Montana Administrative Register Notice 37-722 No. 7   04/08/2016    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 37.80.101, 37.80.201, 37.80.202, 37.80.203, and 37.80.502 pertaining to child care assistance and the implementation of required policy changes under the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014









TO: All Concerned Persons


1. On October 15, 2015, the Department of Public Health and Human Services published MAR Notice No. 37-722 pertaining to the public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules at page 1652 of the 2015 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 19.


2. The department has amended ARM 37.80.201, 37.80.202, and 37.80.203, as proposed.


3. The department has amended the following rules as proposed, but with the following changes from the original proposal, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


          37.80.101 PURPOSE AND GENERAL LIMITATIONS (1) and (2) remain as proposed.

          (3) The Child Care Assistance Program will be administered in accordance with:

          (a) remains as proposed.

          (b) The Montana Child Care Manual, dated December 16, 2015 April 9, 2016, is adopted and incorporated by this reference. The manual contains the policies and procedures utilized in the implementation of the department's Child Care Assistance Program. A copy of the Montana Child Care Manual is available at each child care resource and referral agency; at the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Human and Community Services Division, 111 N. Jackson St., P.O. Box 202925, Helena, MT 59620-2925; and on the department's web site at www.childcare.mt.gov.


AUTH: 52-2-704, 53-4-212, MCA

IMP: 52-2-702, 52-2-704, 52-2-713, 52-2-731, 53-2-201, 53-4-211, 53-4-601, 53-4-611, 53-4-612, MCA


37.80.502 CHILD CARE OVERPAYMENT (1) remains as proposed.

          (2) If an audit of the case shows monies received fall under ARM 37.80.506(1)(a), (b), (c), and (d), the department may recover the amount of any child care payment made to a child care provider or to a parent which is in excess of the amount to which the provider or parent was entitled.

          (a) If an overpayment is due to any error, act, or omission of the parent, whether intentional or otherwise an intentional program violation of the parent, the parent must repay the overpayment to the department.

          (b) remains as proposed.

          (c) If an overpayment is due to any error, act, or omission of the department, the department may recover the overpayment from either the provider, the parent, or from both, but the total amount recovered from the provider and the parent may not exceed the amount of the overpayment.

          (3) through (5) remain as proposed.


AUTH: 52-2-704, 53-4-212, MCA

IMP: 52-2-704, 52-2-713, MCA


4. The department has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received and the department's responses are as follows:


Comment 1: The department received a comment regarding the proposed amendment to 37-80-101(3), which adopts and incorporates by reference changes to the current Early Childhood Services Manual dated March 1, 2014. The commenter had nine suggested changes as listed below.


Comment 1-a: The reimbursement rates listed in Policy Section 1-4 are not the current rates that have been paid since July 1, 2014.


Response 1-a: The department agrees. Policy Section 1-4 pages 2-6, dated March 1, 2014, is a statement of rates as of August 1, 2013. This section will be revised to remove reimbursement rates from the policy manual. A link in the section will direct the public to the current reimbursement rates on the department's web site.


The department establishes rates in accordance with market rate requirements and available funding.


COMMENT 1-b: The term "Early Childhood Services Bureau Special Needs Coordinator" is not used consistently in Policy Section 1-4a.


RESPONSE 1-b: The department agrees. Policy Section 1-4a will be revised to replace the term "Resource and Referral Statewide Inclusion Coordinator" with "Early Childhood Services Bureau Special Needs Coordinator" throughout the section.


COMMENT 1-c: The recertification period for reviewing the individual child care plan for a child with special needs was changed from six to three months. The commenter supports a six-month certification period.


RESPONSE 1-c:  The department does not agree. Its position is that more frequent review is better for the child and is cost effective. The department will proceed with the change to Policy Section 1-4a but will continue to review the issue.


COMMENT 1-d: The statement in the Policy Manual 2-2 under Homelessness that "two [2] collateral contacts from individuals can be used to verify the family's living location" should be clarified to identify which individuals may be used for collateral contacts.


RESPONSE 1-d: The department does not agree that additional clarification is necessary. Any two individuals may verify homelessness.


COMMENT 1-e: Policy Section 2-2a incorrectly states that a Resource and Referral employee has authority to determine whether good cause exists for failing to cooperate with the department's Child Support Enforcement Division.


RESPONSE 1-e: The department agrees. Policy Section 2-2a will be revised to correctly state that any determination that good cause exists for failure to cooperate with Child Support Enforcement Division must be made by the Early Childhood Services Bureau.


COMMENT 1-f:  There is a conflict between the current practice and the proposed change to Policy Section 2-3, pages 3 through 5 and Policy section 6-3, pages 5 and 6


RESPONSE 1-f: The department agrees. Sections 2-3 and 6-3 will be revised to state current practice for parents attending school full-time or part-time.  Language about in-home study time will be removed from the Distance Learning or Online Coursework section. Policy Section 6-3, Study Time will be revised to be consistent with Policy Section 2-3.


COMMENT 1-g: A table at Policy Manual 3-1, Page 6 is not current.


RESPONSE 1-g: The department agrees and will remove the table.


COMMENT 1-h: Section 6-5, Change Reporting, does not accurately state the current reporting requirements.


RESPONSE 1-h: The department agrees. Changes to Section 6-5 will be made during the next amendment of ARM 37.80.101 to allow the public the opportunity to comment on current change-reporting requirements.


COMMENT 1-i: Policy Section 6-6, page 6, Absent Days and Continuity of Care, Maternity Leave, does not state current policy.


RESPONSE 1-i: The department agrees. Changes will be made during the next policy revision to allow the public the opportunity to comment on current policy.


COMMENT #2: The Montana Legislative Services Division commented that additional amendments to ARM 37.80.502 are necessary to make that rule consistent with the department's amendments to ARM 37.80.202. The department amended ARM 37.80.202 to limit repayment of a childcare subsidy by a parent or guardian to circumstances when the overpayment is the result of intentional program violation by the parent or guardian.


RESPONSE #2: The department agrees with this comment and has amended ARM 37.80.502 accordingly.



/s/ Geralyn Driscoll                                /s/ Richard H. Opper                            

Geralyn Driscoll, Attorney                      Richard H. Opper, Director

Rule Reviewer                                       Public Health and Human Services


Certified to the Secretary of State March 28, 2016

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