2005 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representative Holland
AN ACT TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES IN THE OPERATION OF THE CHILD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT FUND/TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE TO NEEDY FAMILIES PROGRAM; TO PROVIDE FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF CERTAIN RECORDS ON A PUBLIC WEBSITE; TO REQUIRE CERTAIN AUDITS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES CCDF/TANF EXPENDITURES AND AN AUDIT OF GRANTEES AND PROVIDERS; TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR PROVIDERS; TO REQUIRE A STUDY OF THE ADVISABILITY OF TRANSFERRING THE CHILD CARE LICENSURE PROGRAM TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Department of Human Services is Mississippi's lead agency in the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program. CCDF is comprised of the following funding streams: discretionary, mandatory, federal matching, and state matching. In addition, as allowed by federal regulation, Mississippi currently transfers twenty percent (20%) of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) grant into CCDF. The CCDF/TANF program helps eligible working parents pay for early care and education services for their children.
(2) In the operation of the CCDF/TANF program, the Department of Human Services shall comply with the following requirements:
(a) The department shall maintain records and post on a monthly basis, as information is available, on a publicly accessible website for each county, the information required for the federal report known as the Child Care Aggregate Report, ACF-800, federal report ACF-801 and for the state as a whole, the information required for the financial report known as ACF-696 related to CCDF (42 USCS, Chapter 105, Subchapter II-B).
(b) The department shall establish performance level standards including the following requirements in CCDF/TANF certificate subgrants: measurable outcome-based contract measures, clear statements of expectations, evaluation criteria, documentation, and the explicit descriptions of reporting requirements. The State Department of Audit shall annually audit the expenditures by the department, subject to the availability of public or private funds specifically for that purpose. The State Department of Audit shall also annually audit expenditures by subrecipients/subgrantees and providers including those currently known as "Designated Agents" and those to whom Quality Improvement funds were awarded by the department, and may audit such expenditures during the five (5) years next preceding the effective date of this act at the request of the Executive Director of the Department of Human Services and subject to the availability of funds for that purpose. In addition, the State Department of Audit shall periodically, but not less than once every three (3) years, conduct performance audits on the department for the purposes of assessing program impact, subject to the availability of public or private funds for that purpose. The State Department of Audit shall provide copies of each of the audits to the Chairmen of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.
(c) The department shall provide to the custodial parents a plain-language explanation of all program criteria to qualify for a CCDF/TANF certificate to obtain early care and education for a child from birth up to the 13th birthday if not disabled, but if disabled, then up to eighteen (18) years of age.
(d) The department shall require licensed child care providers participating in the CCDF/TANF certificate program to provide developmentally appropriate early childhood educational activities, including reading and writing.
(3) The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare and the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Health and Human Services, or a subcommittee appointed by the chairman of each committee for that purpose, shall jointly conduct a study of the advisability of transferring the Child Care Licensure Program of the State Department of Health to the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The chairmen and/or the subcommittees appointed for that purpose may meet jointly and conduct hearings as necessary and shall develop a written report with recommended legislation to the Governor and the Legislature not later than December 15, 2005.
(4) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2006.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.