Florida Senate - 2018                      CS for CS for SB 1254
       By the Committees on Appropriations; and Education; and Senators
       Passidomo and Book
       576-04119-18                                          20181254c2
    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
    6         requirements for certain assessments; revising the
    7         standard statewide contract for providers; providing
    8         that failing to meet certain measures for a specified
    9         period is cause for termination of a provider;
   10         providing for the development of a program assessment
   11         for school readiness providers; providing program
   12         assessment requirements; requiring the office to set a
   13         payment differential for certain providers; providing
   14         requirements for such payment differential; revising
   15         requirements for a certain single statewide
   16         information system; revising the requirement for an
   17         analysis of early learning activities throughout the
   18         state; amending s. 1002.84, F.S.; conforming a cross
   19         reference; amending s. 1002.85, F.S.; revising the
   20         required contents of the school readiness program plan
   21         each early learning coalition must submit; amending s.
   22         1002.87, F.S.; revising the priority criteria for
   23         participation in the school readiness program;
   24         amending s. 1002.88, F.S.; revising school readiness
   25         provider requirements for program participation;
   26         conforming cross-references; amending s. 1002.89,
   27         F.S.; providing for the use of specified funds for a
   28         required assessment; amending s. 1002.92, F.S.;
   29         conforming a cross-reference; providing an
   30         appropriation; providing an effective date.
   32  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   34         Section 1. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section
   35  1002.81, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   36         1002.81 Definitions.—Consistent with the requirements of 45
   37  C.F.R. parts 98 and 99 and as used in this part, the term:
   38         (1) “At-risk child” means:
   39         (e) A child in the custody of a parent who is considered a
   40  victim of domestic violence and is receiving services through
   41  residing in a certified domestic violence center.
   42         Section 2. Present paragraphs (n) through (x) of subsection
   43  (2) of section 1002.82, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
   44  paragraphs (p) through (z), respectively, paragraphs (k) and (m)
   45  and present paragraph (n) of subsection (2) and paragraph (a) of
   46  subsection (5) of that section are amended, and new paragraphs
   47  (n) and (o) are added to subsection (2) of that section, to
   48  read:
   49         1002.82 Office of Early Learning; powers and duties.—
   50         (2) The office shall:
   51         (k) Identify observation-based child Select assessments
   52  that are valid, reliable, and developmentally appropriate for
   53  use at least three times a year for use as preassessment and
   54  postassessment for the age ranges specified in the coalition
   55  plans. The assessments must:
   56         1.Provide interval level and criterion-referenced data
   57  that measures equivalent levels of growth across the core
   58  domains of early childhood development and that can be used for
   59  determining developmentally appropriate learning gains.
   60         2.Measure progress in the performance standards adopted
   61  pursuant to paragraph (j).
   62         3.Provide for appropriate accommodations for children with
   63  disabilities and English language learners and be administered
   64  by qualified individuals, consistent with the developer’s
   65  instructions.
   66         4.Coordinate with the performance standards adopted by the
   67  department under s. 1002.67(1) for the Voluntary Prekindergarten
   68  Education Program.
   69         5.Provide data in a format for use in the single statewide
   70  information system to meet the requirements of paragraph (q) be
   71  designed to measure progress in the domains of the performance
   72  standards adopted pursuant to paragraph (j), provide appropriate
   73  accommodations for children with disabilities and English
   74  language learners, and be administered by qualified individuals,
   75  consistent with the publisher’s instructions.
   76         (m) Adopt by rule a standard statewide provider contract to
   77  be used with each school readiness program provider, with
   78  standardized attachments by provider type. The office shall
   79  publish a copy of the standard statewide provider contract on
   80  its website. The standard statewide contract shall include, at a
   81  minimum, contracted slots, if applicable, in accordance with the
   82  Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, 45 C.F.R.
   83  parts 98 and 99; quality improvement strategies, if applicable;
   84  program assessment requirements; and provisions for provider
   85  probation, termination for cause, and emergency termination for
   86  those actions or inactions of a provider that pose an immediate
   87  and serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the
   88  children. The standard statewide provider contract shall also
   89  include appropriate due process procedures. During the pendency
   90  of an appeal of a termination, the provider may not continue to
   91  offer its services. Any provision imposed upon a provider that
   92  is inconsistent with, or prohibited by, law is void and
   93  unenforceable. Provisions for termination for cause must also
   94  include failure to meet the minimum quality measures established
   95  under paragraph (n) for a period of up to 5 years, unless the
   96  coalition determines that the provider is essential to meeting
   97  capacity needs based on the assessment under s. 1002.85(2)(j)
   98  and the provider has an active improvement plan pursuant to
   99  paragraph (n).
  100         (n)Adopt a program assessment for school readiness program
  101  providers that measures the quality of teacher-child
  102  interactions, including emotional and behavioral support,
  103  engaged support for learning, classroom organization, and
  104  instructional support for children ages birth to 5 years. The
  105  program assessment must also include:
  106         1.Quality measures, including a minimum threshold for
  107  contracting purposes and program improvement through an
  108  improvement plan.
  109         2.Requirements for program participation, frequency of
  110  program assessment, and exemptions.
  111         (o)No later than July 1, 2019, develop a differential
  112  payment program based on the quality measures adopted by the
  113  office under paragraph (n). The differential payment may not
  114  exceed a total of 15 percent for each care level and unit of
  115  child care for a child care provider. No more than 5 percent of
  116  the 15 percent total differential may be provided to providers
  117  who submit valid and reliable data to the statewide information
  118  system in the domains of language and executive functioning
  119  using a child assessment identified pursuant to paragraph (k).
  120  Providers below the minimum threshold for contracting purposes
  121  are ineligible for such payment.
  122         (q)(n) Establish a single statewide information system that
  123  each coalition must use for the purposes of managing the single
  124  point of entry, tracking children’s progress, coordinating
  125  services among stakeholders, determining eligibility of
  126  children, tracking child attendance, and streamlining
  127  administrative processes for providers and early learning
  128  coalitions. By July 1, 2019, the system, subject to ss. 1002.72
  129  and 1002.97, shall:
  130         1. Allow a parent to monitor the development of his or her
  131  child as the child moves among programs within the state.
  132         2. Enable analysis at the state, regional, and local level
  133  to measure child growth over time, program impact, and quality
  134  improvement and investment decisions.
  135         (5) By January 1 of each year, the office shall annually
  136  publish on its website a report of its activities conducted
  137  under this section. The report must include a summary of the
  138  coalitions’ annual reports, a statewide summary, and the
  139  following:
  140         (a) An analysis of early learning activities throughout the
  141  state, including the school readiness program and the Voluntary
  142  Prekindergarten Education Program.
  143         1. The total and average number of children served in the
  144  school readiness program, enumerated by age, eligibility
  145  priority category, and coalition, and the total number of
  146  children served in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
  147  Program.
  148         2. A summary of expenditures by coalition, by fund source,
  149  including a breakdown by coalition of the percentage of
  150  expenditures for administrative activities, quality activities,
  151  nondirect services, and direct services for children.
  152         3. A description of the office’s and each coalition’s
  153  expenditures by fund source for the quality and enhancement
  154  activities described in s. 1002.89(6)(b).
  155         4. A summary of annual findings and collections related to
  156  provider fraud and parent fraud.
  157         5. Data regarding the coalitions’ delivery of early
  158  learning programs.
  159         6. The total number of children disenrolled statewide and
  160  the reason for disenrollment.
  161         7. The total number of providers by provider type.
  162         8.The number of school readiness program providers who
  163  have completed the program assessment required under paragraph
  164  (2)(n); the number of providers who have not met the minimum
  165  threshold for contracting established under that paragraph; and
  166  the number of providers that have an active improvement plan
  167  based on the results of the program assessment under that
  168  paragraph.
  169         9.8. The total number of provider contracts revoked and the
  170  reasons for revocation.
  171         Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 1002.84, Florida
  172  Statutes, is amended to read:
  173         1002.84 Early learning coalitions; school readiness powers
  174  and duties.—Each early learning coalition shall:
  175         (4) Establish a regional Warm-Line as directed by the
  176  office pursuant to s. 1002.82(2)(t) s. 1002.82(2)(r). Regional
  177  Warm-Line staff shall provide onsite technical assistance, when
  178  requested, to assist child care facilities and family day care
  179  homes with inquiries relating to the strategies, curriculum, and
  180  environmental adaptations the child care facilities and family
  181  day care homes may need as they serve children with disabilities
  182  and other special needs.
  183         Section 4. Paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (2) of
  184  section 1002.85, Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph
  185  (j) is added to that subsection, to read:
  186         1002.85 Early learning coalition plans.—
  187         (2) Each early learning coalition must biennially submit a
  188  school readiness program plan to the office before the
  189  expenditure of funds. A coalition may not implement its school
  190  readiness program plan until it receives approval from the
  191  office. A coalition may not implement any revision to its school
  192  readiness program plan until the coalition submits the revised
  193  plan to and receives approval from the office. If the office
  194  rejects a plan or revision, the coalition must continue to
  195  operate under its previously approved plan. The plan must
  196  include, but is not limited to:
  197         (c) The coalition’s procedures for implementing the
  198  requirements of this part, including:
  199         1. Single point of entry.
  200         2. Uniform waiting list.
  201         3. Eligibility and enrollment processes and local
  202  eligibility priorities for children pursuant to s. 1002.87.
  203         4. Parent access and choice.
  204         5. Sliding fee scale and policies on applying the waiver or
  205  reduction of fees in accordance with s. 1002.84(8).
  206         6. Use of preassessments and postassessments, as
  207  applicable.
  208         7. Payment rate schedule.
  209         8.Use of contracted slots, as applicable, based on the
  210  results of the assessment required under paragraph (j).
  211         (d) A detailed description of the coalition’s quality
  212  activities and services, including, but not limited to:
  213         1. Resource and referral and school-age child care.
  214         2. Infant and toddler early learning.
  215         3. Inclusive early learning programs.
  216         4.Quality improvement strategies that strengthen teaching
  217  practices and increase child outcomes.
  218         (j)An assessment of local priorities within the county or
  219  multi-county region based on the needs of families and provider
  220  capacity using available community data.
  221         Section 5. Subsections (1), (2), (3), and (7) of section
  222  1002.87, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  223         1002.87 School readiness program; eligibility and
  224  enrollment.—
  225         (1) Each early learning coalition shall give priority for
  226  participation in the school readiness program as follows:
  227         (a) Priority shall be given first to a child younger than
  228  13 years of age from a family that includes a parent who is
  229  receiving temporary cash assistance under chapter 414 and
  230  subject to the federal work requirements.
  231         (b) Priority shall be given next to an at-risk child
  232  younger than 9 years of age.
  233         (c) Subsequent priority shall be given, based on the early
  234  learning coalition’s local priorities identified under s.
  235  1002.85(2)(j), to children who meet the following criteria: next
  236  to
  237         1. A child from birth to the beginning of the school year
  238  for which the child is eligible for admission to kindergarten in
  239  a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2. who is from a working
  240  family that is economically disadvantaged, and may include such
  241  child’s eligible siblings, beginning with the school year in
  242  which the sibling is eligible for admission to kindergarten in a
  243  public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2. until the beginning of
  244  the school year in which the sibling is eligible to begin 6th
  245  grade, provided that the first priority for funding an eligible
  246  sibling is local revenues available to the coalition for funding
  247  direct services.
  248         2.(d)Priority shall be given next to A child of a parent
  249  who transitions from the work program into employment as
  250  described in s. 445.032 from birth to the beginning of the
  251  school year for which the child is eligible for admission to
  252  kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
  253         3.(e)Priority shall be given next to An at-risk child who
  254  is at least 9 years of age but younger than 13 years of age. An
  255  at-risk child whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness
  256  program within an eligibility priority category listed in
  257  paragraphs (a) and (b) and subparagraph (c)1.-(c) shall be given
  258  priority over other children who are eligible under this
  259  paragraph.
  260         4.(f)Priority shall be given next to A child who is
  261  younger than 13 years of age from a working family that is
  262  economically disadvantaged. A child who is eligible under this
  263  paragraph whose sibling is enrolled in the school readiness
  264  program under paragraph (c) shall be given priority over other
  265  children who are eligible under this paragraph.
  266         5.(g)Priority shall be given next to A child of a parent
  267  who transitions from the work program into employment as
  268  described in s. 445.032 who is younger than 13 years of age.
  269         6.(h)Priority shall be given next to A child who has
  270  special needs, has been determined eligible as a student with a
  271  disability, has a current individual education plan with a
  272  Florida school district, and is not younger than 3 years of age.
  273  A special needs child eligible under this paragraph remains
  274  eligible until the child is eligible for admission to
  275  kindergarten in a public school under s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.
  276         7.(i)Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)-(d), priority shall be
  277  given last to A child who otherwise meets one of the eligibility
  278  criteria in paragraphs (a) and (b) and subparagraphs (c)1. and
  279  2.,-(d) but who is also enrolled concurrently in the federal
  280  Head Start Program and the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
  281  Program.
  282         (2) A school readiness program provider may be paid only
  283  for authorized hours of care provided for a child in the school
  284  readiness program. A child enrolled in the Voluntary
  285  Prekindergarten Education Program may receive care from the
  286  school readiness program if the child is eligible according to
  287  the eligibility priorities and criteria established in
  288  subsection (1) this section.
  289         (3) Contingent upon the availability of funds, a coalition
  290  shall enroll eligible children, including those from its waiting
  291  list, according to the eligibility priorities and criteria
  292  established in subsection (1) this section.
  293         (7) If a coalition disenrolls children from the school
  294  readiness program, the coalition must disenroll the children in
  295  reverse order of the eligibility priorities and criteria listed
  296  in subsection (1) beginning with children from families with the
  297  highest family incomes. A notice of disenrollment must be sent
  298  to the parent and school readiness program provider at least 2
  299  weeks before disenrollment to provide adequate time for the
  300  parent to arrange alternative care for the child. However, an
  301  at-risk child may not be disenrolled from the program without
  302  the written approval of the Child Welfare Program Office of the
  303  Department of Children and Families or the community-based lead
  304  agency.
  305         Section 6. Paragraphs (h) through (q) of subsection (1) of
  306  section 1002.88, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
  307  paragraphs (i) through (r), respectively, present paragraphs (m)
  308  and (o) of that subsection are amended, and a new paragraph (h)
  309  is added to that subsection, to read:
  310         1002.88 School readiness program provider standards;
  311  eligibility to deliver the school readiness program.—
  312         (1) To be eligible to deliver the school readiness program,
  313  a school readiness program provider must:
  314         (h)Participate in the program assessment under s.
  315  1002.82(2)(n).
  316         (n)(m) For a provider that is an informal provider, comply
  317  with the provisions of paragraph (m) paragraph (l) or maintain
  318  homeowner’s liability insurance and, if applicable, a business
  319  rider. If an informal provider chooses to maintain a homeowner’s
  320  policy, the provider must obtain and retain a homeowner’s
  321  insurance policy that provides a minimum of $100,000 of coverage
  322  per occurrence and a minimum of $300,000 general aggregate
  323  coverage. The office may authorize lower limits upon request, as
  324  appropriate. An informal provider must add the coalition as a
  325  named certificateholder and as an additional insured. An
  326  informal provider must provide the coalition with a minimum of
  327  10 calendar days’ advance written notice of cancellation of or
  328  changes to coverage. The general liability insurance required by
  329  this paragraph must remain in full force and effect for the
  330  entire period of the provider’s contract with the coalition.
  331         (p)(o) Notwithstanding paragraph (m) paragraph (l), for a
  332  provider that is a state agency or a subdivision thereof, as
  333  defined in s. 768.28(2), agree to notify the coalition of any
  334  additional liability coverage maintained by the provider in
  335  addition to that otherwise established under s. 768.28. The
  336  provider shall indemnify the coalition to the extent permitted
  337  by s. 768.28.
  338         Section 7. Paragraph (b) of subsection (6) of section
  339  1002.89, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  340         1002.89 School readiness program; funding.—
  341         (6) Costs shall be kept to the minimum necessary for the
  342  efficient and effective administration of the school readiness
  343  program with the highest priority of expenditure being direct
  344  services for eligible children. However, no more than 5 percent
  345  of the funds described in subsection (5) may be used for
  346  administrative costs and no more than 22 percent of the funds
  347  described in subsection (5) may be used in any fiscal year for
  348  any combination of administrative costs, quality activities, and
  349  nondirect services as follows:
  350         (b) Activities to improve the quality of child care as
  351  described in 45 C.F.R. s. 98.51, which shall be limited to the
  352  following:
  353         1. Developing, establishing, expanding, operating, and
  354  coordinating resource and referral programs specifically related
  355  to the provision of comprehensive consumer education to parents
  356  and the public to promote informed child care choices specified
  357  in 45 C.F.R. s. 98.33.
  358         2. Awarding grants and providing financial support to
  359  school readiness program providers and their staff to assist
  360  them in meeting applicable state requirements for the program
  361  assessment required under s. 1002.82(2)(n), child care
  362  performance standards, implementing developmentally appropriate
  363  curricula and related classroom resources that support
  364  curricula, providing literacy supports, and providing continued
  365  professional development and training. Any grants awarded
  366  pursuant to this subparagraph shall comply with ss. 215.971 and
  367  287.058.
  368         3. Providing training, technical assistance, and financial
  369  support to school readiness program providers, staff, and
  370  parents on standards, child screenings, child assessments, child
  371  development research and best practices, developmentally
  372  appropriate curricula, character development, teacher-child
  373  interactions, age-appropriate discipline practices, health and
  374  safety, nutrition, first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the
  375  recognition of communicable diseases, and child abuse detection,
  376  prevention, and reporting.
  377         4. Providing, from among the funds provided for the
  378  activities described in subparagraphs 1.-3., adequate funding
  379  for infants and toddlers as necessary to meet federal
  380  requirements related to expenditures for quality activities for
  381  infant and toddler care.
  382         5. Improving the monitoring of compliance with, and
  383  enforcement of, applicable state and local requirements as
  384  described in and limited by 45 C.F.R. s. 98.40.
  385         6. Responding to Warm-Line requests by providers and
  386  parents, including providing developmental and health screenings
  387  to school readiness program children.
  388         Section 8. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
  389  1002.92, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  390         1002.92 Child care and early childhood resource and
  391  referral.—
  392         (3) Child care resource and referral agencies shall provide
  393  the following services:
  394         (a) Identification of existing public and private child
  395  care and early childhood education services, including child
  396  care services by public and private employers, and the
  397  development of a resource file of those services through the
  398  single statewide information system developed by the office
  399  under s. 1002.82(2)(p) s. 1002.82(2)(n). These services may
  400  include family day care, public and private child care programs,
  401  the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, Head Start, the
  402  school readiness program, special education programs for
  403  prekindergarten children with disabilities, services for
  404  children with developmental disabilities, full-time and part
  405  time programs, before-school and after-school programs, vacation
  406  care programs, parent education, the temporary cash assistance
  407  program, and related family support services. The resource file
  408  shall include, but not be limited to:
  409         1. Type of program.
  410         2. Hours of service.
  411         3. Ages of children served.
  412         4. Number of children served.
  413         5. Program information.
  414         6. Fees and eligibility for services.
  415         7. Availability of transportation.
  416         Section 9. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the sum of $6
  417  million in nonrecurring funds from the Child Care and
  418  Development Block Grant Trust Fund is appropriated to the Office
  419  of Early Learning to implement the program assessment required
  420  by s. 1002.82(2)(n), Florida Statutes.
  421         Section 10. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.