May 25, 2010
This update features these highlights:
· Status TOTS (electronic CCAP time and attendance)
· Licensing Standards Revision progress and timeline
· Information about DSS Fines legislation (SB 634)
TOTS stands for "tracking of time services" for those children receiving subsidy from the DSS program called the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). TOTS will relieve providers from completing the monthly invoice and speed payment for services. Participation in CCAP is voluntary. Providers in these classes may be eligible to enroll as a CCAP provider:
Class A child care centers,
Class M Military child care centers,
Class R Family Child Day Care Home, and
Class U In-home providers (care for the child at the child's home)
TOTS Town Hall Presentations are taking place throughout the state and the pilot will begin in the Lafayette region in July.
For more information visit the DSS website at www.dss.louisiana.gov/tots.
Licensing Standards Revision progress and timeline
The Standards Revision Work Group should complete a draft of Class A regulations in late June and then present them to DSS Secretary Kristy Nichols for consideration. After preliminary approval, public comment gathering sessions will be held in July in Lafayette, Ruston, and Baton Rouge. Dates and locations of these sessions will be posted on the DSS website as well as emailed to those providers who have made their email available to DSS. Following review of these comments and final revisions, it is anticipated that the seven month rulemaking process will begin in late summer. A draft of the sections that have been revised are available on the DSS website (www.dss.louisiana.gov/childcareupdates and comments may be made anytime.
Information about DSS Fines legislation (SB 634)
As part of the Licensing redesign, DSS has worked with Senator Lydia Jackson to provide the agency options, such as fines, in enforcing violations of regulations of child care and child-placing agencies. DSS currently has only two options in enforcing regulations - repeatedly citing the same deficiency or revocation. This legislation provides DSS with the authority to develop a series of intermediate sanctions (fines) for continuing and repeated deficiencies. Currently more than 20 states use this type sanction for chronic uncorrected deficiencies. While some "classes of violations" have been identified in the bill, much work is left to be done with the involvement of the LA Council on Child Care and Early Childhood Education. As the bill has been amended, implementation of fines would not begin without until the licensing standards have been finalized. To find a copy of the bill go to www.legis.state.la.us and click on SB and type in 634.