ARTICLE 20 SUBSTITUTE A
RELATING TO CHILD CARE ELIGIBILITY
SECTION 1. Section 40-5.1-17 of the General Laws in Chapter 40-5.1 entitled “Family Independence Act” is hereby amended to read as follows:
40-5.1-17. Families eligible for child care assistance. – (a)(1) The department shall
provide appropriate childcare to every parent who requires childcare in order
to meet the work requirements in § 40-5.1-9 and to all other families with
incomes at or below
one hundred eighty-five percent (185%) one
hundred eighty percent (180%) of the federal poverty line, if and to the
extent such other families require childcare in order to work at paid
employment ; provided, however, that effective January 1, 1999, the
department shall provide appropriate childcare to such other families whose
incomes are at or below two hundred percent (200%) of the federal poverty line;
effective July 1, 1999, the department shall provide appropriate childcare to
such other families whose incomes are at or below two hundred twenty-five
percent (225%) of the federal poverty line.
(2) No family shall be eligible for child care assistance under this chapter if the combined value of its liquid resources exceeds ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Liquid resources are defined as any interest(s) in property in the form of cash or other financial instruments or accounts which are readily convertible to cash or cash equivalents. These include, but are not limited to, cash, bank, credit union, or other financial institution savings, checking and money market accounts, certificates of deposit or other time deposits, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other similar financial instruments or accounts. These do not include educational savings accounts, plans, or programs; retirement accounts, plans, or programs; or accounts held jointly with another adult, not including a spouse, living outside the same household but only to the extent the applicant/recipient family documents the funds are from sources owned by the other adult living outside the household, plus the proportionate share of any interest, dividend or capital gains thereon. The department is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to determine the ownership and source of the funds in the joint account.
(3) As a condition of eligibility for child care assistance under this chapter, the parent or caretaker relative of the family must consent to and must cooperate with the department in establishing paternity, and in establishing and/or enforcing child support and medical support orders for all children in the family in accordance with title 15 of the general laws, as amended, unless the parent or caretaker relative is found to have good cause for refusing to comply with the requirements of this subsection.
(b) For purposes of this section "appropriate
childcare" means childcare, including infant/toddler, pre-school, nursery
school, school-age, and youth care, which is provided by a person or
organization qualified, approved, and authorized to provide such care by the
department of children, youth, and families, or by the department of elementary
and secondary education, or such other lawful providers as determined by the
department of human services, in cooperation with the department of children, youth
and families and the department of elementary and secondary education for a
child below the age of
sixteen (16) thirteen (13).
(c) The department of human services shall determine rates of reimbursement for childcare services for children over the age of twelve (12) in accordance with the provisions of § 40-6.2-1.1(d).
For purposes of this section "appropriate childcare" is defined in § 40-5.1-9(d).
(d) Families with incomes below one hundred percent (100%) of the applicable federal poverty guidelines shall be provided with free childcare. Families with incomes equal to or greater than one hundred percent (100%) of the applicable federal poverty guideline shall be required to pay for some portion of the childcare they receive, according to a sliding fee scale adopted by the department.
(e) In determining the type of childcare to be provided to a family, the department shall take into account the cost of available childcare options and the suitability of the type of care available for the child and the parent's preference as to the type of childcare.
(f) For purposes of this section "income" for families receiving cash assistance under § 40-5.1-9 means gross earned income and unearned income, subject to the income exclusions in § 40-5.1-10(b) and § 40-5.1-10(c); and income for other families shall mean gross earned and unearned income as determined by departmental regulations.
(g) The entitlement provided for in subsection (a) shall be an entitlement to payment of a subsidy for childcare to an appropriate childcare provider as defined in subsection (b). The caseload estimating conference established by chapter 17 of title 35 shall forecast the expenditures for childcare in accordance with the provisions of § 35-17-1.
(h) In determining eligibility for child care assistance program for children of members of reserve components called to active duty during a time of conflict, the department shall freeze the family composition and the family income of the reserve component member as it was in the month prior to the month of leaving for active duty. This shall continue until the individual is officially discharged from active duty.
SECTION 2. This article shall take effect as of July 1, 2007.