Bureau of Child Care and Development (BCC&D)
Program Manual FY 2015
- The Bureau of Child Care and Development (BCC&D) administers child care programs statewide with a goal of ensuring that high quality child care services are available, affordable, and meet standards appropriate for the healthy development of Illinois children.
Illinois implemented a new, income-based child care system for working families on July 1, 1997. The Child Care Program combines state and federal funds, along with parent fees, to serve low-income working families that meet income and/or education/training guidelines. These services are crucial to low-income families, especially those who have transitioned, or are transitioning, from welfare to work. The Child Care Program ensures that parents have the supportive systems they may need to obtain and maintain productive employment.
Child care services in Illinois are provided through a system of government agencies, not-for profit agencies, regional resource and referral agencies, community child care facilities, and organizations representing the interests of children, families and providers. These groups are not only involved in the delivery of services to children and their families, they influence the availability, quality and affordability of services.
- Following are definitions of the site administered program funded by BCC&D and commonly used terms.
- Additional Cases Form - The manual billing form used by Site Administered Child Care Providers to bill for additional children and cases not reflected on the pre-printed SAMER. This form should be completed in its entirety, attached and submitted to BCC&D with the pre-printed SAMER by the 15th of the month following the provision of services.
- Address Indicator - A one or two digit alpha/number assigned by BCC&D, immediately following the vendor number, used to identify the different addresses, including the payment address and multiple locations of the provider.
- Applicant -The parent or other primary adult caretaker who is responsible for the child(ren) when the parent(s) is not available due to special circumstances who signs a request/application for child care assistance.
- Application (IL444-3455) - Child Care Application. The initial form completed by any person applying for subsidized child care.
- Approval Form - Approval of Request for Child Care Payments (IL444-3455A) - Form, generated by the Child Care Tracking System (CCTS), notifying the client and provider that the child(ren) has/have been approved for subsidized child care.
- BCC&D - Bureau of Child Care and Development. This is the bureau, within the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), assigned to administer the subsidized Child Care Program.
- Cancellation Notice - See Notice of Cancellation For Child Care Payments.
- CARS - Consolidated Accounting and Reporting System. The accounting system employed by IDHS for the payment of all bills.
- CCAP - Child Care Assistance Program.
- CCMS - Child Care Management System. The web-based, electronic data management system used by IDHS to capture and report eligibility information for the child care program.
- CCR&R - Child Care Resource and Referral agency.
- HSCCMS - The web-based data system used by IDHS to track provider and payment information for the child care program.
- COI - Change of Information. This form is used by Site Administered providers to change client information during an eligibility period.
- Certificate Child Care - The portion of IDHS Child Care Program managed by the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies. CCR&Rs make referrals for appropriate child care, determine eligibility and make payment arrangements with providers.
- Child Care Collaboration Program - The Child Care Collaboration Program was created to facilitate high quality collaborative arrangements between Child Care and other early care and education providers and/or funding streams. It is enabled by Child Care Administrative Rule, Sections 50.610-650.
The benefits of becoming an approved Child Care Collaboration include the ability to take advantage of the following child care rule exceptions, for families approved in the collaboration:
- Annual redetermination of family eligibility;
- Using a ninety-day job loss grace period; and,
- Maintaining indefinite eligibility for families whose current TANF Responsibility & Service Plan specifies the child or family's participation in the collaboration.
- Child Care Program - The subsidized child care program administered by BCC&D that provides assistance for child care for working families at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. The program will also ensure services to working families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), families receiving TANF who are participating in IDHS approved education/training activities, and teen parents in high school or GED programs.
- Child Care Provider - Providers of subsidized child care services who receive payment through IDHS.
- Child Care Rate Certification - A form, to be submitted annually with the site administered and infant and toddler incentive program contracts, that identifies the rates to be charged to IDHS and the rates charged for the same services to private pay families. At no time may a Site Administered Child Care Provider charge more for subsidized child care than for private pay families, nor can they charge subsidized child care families higher than the maximum rate for regular child care services (excluding fees). Site Administered Child Care contracts will not be processed without this completed form.
- Contract Address - Generally the administrative address of the provider. All provider payments will be sent to this address.
- Co-Pay - Co-Payment. The child care provider will assess and collect parent co-payments (parent's share of the payment) as required by Department Policy 04.02.01 of the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual. The assessed parent co-payment shall be deducted by IDHS from the total charged for services at the time of payment. It is the child care provider's responsibility to collect the amount of assessed co-payment.
- Co-Pay Worksheet - Co-Payment Calculation Worksheet. The document used in determining client eligibility to calculate income and the parent's share of the payment for child care services.
- Data Sharing Agreement - A data-sharing agreement is a formal IDHS contract that clearly documents what data are being shared and how the data can be used. All child care providers are required to have a signed, executed copy of a data sharing agreement on file with BCC&D.
- Denial of Request for Child Care Payment (IL444-4179) - The form given to a client when they are deemed ineligible for subsidized child care.
- Extended Hour Child Care - A rate add on for care provided before 6:00 a.m. and/or after 6:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays. Care must be given for at least two (2) hours in this extended time frame to qualify for the add-on. This add-on rate is available to programs who have received prior approval from IDHS, either through the FY98 expansion process or the pilot program. The add-on rates are $3.00 per day for children under 2 years of age and $2.00 per day for children 2 years of age and older.
- Family - The applicant, his or her spouse, and the biological, adoptive, or stepchildren of the applicant or his or her spouse under the age of 21 living in the same household. Family must also include the child for whom care is requested, the child's dependent blood-related and adoptive siblings, and the child's and sibling's parents living in the same household. The applicant may include in his or her family other persons related by blood or law to the applicant or his or her spouse living in the same household if they are dependent upon the family for more than 50% of their support. The applicant may include in his or her family a child of the applicant or his or her spouse under the age of 21 who is dependent upon the family for more than 50% of his or her support and who is a full-time student away at school, provided he or she has not established legal residence outside of the family residence.
- Fees for additional services - Any other mandatory service fees, special fees or additional charges of any type for regular child care services to IDHS subsidized clients. These fees may not be imposed by the Site Administered Child Care provider. Fees for alternative services, such as transportation, swimming, special instruction, or late charges may be assessed to the client if all enrolled families receiving services from the child care provider are charged equally. A written notice listing optional services must be provided to all parents before activities are rendered and such services must be offered on a voluntary basis. The child care provider will ensure that these special service fees do not represent costs associated with the provision of services to non-subsidized clients. The child care provider certifies that the rates do not exceed the rates for the same or substantially similar services to non-subsidized clients.
- Full-Time Child Care Rate - The rate for eligible child care that is five (5) or more hours each day.
- GRF - General Revenue Funds used to operate the child care program. These funds are unrestricted and require no matching funds.
- Grace Periods - The temporary periods of time when, in occasional circumstances identified in Policy 02.04.01 of the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual, a subsidized child care parent may need continued child care services but is not working or in school. In order to protect the child(ren) from losing his/her/their space (and moving to another provider), exceptions or "grace periods" may be allowed.
- Healthy Child Care Illinois (HCCI) - The HCCI program promotes positive development of children in child care settings by providing and linking child care providers and families to health and safety services. The Provider employs a Child Care Nurse Consultant (CCNC) which provides health and safety technical assistance, training, consultations and referrals for child care providers and the families they serve. In addition, CCNCs work with community partners to promote healthy/safe child care options within each CCR&R service delivery area such as health fairs or other outreach efforts.
- IDHS - Illinois Department of Human Services.
- Income Guidelines (IL444-3455B, Important Parent Co-Payment Information) - A form developed by IDHS and used by Site Administered Child Care providers and CCR&Rs, to determine the amount of co-payment a client must pay for subsidized child care.
- Income Eligible - When the combined gross annual income of all adult family members is at, or below, the income guidelines.
- Infant - A child whose age is 6 weeks through 14 months.
- IPACS - Illinois Public Aid Communication System, which includes the Automated Client Inquiry Database (ACID) that can provide information about a family that has been collected by other State agencies and offices. By using all accessible information, determining eligibility and income can be a more accurate process.
- Location - A term used to identify the physical location of a provider. Generally used for providers with more than one location.
- Multi-Site Form - Form used when a client has children at two different Site providers.
- Multi Site/Transfer Case Information - One of three documents to be completed and agreed upon by Site providers for a client using more than one Site provider (no CCR&R providers) for child care. The other two documents to be completed are the Shared Case Parent Co-Payment Worksheet and Shared Case Schedule. This document must have all appropriate signatures.
- Network Providers (Home or Center) - An entity that provides supplemental services including, but not limited to, payments, lending library, assistance with licensing, referral to available care within their network and administrative oversight to a group of child care homes or centers.
- Notice of Cancellation for Payment (IL444-4178) - The form given to a client when their case has been cancelled because they are deemed no longer eligible for subsidized child care.
- OCA - Office of Contract Administration - The office, within IDHS, responsible for the execution of all IDHS contracts and two party amendments.
- Parents - Applicants or recipients of child care services, including the child's custodial biological, adoptive, stepparent, legal guardian or caretaker relative within the fifth degree of kinship.
- Part-Time Child Care Rate - The rate for eligible child care that is less than five (5) hours each day.
- Payment Report - State of Illinois, Department of Human Services, Child Care Tracking System Completed Site Administered Payments. This is a CCTS generated print-out detailing each case paid and the children within each case, by provider, by month and location.
- Program Support and Operations - The office, within BCC&D, that is responsible for processing all Bureau contracts, payments, eligibility determinations, and MIS issues.
- QRS - Quality Rating System. The Quality Counts Quality Rating System was started on July 1, 2007 to provide an add-on to help off-set the additional costs of providing quality child care. QRS is a voluntary system that offers progressive levels which license-exempt and licensed family child care providers and licensed centers can achieve. Specific quality criteria must be met to achieve a level depending on the type of care provided. Once a provider has met the required criteria for a level, a certificate is awarded and a quality add-on rate to the CCAP standard daily reimbursement rate is received. Licensed programs can apply for one of four Star Levels, with add-ons ranging from 5%-20%. License-exempt home providers can apply at one of three Training Tiers, with add-ons ranging from 10%-20%. The QRS application process is administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA). Additional information can be found at www.ilqualitycounts.org.
- RAI - Request for Additional Information. The form used by BCC&D to request additional or missing information from a Site provider and client.
- RSP - Responsibility and Service Plan developed for each TANF client and approved by the client's caseworker. This form is required for certain situations, as described in Policy 01.03.03 of the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual.
- Rates - The maximum Child Care Payment Rates, per age group, per type of care, per geographical area, which can be charged for subsidized child care services. Providers may charge for subsidized child care families up to these maximums provided they do not charge more for subsidized children than they do for private pay families. Providers also cannot charge subsidized child care families higher than the maximum rate for regular child care services (excluding fees). Child care providers who offer scholarships, sliding scale rates, fee reductions to families with more than one child in the facility and weekly rates that are lower than the daily rate must keep in mind that at no time may they charge the State of Illinois more for subsidized child care than they do for private pay families.
- Rede - Request for Redetermination Information (IL444-3455E). The form an approved client completes in order to continue child care after the initial eligibility approval period expires.
- SAMER - Site Administered Monthly Enrollment Report (ILL444-3492C). This is the billing form generated from the CCTS each month, used by site administered child care providers, listing the eligible cases and children for each provider location and funding source.
- School-Age Child - A child whose age is five (5) years to thirteen (13) years and is attending school. This term includes five year old children enrolled in Kindergarten.
- School-Age Child Care Rate - The rate for eligible child care for school-age children before and/or after school. For agencies operating school age programs, the interpretation of a full time rate for school age children is care provided from 5 through 12 hours per day. This may be a combination of before school and after school care. Children meeting this criteria may be billed for the full-day rate. Anything less than 5 hours of care per day, regardless of the time frame, is subject to the part day/school-age day rate. The parents' work/school schedule must support the hours the child is in care. Child care providers may not charge IDHS more than they charge private pay families for the same care, nor may they exceed the maximum Child Care Payment Rate. They also may not charge subsidized child care families higher than the maximum rate for regular child care.
- Shared Case - A case where a child attends more than one child care provider or children from the same family attend different child care providers, being any combination of multiple site providers and CCR&R providers.
- Shared Case Fax Notice - Form notifying a site provider that an application or rede, received in the offices of BCC&D, did not contain proper documentation and was sent to a CCR&R to manage.
- Shared Case Form - The document, along with the Shared Case Parent Co-Payment Worksheet and Shared Case Schedule that is completed and agreed upon by both the Site provider and CCR&R for a client using a Site provider and another provider through the CCR&R. All documents must have appropriate signatures.
- Shared Case Parent Co-Payment Worksheet - The document used in shared or multi site cases where the income is calculated and agreed upon by the Site and another Site, CCR&R or other child care agency. In addition, the parent's share of the payment for child care services (co-pay) is determined.
- Shared Case Schedule - The document used in shared cases, where the schedule for the child(ren) is indicated for all providers and agreed upon by the site and another site, CCR&R or other child care agency. This document must have all appropriate signatures.
- Site - A term used to identify a Site Administered Child Care provider and/or the physical location(s) of a provider who contracts with IDHS.
- Site Administered Child Care - The portion of the IDHS Child Care Assistance Program managed by licensed child care providers and/or networks. This portion of the Child Care Program was formerly known as Low Income.
- Site Administered Child Care Providers - Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) licensed child care providers and licensed and license exempt networks who contract directly with IDHS. They are responsible for determining family eligibility and assessing parent co-pays.
- Special Needs - A rate add-on allowable for children with special needs. Eligibility is determined for an individual child based on his/her documented needs, other funding available to the child care provider, and the capacity of the child care provider to meet these special needs. The child and family must be determined eligible for the subsidized child care program and submit an application with appropriate documentation to qualify for the program. Prior approval from the Special Needs Manager must be received from IDHS for each individual child. This approval will be given on an INDIVIDUAL basis. Eligibility will begin the first day of the month following approval. Rates will not be retroactive, nor will they be prorated for a partial month. Special needs, and an application for special needs is addressed in a memo dated 5/21/01.
- Subsidized Child Care - Child Care costs for eligible low income families paid by IDHS. A parent co-pay is assessed to families who are determined eligible for this service.
- Supplemental - Supplemental Request-Site Administered Child Care. The form necessary to request additional payment for a past service month. Supplemental payments may be requested for cases which were omitted and/or could not be paid with the original payment request.
- TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
- TANF Assistance Unit - Consists of the members of the household included in the TANF cash grant.
- Teen Parent - A custodial parent whose age is between thirteen (13) and nineteen (19) years and who is enrolled in high school or a GED program.
- Toddler - A child whose age is 15 months up to two (2) years.
- Transfer Case Information - Form used when a client changes providers from a CCR&R to a Site Administered Contract provider or vise versa. This document must have all appropriate signatures.
- Travel Time - The time it takes a parent to travel between the child care provider and other approved activities, e.g. employer or training program.
II. POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Policies and procedures that are to be followed by Site Administered Contract Provider staff when determining a family's eligibility to participate in the subsidized Child Care Program can be found in the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual. A copy of this handbook, any subsequent revisions, and clarification memos has been provided to each Site Administered child care provider. Policy Manual updates are sent via e-mail to Site Administered child care providers when policies or procedures are changed to enable providers to implement the change in a timely manner. Updates can also be found on the IDHS website at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=9877.Click the About DHS tab, Publications, Manuals, Family and Community Services Manuals, Child Care Program Manual.
All Site Administered Contract Providers must have a valid e-mail address and access to the internet in order to contract with IDHS.
Sites that have difficulty understanding or applying a child care policy can request a clarification from BCC&D policy staff. The inquiry must include the case name, case number, policy number, whether the question is case specific or general, and a brief but detailed description of the situation, question or problem. The site can fax the request to 217/557-4717, using the Request for Child Care Policy Clarification Form. Requests should be addressed to the Policy Coordinator. Policy staff are committed to responding within forty eight (48) hours of receipt of a request. Responses which require input or expertise of staff in other Bureaus of IDHS may take longer.
Use the Child Care Assistance Program Resource Guide for Determining Eligibility to help ensure consistent application of IDHS policy by CCR&R and Site Administered program staff members when determining eligibility for challenging cases. The Child Care Assistance Program Resource Guide for Determining Eligibility can be accessed at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=33514
Site Administered Child Care providers can also obtain information regarding the Child Care Program by Accessing the Administrative Rule on the Web. Sites may access the Administrative Rule at the following website: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx
Scroll down to About DHS, Publications, Administrative Rules, Division of Family and Community Services, Title 89 Illinois Administrative Code, Part 50 - Child Care. Click on this section to access Administrative Rules pertaining to Child Care.
III. CONTRACT/AMENDMENT PROCEDURES
A. Contract Procedures
The Bureau of Child Care and Development contract and contract packets are sent to the site administered child care providers each spring. Contract packets, when completed by the provider, consist of:
- Agency Information - details pertinent information about the provider, such as provider name, address, contact person and title, phone number, fax number, e-mail address, policy and eligibility contact name and e-mail address, payment contact name and e-mail address, DCFS license information (capacity, number and expiration date), whether the agency is a not-for-profit or for profit, whether the agency is accredited and, if so, by whom. It also identifies the total number of days open per year, hours children are present, licensed hours of operation, days open each week, and the number of days closed per year (identifying each day closed). This form also identifies each site (location) to be funded under the site administered contract, the number of slots anticipated to be funded under the site administered contract, DCFS license information (number, capacity and expiration date), the phone number for each site, the location of each site and the name of the director of each site.
- Rate Certification Form - identifies payment and site address, phone and fax numbers, contact person, taxpayer information, license information and rates charged for subsidized and private pay clients.
- Rate Explanation Sheet - identifies the type of care to be provided (full time or part time), the provider type (center or network), the service category (under age 2, age 2, age 3 and older, school age or special needs), administration fees, and any rate add-ons (special needs, extended hours or quality rating system), and the subsequent rate for each category.
- Funding Request - identifies, by age group, how many slots (children) will be funded under the site administered child care contract, the number of days the center is serving children, the daily rate and daily administration fee. This information is used to determine how much funding will be required, minus an approximate 10% assessment of parent fees. The grand total of this form must equal the site administered allocation.
- Private Pay Rate Sheet - rates charged to non-subsidized (private pay) families.
- Child Care Program Narrative - a brief history of the agency/program.
Providers are given a deadline in which to review and sign the contract and complete all required forms and return the entire packet to the Bureau. Upon their return, the contract document will be checked to ensure that the Taxpayer Certification is completed, there have been no unauthorized changes to the document, and that it is signed by an authorized agent of the provider agency. The contract packet is checked for accuracy and completeness. Upon resolution of any discrepancies, the contract document and attachments are forwarded to the Office of Contract Administration for review and execution.
B. Amendment Procedures
Requests for changes to the contract are to be submitted in writing to BCC&D. Requests for a change to the contract amount are reviewed by BCC&D staff. If the increase/decrease appears warranted, BCC&D staff obtain the necessary approvals, make the changes in the Department's CARS accounting system and forward it to the Office of Contract Administration for approval. During this process, payments are temporarily suspended until approval of the increase/decrease is granted by the Office of Contract Administration. The increase/decrease is then forwarded to the Illinois Office of the Comptroller for filing.
Requests for a change in the contract terms require a formal, two party signed amendment. BCC&D staff will obtain the necessary Department approvals, prepare the amendment and forward it to the provider for signature. The provider is to return the signed amendment to BCC&D. BCC&D contract staff will make the changes in the Department's CARS accounting system and forward the amendment, and Department approval form, to the Office of Contract Administration for execution.
All contractors must have a community outreach plan which includes a detailed description for notifying the community of the program, hours of operation, and admittance/eligibility requirements into the program(s) they administer for IDHS. Each contractor must have available for inspection linkage agreements or memorandums of understanding with other community service agencies, IDHS Family and Community Resource Centers, and other outreach entities. IDHS must approve any publication and distribution of flyers, printed materials and brochures that are part of the IDHS funded program. All contractors must have a referral process that assists program participants with enrollment into public benefit programs such as TANF, Food Stamps, KIDCARE, medical and disability assistance, as well as other resources that address the needs of the population targeted for service.
In addition, all Site Administered Child Care providers will:
- Provide child care services at daily/weekly times that are consistent with the parental/child needs.
- Recruit eligible families and children to their child care service.
- Determine and redetermine client eligibility as instructed in the Bureau of Child Care and Development Program Manual - Section 02: Eligibility Determination. Providers will use the Child Care Application and supporting documentation to determine eligibility. If the supporting documentation is missing, Site Administered Child Care providers must issue a written Request for Additional information to the applicant/client for all missing information before making a determination of eligibility. Supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to: the two most recent and consecutive pay stubs for all employed family members age 19 and older (unless the applicant is age 18 or less), verification of enrollment in a training/education program, and the client's TANF Responsibility and Service Plan. In addition, providers must use other electronic data bases provided by IDHS to verify eligibility information from the child care application and/or redetermination including, but not limited to, family composition, earned and unearned income and employment or education/training schedules.
- Charge the Department the standard daily rate based on geographic area and age of child served. Site Administered Child Care Providers may charge for subsidized child care families up to these maximums provided they do not charge more for subsidized children than they do for private pay families, nor can providers charge subsidized child care families higher than the maximum rate for regular child care services (excluding fees).
Site Administered Child Care Providers and Infant and Toddler Incentive Program providers are required to provide a listing of the child care rates charged to IDHS subsidized clients vs. the rates charged to private pay families, via a Child Care Rate Certification Form. This form is to be completed and submitted annually with the Site Administered Child Care and/or Infant and Toddler Incentive Program contract packets. Site Administered Child Care and Infant and Toddler Incentive Program contracts will not be processed unless this certification is received.
The number of children served under the contract will be negotiated with each Site Administered Child Care Provider. Additionally Site Administered Child Care Providers will:
- Charge no more than $2.00 per contracted child, per day, to offset the cost of eligibility determination services. For example: 35 children at $2.00 per day for 250 eligible days would be $17,500.
- Family Child Care Networks will also be paid $3.00 per contracted child, per day, to provide for additional training, resources and professional supports to licensed homes in the network.
- Submit 100% of Child Care Applications and Redetermination Forms to IDHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development, within ten (10) working days of receipt to ensure that parents will not lose eligible days of child care assistance. Child Care Applications and Redetermination Forms cannot be submitted to IDHS until all income/education documentation has been verified by the Provider as matching the information on the Application.
- Calculate and collect parent fees (co-payments) based on income, family size, the number of children in care, and the child care schedule.
- Develop a written agreement regarding parent fees that includes the case name, case number, amount and frequency of payments(s) and the consequences for failure to pay. This agreement is to be discussed with the parent(s) and signed by both the provider and the parent(s). A copy will be given to the parent(s) and a copy will be retained in the case file.
- Collect a minimum of 75% of parent fees (co-payments) during each year.
- Submit accurate monthly billing form(s), Site Administered Monthly Enrollment Report (SAMER), to IDHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development, within 15 calendar days of the end of the month of service.
- Maintain appropriate fiscal records for review by IDHS or its designee.
- Provide services that are developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, and consistent with individual child needs.
- Seek parents' involvement in decisions affecting their children's care.
- Involve a Board of Directors and/or Advisory Council Committee in the operations of the program. If there are no parents on the Board of Directors, include them in an Advisory Committee or provide another mechanism for parental input to the agency's decision making process.
- Maintain licensed status with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), meeting license standards during the entire contract period (licensed facilities).
- Agencies operating networks of licensed family child care homes must assure that the chief program administrator and program coordinator are persons who meet the requirements for supervising a child care center under the Child Care Act of 1969.
- Cooperate with and coordinate information with caseworkers at the Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC, formerly known as Local Office), including but not limited to, posting the name and phone number of an IDHS contact person and notifying the FCRC whenever there are contracted slots available.
- List their agency on the referral database of the appropriate child care resource and referral agency serving their area.
- Make available to parents a list of the appropriate Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies serving the area.
- Refer parents to community agencies, as needed. These would include, but are not limited to, mental health agencies, health and medical agencies, social service agencies, local school districts and early intervention agencies, e.g. Child and Family Connections (CFCs).
- Have access to, and actively use, current technological capabilities, such as computer, internet access, long distance phone services, and fax and copying capabilities.
- Maintain accurate attendance records and sign in/out sheets, in ink, for 100% of the days of operation. These records may be reviewed in a monitoring visit. These records must be retained for five (5) years.
- Maintain case records for each eligible family receiving Child Care Assistance for at least five (5) years. These records may be reviewed in a monitoring visit.
- Designate staff that are responsible for the IDHS contract and ensure that staff are appropriately trained.
- Assure job descriptions on file include the roles and responsibilities for administering the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).
- Assure that designated staff attend all regularly scheduled IDHS training regarding the Site Administered Child Care Program.
- Submit an independent audit to IDHS for the previous fiscal year (for agencies with contracts totaling $500,000 or more) no later than 120 days after the end of their fiscal year. This audit will be performed by a CPA external to the agency.
- Distribute personnel policies upon employment and within 30 days of approved revisions.
- In addition, all Site Administered contractors operating child care centers will:
- Have procedures in place to contact a parent when a child's absence is unexplained for more than two (2) days.
- Assure that each on-site manager is familiar with publicly funded professional development opportunities available to staff, e.g., CCR&R training, StarNet, et. al.
- Assure that at least 10% of the teaching staff (staff in positions to be left alone with a group of children) will meet Great Start education requirements.
- Assure the child care director and the child care staff will all participate in a minimum of 15 clock hours of professional development/in-service training.
- Assure that at least 10% of child care staff will be trained in blood borne pathogen and universal precautions and certified First Aid and CPR.
- Have health policies and procedures reviewed by a qualified health professional, e.g., CCR&R nurse consultant.
- Have a health professional visit the center monthly if the center serves infants and toddlers.
- Encourage family involvement in children's programs using a variety of alternatives.
- Be accessible to parents during all hours of operation, by phone or in person.
- Assure that automated phone systems contain the option of being connected to a live person.
- Demonstrate that they have a QRS Star rating (a copy of the current QRS Star Award certificate must be submitted to IDHS) OR must submit an action plan detailing steps that will be implemented and result in application to the QRS.
- Family Child Care Networks (FCCN) will:
- The FCCN chief program administrator and program coordinator, whether this is one or two actual positions, must meet the requirements for supervising a child care center under the DCFS Licensing Standards, Part 407.
- FCCN staff will participate in fifteen (15) clock hours of professional development/in-service training in support of quality improvements in homes. These clock hours are in addition to the clock hours required by DCFS Licensing Standards.
- Assure that network providers are licensed by DCFS and have at least the minimum insurance required by licensing. Provide licensing process support to contracted homes.
- Provide a current one-year contract to each licensed child care home in the FCCN. The family child care home providers are independent contractors and not employees of the FCCN. The contract will delineate the respective responsibilities of the agency and the family child care home (FCCH) provider. A copy of the contract boilerplate must be submitted to the Bureau of Child Care and Development. FCCH provider contract agreements must be on file and available for review by IDHS.
- Work with local CCR&R to recruit license exempt FCCHs to become licensed and join networks.
- Make, at a minimum, monthly visits to all network FCCH's to support their continuous quality improvement, using an appropriate rating scale tool. Develop a quality improvement plan with each FCCH and provide technical assistance and monitoring of the plan on future visits. Maintain records of provider visits and contacts. Work with each FCCH provider and other monitoring entities, e.g. licensing, to schedule visits so that they minimize disruptions to children's care.
- Make ten (10) clock hours of professional development available annually, in addition to the fifteen (15) clock hours required by DCFS licensing, by linking with professional development entities, like CCR&Rs, and coordinating professional development opportunities. Require FCCN family child care home providers to participate in the professional development.
- Pay FCCH providers their published rate, up to the IDHS daily rate, for child care services.
- Assure that family child care home providers maintain accurate attendance records in ink for five (5) years.
- Maintain a regular communication system with network homes that includes routine communication, resource distribution, and at least quarterly group meetings with FCCHs.
- Support FCCHs in obtaining information about ISBE Child and Adult Care Food Program, health insurance coverage, community resources, and other benefits to improve operations.
- Plan and engage in collaborative activities so that FCCN children can access Early/Head Start and PreK/Preschool for All programming.
- A minimum of one staff person at each Family Child Care Network shall attend the trainings required by QRS for licensed family child care home providers. Attendance certificates must be on file and available for review by IDHS.
- Technical assistance and referrals related to QRS shall be available to all members of the FCCN.
V. PROVIDER RESPONSIBILITIES
Site Administered Child Care Provider responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following, by area:
- To determine eligibility for IDHS Child Care Assistance program in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth in the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual and provide child care services to a negotiated number of children.
- Request in writing and obtain all missing information and documentation prior to making a determination of eligibility.
- Use all Web screens to assist with the determination of client eligibility.
- Submit 100% of all Child Care Applications and Redetermination Forms, along with appropriate supporting documentation, to the Bureau of Child Care and Development, IDHS, within ten (10) working days of receipt.
- Submit accurate monthly billing form(s) (Site Administered Monthly Enrollment Report) to the Bureau of Child Care and Development, IDHS, within 15 calendar days of the end of the month of service.
- Report to the Bureau of Child Care and Development, IDHS, monthly the number of IDHS and non-IDHS funded children that have been served.
- Report to the Bureau of Child Care and Development, IDHS, the number of families, if any, referred to other community service agencies each month and to which agencies referrals were made.
- Maintain an average of 80% enrollment of contracted slots as identified via routine monitoring of the Provider. Failure to maintain 80% enrollment may result in loss of contracted slots.
- Assist clients as they complete an initial Child Care Application for subsidized child care. The application must be completed according to the directions which accompany the IL444-3455 form, and/or given in the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual. Ensure all documentation to support income and service eligibility is obtained.
- Upon notification by a client that they are also utilizing another provider, determine if the other provider is being paid through a subsidized program in IDHS.
- Complete either the Shared Case Form and/or Transfer Case Information Form if the provider is subsidized through the CCR&R, per the instructions in the Shared and Transferred Cases memo dated June 27, 2001. Multi-Site forms are used when there are two Site providers involved in the provision of services.
- Date stamp a client's application, according to Policy 02.01.01 of the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual, using the date the application (with all required eligibility documentation) was received/completed.
- Follow the instructions given in Sections 2 and 4 of the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual to determine eligibility and assess the co-payment.
- A Request for Redetermination is generated by the CCMS during the fifth month of the client's eligibility period. Completion of this document is required in order to continue eligibility. The Site is required to ensure the client completes this form within the guidelines in Policy 02.03.01 of the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual and the Child Care Program Plan in the Site Administered Contract.
- Complete a Change of Information form, if information regarding an approved client changes at any time during an eligibility period. The client must identify the changed information and the Site must submit the COI to BCC&D.
- Issue a Notice of Cancellation, according to the directions in Policy 02.07.01 of the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual, if at any time an approved client becomes ineligible.
- Issue a Notice of Denial, as instructed in Policy 02.02.03 of the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual, if at the time of application, a client is determined to be ineligible for subsidized child care services.
- When it becomes necessary to request additional or missing information from the Site Provider and client, a Request for Additional Information (RAI) form will be forwarded to the Site as outlined in Policy 02.02.02 of the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual.
- Providers will review all billing forms for accuracy and completeness and ensure that billing information matches data which has been entered into the CCMS.
- Providers will make any needed revisions to the pre-printed SAMER and enter actual attendance information for all children.
- Providers will attach fully completed Additional Case Form pages to the pre-printed SAMER to properly bill for all eligible children for whom care was provided during the month who were not included on the pre-printed SAMER. If the provider wants the families not included on the pre-printed SAMER to be used in their attendance percentage, the Additional Cases Form must be included with the pre-printed SAMER.
- Providers will note explanations for any adjustments and/or unusual situations as warranted.
- Providers will complete the last page of the SAMER, depicting their attendance percentage. If there are Additional Cases Report forms attached to the SAMER, only one last page (which totals all pages from the SAMER and Additional Cases Report forms) should be completed and submitted.
- If a provider receives a SAMER for both Site and Collaboration, the last page of the SAMER for both should be exactly the same.
- Providers will sign both the last page of the pre-printed SAMER and any Additional Cases Form pages, including a contact name and number in case of questions or problems.
- Providers will submit the full billing packet to BCC&D on, or before, the 15th of the month following the month of service.
- Providers will receive and review the completed payment packet (consisting of the Payment Report and a copy of the Pre-Printed SAMER identifying action taken on all cases).
- Providers will submit a Supplemental Payment Request for any case(s) believed to have been paid in error, e.g. incorrect daily rate, attended vs. eligible days, etc.
- Providers will adjust/correct and resubmit any problem cases, as noted by the coding on the pre-printed SAMER included in the payment packet, and wait to receive the corrected approval form from BCC&D.
- Providers will promptly submit a Supplemental Payment Request for past services upon receipt of an approval form for the client(s) or revision of previously billed requests for payment based on prior approved eligibility. Some cases may be ineligible for supplemental payment for a particular service period due to the time frames imposed under eligibility determination. Cases that fall into this type of situation should not be re-billed.
- Provider will explain to the person appealing how they came to the decision being questioned.
- Provider will explain to the person appealing how to appeal the decision.
- Provider will send everything that they have regarding the decision IMMEDIATELY to Springfield BCC&D Appeals staff at 400 West Lawrence, 2nd Floor, West Wing, ATTN: Appeals, Springfield, IL 62762.
- Provider will plan to attend the Appeal Hearing by phone, if at all possible. For extremely controversial cases and decisions, attendance (in person or by phone) is required.
D. Case File Information
Providers must maintain case files for each family. Each case file must include the following:
- The original Child Care Application.
- The original of any and all subsequent Redetermination Forms.
- Copies of all required documentation:
- 2 most current and consecutive paystubs per eligibility period;
- Income verification letters/forms for new jobs or cash employment; Income tax returns, income tax quarterly filing, statement from employers, and a monthly statement of earnings for self employment;
- Client grades, class schedules or letters confirming enrollment, if applicable; These documents must contain the client's name as part of the official document.
- A copy of the Responsibility and Service Plan, etc., if applicable;
- Letters from a certified professional (treating physician) supporting medical conditions, if applicable;
- Bus or train schedules supporting travel time, if one way exceeds one hour.
- A copy of the calculations of monthly income for eligibility determination and co-pay assessment. This could be the Copayment Worksheet.
- Case notes - notations made on all conversations, relevant to eligibility, between each parent/legal guardian and the site provider or the site provider and BCC&D. These notations are entered on the Child Care Tracking System.
- Copies of all Approval, Denial and Cancellation letters for each case.
- Copies of any correspondence on each case from a parent/legal guardian, IDHS, etc.
- Applicable screen prints (IPACS and any others deemed necessary for determination of eligibility).
E. Improper Payments
Improper Payment means any payment that should not have been made or that was made in an incorrect amount (including overpayments and underpayments) under statutory, contractual, administrative, or other legally applicable requirements; and includes any payment to an ineligible recipient, any payment for an ineligible service, any duplicate payment, payments for services not received, and any payment that does not account for applicable discounts.
F. On-Site Legacy System Support
- All child care providers are required to have a current, signed and executed copy of the IDHS Data Sharing Agreement on file.
- Each provider shall designate a minimum of two Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to participate in the planning, implementation, testing, and training of upgrades and enhancements of the child care legacy systems. CCAP staff shall participate in information gathering sessions to provide feedback with each phase of the project.
- Providers shall have an on-site problem escalation procedure to serve as the first level of support for CCAP questions or issues. There must be one primary and one secondary staff assigned to perform on-site (first level) assessment and escalation of unresolved questions or issues up to BCCD (second level).
- Providers are responsible for receipt and implementation of CCAP updates on system issues, training opportunities and computer requirements.
- Provider personnel who perform data entry into DHS legacy systems must have basic computer knowledge prior to beginning DHS system training.
- Providers are responsible for ensuring that they have an agency representative in attendance during all CCAP meetings or training sessions. That representative is responsible for the receipt and dissemination of all meeting and/or training session content.
VI. DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
- The Department will monitor client eligibility per the provisions in the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual.
- BCC&D will provide technical assistance and training as needed.
- BCC&D will monitor the Site Administered Child Care Program providers through on-site reviews, desk reviews of contract utilization, DCFS license information, payment information and client eligibility reviews.
- BCC&D will process payments for eligible child care services upon receipt of the appropriate billing form.
- BCC&D will provide updates on system issues, training opportunities and computer requirements.
VII. SUPPORT SERVICES
Support services are provided via training, technical assistance and the appeals process. An explanation of each follows.
A. Training Manager-Training and Technical Assistance
Site Administered Child Care providers who are having difficulties with processing applications, redeterminations or billing forms can request technical assistance from BCC&D. Training for new subsidy staff is also available. Requests for training and technical assistance can be made by contacting BCC&D's Training Manager at 312/793-3610.
Training sessions regarding application processing and policy changes are scheduled throughout each state fiscal year. Training calendars are developed for the fiscal year and distributed to the Site Administered Child Care providers at the beginning of the year.
Technical assistance visits are scheduled with Site Administered providers on an individual basis. These visits are scheduled at either the request of the provider or the Department.
B. Technical Assistance - Program Support and Operations
Program Support and Operations is responsible for many of the activities involved with the Site Administered Contract Providers. Assistance is provided in the following areas:
- Contract process - The provider can contact staff in this area for information regarding the contract process and with questions on the completion of the contract attachments.
- Parent eligibility - Eligibility specialists are assigned to help providers by answering eligibility related questions.
- Shared case coordination - BCC&D staff have been assigned to work with Site providers and CCR&R staff in resolving shared case issues.
- Payment entry - Staff will respond to questions regarding the payment status.
The Office of the Comptroller has provider warrant amounts and contract information located at http://www.comptroller.state.il.us on the Internet.
C. Right to Appeal
All applicants and clients have the right to appeal decisions about their child care assistance from Site Administered Child Care program staff. They can appeal the denial or cancellation of benefits, the co-payment amount, the payment amount or non-payment of a child care subsidy, or any other decision regarding their case.
Appeals must be filed within 60 days. The 60 day period begins the day after the notice is signed and mailed.
The client may file the appeal by:
- Calling the IDHS toll free number (800/435-0774);
- sending a written appeal by facsimile (fax), mail or in person to:
- IDHS local office serving the client;
- IDHS Bureau of Assistance Hearings (BAH);
- Site Administered Child Care program serving the client; or
- IDHS Bureau of Child Care and Development (BCC&D).
Responsibilities of Site Administered Child Care Providers:
- Explain how you came to that decision;
- Note the policy, if appropriate;
- Explain how to appeal the decision;
- Send everything that you have about the decision IMMEDIATELY to Springfield BCC&D Appeals staff at:
- 400 West Lawrence, 2nd Floor West Wing
Springfield, IL 62762
Plan to attend the Appeal Hearing by phone, if at all possible. For extremely controversial cases and decisions, your attendance (in person or by phone) is required.
The appeal will be heard by an IDHS Hearing Officer. The client and the Site Administered Child Care program will be notified of the date and time of the appeal.
VIII. BILLING INSTRUCTIONS
Approximately six (6) business days prior to the end of each month, the CCTS automatically generates the pre-printed SAMERs. The SAMER will list all cases and children, approved in the CCMS, as of the print date of the SAMER. The corresponding type of care, eligible days for the month, and parent co-payment amounts are also on the pre-printed SAMER. Separate reports are printed for each address indicator (Site or Collaboration) and each physical location (for programs with multiple locations under a single contract).
IDHS central mail room automatically mails all SAMERs to the contract address for each provider, unless the SAMER is over 20 pages, in which case BCC&D staff will mail the SAMER. The authority to send reports to each individual location (for programs with more than one location under their contract) does not exist. The printing and mailing schedule is structured to generally allow sufficient time for the pre-printed SAMERs to reach the provider by the first week of the month following the month of service being billed.
The Provider must review all pre-printed information on the SAMER for accuracy and must complete the number of days attended for each child listed. Incorrect information should be corrected by placing a single line through the incorrect information and entering the correct information next to the listing. A brief explanation of the change should be made under the name and DOB of the child in the second from left column of the SAMER. Changes affecting all, or large portions of, the cases/children listed should be made with a single statement of explanation on the bottom of the first page of the SAMER.
Eligible children who were in attendance during the month but do not appear on the SAMER must be billed via the Additional Cases Report-Site Administered Child Care form. The top of each Additional Cases form should be fully completed, using the same information found at the top of the first page of the preprinted SAMER. Complete information relating to each additional case/child being billed should then be listed in the body of the form, following the same formatting and number scheme as on the pre-printed SAMER. Multiple pages may be used as needed to include all eligible children not on the SAMER. In order to include the children on the Additional Cases form in the attendance percentage for any given month, the Additional Cases Form(s) must accompany the SAMER. NOTE: It is no longer necessary to separate those cases which are shared between the Site Administered Child Care and CCR&R programs. These shared cases should be included with all other cases as indicated above.
Providers will complete the last page of the SAMER, depicting their attendance percentage [including children on the Additional Cases Form(s)]. If there are no CCR&R children to be included in the Attendance Percentage calculation, complete only Section A on the last page. If there are CCR&R children to be included in the Attendance Percentage calculation, Sections A, B and C must be completed.
If there are Additional Cases Report forms attached to the SAMER, only one last page (which totals all pages from the SAMER and Additional Cases Report forms) should be completed and
submitted. If a provider receives a SAMER for both Site and Collaboration, the last page of the SAMER for both indicators should be exactly the same.
After completion of all billing information, the provider should sign the last page of the pre-printed SAMER and all Additional Cases pages, including a name and phone number where the provider may be reached in the event of questions on the SAMER or Additional Cases pages. The provider should then submit the SAMER, and any Additional Cases forms, to BCC&D for review and payment. This submission should be no later than the 15th of the month following the month of service. Under no circumstances may a provider bill for the entire fiscal year at one time.
All mail is opened by a centralized mail processor within BCC&D and stamped with the date of initial receipt. Once all incoming items have been opened and stamped, they are recorded in the master BCC&D mail log. At that time, all received items are forwarded to the appropriate Section for processing.
SAMERs received in the Payments Section are first logged with the date of receipt in the Section and then placed in a centralized area for payment staff to work on a first in, first out basis.
Based on the information at the top of page 1 of the SAMER, payment staff create a pending payment listing in the CCTS. Cases containing information on the SAMER that agrees with the information displayed on the pending payment listing are completed by entering the attendance information. The SAMER is then coded as PD (Pending). Cases with discrepancies between the SAMER and the pending payment list, and/or cases which do not appear on the payment listing, are flagged for further review.
When all cases have been initially entered as pending or flagged as a discrepancy, the SAMER is forwarded, in its entirety, to the Eligibility Unit for further review and resolution of discrepancies. Eligibility staff will review and code all problem cases as needed. Cases which can be adjusted and paid are marked as OK. Cases requiring additional information to determine correct eligibility are coded based on the listing of codes provided to all Site providers by BCC&D. These codes will specifically identify the necessary information or reasoning why a payment cannot be made. When all cases are appropriately coded, the SAMER is returned to the Payments Section.
SAMERs returned from the Eligibility Unit are reviewed by Payment staff for entry of cases to the previously pending payment which have been adjusted and/or approved for processing. When entry of all eligible cases is completed, the payment is totaled and approved for vouchering (payment).
During the automatic nightly cycle, all payments approved for vouchering in the CCTS are converted to an electronic format for an interface in CARS. This process normally occurs on the second business day after the approval is completed in the CCTS. During a separate cycle process, the Payment Reports are generated.
When the voucher information is loaded into CARS, three (3) additional levels of review and approval are required to ensure that the payment is in compliance with the State's accounting standards and the terms of the contract. These approvals may take from 5 to 7 additional business days to complete.
When the final accounting approval is completed, information is encoded and sent via electronic data tape to the Office of the Comptroller for the generation of the actual payment, via a warrant or electronic funds transfer. Time frames for the issuance of payments are governed solely by the Office of the Comptroller and are beyond the control of IDHS.
After completion of the accounting approvals, a complete copy of the original coded SAMER and the Payment Report are forwarded to the provider.
When the above copies are returned to the provider, IDHS considers the payment to be complete. However, there may be cases which will require a supplemental billing. The provider would be required to correct the problem cases identified by the coding in the far right side column of the SAMER. When the necessary correction(s) is/are completed, and an approval form has been received by the provider (when necessary), a Supplemental billing request should be submitted for payment.
Supplemental billings should be completed in the same manner as previously indicated for the Additional Cases forms, with complete header information at the top of the form, and complete information (in the same format as the SAMER) for all cases/children for which a Supplemental billing is being submitted.
Supplemental billings will be processed in the same manner as regular SAMER submissions, based on the receipt date by the Payment Unit and Eligibility Unit (if necessary). No preference is given to Supplemental requests based on the month of service being billed.
IX. PROGRAM MONITORING
The state subsidized child care program in Illinois is administered through a system of agents working with the Illinois Department of Human Services to provide a seamless network of child care services. These agents include local government agencies, nonprofit regional Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies, community child care facilities, and licensed and license exempt home day care providers. These groups are involved in the delivery of services to children and their families, and have a direct impact upon the availability, quality, and affordability of services. Illinois utilizes the federal Child Care Development Fund, state general revenue funds (GRF), the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant and the Social Services Block Grant in the operation of its Child Care Program (CCP).
The Program Integrity and Quality Assurance Unit of the Bureau of Child Care and Development is charged with the responsibility of monitoring the state Child Care Program. Monitoring is accomplished through the field review of child care providers and their agents. This includes all Child Care Resource and Referral agencies, the City of Chicago Department of Child and Youth Services, and child care facilities contracting with the state to provide services for clients participating in the state Child Care Program. Contracts include administrative services such as those provided by the Child Care Resource and Referral agencies, the City of Chicago, and contracted child care facilities, as well as the direct provision of child care services performed by licensed child care center based providers participating in the Child Care Program.
Child Care Program compliance reviews are primarily accomplished through field reviews in which on-site visits are performed of the administrative and/or direct service agent. Field reviews of administrative only agents such as Child Care Resource and Referral agencies, the City of Chicago, and licensed home network child care providers includes review in the areas of administrative service provision to providers and clients, client record review for program eligibility compliance, internal controls, and fiscal compliance to generally accepted accounting procedures of financial record keeping. Direct service agents' child care facilities are, in addition to the above, reviewed for compliance to licensing standards promulgated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
B. Child Care Program Field Review Objectives
In general, field reviews for compliance monitoring include the review of client files for application and redetermination documentation and timeliness, client eligibility determination, client co-payment processing calculations, payment processing and attendance documentation, termination procedures and timeliness for client cancellations and denials, internal controls, and financial record keeping compliance.
The objectives for Child Care Program compliance monitoring reviews are as follows:
- To determine that child care services are being provided in compliance with rules and agreements, as well as efficiency, effectiveness, and economy of the program relative to IDHS.
- To ascertain if the determination of program eligibility for client application and redetermination is adequately documented, timely, and performed within the guidelines defined in the Bureau of Child Care & Development Program Manual.
- To determine if the services billed were delivered, are appropriately documented, and eligible for reimbursement.
- To determine if the calculation of client co-payment is correctly figured, and adequately documented.
- To determine, for the vouchered program, if the child care certificates are reviewed by CCR&R staff for the extent of services billed with regard to the need for care, and on a timely basis.
- To determine, for the Site Administered Program, if the Site Administered Monthly Enrollment Report billing documents adequately reflect the days of eligible care in comparison to client eligibility and attendance.
- To determine if cancellation or denial of client eligibility is appropriate, timely, and well documented.
- To determine if the direct service staff are periodically evaluated, trained, and knowledgeable, appear to be adequate for the number of children served, and the facilities appear to be safe and operated in a manner conducive to the provision of adequate service delivery in accordance with IDHS and DCFS standards.
- To determine if the accounting system is generally acceptable to delineate the program income and expenses encountered in the operation of the Child Care Program.
- To determine if performance under the contract is monitored with respect to service delivery to insure funds are being expended in accordance to the program budget, and that any changes to the budget are discussed with department staff to insure that funds are spent appropriately.
C. Monitoring Procedures
- Scheduling Reviews
Staff review assignments for the period, which is usually the fiscal year, and contact the assigned provider by telephone. The review will be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time, but usually is a minimum of two weeks prior to the field review phase unless circumstances are such that the provider specifically requests the review to be conducted sooner or later than the two week norm. Upon agreement of time and location, a packet which, depending upon the provider type, usually contains the letter of confirmation, the client record request list, the request for copies of forms, an initial interview questionnaire, and a fiscal record request list is mailed to the provider. The review period is normally the most recent month for which services have been paid, as well as the availability of fiscal records. Depending upon the number of clients served, the field phase of the review can take from two days to one week in length. If the review includes multiple sites or additional programs such as Quality Enhancement, additional days will be needed.
- Field Review
Upon arrival on site the monitor will conduct an entrance conference in order to determine if all client files, as well as the financial records, are available for review. During the conference the questionnaire will be thoroughly reviewed to determine if all questions have been answered, as well as all copies of requested forms have been obtained. Monitors will inquire about all unanswered questions. At this time providers are asked for a copy of their current license with an explanation obtained if the license is not available or expired. The client file review is conducted for the sample chosen by the monitor. The review entails examination of the files for record documentation to support the services rendered as well as client eligibility for the period under review. For the Site Administered Program, Site Administered Monthly Enrollment Reports are checked against attendance records. In addition, a tour of the facility is conducted to determine if overall the facility appears to meet health and safety standards and that the provider is adequately staffed. The fiscal review includes the examination of the books of account, bank records, and tracing of a sample of expenditures such as personnel and rent, to source documentation. An exit conference is conducted to inform the provider of any general preliminary findings.
Upon completion of the field phase of the review a draft report is prepared and issued, normally within 30 to 45 days from the date of the termination of the review. Exceptional findings involving the input from other agencies, i.e., DCFS may cause additional time to be needed for completion of the report. If the report contains findings for which recommendations are made for corrective action and/or recoupment of overpayments, the provider is given 30 days to respond. If found acceptable, the provider's response is then incorporated into the draft report to finalize it. Providers not responding in a timely manner will have the report finalized with the notation that the provider refused to respond and further action, including withholding future payments may be taken. Programs in which exceptional findings were noted may be revisited to insure that corrective action has been taken to rectify any problems.
- Monitoring Selection Criteria
To some extent, selection criteria depends upon the type of provider contract. Site and Child Care Resource and Referral agencies are monitored on a routine basis in rotation every three years. Because of the number and size of the various Site Administered Program providers, the following criteria is utilized in their selection for review:
- Contract amount.
- Date of last monitoring review.
- On demand by state agency due to problems exhibited in billing, utilization, reporting or other concerns.
- Follow up to determine rectification of problems previously identified in monitoring reviews with recommendations for corrective action.
X. PROGRAM BUDGET
Each fiscal year Site Administered Child Care providers are required to submit a Funding Request, proposing how the funds provided to them by IDHS will be utilized.