Chapter 1: Eligibility
Q: Is the deployed parent's military income used to determine the family's income eligibility?
A: Yes, except for the portion of the parent's income that is hazard or combat compensation and their housing allowance. The hazard or combat compensation and housing allowance must be deducted from the deployed parent's earnings when calculating the family's income. (See Footnote #2 in Section 1.0.1.)
Q: Is a deployed parent included in the family size when determining the family income eligibility and co-payment?
A: Yes. The deployed parent is included in the family's size as long as the parent resides in the same household as the child for whom EEC financial assistance is requested. (See Footnote #4 in Section 1.1.1.)
Q: What is the upper age limit for preschool children to access a Community Partnership for Children Program (CPC)?
A: Language in the Fiscal Year 2008 Massachusetts State Budget defines the upper age limit as 5 years old. (See Chapter 61 of the Acts of 2007, Item 3000-4060.)
Chapter 2: Centralized Waiting List
Q: Should I place families on the waiting list who do not have a job?
A: Yes. Families new to EEC financial assistance are eligible for an eight week job search. (See Section 3.5.1.)
Q: Can a parent receiving Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) assistance have immediate access to EEC financial assistance when she doesn't already have child care and can't get an authorization from DTA for child care because she is pregnant and needs complete bed rest?
A: No. If the parent is not already receiving child care, the parent does not meet the EEC continuity criteria. In addition, the parent is not eligible for immediate access to care. However, if the parent provides documentation from her doctor certifying that she has a special need, she may be placed on the centralized waiting list as a priority. (See Table 2.0.1.)
Q: Is the current list of priority families with definitions and immediate access posted on eCCIMS?
A: No. The list of priority families, including definitions, may be found in the EEC Financial Assistance Policy Guide. (See Charts 2.0.1, 2.0.1A, and 2.0.1B.)
Q: Can a sibling of a Community Partnership for Children (CPC) child begin care through a voucher on the same day under the continuity rules?
A: Yes. The sibling should be able to start on the same day as the first child. This process will require coordination between the Community Partnerships for Children program (CPC) and the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R). Please alert the CCR&R and share the family's information with the CCR&R prior to the child's enrollment in order to verify the family's information and facilitate the voucher process for the family. (See Table 2.0.1.B.)
Q: Can the waiting list be sorted by income?
A: Yes. The waiting list can be sorted by State Median Income Level (SMI). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need technical assistance regarding the waiting list.
Chapter 3: Documentation of Eligibility
Q: Is the Federal Tax Return sufficient for documenting an existing self-employment situation?
A: No. Self-employed families are required to submit the following documentation:
- the Employment Verification form;
- the Report of Self-Employment Earnings form;
- copies of their most recent federal tax returns, including all applicable schedules;
- a tax return transcript for their most recent federal tax returns; and
- documentation verifying their self-employment business, such as copies of their business registration with the Department of Revenue, Doing Business As (DBA) certificate, required licenses, or certificate of incorporation. (See Table 3.3.1 and Appendix F.)
Q: Do families need to complete the self employment forms if they were already receiving EEC financial assistance prior to July 1, 2007?
A: Yes. Self-employed parents/guardians already receiving EEC financial assistance will need to complete the self-employment forms and submit these forms at their next re-assessment. (See Table 3.3.1.)
Q: What is the current Massachusetts minimum wage?
A: The Minimum wage in Massachusetts is currently $8.00 per hour. (See Section 3.3.1.A-2.)
Q: How do I determine if a subcontractor is working the required number of hours and making minimum wage?
A: The subcontractor must document their work hours and the income from earned from those hours of work on the Employment Verification form , which is included in self-employment packet. (See Appendix E.) To determine whether the subcontractor is earning at least minimum wage, you will need to calculate his/her hourly wage. To determine the hourly wage, divide the subcontractor's weekly income by his/her weekly work hours.
Q: Should the parent/guardian submit a notarized letter to document that he/she does not receive child support payments?
A: No. Families are not required to submit a notarized statement when they do not receive child support payments. The parent's signature on the Financial Assistance Agreement is sufficient certification. However, in-kind contributions, informal agreements, and/or formal agreements must be documented by a copy of a court order, copies of a check from the payer, or child support verification from the Department of Revenue. (See Table 3.3.2.)
Q: Do the four (4) pay stubs I collect within a 6 week period, need to be consecutive?
A: No. The pay stubs do not need to be consecutive. (See Table 3.3.1.)
Q: Should I place a bulletin clarification/exemption/response I receive from EEC in the family file as documentation of EEC approval?
A: Yes. Any information pertaining to the family's eligibility should always be placed in the family's file.
Q: How do we document residence for a parent of a child who lives with their own parents and does not pay bills?
A: If the parent does not have a copy of any bill, a copy of a rental document, or school records (including their own), the parent may provide a letter from the owner or the tenant of record confirming the applicant's residence, a utility bill from the owner or tenant of record, and some other official documentation received in the parent's name at the residence. (See Section 3.4.) If none of the documents listed above are available, please email EEC at email@example.com.
Chapter 4: Service Need
Q: Does travel time between home visits count for a parent working as a home health aide?
A: Yes. Due to the nature of the work, a parent cannot perform her job duties as a home health aide without travel time.
Chapter 6: Reassessment
Q: Do we need to collect documentation for families eligible for continuity to prove their gross income was at or below 50% SMI when they first received EEC financial assistance?
A: No. Families need only have a gross income that is at or below 85% SMI at re-assessment to meet the income requirement for continuity. Families with a child or parent with a documented special need may have an income at or below 100% SMI at reassessment in order to be eligible for continuity. (See Section 6.0 Eligibility Reassessment.)
Q: What documentation is needed at reassessment to determine family size?
A: Unless there has been a change in the family's size or composition since the last reassessment, you need only verify that the family continues to meet EEC income and activity requirements at reassessment. (See Section 6.3.) If the family's size has changed, you must verify family size and composition as outlined in Section 3.1.
Q: Is a child who is already receiving EEC financial assistance eligible for continuation of care if her grandparents receive temporary or permanent custody?
A: Yes. Children who experience a change in child custody continue to be eligible as long as the family/person requesting financial assistance on their behalf continues to meet EEC income and activity requirements. (See Section 6.3.)
Q: Does a family that is authorized by Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) have continuity if they lose their authorization?
A: Yes. Families who have a change in activity, income, family size, or composition (including DTA authorized families who lose their authorization) continue to be eligible for EEC financial assistance as long as they continue to meet EEC income and activity requirements. (See Section 6.3.)
Q: Does the criteria for continuity of care children who are turning age 13 apply to children who are in "Kith and Kin" (In-home/relative) care?
A: Yes. Children enrolled in any out-of-school time programs who are receiving EEC financial assistance have continuity of care after they turn 13 (or after they turn 16 if they have a documented special need), under the following circumstances:
- A child turning age 13 (or age 16 with a documented special need) who is enrolled in an out-of-school time program during the school year may remain in care until the end of the school year.
- A child turning age 13 (or age 16 with a documented special need) who is enrolled in a summer camp or program which takes place during the summer may remain in the program until the end of the summer. (See Section 6.3.1.)
Q: When can a family in a CPC or EEC contracted program have continuity through a voucher?
A: A child currently receiving EEC financial assistance through a CPC scholarship or a contract has immediate access to care through a voucher when the child:
- exceeds the age limit for the program (e.g., a child aging out of a CPC program or a contracted slot, where no other contracted slot is available); or
- moves to another town/city in Massachusetts (e.g., a child in a contracted slot relocates and no other contracted slot is available in that area). (See Table 2.0.1A.)
Q: How should my CPC program assure that a child continues receiving a CPC scholarship when the child moves from my CPC community to another?
A: The CPC community that the child moves from will continue to fund the child until the new CPC community has funds available for the child. CPC programs should communicate and coordinate with each other to ensure that children receiving CPC scholarships have continuity between their CPC programs.
Q: Should I collect income documentation of a family receiving EEC financial assistance through the supportive child care program when they are first enrolled?
A: No. When the family's case at the Department of Social Services is closed and the family applies for continuation of EEC financial assistance, the family's income must be documented as being at or below 85% SMI (or 100% SMI if the child or the parent has a documented special need). (See Section 3.6.)
Chapter 7 Termination and Reductions
Q: Do I need to send a two week termination notice to a family that has not responded to our reassessment letter?
A: No. If the parent has not responded to the reassessment letter, the end date of the voucher, CPC scholarship, or the contract is the parent's last day of eligibility to receive EEC financial assistance. (See Sections 6.1.1 and 7.3.)
Q: Is a family still eligible for EEC financial assistance at reassessment when they haven't notified EEC that they lost their job and were unemployed for a few months during their initial eligibility year?
A: Families who have changes in their activity, income, family size, or composition remain eligible at reassessment as long as they continue to meet EEC income and activity requirements. However, parents are required to report any changes that may affect their eligibility with ten days. Failure to report such changes may be grounds for termination of a family's EEC financial assistance. Please issue a two week notice of termination and provide the family with a Request for Review form (See Section 6.3.).
Appendix C: Verification of Special Needs Form
Q: Is a current Individual Education Plan (IEP) or a current Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or a current Section 504 plan needed to document a child's special need when a professional has submitted a letter on official letterhead and completed the Verification of Special Needs Form?
A: No. The policy guide has been revised to indicate that an IEP, IFSP, 504 Plan, or a letter on official letterhead from a professional in conjunction with the completed Verification of Special Needs form can be used to document a special need. As long as one of these documents accompanies the completed Verification of Special Needs Form, additional documents are not required to verify the special need. (See Section I of the Verification of Special Needs Form.)
Other - Confidentiality
Q: Am I allowed to share confidential information regarding a family's outstanding co-payment with another program?
A: Yes. Programs administering EEC financial assistance may share information about a family's payment history with another program in which the family will be enrolling (or plans to enroll) their children in order to facilitate the enrollment process. Please be advised that a family's EEC financial assistance must be terminated for non-payment of required co-payments. (See Section 7.1.)
Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care . Created: August 10, 2007; Last reviewed: February 20, 2008.