Supportive Child Care Subsidy Policy Statement
Fees are assessed unless the DSS social worker, with his/her supervisor (and in collaboration with the area child care coordinator when requested), exempts the family. The decision whether to exempt parents from fees for Supportive Child Care includes an assessment of the family's strengths and weaknesses within the context of the overall treatment goals for the family, risk factors, the state of family organization, and the family's current financial obligations.
The decision to exempt parents from fees should be considered by the DSS social worker with his/her supervisor (in collaboration with the area child care coordinator when requested) at the initial point of child care authorization and re-considered quarterly. 1 Supportive Child Care is a transitional service that ends within one year. In order to prepare families to transition into Income Eligible Child Care where failure to pay required fees is grounds for termination, a social worker may decide, based upon the family's progress and the proposed date of termination from Supportive Child Care, that it is appropriate to assess fees for a family previously exempt. This interval can provide an opportunity for all parties to work together to prepare the family to handle fee payment responsibilities. Regardless of whether fees are assessed, the provider is expected to educate the parent about fee payment responsibilities in preparation for transition into the EEC Income Eligible Child Care program.
The DSS social worker, in collaboration with his/her supervisor, will determine if parent fees are appropriate and will note the determination on the DSS Authorization for Supportive Child Care form. If the social worker determines that fees should be assessed, the Supportive Child Care provider will gather documentation of financial information from the parent in accordance with EEC Income Eligible Policies (P-EEC-Income Eligible - 01: Eligibility: Income and P-EEC- Income Eligible -05: Documentation). The Supportive Child Care provider will determine the amount of the fee based on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sliding fee scale.
If parents fail to provide the required financial documentation or fail to pay assessed fees in a timely manner, the Supportive Child Care provider must clearly document the parents' failure to comply and the reasons why. Failure to provide supporting documentation or pay fees on a timely basis will be reported to the DSS social worker for follow up with the parent, preferably in a conference that includes the parent, provider and DSS. Providers will not terminate care for lack of supporting documentation, non-payment or late payment of fees, unless directed to do so by DSS.
1 Families of one (children living with foster parents or permanent or temporary guardians or caretakers) and TAFDC recipients do not pay fees. Teen parents in Income Eligible Child Care and participants in EEC Teen Parent Child Care programs are assessed fees only on a case by case basis if the provider determines that it is clinically appropriate and the fee assessment is approved in writing by the EEC Policy & Training Advisor.
Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care. Created: October 25, 2002; Last reviewed: October 25, 2002.