Florida Senate - 2018                             CS for SB 1254
       By the Committee on Education; and Senators Passidomo and Book
       581-02590-18                                          20181254c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to early learning; amending s.
    3         1002.81, F.S.; revising the definition of “at-risk
    4         child”; amending s. 1002.82, F.S.; revising the duties
    5         of the Office of Early Learning; revising the standard
    6         statewide contract for providers; providing that
    7         failing to meet certain measures for a specified
    8         period is cause for termination of a provider;
    9         providing for the development of a program assessment
   10         for school readiness providers; providing program
   11         assessment requirements; requiring the office to set a
   12         payment differential for certain providers; revising
   13         the requirement for an analysis of early learning
   14         activities throughout the state; amending s. 1002.84,
   15         F.S.; conforming a cross-reference; amending s.
   16         1002.85, F.S.; revising the required contents of the
   17         school readiness program plan each early learning
   18         coalition must submit; amending s. 1002.87, F.S.;
   19         revising the priority criteria for participation in
   20         the school readiness program; amending s. 1002.88,
   21         F.S.; revising school readiness provider requirements
   22         for program participation; conforming cross
   23         references; amending s. 1002.89, F.S.; providing for
   24         the use of specified funds for a required assessment;
   25         amending s. 1002.92, F.S.; conforming a cross
   26         reference; providing an appropriation; providing an
   27         effective date.
   29  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   31         Section 1. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section
   32  1002.81, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   33         1002.81 Definitions.—Consistent with the requirements of 45
   34  C.F.R. parts 98 and 99 and as used in this part, the term:
   35         (1) “At-risk child” means:
   36         (e) A child in the custody of a parent who is considered a
   37  victim of domestic violence and is receiving services through
   38  residing in a certified domestic violence center.
   39         Section 2. Present paragraphs (n) through (x) of subsection
   40  (2) of section 1002.82, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
   41  paragraphs (p) through (z), respectively, paragraph (m) of
   42  subsection (2) and paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of that
   43  section are amended, and new paragraphs (n) and (o) are added to
   44  subsection (2) of that section, to read:
   45         1002.82 Office of Early Learning; powers and duties.—
   46         (2) The office shall:
   47         (m) Adopt by rule a standard statewide provider contract to
   48  be used with each school readiness program provider, with
   49  standardized attachments by provider type. The office shall
   50  publish a copy of the standard statewide provider contract on
   51  its website. The standard statewide contract shall include, at a
   52  minimum, contracted slots, if applicable, in accordance with the
   53  Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, 45 C.F.R.
   54  parts 98 and 99; quality improvement strategies, if applicable;
   55  program assessment requirements; and provisions for provider
   56  probation, termination for cause, and emergency termination for
   57  those actions or inactions of a provider that pose an immediate
   58  and serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the
   59  children. The standard statewide provider contract shall also
   60  include appropriate due process procedures. During the pendency
   61  of an appeal of a termination, the provider may not continue to
   62  offer its services. Any provision imposed upon a provider that
   63  is inconsistent with, or prohibited by, law is void and
   64  unenforceable. Provisions for termination for cause must include
   65  failure to meet the minimum quality measures established under
   66  paragraph (n) for a period of up to 5 years, unless the
   67  coalition determines that the provider is essential to meeting
   68  capacity needs based on the assessment under s. 1002.85(2)(j)
   69  and the provider has an active improvement plan pursuant to
   70  paragraph (n).
   71         (n) Adopt a program assessment for school readiness program
   72  providers that measures the quality of teacher-child
   73  interactions, including emotional and behavioral support,
   74  engaged support for learning, classroom organization, and
   75  instructional support. The program assessment must also include
   76  the adoption of quality measures, including a minimum threshold
   77  for contracting purposes; a process for program participation;
   78  exemptions; and improvement through the completion of an
   79  improvement plan.
   80         (o) Subject to appropriation, provide for a differential
   81  payment, based on the quality measures adopted by the office
   82  under paragraph (n), of up to 10 percent for each care level and
   83  unit of child care for a child care provider that has completed
   84  a program assessment and scored above the minimum threshold for
   85  contracting purposes.
   86         (5) By January 1 of each year, the office shall annually
   87  publish on its website a report of its activities conducted
   88  under this section. The report must include a summary of the
   89  coalitions’ annual reports, a statewide summary, and the
   90  following:
   91         (a) An analysis of early learning activities throughout the
   92  state, including the school readiness program and the Voluntary
   93  Prekindergarten Education Program.
   94         1. The total and average number of children served in the
   95  school readiness program, enumerated by age, eligibility
   96  priority category, and coalition, and the total number of
   97  children served in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
   98  Program.
   99         2. A summary of expenditures by coalition, by fund source,
  100  including a breakdown by coalition of the percentage of
  101  expenditures for administrative activities, quality activities,
  102  nondirect services, and direct services for children.
  103         3. A description of the office’s and each coalition’s
  104  expenditures by fund source for the quality and enhancement
  105  activities described in s. 1002.89(6)(b).
  106         4. A summary of annual findings and collections related to
  107  provider fraud and parent fraud.
  108         5. Data regarding the coalitions’ delivery of early
  109  learning programs.
  110         6. The total number of children disenrolled statewide and
  111  the reason for disenrollment.
  112         7. The total number of providers by provider type.
  113         8. The number of school readiness program providers who
  114  have completed the program assessment required under paragraph
  115  (2)(n); the number of providers who have not met the minimum
  116  threshold for contracting established under to paragraph (2)(n);
  117  and the number of providers that have an active improvement plan
  118  based on the results of the program assessment under paragraph
  119  (2)(n).
  120         9.8. The total number of provider contracts revoked and the
  121  reasons for revocation.
  122         Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 1002.84, Florida
  123  Statutes, is amended to read:
  124         1002.84 Early learning coalitions; school readiness powers
  125  and duties.—Each early learning coalition shall:
  126         (4) Establish a regional Warm-Line as directed by the
  127  office pursuant to s. 1002.82(2)(t) s. 1002.82(2)(r). Regional
  128  Warm-Line staff shall provide onsite technical assistance, when
  129  requested, to assist child care facilities and family day care
  130  homes with inquiries relating to the strategies, curriculum, and
  131  environmental adaptations the child care facilities and family
  132  day care homes may need as they serve children with disabilities
  133  and other special needs.
  134         Section 4. Paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (2) of
  135  section 1002.85, Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph
  136  (j) is added to that subsection, to read:
  137         1002.85 Early learning coalition plans.—
  138         (2) Each early learning coalition must biennially submit a
  139  school readiness program plan to the office before the
  140  expenditure of funds. A coalition may not implement its school
  141  readiness program plan until it receives approval from the
  142  office. A coalition may not implement any revision to its school
  143  readiness program plan until the coalition submits the revised
  144  plan to and receives approval from the office. If the office
  145  rejects a plan or revision, the coalition must continue to
  146  operate under its previously approved plan. The plan must
  147  include, but is not limited to:
  148         (c) The coalition’s procedures for implementing the
  149  requirements of this part, including:
  150         1. Single point of entry.
  151         2. Uniform waiting list.
  152         3. Eligibility and enrollment processes and local
  153  eligibility priorities for children pursuant to s. 1002.87.
  154         4. Parent access and choice.
  155         5. Sliding fee scale and policies on applying the waiver or
  156  reduction of fees in accordance with s. 1002.84(8).
  157         6. Use of preassessments and postassessments, as
  158  applicable.
  159         7. Payment rate schedule.
  160         8. Use of contracted slots, as applicable, based on the
  161  results of the assessment required under paragraph (j).
  162         (d) A detailed description of the coalition’s quality
  163  activities and services, including, but not limited to:
  164         1. Resource and referral and school-age child care.
  165         2. Infant and toddler early learning.
  166         3. Inclusive early learning programs.
  167         4. Quality improvement strategies that strengthen teaching
  168  practices and increase child outcomes.
  169         (j) An assessment of local priorities within the county or
  170  multicounty region based on the needs of families and provider
  171  capacity using available community data.
  172         Section 5. Subsections (1), (2), (3), and (7) of section
  173  1002.87, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  174         1002.87 School readiness program; eligibility and
  175  enrollment.—
  176         (1) Each early learning coalition shall give priority for
  177  participation in the school readiness program as follows:
  178         (a) Priority shall be given first to a child younger than
  179  13 years of age from a family that includes a parent who is
  180  receiving temporary cash assistance under chapter 414 and
  181  subject to the federal work requirements.
  182         (b) Priority shall be given next to an at-risk child
  183  younger than 9 years of age.
  184         (c) Subsequent priority shall be given, based on the early
  185  learning coalition’s local priorities identified under s.
  186  1002.85(2)(j), to children who meet the following criteria: next
  187  to
  188         1. A child from birth to the beginning of the school year
  189  for which the child is eligible for admission to kindergarten in
  190  a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2. who is from a working
  191  family that is economically disadvantaged, and may include such
  192  child’s eligible siblings, beginning with the school year in
  193  which the sibling is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a
  194  public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2. until the beginning of
  195  the school year in which the sibling is eligible to begin 6th
  196  grade, provided that the first priority for funding an eligible
  197  sibling is local revenues available to the coalition for funding
  198  direct services.
  199         2.(d)Priority shall be given next to A child of a parent
  200  who transitions from the work program into employment as
  201  described in s. 445.032 from birth to the beginning of the
  202  school year for which the child is eligible for admission to
  203  kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
  204         3.(e)Priority shall be given next to An at-risk child who
  205  is at least 9 years of age but younger than 13 years of age. An
  206  at-risk child whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness
  207  program within an eligibility priority category listed in
  208  paragraphs (a) and (b) and subparagraph (c)1. (a)-(c) shall be
  209  given priority over other children who are eligible under this
  210  paragraph.
  211         4.(f)Priority shall be given next to A child who is
  212  younger than 13 years of age from a working family that is
  213  economically disadvantaged. A child who is eligible under this
  214  paragraph whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness
  215  program under paragraph (c) shall be given priority over other
  216  children who are eligible under this paragraph.
  217         5.(g)Priority shall be given next to A child of a parent
  218  who transitions from the work program into employment as
  219  described in s. 445.032 who is younger than 13 years of age.
  220         6.(h)Priority shall be given next to A child who has
  221  special needs, has been determined eligible as a student with a
  222  disability, has a current individual education plan with a
  223  Florida school district, and is not younger than 3 years of age.
  224  A special needs child eligible under this paragraph remains
  225  eligible until the child is eligible for admission to
  226  kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
  227         7.(i)Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)-(d), priority shall be
  228  given last to A child who otherwise meets one of the eligibility
  229  criteria in paragraphs (a) and (b) and subparagraphs (c)1. and
  230  2. (a)-(d) but who is also enrolled concurrently in the federal
  231  Head Start Program and the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
  232  Program.
  233         (2) A school readiness program provider may be paid only
  234  for authorized hours of care provided for a child in the school
  235  readiness program. A child enrolled in the Voluntary
  236  Prekindergarten Education Program may receive care from the
  237  school readiness program if the child is eligible according to
  238  the eligibility priorities and criteria established in
  239  subsection (1) this section.
  240         (3) Contingent upon the availability of funds, a coalition
  241  shall enroll eligible children, including those from its waiting
  242  list, according to the eligibility priorities and criteria
  243  established in subsection (1) this section.
  244         (7) If a coalition disenrolls children from the school
  245  readiness program, the coalition must disenroll the children in
  246  reverse order of the eligibility priorities and criteria listed
  247  in subsection (1) beginning with children from families with the
  248  highest family incomes. A notice of disenrollment must be sent
  249  to the parent and school readiness program provider at least 2
  250  weeks before disenrollment to provide adequate time for the
  251  parent to arrange alternative care for the child. However, an
  252  at-risk child may not be disenrolled from the program without
  253  the written approval of the Child Welfare Program Office of the
  254  Department of Children and Families or the community-based lead
  255  agency.
  256         Section 6. Present paragraphs (h) through (q) of subsection
  257  (1) of section 1002.88, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
  258  paragraphs (i) through (r), respectively, present paragraphs (m)
  259  and (o) of subsection (1) of that section are amended, and a new
  260  paragraph (h) is added to subsection (1) of that section, to
  261  read:
  262         1002.88 School readiness program provider standards;
  263  eligibility to deliver the school readiness program.—
  264         (1) To be eligible to deliver the school readiness program,
  265  a school readiness program provider must:
  266         (h) Participate in the program assessment under s.
  267  1002.82(2)(n).
  268         (n)(m) For a provider that is an informal provider, comply
  269  with the provisions of paragraph (m) (l) or maintain homeowner’s
  270  liability insurance and, if applicable, a business rider. If an
  271  informal provider chooses to maintain a homeowner’s policy, the
  272  provider must obtain and retain a homeowner’s insurance policy
  273  that provides a minimum of $100,000 of coverage per occurrence
  274  and a minimum of $300,000 general aggregate coverage. The office
  275  may authorize lower limits upon request, as appropriate. An
  276  informal provider must add the coalition as a named
  277  certificateholder and as an additional insured. An informal
  278  provider must provide the coalition with a minimum of 10
  279  calendar days’ advance written notice of cancellation of or
  280  changes to coverage. The general liability insurance required by
  281  this paragraph must remain in full force and effect for the
  282  entire period of the provider’s contract with the coalition.
  283         (p)(o) Notwithstanding paragraph (m) (l), for a provider
  284  that is a state agency or a subdivision thereof, as defined in
  285  s. 768.28(2), agree to notify the coalition of any additional
  286  liability coverage maintained by the provider in addition to
  287  that otherwise established under s. 768.28. The provider shall
  288  indemnify the coalition to the extent permitted by s. 768.28.
  289         Section 7. Paragraph (b) of subsection (6) of section
  290  1002.89, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  291         1002.89 School readiness program; funding.—
  292         (6) Costs shall be kept to the minimum necessary for the
  293  efficient and effective administration of the school readiness
  294  program with the highest priority of expenditure being direct
  295  services for eligible children. However, no more than 5 percent
  296  of the funds described in subsection (5) may be used for
  297  administrative costs and no more than 22 percent of the funds
  298  described in subsection (5) may be used in any fiscal year for
  299  any combination of administrative costs, quality activities, and
  300  nondirect services as follows:
  301         (b) Activities to improve the quality of child care as
  302  described in 45 C.F.R. s. 98.51, which shall be limited to the
  303  following:
  304         1. Developing, establishing, expanding, operating, and
  305  coordinating resource and referral programs specifically related
  306  to the provision of comprehensive consumer education to parents
  307  and the public to promote informed child care choices specified
  308  in 45 C.F.R. s. 98.33.
  309         2. Awarding grants and providing financial support to
  310  school readiness program providers and their staff to assist
  311  them in meeting applicable state requirements for the program
  312  assessment required under s. 1002.82(2)(n), child care
  313  performance standards, implementing developmentally appropriate
  314  curricula and related classroom resources that support
  315  curricula, providing literacy supports, and providing continued
  316  professional development and training. Any grants awarded
  317  pursuant to this subparagraph shall comply with ss. 215.971 and
  318  287.058.
  319         3. Providing training, technical assistance, and financial
  320  support to school readiness program providers, staff, and
  321  parents on standards, child screenings, child assessments, child
  322  development research and best practices, developmentally
  323  appropriate curricula, character development, teacher-child
  324  interactions, age-appropriate discipline practices, health and
  325  safety, nutrition, first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the
  326  recognition of communicable diseases, and child abuse detection,
  327  prevention, and reporting.
  328         4. Providing, from among the funds provided for the
  329  activities described in subparagraphs 1.-3., adequate funding
  330  for infants and toddlers as necessary to meet federal
  331  requirements related to expenditures for quality activities for
  332  infant and toddler care.
  333         5. Improving the monitoring of compliance with, and
  334  enforcement of, applicable state and local requirements as
  335  described in and limited by 45 C.F.R. s. 98.40.
  336         6. Responding to Warm-Line requests by providers and
  337  parents, including providing developmental and health screenings
  338  to school readiness program children.
  339         Section 8. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
  340  1002.92, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  341         1002.92 Child care and early childhood resource and
  342  referral.—
  343         (3) Child care resource and referral agencies shall provide
  344  the following services:
  345         (a) Identification of existing public and private child
  346  care and early childhood education services, including child
  347  care services by public and private employers, and the
  348  development of a resource file of those services through the
  349  single statewide information system developed by the office
  350  under s. 1002.82(2)(p) s. 1002.82(2)(n). These services may
  351  include family day care, public and private child care programs,
  352  the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, Head Start, the
  353  school readiness program, special education programs for
  354  prekindergarten children with disabilities, services for
  355  children with developmental disabilities, full-time and part
  356  time programs, before-school and after-school programs, vacation
  357  care programs, parent education, the temporary cash assistance
  358  program, and related family support services. The resource file
  359  shall include, but not be limited to:
  360         1. Type of program.
  361         2. Hours of service.
  362         3. Ages of children served.
  363         4. Number of children served.
  364         5. Program information.
  365         6. Fees and eligibility for services.
  366         7. Availability of transportation.
  367         Section 9. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the sum of $6
  368  million from the Child Care and Development Block Grant Trust
  369  Fund is appropriated to the Office of Early Learning to
  370  implement the provisions of s. 1002.82(2)(n), Florida Statutes,
  371  established by this act.
  372         Section 10. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.