Florida Senate - 2016                             CS for SB 7058
       By the Committees on Appropriations; and Education Pre-K - 12
       576-03782-16                                          20167058c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to early childhood development;
    3         amending s. 39.201, F.S.; providing an exception from
    4         a prohibition against the use of information in the
    5         Department of Children and Families central abuse
    6         hotline for employment screening of certain child care
    7         personnel; amending s. 39.202, F.S.; expanding the
    8         list of entities that have access to child abuse
    9         records for purposes of approving providers of school
   10         readiness services; amending s. 383.141, F.S.;
   11         revising the requirements for the Department of Health
   12         to maintain a clearinghouse of information for parents
   13         and health care providers and to increase public
   14         awareness of developmental evaluation and early
   15         intervention programs; requiring the clearinghouse to
   16         use a specified term; revising the information to be
   17         included in the clearinghouse; amending s. 391.025,
   18         F.S.; renaming the “Infants and Toddlers Early
   19         Intervention Program” as the “Early Steps Program”;
   20         revising the components of the Children’s Medical
   21         Services program; amending s. 391.026, F.S.; requiring
   22         the department to serve as the lead agency in
   23         administering the Early Steps Program; amending s.
   24         391.301, F.S.; establishing the Early Steps Program
   25         within the department; deleting provisions relating to
   26         legislative findings; authorizing the program to
   27         include certain screening and referral services for
   28         specified purposes; providing requirements and
   29         responsibilities for the program; amending s. 391.302,
   30         F.S.; defining terms; revising the definitions of
   31         certain terms; deleting terms; repealing ss. 391.303,
   32         391.304, 391.305, 391.306, and 391.307, F.S., relating
   33         to requirements for the Children’s Medical Services
   34         program, program coordination, program standards,
   35         program funding and contracts, and program review,
   36         respectively; amending s. 391.308, F.S.; renaming the
   37         “Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program” as
   38         the “Early Steps Program”; requiring, rather than
   39         authorizing, the department to implement and
   40         administer the program; requiring the department to
   41         ensure that the program follows specified performance
   42         standards; providing requirements of the program to
   43         meet such performance standards; revising the duties
   44         of the department; requiring the department to apply
   45         specified eligibility criteria for the program based
   46         on an appropriation of funds; providing duties for
   47         local program offices; requiring the local program
   48         office to negotiate and maintain agreements with
   49         specified providers and managed care organizations;
   50         requiring the development of an individualized family
   51         support plan for each child served in the program;
   52         requiring the local program office to coordinate with
   53         managed care organizations; requiring the department
   54         to submit an annual report, subject to certain
   55         requirements, to the Governor, the Legislature, and
   56         the Florida Interagency Coordinating Council for
   57         Infants and Toddlers by a specified date; designating
   58         the Florida Interagency Coordinating Council for
   59         Infants and Toddlers as the state interagency
   60         coordinating council required by federal rule subject
   61         to certain requirements; providing requirements for
   62         the local program office and local school district to
   63         prepare certain children for the transition to school
   64         under certain circumstances; amending s. 402.302,
   65         F.S.; revising the definition of the term “screening”
   66         for purposes of child care licensing requirements;
   67         repealing s. 402.3057, F.S., relating to persons not
   68         required to be refingerprinted or rescreened; amending
   69         s. 402.306, F.S.; requiring the Department of Children
   70         and Families and local licensing agencies to
   71         electronically post certain information relating to
   72         child care and school readiness providers; amending s.
   73         402.311, F.S.; requiring school readiness program
   74         providers to provide the department or local licensing
   75         agencies with access to facilities, personnel, and
   76         records for inspection purposes; amending s. 402.319,
   77         F.S.; requiring certain child care providers to submit
   78         an affidavit of compliance with certain mandatory
   79         reporting requirements; amending s. 435.07, F.S.;
   80         providing criteria for disqualification from
   81         employment with a school readiness program provider;
   82         amending s. 1002.82, F.S.; revising the duties of the
   83         Office of Early Learning of the Department of
   84         Education; requiring the office to coordinate with the
   85         Department of Children and Families and local
   86         licensing agencies for inspections of school readiness
   87         program providers; amending s. 1002.84, F.S.; revising
   88         provisions relating to determination of child
   89         eligibility for school readiness programs; revising
   90         requirements for determining parent copayments for
   91         participation in the program; amending s. 1002.87,
   92         F.S.; revising school readiness program eligibility
   93         requirements; amending s. 1002.88, F.S.; revising
   94         requirements for school readiness program providers;
   95         amending s. 1002.89, F.S.; providing for additional
   96         uses of funds for school readiness programs; amending
   97         ss. 402.3025, 413.092, and 1003.575, F.S.; conforming
   98         provisions to changes made by the act; providing an
   99         effective date.
  101  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  103         Section 1. Subsection (6) of section 39.201, Florida
  104  Statutes, is amended to read:
  105         39.201 Mandatory reports of child abuse, abandonment, or
  106  neglect; mandatory reports of death; central abuse hotline.—
  107         (6) Information in the central abuse hotline may not be
  108  used for employment screening, except as provided in s.
  109  39.202(2)(a) and (h) or s. 402.302(15). Information in the
  110  central abuse hotline and the department’s automated abuse
  111  information system may be used by the department, its authorized
  112  agents or contract providers, the Department of Health, or
  113  county agencies as part of the licensure or registration process
  114  pursuant to ss. 402.301-402.319 and ss. 409.175-409.176.
  115         Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
  116  39.202, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  117         39.202 Confidentiality of reports and records in cases of
  118  child abuse or neglect.—
  119         (2) Except as provided in subsection (4), access to such
  120  records, excluding the name of the reporter which shall be
  121  released only as provided in subsection (5), shall be granted
  122  only to the following persons, officials, and agencies:
  123         (a) Employees, authorized agents, or contract providers of
  124  the department, the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons
  125  with Disabilities, the Office of Early Learning, or county
  126  agencies responsible for carrying out:
  127         1. Child or adult protective investigations;
  128         2. Ongoing child or adult protective services;
  129         3. Early intervention and prevention services;
  130         4. Healthy Start services;
  131         5. Licensure or approval of adoptive homes, foster homes,
  132  child care facilities, facilities licensed under chapter 393, or
  133  family day care homes, or informal child care providers who
  134  receive school readiness funding under part VI of chapter 1002,
  135  or other homes used to provide for the care and welfare of
  136  children; or
  137         6. Services for victims of domestic violence when provided
  138  by certified domestic violence centers working at the
  139  department’s request as case consultants or with shared clients.
  141  Also, employees or agents of the Department of Juvenile Justice
  142  responsible for the provision of services to children, pursuant
  143  to chapters 984 and 985.
  144         Section 3. Subsections (2) and (3) of section 383.141,
  145  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  146         383.141 Prenatally diagnosed conditions; patient to be
  147  provided information; definitions; information clearinghouse;
  148  advisory council.—
  149         (2) When a developmental disability is diagnosed based on
  150  the results of a prenatal test, the health care provider who
  151  ordered the prenatal test, or his or her designee, shall provide
  152  the patient with current information about the nature of the
  153  developmental disability, the accuracy of the prenatal test, and
  154  resources for obtaining relevant support services, including
  155  hotlines, resource centers, and information clearinghouses
  156  related to Down syndrome or other prenatally diagnosed
  157  developmental disabilities; support programs for parents and
  158  families; and developmental evaluation and intervention services
  159  under this part s. 391.303.
  160         (3) The Department of Health shall develop and implement a
  161  comprehensive information clearinghouse to educate health care
  162  providers, inform parents, and increase public awareness
  163  regarding brain development, developmental disabilities and
  164  delays, and all services, resources, and interventions available
  165  to mitigate the effects of impaired development among children.
  166  The clearinghouse must use the term “unique abilities” as much
  167  as possible when identifying infants or children with
  168  developmental disabilities and delays. The clearinghouse must
  169  provide:
  170         (a)Health information on conditions that may lead to
  171  impaired development of physical, learning, language, or
  172  behavioral skills.
  173         (b)Education and information to support parents whose
  174  unborn children have been prenatally diagnosed with
  175  developmental disabilities or whose children have diagnosed or
  176  suspected developmental delays.
  177         (c) Education and training for health care providers to
  178  recognize and respond appropriately to developmental
  179  disabilities, delays, and conditions related to disabilities or
  180  delays. Specific information approved by the advisory council
  181  shall be made available to health care providers for use in
  182  counseling parents whose unborn children have been prenatally
  183  diagnosed with developmental disabilities or whose children have
  184  diagnosed or suspected developmental delays.
  185         (d) Promotion of public awareness of availability of
  186  supportive services, such as resource centers, educational
  187  programs, other support programs for parents and families, and
  188  developmental evaluation and intervention services.
  189         (e) Hotlines specific to Down syndrome and other prenatally
  190  diagnosed developmental disabilities. The hotlines and the
  191  department’s clearinghouse must provide information to parents
  192  and families or other caregivers regarding the Early Steps
  193  Program under s. 391.301, the Florida Diagnostic and Learning
  194  Resources System, the Early Learning program, Healthy Start,
  195  Help Me Grow, and any other intervention programs. Information
  196  offered must include directions on how to obtain early
  197  intervention, rehabilitative, and habilitative services and
  198  devices establish on its Internet website a clearinghouse of
  199  information related to developmental disabilities concerning
  200  providers of supportive services, information hotlines specific
  201  to Down syndrome and other prenatally diagnosed developmental
  202  disabilities, resource centers, educational programs, other
  203  support programs for parents and families, and developmental
  204  evaluation and intervention services under s. 391.303. Such
  205  information shall be made available to health care providers for
  206  use in counseling pregnant women whose unborn children have been
  207  prenatally diagnosed with developmental disabilities.
  208         (4)(a) There is established an advisory council within the
  209  Department of Health which consists of health care providers and
  210  caregivers who perform health care services for persons who have
  211  developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome and autism.
  212  This group shall consist of nine members as follows:
  213         1. Three members appointed by the Governor;
  214         2. Three members appointed by the President of the Senate;
  215  and
  216         3. Three members appointed by the Speaker of the House of
  217  Representatives.
  218         (b) The advisory council shall provide technical assistance
  219  to the Department of Health in the establishment of the
  220  information clearinghouse and give the department the benefit of
  221  the council members’ knowledge and experience relating to the
  222  needs of patients and families of patients with developmental
  223  disabilities and available support services.
  224         (c) Members of the council shall elect a chairperson and a
  225  vice chairperson. The elected chairperson and vice chairperson
  226  shall serve in these roles until their terms of appointment on
  227  the council expire.
  228         (d) The advisory council shall meet quarterly to review
  229  this clearinghouse of information, and may meet more often at
  230  the call of the chairperson or as determined by a majority of
  231  members.
  232         (e) The council members shall be appointed to 4-year terms,
  233  except that, to provide for staggered terms, one initial
  234  appointee each from the Governor, the President of the Senate,
  235  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be
  236  appointed to a 2-year term, one appointee each from these
  237  officials shall be appointed to a 3-year term, and the remaining
  238  initial appointees shall be appointed to 4-year terms. All
  239  subsequent appointments shall be for 4-year terms. A vacancy
  240  shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the
  241  same manner as the original appointment.
  242         (f) Members of the council shall serve without
  243  compensation. Meetings of the council may be held in person,
  244  without reimbursement for travel expenses, or by teleconference
  245  or other electronic means.
  246         (g) The Department of Health shall provide administrative
  247  support for the advisory council.
  248         Section 4. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
  249  391.025, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  250         391.025 Applicability and scope.—
  251         (1) The Children’s Medical Services program consists of the
  252  following components:
  253         (c) The developmental evaluation and intervention program,
  254  including the Early Steps Florida Infants and Toddlers Early
  255  Intervention Program.
  256         Section 5. Subsection (19) is added to section 391.026,
  257  Florida Statutes, to read:
  258         391.026 Powers and duties of the department.—The department
  259  shall have the following powers, duties, and responsibilities:
  260         (19) To serve as the lead agency in administering the Early
  261  Steps Program pursuant to part C of the federal Individuals with
  262  Disabilities Education Act and part III of this chapter.
  263         Section 6. Section 391.301, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  264  read:
  265         391.301 Early Steps Program; establishment and goals
  266  Developmental evaluation and intervention programs; legislative
  267  findings and intent.—
  268         (1) The Early Steps Program is established within the
  269  department to serve infants and toddlers who are at risk of
  270  developmental disabilities based on a physical or mental
  271  condition and infants and toddlers with developmental delays by
  272  providing developmental evaluation and early intervention and by
  273  providing families with training and support services in a
  274  variety of home and community settings in order to enhance
  275  family and caregiver competence, confidence, and capacity to
  276  meet their child’s developmental needs and desired outcomes The
  277  Legislature finds that the high-risk and disabled newborn
  278  infants in this state need in-hospital and outpatient
  279  developmental evaluation and intervention and that their
  280  families need training and support services. The Legislature
  281  further finds that there is an identifiable and increasing
  282  number of infants who need developmental evaluation and
  283  intervention and family support due to the fact that increased
  284  numbers of low-birthweight and sick full-term newborn infants
  285  are now surviving because of the advances in neonatal intensive
  286  care medicine; increased numbers of medically involved infants
  287  are remaining inappropriately in hospitals because their parents
  288  lack the confidence or skills to care for these infants without
  289  support; and increased numbers of infants are at risk due to
  290  parent risk factors, such as substance abuse, teenage pregnancy,
  291  and other high-risk conditions.
  292         (2) The program may include screening and referral It is
  293  the intent of the Legislature to establish developmental
  294  evaluation and intervention services at all hospitals providing
  295  Level II or Level III neonatal intensive care services, in order
  296  to promptly identify newborns with disabilities or with
  297  conditions associated with risks of developmental delays so that
  298  families with high-risk or disabled infants may gain as early as
  299  possible the services and skills they need to support their
  300  infants’ development infants.
  301         (3) The program must It is the intent of the Legislature
  302  that a methodology be developed to integrate information and
  303  coordinate services on infants with potentially disabling
  304  conditions with other programs serving infants and toddlers
  305  early intervention programs, including, but not limited to, Part
  306  C of Pub. L. No. 105-17 and the Healthy Start program, the
  307  newborn screening program, and the Blind Babies Program.
  308         (4) The program must:
  309         (a) Provide services to enhance the development of infants
  310  and toddlers with disabilities and delays.
  311         (b)Expand the recognition by health care providers,
  312  families, and the public of the significant brain development
  313  that occurs during a child’s first 3 years of life.
  314         (c)Maintain the importance of the family in all areas of
  315  the child’s development and support the family’s participation
  316  in early intervention services and decisions affecting the
  317  child.
  318         (d)Operate a comprehensive, coordinated interagency system
  319  of early intervention services and supports in accordance with
  320  part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education
  321  Act.
  322         (e)Ensure timely evaluation, individual planning, and
  323  early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs
  324  of eligible infants and toddlers.
  325         (f)Build the service capacity and enhance the competencies
  326  of health care providers serving infants and toddlers with
  327  unique needs and abilities.
  328         (g)Ensure programmatic and fiscal accountability through
  329  establishment of a high-capacity data system, active monitoring
  330  of performance indicators, and ongoing quality improvement.
  331         Section 7. Section 391.302, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  332  read:
  333         391.302 Definitions.—As used in ss. 391.301-391.308 ss.
  334  391.301-391.307, the term:
  335         (1) “Developmental delay” means a condition, identified and
  336  measured through appropriate instruments and procedures, which
  337  may delay physical, cognitive, communication, social or
  338  emotional, or adaptive development.
  339         (2) “Developmental disability” means a condition,
  340  identified and measured through appropriate instruments and
  341  procedures, which may impair physical, cognitive, communication,
  342  social or emotional, or adaptive development.
  343         (3) “Developmental intervention” or “early intervention”
  344  means individual and group individualized therapies and services
  345  needed to enhance both the infant’s or toddler’s growth and
  346  development and family functioning. The term includes
  347  habilitative services and assistive technology devices,
  348  rehabilitative services and assistive technology devices, and
  349  parent support and training.
  350         (4) “Habilitative services and devices” means health care
  351  services and assistive technology devices that help a child
  352  maintain, learn, or improve skills and functioning for daily
  353  living.
  354         (5)(2) “Infant or toddler” or “child” means a child from
  355  birth until the child’s third birthday.
  356         (6) “Local program office” means an office that administers
  357  the Early Steps Program within a municipality, county, or
  358  region.
  359         (7) “Rehabilitative services and devices” means restorative
  360  and remedial services that maintain or enhance the current level
  361  of functioning of a child if there is a possibility of
  362  improvement or reversal of impairment.
  363         (3) “In-hospital intervention services” means the provision
  364  of assessments; the provision of individualized services;
  365  monitoring and modifying the delivery of medical interventions;
  366  and enhancing the environment for the high-risk, developmentally
  367  disabled, or medically involved infant or toddler in order to
  368  achieve optimum growth and development.
  369         (4) “Parent support and training” means a range of services
  370  to families of high-risk, developmentally disabled, or medically
  371  involved infants or toddlers, including family counseling;
  372  financial planning; agency referral; development of parent-to
  373  parent support groups; education concerning growth, development,
  374  and developmental intervention and objective measurable skills,
  375  including abuse avoidance skills; training of parents to
  376  advocate for their child; and bereavement counseling.
  377         Section 8. Sections 391.303, 391.304, 391.305, 391.306, and
  378  391.307, Florida Statutes, are repealed.
  379         Section 9. Section 391.308, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  380  read:
  381         391.308 Early Steps Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention
  382  Program.—The department shall Department of Health may implement
  383  and administer part C of the federal Individuals with
  384  Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which shall be known as the
  385  Early Steps “Florida Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention
  386  Program.”
  387         (1) PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.—The department shall ensure that
  388  the Early Steps Program complies with the following performance
  389  standards:
  390         (a)The program must provide services from referral through
  391  transition in a family-centered manner that recognizes and
  392  responds to unique circumstances and needs of infants and
  393  toddlers and their families as measured by a variety of
  394  qualitative data, including satisfaction surveys, interviews,
  395  focus groups, and input from stakeholders.
  396         (b)The program must provide individualized family support
  397  plans that are understandable and usable by families, health
  398  care providers, and payers and that identify the current level
  399  of functioning of the infant or toddler, family supports and
  400  resources, expected outcomes, and specific early intervention
  401  services needed to achieve the expected outcomes, as measured by
  402  periodic system independent evaluation.
  403         (c)The program must help each family to use available
  404  resources in a way that maximizes the child’s access to services
  405  necessary to achieve the outcomes of the individualized family
  406  support plan, as measured by family feedback and by independent
  407  assessments of services used by each child.
  408         (d)The program must offer families access to quality
  409  services that effectively enable infants and toddlers with
  410  developmental disabilities and developmental delays to achieve
  411  optimal functional levels as measured by an independent
  412  evaluation of outcome indicators in social or emotional skills,
  413  communication, and adaptive behaviors.
  414         (2) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.—The department shall:,
  415         (a)Jointly with the Department of Education, shall
  416  Annually prepare a grant application to the United States
  417  Department of Education for funding early intervention services
  418  for infants and toddlers with disabilities, from birth through
  419  36 months of age, and their families pursuant to part C of the
  420  federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  421         (b)(2)The department, Jointly with the Department of
  422  Education, provide shall include a reading initiative as an
  423  early intervention service for infants and toddlers.
  424         (c) Annually develop a state plan for the Early Steps
  425  Program.
  426         1. The plan must assess the need for early intervention
  427  services, evaluate the extent of the statewide need that is met
  428  by the program, identify barriers to fully meeting the need, and
  429  recommend specific action steps to improve program performance.
  430         2. The plan must be developed through an inclusive process
  431  that involves families, local program offices, health care
  432  providers, and other stakeholders.
  433         (d)Ensure local program offices educate hospitals that
  434  provide Level II and Level III neonatal intensive care services
  435  about the Early Steps Program and the referral process for the
  436  provision of developmental evaluation and intervention services.
  437         (e) Establish standards and qualifications for
  438  developmental evaluation and early intervention service
  439  providers, including standards for determining the adequacy of
  440  provider networks in each local program office service area.
  441         (f) Establish statewide uniform protocols and procedures to
  442  determine eligibility for developmental evaluation and early
  443  intervention services.
  444         (g) Establish a consistent, statewide format and procedure
  445  for preparing and completing an individualized family support
  446  plan.
  447         (h)Promote interagency cooperation and coordination, with
  448  the Medicaid program, the Department of Education program
  449  pursuant to part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities
  450  Education Act, and programs providing child screening such as
  451  the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System, the Office
  452  of Early Learning, Healthy Start, and the Help Me Grow program.
  453         1. Coordination with the Medicaid program shall be
  454  developed and maintained through written agreements with the
  455  Agency for Health Care Administration and Medicaid managed care
  456  organizations as well as through active and ongoing
  457  communication with these organizations. The department shall
  458  assist local program offices to negotiate agreements with
  459  Medicaid managed care organizations in the service areas of the
  460  local program offices. Such agreements may be formal or
  461  informal.
  462         2. Coordination with education programs pursuant to part B
  463  of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act shall
  464  be developed and maintained through written agreements with the
  465  Department of Education. The department shall assist local
  466  program offices to negotiate agreements with school districts in
  467  the service areas of the local program offices.
  468         (i)Develop and disseminate the knowledge and methods
  469  necessary to effectively coordinate benefits among various payer
  470  types.
  471         (j) Provide a mediation process and if necessary, an
  472  appeals process for applicants found ineligible for
  473  developmental evaluation or early intervention services or
  474  denied financial support for such services.
  475         (k)Competitively procure local program offices to provide
  476  services throughout the state in accordance with chapter 287.
  477  The department shall specify the requirements and qualifications
  478  for local program offices in the procurement document.
  479         (l) Establish performance standards and other metrics for
  480  evaluation of local program offices, including standards for
  481  measuring timeliness of services, outcomes of early intervention
  482  services, and administrative efficiency. Performance standards
  483  and metrics shall be developed in consultation with local
  484  program offices.
  485         (m) Provide technical assistance to the local program
  486  offices.
  487         (3) ELIGIBILITY.—The department shall apply the following
  488  eligibility criteria if specific funding is provided, and the
  489  associated applicable eligibility criteria are identified, in
  490  the General Appropriations Act:
  491         (a) Infants and toddlers are eligible for an evaluation to
  492  determine the presence of a developmental disability or the risk
  493  of a developmental delay based on a physical or medical
  494  condition.
  495         (b) Infants and toddlers determined to have a developmental
  496  delay based on informed clinical opinion and an evaluation using
  497  a standard evaluation instrument which results in a score that
  498  is 1.5 standard deviations from the mean in two or more of the
  499  following domains: physical, cognitive, communication, social or
  500  emotional, and adaptive.
  501         (c) Infants and toddlers determined to have a developmental
  502  delay based on informed clinical opinion and an evaluation using
  503  a standard evaluation instrument which results in a score that
  504  is 2.0 standard deviations from the mean in one of the following
  505  domains: physical, cognitive, communication, social or
  506  emotional, and adaptive.
  507         (d) Infants and toddlers determined to have a developmental
  508  delay based on informed clinical opinion and an evaluation using
  509  a standard evaluation instrument which results in a score that
  510  is 1.5 standard deviations from the mean in one or more of the
  511  following domains: physical, cognitive, communication, social or
  512  emotional, and adaptive.
  513         (e) Infants and toddlers determined to have a developmental
  514  delay based on informed clinical opinion.
  515         (f) Infants and toddlers at risk of developmental delay
  516  based on an established condition known to result in
  517  developmental delay, or a physical or mental condition known to
  518  create a risk of developmental delay.
  519         (4) DUTIES OF THE LOCAL PROGRAM OFFICES.—A local program
  520  office shall:
  521         (a)Evaluate a child to determine eligibility within 45
  522  calendar days after the child is referred to the program.
  523         (b)Notify the parent or legal guardian of his or her
  524  child’s eligibility status initially and at least annually
  525  thereafter. If a child is determined not to be eligible, the
  526  local program office must provide the parent or legal guardian
  527  with written information on the right to an appeal and the
  528  process for making such an appeal.
  529         (c) Secure and maintain interagency agreements or contracts
  530  with local school districts in a local service area.
  531         (d) Provide services directly or procure services from
  532  health care providers that meet or exceed the minimum
  533  qualifications established for service providers. The local
  534  program office must become a Medicaid provider if it provides
  535  services directly.
  536         (e) Provide directly or procure services that are, to the
  537  extent possible, delivered in a child’s natural environment,
  538  such as in the child’s home or community setting. The inability
  539  to provide services in the natural environment is not a
  540  sufficient reason to deny services.
  541         (f) Develop an individualized family support plan for each
  542  child served. The plan must:
  543         1. Be completed within 45 calendar days after the child is
  544  referred to the program;
  545         2. Be developed in conjunction with the child’s parent or
  546  legal guardian who provides written consent for the services
  547  included in the plan;
  548         3. Be reviewed at least every 6 months with the parent or
  549  legal guardian and updated if needed; and
  550         4. Include steps to transition to school or other future
  551  services by the child’s third birthday.
  552         (g) Assess the progress of the child and his or her family
  553  in meeting the goals of the individualized family support plan.
  554         (h) For each service required by the individualized family
  555  support plan, refer the child to an appropriate service provider
  556  or work with Medicaid managed care organizations or private
  557  insurers to secure the needed services.
  558         (i) Provide service coordination, including contacting the
  559  appropriate service provider to determine whether the provider
  560  can timely deliver the service, providing the parent or legal
  561  guardian with the name and contact information of the service
  562  provider and the date and location of the service of any
  563  appointment made on behalf of the child, and contacting the
  564  parent or legal guardian after the service is provided to ensure
  565  that the service is timely delivered and to determine whether
  566  the family requests additional services.
  567         (j) Negotiate and maintain agreements with Medicaid
  568  providers and Medicaid managed care organizations in its area.
  569         1. With the parent’s or legal guardian’s permission, the
  570  services in the child’s approved individualized family support
  571  plan shall be communicated to the Medicaid managed care
  572  organization. Services that cannot be funded by Medicaid must be
  573  specifically identified and explained to the family.
  574         2. The agreement between the local program office and
  575  Medicaid managed care organizations must establish methods of
  576  communication and procedures for the timely approval of services
  577  covered by Medicaid.
  578         (k) Develop agreements and arrangements with private
  579  insurers in order to coordinate benefits and services for any
  580  mutual enrollee.
  581         1. The child’s approved individualized family support plan
  582  may be communicated to the child’s insurer with the parent’s or
  583  legal guardian’s permission.
  584         2. The local program office and private insurers shall
  585  establish methods of communication and procedures for the timely
  586  approval of services covered by the child’s insurer, if
  587  appropriate and approved by the child’s parent or legal
  588  guardian.
  589         (l)Provide to the department data necessary for an
  590  evaluation of the local program office performance.
  591         (5)ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTING.—By December 1 of each year,
  592  the department shall prepare and submit a report that assesses
  593  the performance of the Early Steps Program to the Governor, the
  594  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
  595  Representatives, and the Florida Interagency Coordinating
  596  Council for Infants and Toddlers. The department must address
  597  the performance standards in subsection (1) and report actual
  598  performance compared to the standards for the prior fiscal year.
  599  The data used to compile the report must be submitted by each
  600  local program office in the state. The department shall report
  601  on all of the following measures:
  602         (a) Number and percentage of infants and toddlers served
  603  with an individualized family support plan.
  604         (b) Number and percentage of infants and toddlers
  605  demonstrating improved social or emotional skills after the
  606  program.
  607         (c) Number and percentage of infants and toddlers
  608  demonstrating improved use of knowledge and cognitive skills
  609  after the program.
  610         (d) Number and percentage of families reporting positive
  611  outcomes in their infant’s and toddler’s development as a result
  612  of early intervention services.
  613         (e) Progress toward meeting the goals of individualized
  614  family support plans.
  615         (f) Any additional measures established by the department.
  617  Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers shall
  618  serve as the state interagency coordinating council required by
  619  34 C.F.R. s. 303.600. The council shall be housed for
  620  administrative purposes in the department, and the department
  621  shall provide administrative support to the council.
  622         (7)TRANSITION TO EDUCATION.—
  623         (a)At least 90 days before a child reaches 3 years of age,
  624  the local program office shall initiate transition planning to
  625  ensure the child’s successful transition from the Early Steps
  626  Program to a school district program for children with
  627  disabilities or to another program as part of an individual
  628  family support plan.
  629         (b) At least 90 days before a child reaches 3 years of age,
  630  the local program office shall:
  631         1. Notify the local school district in which the child
  632  resides and the Department of Education that the child may be
  633  eligible for special education or related services as determined
  634  by the local school district pursuant to ss. 1003.21 and
  635  1003.57, unless the child’s parent or legal guardian has opted
  636  out of such notification; and
  637         2.Upon approval by the child’s parent or legal guardian,
  638  convene a transition conference that includes participation of a
  639  local school district representative and the parent or legal
  640  guardian to discuss options for and availability of services.
  641         (c) The local school district shall evaluate and determine
  642  a child’s eligibility to receive special education or related
  643  services pursuant to part B of the federal Individuals with
  644  Disabilities Education Act and ss. 1003.21 and 1003.57.
  645         (d)The local program office, in conjunction with the local
  646  school district, shall modify a child’s individual family
  647  support plan or, if applicable, the local school district shall
  648  develop an individual education plan for the child pursuant to
  649  ss. 1003.57, 1003.571, and 1003.5715, which identifies special
  650  education or related services that the child will receive and
  651  the providers or agencies that will provide such services.
  652         (e) If a child is determined to be ineligible for school
  653  district program services, the local program office and the
  654  local school district shall provide the child’s parent or legal
  655  guardian with written information on other available services or
  656  community resources.
  657         (f)The local program office shall negotiate and maintain
  658  an interagency agreement with each local school district in its
  659  service area pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities
  660  Education Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1435(a)(10)(F). Each interagency
  661  agreement must be reviewed at least annually and updated upon
  662  review, if needed.
  663         Section 10. Subsection (15) of section 402.302, Florida
  664  Statutes, is amended to read:
  665         402.302 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  666         (15) “Screening” means the act of assessing the background
  667  of child care personnel, in accordance with state and federal
  668  law, and volunteers and includes, but is not limited to:,
  669         (a) Employment history checks, including documented
  670  attempts to contact each employer that employed the applicant
  671  within the preceding 5 years and documentation of the findings.
  672         (b)A search of the criminal history records, sexual
  673  predator and sexual offender registry, and child abuse and
  674  neglect registry of any state in which the applicant resided
  675  during the preceding 5 years.
  677  An applicant must submit a full set of fingerprints to the
  678  department or to a vendor, entity, or agency authorized by s.
  679  943.053(13). The department, vendor, entity, or agency shall
  680  forward the fingerprints to local criminal records checks
  681  through local law enforcement agencies, fingerprinting for all
  682  purposes and checks in this subsection, statewide criminal
  683  records checks through the Department of Law Enforcement for
  684  state processing, and the Department of Law Enforcement shall
  685  forward the fingerprints to federal criminal records checks
  686  through the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national
  687  processing. Fingerprint submission must comply with s. 435.12.
  688         Section 11. Section 402.3057, Florida Statutes, is
  689  repealed.
  690         Section 12. Subsection (3) of section 402.306, Florida
  691  Statutes, is amended to read:
  692         402.306 Designation of licensing agency; dissemination by
  693  the department and local licensing agency of information on
  694  child care.—
  695         (3) The department and local licensing agencies, or the
  696  designees thereof, shall be responsible for coordination and
  697  dissemination of information on child care to the community and
  698  shall make available through electronic means upon request all
  699  licensing standards and procedures, health and safety standards
  700  for school readiness providers, monitoring and inspection
  701  reports, and in addition to the names and addresses of licensed
  702  child care facilities, school readiness program providers, and,
  703  where applicable pursuant to s. 402.313, licensed or registered
  704  family day care homes. This information shall also include the
  705  number of deaths, serious injuries, and instances of
  706  substantiated child abuse that have occurred in child care
  707  settings each year; research and best practices in child
  708  development; and resources regarding social-emotional
  709  development, parent and family engagement, healthy eating, and
  710  physical activity.
  711         Section 13. Section 402.311, Florida Statutes, is amended
  712  to read:
  713         402.311 Inspection.—
  714         (1) A licensed child care facility shall accord to the
  715  department or the local licensing agency, whichever is
  716  applicable, the privilege of inspection, including access to
  717  facilities and personnel and to those records required in s.
  718  402.305, at reasonable times during regular business hours, to
  719  ensure compliance with the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319.
  720  The right of entry and inspection shall also extend to any
  721  premises which the department or local licensing agency has
  722  reason to believe are being operated or maintained as a child
  723  care facility without a license, but no such entry or inspection
  724  of any premises shall be made without the permission of the
  725  person in charge thereof unless a warrant is first obtained from
  726  the circuit court authorizing such entry or inspection same. Any
  727  application for a license or renewal made pursuant to this act
  728  or the advertisement to the public for the provision of child
  729  care as defined in s. 402.302 shall constitute permission for
  730  any entry or inspection of the premises for which the license is
  731  sought in order to facilitate verification of the information
  732  submitted on or in connection with the application. In the event
  733  a licensed facility refuses permission for entry or inspection
  734  to the department or local licensing agency, a warrant shall be
  735  obtained from the circuit court authorizing entry or inspection
  736  before same prior to such entry or inspection. The department or
  737  local licensing agency may institute disciplinary proceedings
  738  pursuant to s. 402.310, for such refusal.
  739         (2)A school readiness program provider shall accord to the
  740  department or the local licensing agency, whichever is
  741  applicable, the privilege of inspection, including access to
  742  facilities, personnel, and records, to verify compliance with
  743  the requirements of s. 1002.88. Entry, inspection, and issuance
  744  of an inspection report by the department or the local licensing
  745  agency to verify compliance with the requirements of s. 1002.88
  746  is an exercise of a discretionary power to enforce compliance
  747  with the laws duly enacted by a governmental body.
  748         (3)The department’s issuance, transmittal, or publication
  749  of an inspection report resulting from an inspection under this
  750  section does not constitute agency action subject to chapter
  751  120.
  752         Section 14. Subsection (3) is added to section 402.319,
  753  Florida Statutes, to read:
  754         402.319 Penalties.—
  755         (3)Each child care facility, family day care home, and
  756  large family child care home shall annually submit an affidavit
  757  of compliance with s. 39.201.
  758         Section 15. Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (4) of
  759  section 435.07, Florida Statutes, to read:
  760         435.07 Exemptions from disqualification.—Unless otherwise
  761  provided by law, the provisions of this section apply to
  762  exemptions from disqualification for disqualifying offenses
  763  revealed pursuant to background screenings required under this
  764  chapter, regardless of whether those disqualifying offenses are
  765  listed in this chapter or other laws.
  766         (4)
  767         (c)Disqualification from employment under this chapter may
  768  not be removed from, and an exemption may not be granted to, any
  769  current or prospective child care personnel of a provider
  770  receiving school readiness funding under part VI of chapter
  771  1002, and such a person is disqualified from employment as child
  772  care personnel with such providers, regardless of any prior
  773  exemptions from disqualification, if the person has been
  774  registered as a sex offender as described in 42 U.S.C. s.
  775  9858f(c)(1)(C) or has been arrested for and is awaiting final
  776  disposition of, has been convicted or found guilty of, or
  777  entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of
  778  adjudication, or has been adjudicated delinquent and the record
  779  has not been sealed or expunged for, any offense prohibited
  780  under any of the following provisions of state law or a similar
  781  law of another jurisdiction:
  782         1.A felony offense prohibited under any of the following
  783  statutes:
  784         a.Chapter 741, relating to domestic violence.
  785         b.Section 782.04, relating to murder.
  786         c.Section 782.07, relating to manslaughter, aggravated
  787  manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, aggravated
  788  manslaughter of a child, or aggravated manslaughter of an
  789  officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a
  790  paramedic.
  791         d.Section 784.021, relating to aggravated assault.
  792         e.Section 784.045, relating to aggravated battery.
  793         f.Section 787.01, relating to kidnapping.
  794         g.Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child.
  795         h.Section 787.04(2), relating to leading, taking,
  796  enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or
  797  concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending
  798  custody proceedings.
  799         i.Section 787.04(3), relating to leading, taking,
  800  enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or
  801  concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending
  802  dependency proceedings or proceedings concerning alleged abuse
  803  or neglect of a minor.
  804         j.Section 794.011, relating to sexual battery.
  805         k.Former s. 794.041, relating to sexual activity with or
  806  solicitation of a child by a person in familial or custodial
  807  authority.
  808         l.Section 794.05, relating to unlawful sexual activity
  809  with certain minors.
  810         m.Section 794.08, relating to female genital mutilation.
  811         n.Section 806.01, relating to arson.
  812         o.Section 826.04, relating to incest.
  813         p.Section 827.03, relating to child abuse, aggravated
  814  child abuse, or neglect of a child.
  815         q.Section 827.04, relating to contributing to the
  816  delinquency or dependency of a child.
  817         r.Section 827.071, relating to sexual performance by a
  818  child.
  819         s.Chapter 847, relating to child pornography.
  820         t.Section 985.701, relating to sexual misconduct in
  821  juvenile justice programs.
  822         2.A misdemeanor offense prohibited under any of the
  823  following statutes:
  824         a.Section 784.03, relating to battery, if the victim of
  825  the offense was a minor.
  826         b.Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child.
  827         c.Chapter 847, relating to child pornography.
  828         3.A criminal act committed in another state or under
  829  federal law which, if committed in this state, constitutes an
  830  offense prohibited under any statute listed in subparagraph 1.
  831  or subparagraph 2.
  832         Section 16. Paragraph (i) of subsection (2) of section
  833  1002.82, Florida Statutes, is amended, and paragraphs (s)
  834  through (x) are added to that subsection, to read:
  835         1002.82 Office of Early Learning; powers and duties.—
  836         (2) The office shall:
  837         (i) Enter into a memorandum of understanding with local
  838  licensing agencies and Develop, in coordination with the Child
  839  Care Services Program Office of the Department of Children and
  840  Families for inspections of school readiness program providers
  841  to monitor and verify compliance with s. 1002.88 and the health
  842  and safety checklist adopted by the office. The provider
  843  contract of a school readiness program provider that refuses
  844  permission for entry or inspection shall be terminated. The, and
  845  adopt a health and safety checklist may to be completed by
  846  license-exempt providers that does not exceed the requirements
  847  of s. 402.305 and the Child Care and Development Fund pursuant
  848  to 45 C.F.R. part 98.
  849         (s)Develop and implement strategies to increase the supply
  850  and improve the quality of child care services for infants and
  851  toddlers, children with disabilities, children who receive care
  852  during nontraditional hours, children in underserved areas, and
  853  children in areas that have significant concentrations of
  854  poverty and unemployment.
  855         (t)Establish preservice and inservice training
  856  requirements that address, at a minimum, school readiness child
  857  development standards, health and safety requirements, and
  858  social-emotional behavior intervention models, which may include
  859  positive behavior intervention and support models.
  860         (u)Establish standards for emergency preparedness plans
  861  for school readiness program providers.
  862         (v)Establish group sizes.
  863         (w)Establish staff-to-children ratios that do not exceed
  864  the requirements of s. 402.302(8) or (11) or s. 402.305(4), as
  865  applicable, for school readiness program providers.
  866         (x)Establish eligibility criteria, including limitations
  867  based on income and family assets, in accordance with s. 1002.87
  868  and federal law.
  869         Section 17. Subsections (7) and (8) of section 1002.84,
  870  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  871         1002.84 Early learning coalitions; school readiness powers
  872  and duties.—Each early learning coalition shall:
  873         (7) Determine child eligibility pursuant to s. 1002.87 and
  874  provider eligibility pursuant to s. 1002.88. At a minimum, Child
  875  eligibility must be redetermined annually. Redetermination must
  876  also be conducted twice per year for an additional 50 percent of
  877  a coalition’s enrollment through a statistically valid random
  878  sampling. A coalition must document the reason why a child is no
  879  longer eligible for the school readiness program according to
  880  the standard codes prescribed by the office.
  881         (8) Establish a parent sliding fee scale that provides for
  882  requires a parent copayment that is not a barrier to families
  883  receiving to participate in the school readiness program
  884  services. Providers are required to collect the parent’s
  885  copayment. A coalition may, on a case-by-case basis, waive the
  886  copayment for an at-risk child or temporarily waive the
  887  copayment for a child whose family’s income is at or below the
  888  federal poverty level and whose family experiences a natural
  889  disaster or an event that limits the parent’s ability to pay,
  890  such as incarceration, placement in residential treatment, or
  891  becoming homeless, or an emergency situation such as a household
  892  fire or burglary, or while the parent is participating in
  893  parenting classes. A parent may not transfer school readiness
  894  program services to another school readiness program provider
  895  until the parent has submitted documentation from the current
  896  school readiness program provider to the early learning
  897  coalition stating that the parent has satisfactorily fulfilled
  898  the copayment obligation.
  899         Section 18. Subsections (1), (4), (5), and (6) of section
  900  1002.87, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  901         1002.87 School readiness program; eligibility and
  902  enrollment.—
  903         (1) Effective August 1, 2013, or upon reevaluation of
  904  eligibility for children currently served, whichever is later,
  905  Each early learning coalition shall give priority for
  906  participation in the school readiness program as follows:
  907         (a) Priority shall be given first to a child younger than
  908  13 years of age from a family that includes a parent who is
  909  receiving temporary cash assistance under chapter 414 and
  910  subject to the federal work requirements.
  911         (b) Priority shall be given next to an at-risk child
  912  younger than 9 years of age.
  913         (c) Priority shall be given next to a child from birth to
  914  the beginning of the school year for which the child is eligible
  915  for admission to kindergarten in a public school under s.
  916  1003.21(1)(a)2. who is from a working family that is
  917  economically disadvantaged, and may include such child’s
  918  eligible siblings, beginning with the school year in which the
  919  sibling is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public
  920  school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2. until the beginning of the
  921  school year in which the sibling is eligible to begin 6th grade,
  922  provided that the first priority for funding an eligible sibling
  923  is local revenues available to the coalition for funding direct
  924  services. However, a child eligible under this paragraph ceases
  925  to be eligible if his or her family income exceeds 200 percent
  926  of the federal poverty level.
  927         (d) Priority shall be given next to a child of a parent who
  928  transitions from the work program into employment as described
  929  in s. 445.032 from birth to the beginning of the school year for
  930  which the child is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a
  931  public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
  932         (e) Priority shall be given next to an at-risk child who is
  933  at least 9 years of age but younger than 13 years of age. An at
  934  risk child whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness
  935  program within an eligibility priority category listed in
  936  paragraphs (a)-(c) shall be given priority over other children
  937  who are eligible under this paragraph.
  938         (f) Priority shall be given next to a child who is younger
  939  than 13 years of age from a working family that is economically
  940  disadvantaged. A child who is eligible under this paragraph
  941  whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness program under
  942  paragraph (c) shall be given priority over other children who
  943  are eligible under this paragraph. However, a child eligible
  944  under this paragraph ceases to be eligible if his or her family
  945  income exceeds 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
  946         (g) Priority shall be given next to a child of a parent who
  947  transitions from the work program into employment as described
  948  in s. 445.032 who is younger than 13 years of age.
  949         (h) Priority shall be given next to a child who has special
  950  needs, has been determined eligible as a student with a
  951  disability, has a current individual education plan with a
  952  Florida school district, and is not younger than 3 years of age.
  953  A special needs child eligible under this paragraph remains
  954  eligible until the child is eligible for admission to
  955  kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
  956         (i) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)-(d), priority shall be
  957  given last to a child who otherwise meets one of the eligibility
  958  criteria in paragraphs (a)-(d) but who is also enrolled
  959  concurrently in the federal Head Start Program and the Voluntary
  960  Prekindergarten Education Program.
  961         (4) The parent of a child enrolled in the school readiness
  962  program must notify the coalition or its designee within 10 days
  963  after any change in employment status, income, or family size or
  964  failure to maintain attendance at a job training or educational
  965  program in accordance with program requirements. Upon
  966  notification by the parent, the child’s eligibility must be
  967  reevaluated.
  968         (5) A child whose eligibility priority category requires
  969  the child to be from a working family ceases to be eligible for
  970  the school readiness program if a parent with whom the child
  971  resides does not reestablish employment or resume attendance at
  972  a job training or educational program within 90 60 days after
  973  becoming unemployed or ceasing to attend a job training or
  974  educational program.
  975         (6) Eligibility for each child must be reevaluated
  976  annually. Upon reevaluation, a child may not continue to receive
  977  school readiness program services if he or she has ceased to be
  978  eligible under this section. A child who is ineligible due to a
  979  parent’s job loss or cessation of education or job training
  980  shall continue to receive school readiness program services for
  981  at least 3 months to enable the parent to obtain employment.
  982         Section 19. Paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of subsection (1)
  983  of section 1002.88, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  984         1002.88 School readiness program provider standards;
  985  eligibility to deliver the school readiness program.—
  986         (1) To be eligible to deliver the school readiness program,
  987  a school readiness program provider must:
  988         (c) Provide basic health and safety of its premises and
  989  facilities and compliance with requirements for age-appropriate
  990  immunizations of children enrolled in the school readiness
  991  program.
  992         1. For a provider that is licensed child care facility, a
  993  large family child care home, or a licensed family day care
  994  home, compliance with s. 402.305, s. 402.3131, or s. 402.313 and
  995  this subsection, as verified pursuant to s. 402.311, satisfies
  996  this requirement.
  997         2.For a provider that is a registered family day care home
  998  or is not subject to licensure or registration by the Department
  999  of Children and Families, compliance with this subsection, as
 1000  verified pursuant to s. 402.311, satisfies this requirement.
 1001  Upon verification pursuant to s. 402.311, the provider For a
 1002  public or nonpublic school, compliance with s. 402.3025 or s.
 1003  1003.22 satisfies this requirement. A faith-based child care
 1004  provider, an informal child care provider, or a nonpublic
 1005  school, exempt from licensure under s. 402.316 or s. 402.3025,
 1006  shall annually post complete the health and safety checklist
 1007  adopted by the office, post the checklist prominently on its
 1008  premises in plain sight for visitors and parents, and shall
 1009  annually submit the checklist it annually to its local early
 1010  learning coalition.
 1011         (d) Provide an appropriate group size and staff-to-children
 1012  ratio, pursuant to s. 402.305(4) or s. 402.302(8) or (11), as
 1013  applicable, and as verified pursuant to s. 402.311.
 1014         (e) Employ child care personnel, as defined in s.
 1015  402.302(3), who have satisfied the screening requirements of
 1016  chapter 402 and fulfilled the training requirements of the
 1017  office Provide a healthy and safe environment pursuant to s.
 1018  402.305(5), (6), and (7), as applicable, and as verified
 1019  pursuant to s. 402.311.
 1020         Section 20. Subsections (6) and (7) of section 1002.89,
 1021  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1022         1002.89 School readiness program; funding.—
 1023         (6) Costs shall be kept to the minimum necessary for the
 1024  efficient and effective administration of the school readiness
 1025  program with the highest priority of expenditure being direct
 1026  services for eligible children. However, no more than 5 percent
 1027  of the funds described in subsection (5) may be used for
 1028  administrative costs and no more than 22 percent of the funds
 1029  described in subsection (5) may be used in any fiscal year for
 1030  any combination of administrative costs, quality activities, and
 1031  nondirect services as follows:
 1032         (a) Administrative costs as described in 45 C.F.R. s.
 1033  98.52, which shall include monitoring providers using the
 1034  standard methodology adopted under s. 1002.82 to improve
 1035  compliance with state and federal regulations and law pursuant
 1036  to the requirements of the statewide provider contract adopted
 1037  under s. 1002.82(2)(m).
 1038         (b) Activities to improve the quality of child care as
 1039  described in 45 C.F.R. s. 98.51, which shall be limited to the
 1040  following:
 1041         1. Developing, establishing, expanding, operating, and
 1042  coordinating resource and referral programs specifically related
 1043  to the provision of comprehensive consumer education to parents
 1044  and the public to promote informed child care choices specified
 1045  in 45 C.F.R. s. 98.33 regarding participation in the school
 1046  readiness program and parental choice.
 1047         2. Awarding grants and providing financial support to
 1048  school readiness program providers and their staff to assist
 1049  them in meeting applicable state requirements for child care
 1050  performance standards, implementing developmentally appropriate
 1051  curricula and related classroom resources that support
 1052  curricula, providing literacy supports, and providing continued
 1053  professional development and training. Any grants awarded
 1054  pursuant to this subparagraph shall comply with the requirements
 1055  of ss. 215.971 and 287.058.
 1056         3. Providing training, and technical assistance, and
 1057  financial support to for school readiness program providers,
 1058  staff, and parents on standards, child screenings, child
 1059  assessments, child development research and best practices,
 1060  developmentally appropriate curricula, character development,
 1061  teacher-child interactions, age-appropriate discipline
 1062  practices, health and safety, nutrition, first aid,
 1063  cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the recognition of communicable
 1064  diseases, and child abuse detection, and prevention, and
 1065  reporting.
 1066         4. Providing, from among the funds provided for the
 1067  activities described in subparagraphs 1.-3., adequate funding
 1068  for infants and toddlers as necessary to meet federal
 1069  requirements related to expenditures for quality activities for
 1070  infant and toddler care.
 1071         5. Improving the monitoring of compliance with, and
 1072  enforcement of, applicable state and local requirements as
 1073  described in and limited by 45 C.F.R. s. 98.40.
 1074         6. Responding to Warm-Line requests by providers and
 1075  parents related to school readiness program children, including
 1076  providing developmental and health screenings to school
 1077  readiness program children.
 1078         (c) Nondirect services as described in applicable Office of
 1079  Management and Budget instructions are those services not
 1080  defined as administrative, direct, or quality services that are
 1081  required to administer the school readiness program. Such
 1082  services include, but are not limited to:
 1083         1. Assisting families to complete the required application
 1084  and eligibility documentation.
 1085         2. Determining child and family eligibility.
 1086         3. Recruiting eligible child care providers.
 1087         4. Processing and tracking attendance records.
 1088         5. Developing and maintaining a statewide child care
 1089  information system.
 1091  As used in this paragraph, the term “nondirect services” does
 1092  not include payments to school readiness program providers for
 1093  direct services provided to children who are eligible under s.
 1094  1002.87, administrative costs as described in paragraph (a), or
 1095  quality activities as described in paragraph (b).
 1096         (7) Funds appropriated for the school readiness program may
 1097  not be expended for the purchase or improvement of land; for the
 1098  purchase, construction, or permanent improvement of any building
 1099  or facility; or for the purchase of buses. However, funds may be
 1100  expended for minor remodeling and upgrading of child care
 1101  facilities which is necessary for the administration of the
 1102  program and to ensure that providers meet state and local child
 1103  care standards, including applicable health and safety
 1104  requirements.
 1105         Section 21. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section
 1106  402.3025, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1107         402.3025 Public and nonpublic schools.—For the purposes of
 1108  ss. 402.301-402.319, the following shall apply:
 1109         (2) NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS.—
 1110         (c) Programs for children who are at least 3 years of age,
 1111  but under 5 years of age, shall not be deemed to be child care
 1112  and shall not be subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301
 1113  402.319 relating to child care facilities, provided the programs
 1114  in the schools are operated and staffed directly by the schools,
 1115  provided a majority of the children enrolled in the schools are
 1116  5 years of age or older, and provided there is compliance with
 1117  the screening requirements for personnel pursuant to s. 402.305
 1118  or s. 402.3057. A nonpublic school may designate certain
 1119  programs as child care, in which case these programs shall be
 1120  subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319.
 1121         Section 22. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 413.092,
 1122  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1123         413.092 Blind Babies Program.—
 1124         (1) The Blind Babies Program is created within the Division
 1125  of Blind Services of the Department of Education to provide
 1126  community-based early-intervention education to children from
 1127  birth through 5 years of age who are blind or visually impaired,
 1128  and to their parents, families, and caregivers, through
 1129  community-based provider organizations. The division shall
 1130  enlist parents, ophthalmologists, pediatricians, schools, the
 1131  Early Steps Program Infant and Toddlers Early Intervention
 1132  Programs, and therapists to help identify and enroll blind and
 1133  visually impaired children, as well as their parents, families,
 1134  and caregivers, in these educational programs.
 1135         (2) The program is not an entitlement but shall promote
 1136  early development with a special emphasis on vision skills to
 1137  minimize developmental delays. The education shall lay the
 1138  groundwork for future learning by helping a child progress
 1139  through normal developmental stages. It shall teach children to
 1140  discover and make the best use of their skills for future
 1141  success in school. It shall seek to ensure that visually
 1142  impaired and blind children enter school as ready to learn as
 1143  their sighted classmates. The program shall seek to link these
 1144  children, and their parents, families, and caregivers, to other
 1145  available services, training, education, and employment programs
 1146  that could assist these families in the future. This linkage may
 1147  include referrals to the school districts and the Early Steps
 1148  Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program for assessments
 1149  to identify any additional services needed which are not
 1150  provided by the Blind Babies Program. The division shall develop
 1151  a formula for eligibility based on financial means and may
 1152  create a means-based matrix to set a copayment fee for families
 1153  having sufficient financial means.
 1154         Section 23. Subsection (1) of section 1003.575, Florida
 1155  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1156         1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings;
 1157  interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and
 1158  coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and
 1159  services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves
 1160  from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school,
 1161  from one school to another, and from school to employment or
 1162  independent living. If an individual education plan team makes a
 1163  recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule
 1164  for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to
 1165  receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must
 1166  be completed within 60 school days after the team’s
 1167  recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device
 1168  issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized
 1169  family support plan, individual support plan, or an individual
 1170  education plan remains with the individual through such
 1171  transitions, the following agencies shall enter into interagency
 1172  agreements, as appropriate, to ensure the transaction of
 1173  assistive technology devices:
 1174         (1) The Early Steps Florida Infants and Toddlers Early
 1175  Intervention Program in the Division of Children’s Medical
 1176  Services of the Department of Health.
 1178  Interagency agreements entered into pursuant to this section
 1179  shall provide a framework for ensuring that young persons with
 1180  disabilities and their families, educators, and employers are
 1181  informed about the utilization and coordination of assistive
 1182  technology devices and services that may assist in meeting
 1183  transition needs, and shall establish a mechanism by which a
 1184  young person or his or her parent may request that an assistive
 1185  technology device remain with the young person as he or she
 1186  moves through the continuum from home to school to postschool.
 1187         Section 24. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.