THE HOW & WHAT
Interpreting regulations & putting them into practice can be challenging. Below are strategies to ensure this component is met:
NOA, Application for Services
Communicates approval or denial of services. Issued within 30 days from when a parent signs the EESD 9600 Application for Services. NOA must include:
Applicant's name & address
Contractor's name &address
Name & telephone number of the authorized representative who made the decision
Date of the NOA
Method of distribution
If approved, basis of eligibility
If denied, basis of denial
If applicable the monthly family fee
Names of children approved to receive services along with the days/hours of approved care
Notice of Action, Recipient of Services
Communicates when changes are made to the service agreement during the 12 month certification period, such as a decrease in family fees, increase in days/hours, or termination of service. NOA must include:
Type of action being taken
Effective date of the action
Name & address of the recipient
Name & address of the contractor
Name & telephone number of the authorized representative who is taking the action
Date the NOA is mailed or given to the recipient
Method of distribution to the recipient
Description of the action
Statement of the reason(s) for the changes
If applicable a statement of the reason for termination
There is sometimes confusion on what effective dates should be used on the NOA’s. To ensure equality across all families, it’s crucial that an agency provides clear, systematic direction for staff as it pertains to effective dates on NOA’s.
If a parent requests a change, the “Effective Date” is based on the date the parents written request & support documentation is received or the start date the change is effective. For decreases in family fees, the effective date is the 1st of the following month. The “Appeal Date” is 14 days if delivered or 19 days if mailed.
If an Agency initiates the change, which will result in a negative impact, then both the “Effective Date” & “Appeal Date” will be 14 days if delivered or 19 days if mailed.
The contractor must maintain copies of the NOA in the basic data file.
The file must have copies of both the front & back of every NOA issued to a parent.
For changes, written request & supporting documents should be attached to the NOA notice so that the family file clearly tells the family’s story.
Right to Appeal Action
NOA must specify that the parent has a right to appeal the action if they disagree with it & the instructions for appealing. If the parent disagrees with an action, the parent may file a request for a hearing with the contractor within 14 calendar days of the date the NOA.
Upon filing a request, the intended action must be suspended until the review process is complete. This means that child care services continue based on the last service agreement until the review process is completed
Level 1 Appeal Hearing/Due Process
Within 10 calendar days following the receipt of the request for a hearing, the contractor must notify the parent of the time & place of the hearing.
Hearing Officer must be at least a level higher than the agency representative that processed the NOA & be a neutral person.
Hearing Officer must make a decision based on the information provided at the hearing & issue a decision letter within 10 calendar days of the hearing.
Level 2 Appeal Hearing/Due Process
If parent disagrees with the agency's decision they have the right to appeal to the California Department of Education.
Parent must specify the reason why he/she believes the decision was incorrect, along with including a copy of the NOA & contractor written decision letter.
EESD may request copies of the basic data file & other relevant materials from the contractor. They may also conduct any investigations, interviews or mediation.
EESD will mail or deliver the decision to the parent & contractor within 30 calendar days.
THE BOTTOM LINE
During a monitoring review the following will be assessed for compliance:
Agency Notice of Action
Parent Appeal Procedures
Recently Completed Notice of Action and Parent Appeal
Written Materials for Parents
Education Code: 8261, 8263
Title 5: 18081(d), 18083, 18094, 18095