible for the school readiness program according to
  782  the standard codes prescribed by the office.
  783         (8) Establish a parent sliding fee scale that provides for
  784  requires a parent copayment that is not a barrier to families
  785  receiving to participate in the school readiness program
  786  services. Providers are required to collect the parent’s
  787  copayment. A coalition may, on a case-by-case basis, waive the
  788  copayment for an at-risk child or temporarily waive the
  789  copayment for a child whose family’s income is at or below the
  790  federal poverty level and whose family experiences a natural
  791  disaster or an event that limits the parent’s ability to pay,
  792  such as incarceration, placement in residential treatment, or
  793  becoming homeless, or an emergency situation such as a household
  794  fire or burglary, or while the parent is participating in
  795  parenting classes. A parent may not transfer school readiness
  796  program services to another school readiness program provider
  797  until the parent has submitted documentation from the current
  798  school readiness program provider to the early learning
  799  coalition stating that the parent has satisfactorily fulfilled
  800  the copayment obligation.
  801         Section 18. Subsections (1), (4), (5), and (6) of section
  802  1002.87, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  803         1002.87 School readiness program; eligibility and
  804  enrollment.—
  805         (1) Effective August 1, 2013, or upon reevaluation of
  806  eligibility for children currently served, whichever is later,
  807  Each early learning coalition shall give priority for
  808  participation in the school readiness program as follows:
  809         (a) Priority shall be given first to a child younger than
  810  13 years of age from a family that includes a parent who is
  811  receiving temporary cash assistance under chapter 414 and
  812  subject to the federal work requirements.
  813         (b) Priority shall be given next to an at-risk child
  814  younger than 9 years of age.
  815         (c) Priority shall be given next to a child from birth to
  816  the beginning of the school year for which the child is eligible
  817  for admission to kindergarten in a public school under s.
  818  1003.21(1)(a)2. who is from a working family that is
  819  economically disadvantaged, and may include such child’s
  820  eligible siblings, beginning with the school year in which the
  821  sibling is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public
  822  school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2. until the beginning of the
  823  school year in which the sibling is eligible to begin 6th grade,
  824  provided that the first priority for funding an eligible sibling
  825  is local revenues available to the coalition for funding direct
  826  services. However, a child eligible under this paragraph ceases
  827  to be eligible if his or her family income exceeds 200 percent
  828  of the federal poverty level.
  829         (d) Priority shall be given next to a child of a parent who
  830  transitions from the work program into employment as described
  831  in s. 445.032 from birth to the beginning of the school year for
  832  which the child is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a
  833  public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
  834         (e) Priority shall be given next to an at-risk child who is
  835  at least 9 years of age but younger than 13 years of age. An at
  836  risk child whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness
  837  program within an eligibility priority category listed in
  838  paragraphs (a)-(c) shall be given priority over other children
  839  who are eligible under this paragraph.
  840         (f) Priority shall be given next to a child who is younger
  841  than 13 years of age from a working family that is economically
  842  disadvantaged. A child who is eligible under this paragraph
  843  whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness program under
  844  paragraph (c) shall be given priority over other children who
  845  are eligible under this paragraph. However, a child eligible
  846  under this paragraph ceases to be eligible if his or her family
  847  income exceeds 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
  848         (g) Priority shall be given next to a child of a parent who
  849  transitions from the work program into employment as described
  850  in s. 445.032 who is younger than 13 years of age.
  851         (h) Priority shall be given next to a child who has special
  852  needs, has been determined eligible as a student with a
  853  disability, has a current individual education plan with a
  854  Florida school district, and is not younger than 3 years of age.
  855  A special needs child eligible under this paragraph remains
  856  eligible until the child is eligible for admission to
  857  kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
  858         (i) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)-(d), priority shall be
  859  given last to a child who otherwise meets one of the eligibility
  860  criteria in paragraphs (a)-(d) but who is also enrolled
  861  concurrently in the federal Head Start Program and the Voluntary
  862  Prekindergarten Education Program.
  863         (4) The parent of a child enrolled in the school readiness
  864  program must notify the coalition or its designee within 10 days
  865  after any change in employment status, income, or family size or
  866  failure to maintain attendance at a job training or educational
  867  program in accordance with program requirements. Upon
  868  notification by the parent, the child’s eligibility must be
  869  reevaluated.
  870         (5) A child whose eligibility priority category requires
  871  the child to be from a working family ceases to be eligible for
  872  the school readiness program if a parent with whom the child
  873  resides does not reestablish employment or resume attendance at
  874  a job training or educational program within 90 60 days after
  875  becoming unemployed or ceasing to attend a job training or
  876  educational program.
  877         (6) Eligibility for each child must be reevaluated
  878  annually. Upon reevaluation, a child may not continue to receive
  879  school readiness program services if he or she has ceased to be
  880  eligible under this section. A child who is ineligible due to a
  881  parent’s job loss or cessation of education or job training
  882  shall continue to receive school readiness program services for
  883  at least 3 months to enable the parent to obtain employment.
  884         Section 19. Paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of subsection (1)
  885  of section 1002.88, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  886         1002.88 School readiness program provider standards;
  887  eligibility to deliver the school readiness program.—
  888         (1) To be eligible to deliver the school readiness program,
  889  a school readiness program provider must:
  890         (c) Provide basic health and safety of its premises and
  891  facilities and compliance with requirements for age-appropriate
  892  immunizations of children enrolled in the school readiness
  893  program.
  894         1. For a provider that is licensed child care facility, a
  895  large family child care home, or a licensed family day care
  896  home, compliance with s. 402.305, s. 402.3131, or s. 402.313 and
  897  this subsection, as verified pursuant to s. 402.311, satisfies
  898  this requirement.
  899         2.For a provider that is a registered family day care home
  900  or is not subject to licensure or registration by the Department
  901  of Children and Families, compliance with this subsection, as
  902  verified pursuant to s. 402.311, satisfies this requirement.
  903  Upon verification pursuant to s. 402.311, the provider For a
  904  public or nonpublic school, compliance with s. 402.3025 or s.
  905  1003.22 satisfies this requirement. A faith-based child care
  906  provider, an informal child care provider, or a nonpublic
  907  school, exempt from licensure under s. 402.316 or s. 402.3025,
  908  shall annually post complete the health and safety checklist
  909  adopted by the office, post the checklist prominently on its
  910  premises in plain sight for visitors and parents, and shall
  911  annually submit the checklist it annually to its local early
  912  learning coalition.
  913         (d) Provide an appropriate group size and staff-to-children
  914  ratio, pursuant to s. 402.305(4) or s. 402.302(8) or (11), as
  915  applicable, and as verified pursuant to s. 402.311.
  916         (e) Employ child care personnel, as defined in s.
  917  402.302(3), who have satisfied the screening requirements of
  918  chapter 402 and fulfilled the training requirements of the
  919  office Provide a healthy and safe environment pursuant to s.
  920  402.305(5), (6), and (7), as applicable, and as verified
  921  pursuant to s. 402.311.
  922         Section 20. Subsections (6) and (7) of section 1002.89,
  923  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  924         1002.89 School readiness program; funding.—
  925         (6) Costs shall be kept to the minimum necessary for the
  926  efficient and effective administration of the school readiness
  927  program with the highest priority of expenditure being direct
  928  services for eligible children. However, no more than 5 percent
  929  of the funds described in subsection (5) may be used for
  930  administrative costs and no more than 22 percent of the funds
  931  described in subsection (5) may be used in any fiscal year for
  932  any combination of administrative costs, quality activities, and
  933  nondirect services as follows:
  934         (a) Administrative costs as described in 45 C.F.R. s.
  935  98.52, which shall include monitoring providers using the
  936  standard methodology adopted under s. 1002.82 to improve
  937  compliance with state and federal regulations and law pursuant
  938  to the requirements of the statewide provider contract adopted
  939  under s. 1002.82(2)(m).
  940         (b) Activities to improve the quality of child care as
  941  described in 45 C.F.R. s. 98.51, which shall be limited to the
  942  following:
  943         1. Developing, establishing, expanding, operating, and
  944  coordinating resource and referral programs specifically related
  945  to the provision of comprehensive consumer education to parents
  946  and the public to promote informed child care choices specified
  947  in 45 C.F.R. s. 98.33 regarding participation in the school
  948  readiness program and parental choice.
  949         2. Awarding grants and providing financial support to
  950  school readiness program providers and their staff to assist
  951  them in meeting applicable state requirements for child care
  952  performance standards, implementing developmentally appropriate
  953  curricula and related classroom resources that support
  954  curricula, providing literacy supports, and providing continued
  955  professional development and training. Any grants awarded
  956  pursuant to this subparagraph shall comply with the requirements
  957  of ss. 215.971 and 287.058.
  958         3. Providing training, and technical assistance, and
  959  financial support to for school readiness program providers,
  960  staff, and parents on standards, child screenings, child
  961  assessments, child development research and best practices,
  962  developmentally appropriate curricula, character development,
  963  teacher-child interactions, age-appropriate discipline
  964  practices, health and safety, nutrition, first aid,
  965  cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the recognition of communicable
  966  diseases, and child abuse detection, and prevention, and
  967  reporting.
  968         4. Providing, from among the funds provided for the
  969  activities described in subparagraphs 1.-3., adequate funding
  970  for infants and toddlers as necessary to meet federal
  971  requirements related to expenditures for quality activities for
  972  infant and toddler care.
  973         5. Improving the monitoring of compliance with, and
  974  enforcement of, applicable state and local requirements as
  975  described in and limited by 45 C.F.R. s. 98.40.
  976         6. Responding to Warm-Line requests by providers and
  977  parents related to school readiness program children, including
  978  providing developmental and health screenings to school
  979  readiness program children.
  980         (c) Nondirect services as described in applicable Office of
  981  Management and Budget instructions are those services not
  982  defined as administrative, direct, or quality services that are
  983  required to administer the school readiness program. Such
  984  services include, but are not limited to:
  985         1. Assisting families to complete the required application
  986  and eligibility documentation.
  987         2. Determining child and family eligibility.
  988         3. Recruiting eligible child care providers.
  989         4. Processing and tracking attendance records.
  990         5. Developing and maintaining a statewide child care
  991  information system.
  993  As used in this paragraph, the term “nondirect services” does
  994  not include payments to school readiness program providers for
  995  direct services provided to children who are eligible under s.
  996  1002.87, administrative costs as described in paragraph (a), or
  997  quality activities as described in paragraph (b).
  998         (7) Funds appropriated for the school readiness program may
  999  not be expended for the purchase or improvement of land; for the
 1000  purchase, construction, or permanent improvement of any building
 1001  or facility; or for the purchase of buses. However, funds may be
 1002  expended for minor remodeling and upgrading of child care
 1003  facilities which is necessary for the administration of the
 1004  program and to ensure that providers meet state and local child
 1005  care standards, including applicable health and safety
 1006  requirements.
 1007         Section 21. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section
 1008  402.3025, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1009         402.3025 Public and nonpublic schools.—For the purposes of
 1010  ss. 402.301-402.319, the following shall apply:
 1011         (2) NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS.—
 1012         (c) Programs for children who are at least 3 years of age,
 1013  but under 5 years of age, shall not be deemed to be child care
 1014  and shall not be subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301
 1015  402.319 relating to child care facilities, provided the programs
 1016  in the schools are operated and staffed directly by the schools,
 1017  provided a majority of the children enrolled in the schools are
 1018  5 years of age or older, and provided there is compliance with
 1019  the screening requirements for personnel pursuant to s. 402.305
 1020  or s. 402.3057. A nonpublic school may designate certain
 1021  programs as child care, in which case these programs shall be
 1022  subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319.
 1023         Section 22. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 413.092,
 1024  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1025         413.092 Blind Babies Program.—
 1026         (1) The Blind Babies Program is created within the Division
 1027  of Blind Services of the Department of Education to provide
 1028  community-based early-intervention education to children from
 1029  birth through 5 years of age who are blind or visually impaired,
 1030  and to their parents, families, and caregivers, through
 1031  community-based provider organizations. The division shall
 1032  enlist parents, ophthalmologists, pediatricians, schools, the
 1033  Early Steps Program Infant and Toddlers Early Intervention
 1034  Programs, and therapists to help identify and enroll blind and
 1035  visually impaired children, as well as their parents, families,
 1036  and caregivers, in these educational programs.
 1037         (2) The program is not an entitlement but shall promote
 1038  early development with a special emphasis on vision skills to
 1039  minimize developmental delays. The education shall lay the
 1040  groundwork for future learning by helping a child progress
 1041  through normal developmental stages. It shall teach children to
 1042  discover and make the best use of their skills for future
 1043  success in school. It shall seek to ensure that visually
 1044  impaired and blind children enter school as ready to learn as
 1045  their sighted classmates. The program shall seek to link these
 1046  children, and their parents, families, and caregivers, to other
 1047  available services, training, education, and employment programs
 1048  that could assist these families in the future. This linkage may
 1049  include referrals to the school districts and the Early Steps
 1050  Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program for assessments
 1051  to identify any additional services needed which are not
 1052  provided by the Blind Babies Program. The division shall develop
 1053  a formula for eligibility based on financial means and may
 1054  create a means-based matrix to set a copayment fee for families
 1055  having sufficient financial means.
 1056         Section 23. Subsection (1) of section 1003.575, Florida
 1057  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1058         1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings;
 1059  interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and
 1060  coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and
 1061  services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves
 1062  from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school,
 1063  from one school to another, and from school to employment or
 1064  independent living. If an individual education plan team makes a
 1065  recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule
 1066  for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to
 1067  receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must
 1068  be completed within 60 school days after the team’s
 1069  recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device
 1070  issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized
 1071  family support plan, individual support plan, or an individual
 1072  education plan remains with the individual through such
 1073  transitions, the following agencies shall enter into interagency
 1074  agreements, as appropriate, to ensure the transaction of
 1075  assistive technology devices:
 1076         (1) The Early Steps Florida Infants and Toddlers Early
 1077  Intervention Program in the Division of Children’s Medical
 1078  Services of the Department of Health.
 1080  Interagency agreements entered into pursuant to this section
 1081  shall provide a framework for ensuring that young persons with
 1082  disabilities and their families, educators, and employers are
 1083  informed about the utilization and coordination of assistive
 1084  technology devices and services that may assist in meeting
 1085  transition needs, and shall establish a mechanism by which a
 1086  young person or his or her parent may request that an assistive
 1087  technology device remain with the young person as he or she
 1088  moves through the continuum from home to school to postschool.
 1089         Section 24. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.
 1091  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
 1092  And the title is amended as follows:
 1093         Delete everything before the enacting clause
 1094  and insert:
 1095                        A bill to be entitled                      
 1096         An act relating to early childhood development;
 1097         amending s. 39.201, F.S.; providing an exception from
 1098         a prohibition against the use of information in the
 1099         Department of Children and Families central abuse
 1100         hotline for employment screening of certain child care
 1101         personnel; amending s. 39.202, F.S.; expanding the
 1102         list of entities that have access to child abuse
 1103         records for purposes of approving providers of school
 1104         readiness services; amending s. 383.141, F.S.;
 1105         revising the requirements for the Department of Health
 1106         to maintain a clearinghouse of information for parents
 1107         and health care providers and to increase public
 1108         awareness of developmental evaluation and early
 1109         intervention programs; requiring the clearinghouse to
 1110         use a specified term; revising the information to be
 1111         included in the clearinghouse; amending s. 391.025,
 1112         F.S.; renaming the “Infants and Toddlers Early
 1113         Intervention Program” as the “Early Steps Program”;
 1114         revising the components of the Children’s Medical
 1115         Services program; amending s. 391.026, F.S.; requiring
 1116         the department to serve as the lead agency in
 1117         administering the Early Steps Program; amending s.
 1118         391.301, F.S.; establishing the Early Steps Program
 1119         within the department; deleting provisions relating to
 1120         legislative findings; authorizing the program to
 1121         include certain screening and referral services for
 1122         specified purposes; providing requirements and
 1123         responsibilities for the program; amending s. 391.302,
 1124         F.S.; defining terms; revising the definitions of
 1125         certain terms; deleting terms; repealing ss. 391.303,
 1126         391.304, 391.305, 391.306, and 391.307, F.S., relating
 1127         to requirements for the Children’s Medical Services
 1128         program, program coordination, program standards,
 1129         program funding and contracts, and program review,
 1130         respectively; amending s. 391.308, F.S.; renaming the
 1131         “Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program” as
 1132         the “Early Steps Program”; requiring, rather than
 1133         authorizing, the department to implement and
 1134         administer the program; requiring the department to
 1135         ensure that the program follows specified performance
 1136         standards; providing requirements of the program to
 1137         meet such performance standards; revising the duties
 1138         of the department; requiring the department to apply
 1139         specified eligibility criteria for the program based
 1140         on an appropriation of funds; providing duties for
 1141         local program offices; requiring the local program
 1142         office to negotiate and maintain agreements with
 1143         specified providers and managed care organizations;
 1144         requiring the development of an individualized family
 1145         support plan for each child served in the program;
 1146         requiring the local program office to coordinate with
 1147         managed care organizations; requiring the department
 1148         to submit an annual report, subject to certain
 1149         requirements, to the Governor, the Legislature, and
 1150         the Florida Interagency Coordinating Council for
 1151         Infants and Toddlers by a specified date; designating
 1152         the Florida Interagency Coordinating Council for
 1153         Infants and Toddlers as the state interagency
 1154         coordinating council required by federal rule subject
 1155         to certain requirements; providing requirements for
 1156         the local program office and local school district to
 1157         prepare certain children for the transition to school
 1158         under certain circumstances; amending s. 402.302,
 1159         F.S.; revising the definition of the term “screening”
 1160         for purposes of child care licensing requirements;
 1161         repealing s. 402.3057, F.S., relating to persons not
 1162         required to be refingerprinted or rescreened; amending
 1163         s. 402.306, F.S.; requiring the Department of Children
 1164         and Families and local licensing agencies to
 1165         electronically post certain information relating to
 1166         child care and school readiness providers; amending s.
 1167         402.311, F.S.; requiring school readiness program
 1168         providers to provide the department or local licensing
 1169         agencies with access to facilities, personnel, and
 1170         records for inspection purposes; amending s. 402.319,
 1171         F.S.; requiring certain child care providers to submit
 1172         an affidavit of compliance with certain mandatory
 1173         reporting requirements; amending s. 435.07, F.S.;
 1174         providing criteria for disqualification from
 1175         employment with a school readiness program provider;
 1176         amending s. 1002.82, F.S.; revising the duties of the
 1177         Office of Early Learning of the Department of
 1178         Education; requiring the office to coordinate with the
 1179         Department of Children and Families and local
 1180         licensing agencies for inspections of school readiness
 1181         program providers; amending s. 1002.84, F.S.; revising
 1182         provisions relating to determination of child
 1183         eligibility for school readiness programs; revising
 1184         requirements for determining parent copayments for
 1185         participation in the program; amending s. 1002.87,
 1186         F.S.; revising school readiness program eligibility
 1187         requirements; amending s. 1002.88, F.S.; revising
 1188         requirements for school readiness program providers;
 1189         amending s. 1002.89, F.S.; providing for additional
 1190         uses of funds for school readiness programs; amending
 1191         ss. 402.3025, 413.092, and 1003.575, F.S.; conforming
 1192         provisions to changes made by the act; providing an
 1193         effective date.