EEC Management Bulletin
EMB FY 2011-09

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Subject:Closure of Income Eligible Contracted Slots and the Flex Pool for Providers over 5%
Flex Pool Allocation and Additional Access Limitations
Date Issued:March 8, 2011
Effective Date:Immediate
For Use By:EEC Contracted Providers, Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs), and Head Start Programs
Synopsis:Closes access to income eligible contracted slots and the flex pool for providers who are over their 5% flex pool allocation. Closes sibling access through the flex pool and vouchers. Closes the teen parent flex pool.
Further Info:bulletinquestions@massmail.state.ma.us
Supersedes:January 5, 2011 EMB FY 2011-07 "Income Eligible Financial Assistance Access Limitations" and to the extent that the policies contained in this document conflict with EEC Financial Assistance Policy Guide, the policies contained in this document govern.

Introduction

The purpose of this Bulletin is to close access to vacant income eligible contracted slots and the flex pool for providers who are over their 5% flex pool allocation. New families may not be placed in vacant contracted slots, nor may the flex pool be used, by providers over their 5% allocation, until such providers are below their 5% allocation.

Further, sibling access is now closed through both the flex pool and vouchers. Siblings may only access care through open contracted slots.

Lastly, effective March 23, 2011, the teen parent flex pool will be closed.

 

Access to Income Eligible Contracted Slots and the Flex Pool

Effective immediately, EEC is closing access to income eligible contracted slots and the flex pool for all contracted providers above their 5% flex pool allocation. Providers who exceed their 5% flex pool allocation shall not place any new families in vacant contracted slots or the flex pool.

EEC is taking this action as part of a continued effort to manage a deficiency in the income eligible account. Further, EEC has reviewed flex pool utilization data and determined that of 203 contracted providers, 33% currently are over their average 5% flex pool allocation.

As per current policy, any vacant contracted slots must first be filled by children of the matching program type from the flex pool. It is expected that providers over their 5% allocation will use attrition to reduce their flex pool over time. When providers reach a number below 5% of their flex pool, they may resume filling contracted slots.

Please note that EEC reserves the right to disallow payment for children who are inappropriately placed into contracted slots or the flex pool according to EEC policy and this EMB.

 

Access for Continuity of Care

Access to vacant contracted slots must be prioritized for families in need of continuity of care for children currently receiving EEC financial assistance, and for siblings of enrolled children. Providers must place all families seeking continuity of care or sibling access prior to placing a general priority family from the wait list.

Providers who are below their 5% allocation may continue to utilize their flex pool for continuity of care 1, excluding siblings. Siblings of enrolled children who cannot be placed into a vacant contracted slot must be placed on the wait list at this time.

EEC is continuing to support continuity of care through vouchers for children who are already receiving EEC financial assistance. Families seeking continuity of care for children shall be referred to their local CCR&R for a voucher and shall be issued a voucher consistent with current policies. 2

 

DCF Families

Continuity of care for DCF families will remain open through the flex pool. DCF families whose cases close and are in need of continuity of care are excluded from the 5% rule, as EEC prioritizes at-risk families. Providers may continue to add those children to their flex pool without affecting their 5% flex pool allocation.

 

Teen Parent Families

Effective March 23, 2011, the teen parent flex pool, opened for placements on February 22, 2011 will be closed. No new children of teen parents may be placed into the teen parent flex pool after March 23, 2011.

EEC recognizes the hardship families may experience due to these policies and will continue to carefully monitor caseload data across all accounts to seek to restore access to EEC financial assistance as soon as possible.




1 "Continuity of care" refers to the continuation of EEC financial assistance services only for a child who already receives EEC financial assistance in the form of an EEC contract or voucher, provided that the child maintains EEC eligibility (e.g., children aging up or out of a program and children whose families are no longer eligible for an EEC priority populations contract slot, such as a homeless or teen parent slot). See Table 2.0.1 A of the EEC Financial Assistance Policy Guide.

2 The CCR&R shall place the family back on the wait list with the appropriate continuity of care code and their original wait list date, and shall provide the family with immediate access to a voucher, provided the family is still eligible. Families seeking voucher access for siblings shall also be placed on the wait list using their original date, but will not receive immediate access to a voucher.




Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care. Created: March 8, 2011.