Florida Senate - 2022                                    SB 1918
       By Senator Taddeo
       40-01474-22                                           20221918__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the school readiness program;
    3         amending s. 1002.81, F.S.; revising the definition of
    4         the term “economically disadvantaged”; amending s.
    5         1002.84, F.S.; requiring early learning coalitions to
    6         adopt a payment rate schedule rather than a payment
    7         schedule; providing requirements for the payment rate
    8         schedule; requiring early learning coalitions to
    9         reimburse contracted school readiness program
   10         providers the minimum payment rate; providing that
   11         minimum payment rate reimbursements must be charged as
   12         direct services; amending s. 1002.85, F.S.; revising
   13         the required contents of early learning coalition
   14         plans; amending s. 1002.895, F.S.; conforming
   15         provisions to changes made by the act; directing the
   16         Division of Early Learning within the Department of
   17         Education to amend its Child Care and Development Fund
   18         Plan to identify certain personnel as essential
   19         workers for a specified purpose; requiring the
   20         division to annually collect certain data and include
   21         such data in a specified annual report; providing for
   22         the scheduled expiration of such directive; providing
   23         an effective date.
   25  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   27         Section 1. Subsection (6) of section 1002.81, Florida
   28  Statutes, is amended to read:
   29         1002.81 Definitions.—Consistent with the requirements of 45
   30  C.F.R. parts 98 and 99 and as used in this part, the term:
   31         (6) “Economically disadvantaged” means having a family
   32  income that does not exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty
   33  level or 70 percent of the state median income, whichever is
   34  greater, and includes being a child of a working migratory
   35  family as defined by 34 C.F.R. s. 200.81(d) or (f) or an
   36  agricultural worker who is employed by more than one
   37  agricultural employer during the course of a year, and whose
   38  income varies according to weather conditions and market
   39  stability.
   40         Section 2. Subsection (17) of section 1002.84, Florida
   41  Statutes, is amended to read:
   42         1002.84 Early learning coalitions; school readiness powers
   43  and duties.—Each early learning coalition shall:
   44         (17) Adopt a payment rate schedule that encompasses all
   45  programs funded under this part and part V of this chapter. The
   46  payment rate schedule must identify a minimum payment rate for
   47  each provider type and care level and must take into
   48  consideration the prevailing market rate or an alternative model
   49  that has been approved by the Administration for Children and
   50  Families pursuant to 45 C.F.R. s. 98.45(c), include the
   51  projected number of children to be served, and that must be
   52  submitted for approval by the department. Each early learning
   53  coalition shall reimburse the minimum payment rate to each
   54  contracted school readiness program provider, by provider type
   55  and care level, regardless of such provider’s private pay rate.
   56  All minimum payment rate reimbursements must be charged as
   57  direct services under s. 1002.89. Informal child care
   58  arrangements must shall be reimbursed at not more than 50
   59  percent of the rate adopted for a family day care home.
   60         Section 3. Subsection (5) of section 1002.85, Florida
   61  Statutes, is amended to read:
   62         1002.85 Early learning coalition plans.—
   63         (5) The department shall collect and report data on
   64  coalition delivery of early learning programs. Elements must
   65  shall include, but are not limited to, measures related to
   66  progress towards reducing the number of children on the waiting
   67  list, the percentage of children served by the program as
   68  compared to the number of administrative staff and overhead, the
   69  percentage of children served compared to total number of
   70  children under the age of 5 years below 150 percent of the
   71  federal poverty level or 60 percent of the state median income,
   72  whichever is greater, provider payment processes, fraud
   73  intervention, child attendance and stability, use of child care
   74  resource and referral, and kindergarten readiness outcomes for
   75  children in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program or
   76  the school readiness program upon entry into kindergarten. The
   77  department shall request input from the coalitions and school
   78  readiness program providers before finalizing the format and
   79  data to be used. The report must shall be implemented beginning
   80  July 1, 2014, and results of the report must be included in the
   81  annual report under s. 1002.82.
   82         Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 1002.895, Florida
   83  Statutes, is amended to read:
   84         1002.895 Market rate schedule.—The school readiness program
   85  market rate schedule shall be implemented as follows:
   86         (4) The market rate schedule must shall be considered by an
   87  early learning coalition in the adoption of a payment rate
   88  schedule. The payment rate schedule must take into consideration
   89  the prevailing market rate and include the projected number of
   90  children to be served by each county and be submitted for
   91  approval by the department. Informal child care arrangements
   92  must shall be reimbursed at not more than 50 percent of the rate
   93  adopted for a family day care home.
   94         Section 5. (1)As the lead agency for the Child Care and
   95  Development Block Grant Trust Fund, pursuant to 45 C.F.R. parts
   96  98 and 99, the Division of Early Learning within the Department
   97  of Education shall amend its Child Care and Development Fund
   98  Plan to identify child care personnel as essential workers for
   99  the purpose of such personnel’s children being determined
  100  eligible for the school readiness program.
  101         (2)(a)The division shall annually collect the total number
  102  of child care personnel in this state whose children were
  103  determined eligible for the school readiness program,
  104  disaggregated by county; the total number of such children
  105  served by the school readiness program, disaggregated by age;
  106  the total cost to serve such children; and whether such children
  107  being determined eligible for the school readiness program led
  108  to the retention of such child care personnel.
  109         (b)The information collected pursuant to paragraph (a)
  110  must be included in the department’s annual report required
  111  under s. 1002.82(7), Florida Statutes.
  112         (3)This section expires on September 30, 2024, unless
  113  reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the
  114  Legislature.
  115         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.