Posted in DHHS / OFCS

CCSP Infant/Toddler Initiatives Update

While so much focus has been on COVID-19 and navigating it’s impact on our child care businesses, other work in the state around child care has been continuing. This posted out on June 5th under Child Care Subsidy:

DATE: June 5, 2020
TO: Maine Licensed Child Care Providers
FROM: Crystal Arbour, Child Care Services Program Manager
SUBJECT: CCSP Infant/Toddler Initiatives Update


The Office of Child & Family Services (OCFS) has been working to finalize the plan described in the Memo released on 02-14-20 regarding utilization of the approximately $8 million in additional Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG funding (versus the base of Federal fiscal year 2017) Maine received due to the $550 million increase in federal funding for CCDBG in the federal budget appropriation passed in December 2019. CCDBG is the primary funding source for the Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP). Part of the plan announced in February focused on increasing the number of providers accepting infants and toddlers receiving CCSP benefits.


OCFS is pleased to announce the following strategies will begin 07-04-2020.


The first strategy is to provide licensed child care providers who have a CCSP agreement with the opportunity to receive a weekly stipend of $100 per infant on CCSP. The second strategy is to provide a 10% quality bump payment for infants and toddlers served through CCSP. There is no application process required for either strategy. Qualifying providers will automatically receive the funds with their normal CCSP reimbursement payments beginning for services provided the week of July 4, 2020.

To qualify, providers must be participating in the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) at any step, have an updated registry of staff in Maine Roads to Quality (MRTQ), and be in compliance with the required CCDF state approved 6-hour health and safety training at the time of each payment cycle. Retroactive corrections will not be made for providers not in compliance with all components at the time payment is issued. The stipend and/or quality bump increase will resume once all requirements have been met.
• The $100 per week stipend will go to providers when they care for an infant receiving CCSP for twenty (20) or more hours in that week.
• The 10% additional quality bump payment for infants and toddlers (I/T) is for any CCSP
Provider caring for infants and/or toddlers. The 10% I/T bump payment will be based on
market rate or provider rate (whichever is lower) and billed hours per week.

Infant means a child six (6) weeks of age through twelve (12) months of age. Toddler means a child (12) months through thirty-six (36) months of age.

For more information on CCSP or becoming a CCSP provider, please contact our office at 1-877-680- 5866 or 207-624-7999 or CCSP.DHHS@Maine.gov

If you have further questions about the health and safety training, to update your MRTQ registry, to sign up for QRIS, or other MRTQ services, please contact MRTQ at 1-888-900-0055 or mrtq.contact@maine.edu

Posted in DHHS / OFCS

Infant/Toddler Subsidy Payment Changes Coming

All providers in Maine should have recently received an email from their licensing specialist about a significant change around payment for infant/toddler care to providers who participate in the Child Care Subsidy Program. You might have overlooked it if you are not currently providing subsidy care. Neither $100 per week per infant nor 10% I/T quality bump isn’t something to overlook if you have families that qualify for subsidy, if you have openings and/or are open to caring for infants/toddlers.

Following is our quick take away from the letter. Be sure to check with CCSP and/or MRTQ PDN for all the specifics (contact info at end of the post).

Maine is expected to receive an increase of approximately $8 million in funding from the federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). The CCDBG is the primary funding source for the Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP). The Office of Child & Family Services (OCFS) has developed a plan for usage of the increased CCDBG funding based on the goals and strategies of the Children’s Cabinet, the needs assessment and strategic plan that resulted from the Preschool Development Grant Planning Grant, the child care mapping conducted with the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the three-year CCDBG State Plan.

With the goal of increasing providers accepting infants and toddlers under CCSP, one of the strategies is to provide licensed child care providers with a CCSP agreement, an opportunity to receive a weekly stipend of up to $100 per infant and a 10% quality bump payment for infant/toddlers.

  • Providers must be participating in the Quality for ME (Maine’s QRIS)
  • Be current in their (and staff) Maine Roads to Quality (MRTQ) registry
  • Be in compliance with the required CCDF state approved 6-hour health and safety training at the time of each payment cycle.

The weekly stipend will go to CCSP providers caring for infants who are in care for twenty (20) or more hours per week.

The 10% quality bump payment for infant/or toddlers is for any CCSP Provider caring for infants and toddlers and is not dependent on hours of care.

The 10% I/T bump payment will be based on market rate or provider rate and billed hours per week. Rates will not exceed the Department established market rate or the child care provider’s rate, whichever is less.

Infant means a child six (6) weeks of age through twelve (12) months of age. Toddler means (12) months through thirty-six (36) months of age.

The Department expects the benefits to begin by early summer.


For more information on CCSP or becoming a CCSP provider please contact our office at 1-877-680-5866 or 207-624-7999 or CCSP.DHHS@Maine.gov

If you have further questions about the health and safety training, to update your MRTQ registry, to sign up for QRIS, or other MRTQ PDN services, please contact MRTQ at 1-888-900-0055 or mrtq.contact@maine.edu

Posted in DHHS / OFCS

A New Process to Apply for the Child Care Subsidy Program

Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) Child Care Subsidy Program has recently sent out information on changes ahead for the program. These changes are being implemented to make it easier for families to apply and renew. From the material sent out and checking the linked sites here is what FCCAM was able to pull together to inform providers and for sharing with families.

As of January 2, 2020, applications and renewals for the Child Care Subsidy Program will no longer be handled by the Office for Family Independence (OFI)), but by the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS).

If families receive other benefits such as SNAP, TANF, or MaineCare, the process for applying for and renewing those benefits through OFI will not change.

What you need to know:

  • The Child Care Subsidy Program assists eligible families in paying for child care if they work, are enrolled in school, participate in a job training program, or are retired and the legal guardian of a child.
  • For information on eligibility guidelines, please visit the Child Care Subsidy Program webpage. Here is the last information we have: Family is defined as: (a) a child and the related and/or non-related adults who are living together in a legally binding relationship to the child either by blood, marriage, adoption, or registered domestic partnership or (b) the child and an adult acting In-loco Parentis.

As of Jan. 2, 2020 there will be three ways to apply:

  1. Complete the application online: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/ec/occhs/step.htm;
  2. Call: 1-877-680-5866 or (207) 624-7999 Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; or
  3. Visit your local DHHS Office. Click HERE to find your local DHHS Office or call: 1-877-680-5866 or (207) 624-7999

Visit My Maine Connection, your online connection to Food Supplement, Health Care, Cash Assistance and/or Child Care. With this service you can: Apply for Benefits / View all information on your case and submit changes / Complete your Re-certification / View your benefit history for the past 12 months. Just sign up for an account. Or if you already have an account sign in with your username and password.


All links worked when posting. We have often found that links to state sites can go down unexpectedly.

Posted in DHHS / OFCS

Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP)

Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) assists eligible families in paying for child care if they work, are enrolled in school, participate in a job training program, or are retired and the legal guardian of a child. On average CCSP serves over 4,000 Maine children and has over 800 participating providers. There is a need for an increase in the number of care slots available to families that qualify for subsidy support. Providers continue to have questions about what subsidy is and what is required of providers. Following is some basic starting information.

Types of child care eligible to participate?

  • Licensed family child care homes
  • Licensed child care centers
  • Licensed exempt child care in-homes (2 children or less)
  • Adults who come to your home to provide child care
  • Relatives over the age of 18 providing child care

How do you become a CCSP Provider?

  • Licensed child care providers are required to become a Maine Roads to Quality (MRTQ) registry member.
  • Licensed child care providers are required to become a member of the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS).
  • All providers are required to meet licensing or monitoring guidelines.
  • All providers must take the required health and safety trainings.
  • All providers are required to complete provider agreements with CCSP.

Contact CCSP:
Phone: (877)680-5866
Email: ccsp.dhhs@maine.gov
Website


Facts about subsidy in Maine:

  • CCSP providers receive an increase (quality bump) in reimbursement at QRIS step levels 2, 3, & 4.
  • Parents that use providers at a QRIS step 4 receive a tax break.
  • Off-hour child care providers receive an additional 35% in reimbursement.
  • Providers are not obligated to fill openings with a child receiving subsidy
  • Maine currently reimburses at 75% of the market rate.

Child Care Subsidy Program Rules


How is the Child Care Subsidy Program funded?

The Federal Office of Child Care (OCC) supports low-income working families by providing access to affordable, high quality early care and afterschool programs. OCC administers the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and works with state, territory, and tribal governments to provide support for children.

Posted in Business Practice, DHHS / OFCS

Market Rate/Subsidy Rate for 2018

Market Rate effective June 30, 2018.

*Be aware the ages do not align with Licensing Rule language. See the definitions for ages at the bottom of the third sheet.

2018 Subsidy Rate
2018 Subsidy Rate 2
2018 Subsidy Rate 3

Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program helps eligible families to pay for child care, so they can work, go to school or participate in a job training program.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the designated lead agency in Maine, responsible for the planning and administration of the child care subsidies funded from the Child Care Development Fund, in addition to state funds and other federal funds. The purpose of the Maine Child Care Subsidy Program is to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of Child Care Services.

For the Child Care Subsidy Program Family is defined as: (a) a child and the related and/or non-related adults who are living together in a legally binding relationship to the child either by blood, marriage, adoption, or registered domestic partnership or (b) the child and an adult acting In-loco Parentis.

A child is eligible to receive Child Care Subsidy services, to the extent that funding is available, if: (a) the child’s gross family income does not exceed the income level set by DHHS and (b) the child’s Parents are Employed, and/or Attending Job Training or Educational Program.

Maine’s DHHS uses Vouchers to maximize parental choice for purchasing child care.

For complete rules on subsidies and eligibility can be found on the Maine Child Care Subsidy Program government page which is linked above.

Posted in DHHS / OFCS

Maine Child Care Subsidy 2017 Market Rate

Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program helps eligible families to pay for child care, so they can work, go to school or participate in a job training program.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the designated lead agency in Maine, responsible for the planning and administration of the child care subsidies funded from the Child Care Development Fund, in addition to state funds and other federal funds. The purpose of the Maine Child Care Subsidy Program is to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of Child Care Services.

For the Child Care Subsidy Program Family is defined as: (a) a child and the related and/or non-related adults who are living together in a legally binding relationship to the child either by blood, marriage, adoption, or registered domestic partnership or (b) the child and an adult acting In-loco Parentis.

A child is eligible to receive Child Care Subsidy services, to the extent that funding is available, if: (a) the child’s gross family income does not exceed the income level set by DHHS and (b) the child’s Parents are Employed, and/or Attending Job Training or Educational Program.

Maine’s DHHS uses Vouchers to maximize parental choice for purchasing child care.

For complete rules on subsidies and eligibility can be found on the Maine Child Care Subsidy Program governement page which is linked at the beginning of this article.

Market Rate

DHHD is the authority that sets the maximum Child Care Subsidy rate. Each county has it’s own rate figured for licensed center care, licensed family child care and unlicensed child care. These subsidy rates are established through a biennial Market Rate survey as required under federal law.

A new Market Rate went into effect on June 3, 2017:

For detailed information on becoming an approved provider for the Subsidy Program click on the Maine Child Care Subsidy Program at the beginning of this article. That link takes you to the Office of Child and Family Services’ page on subsidy services for children.