BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES OF THE
STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 37.80.101 and 37.80.306 pertaining to child care policy manual revisions
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On August 1, 2012, at 11:00 a.m., the Department of Public Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing in Room 207 of the Department of Public Health and Human Services Building, 111 North Sanders, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules.
2. The Department of Public Health and Human Services will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Public Health and Human Services no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 25, 2012, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Kenneth Mordan, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; telephone (406) 444-4094; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:
37.80.101 PURPOSE AND GENERAL LIMITATIONS (1) through (12) remain the same.
(13) The Child Care Assistance Program will be administered in accordance with:
(a) remains the same.
(b) the Montana Child Care Manual in effect on
January 27, 2012 September 7, 2012. The Montana Child Care Manual, dated January 27, 2012 September 7, 2012, is adopted and incorporated by this reference. The manual contains the policies and procedures utilized in the implementation of the department's Child Care Assistance Program. A copy of the Montana Child Care Manual is available at each child care resource and referral agency; at the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Human and Community Services Division, 111 N. Jackson St., P.O. Box 202925, Helena, MT 59620-2925; and on the department's web site at www.childcare.mt.gov.
AUTH: 52-2-704, 53-4-212, MCA
IMP: 52-2-702, 52-2-704, 52-2-713, 52-2-731, 53-2-201, 53-4-211, 53-4-601, 53-4-611, 53-4-612, MCA
37.80.306 LEGALLY CERTIFIED PROVIDERS: CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES (1) remains the same.
(2) An application for certification or recertification will be denied under any of the following circumstances:
(a) through (c) remain the same.
(d) the applicant has currently been denied a child care provider registration or license or would be denied a registration or license if the applicant applied, or the applicant has been denied a child care provider registration or license in the past or has had a child care provider registration or license revoked for cause in the past
(e) the background check process has exceeded 90 days in duration; or
(f) the applicant has an open child protection services (CPS) case under investigation.
(3) The applicant and
any adult all adults who reside s in the applicant's home must provide authorization for criminal, FBI, state and national sexual/violent offender registry, and child protective services background checks for the period of time from the present date back to the date of the individual's 18th birthday.
(a) remains the same.
(4) In addition to completing all required application forms for certification under this chapter, applicants for certification to provide child care as legally certified providers, and all adults in their household, must truthfully attest in writing that he or she:
(a) through (c) remain the same.
(d) does not have a pending criminal charge for a crime that bears upon the applicant's fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of children;
(d) through (h) remain the same, but are renumbered (e) through (i).
(5) A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol more than three years prior to the application date does not constitute grounds for denial.
(5) and (6) remain the same, but are renumbered (6) and (7).
AUTH: 52-2-704, MCA
IMP: 52-2-704, 52-2-713, 52-2-721, 52-2-722, 52-2-723, 52-2-731, MCA
4. STATEMENT OF REASONABLE NECESSITY
The Department of Public Health and Human Services (the department) is proposing to amend ARM 37.80.101 and 37.80.306, pertaining to child care assistance.
ARM 37.80.101(13)(b) currently adopts and incorporates by reference the Montana Child Care Manual effective January 27, 2012. The department proposes to make revisions to this manual that will take effect on September 7, 2012. The proposed amendment to (13) is necessary to incorporate into the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) the revisions to the manual and to permit all interested parties to comment on the department's policies and to offer suggested changes. Manuals and draft manual material are available for review in each local Office of Public Assistance and on the department's web site at www.bestbeginnings.mt.gov.
The department is proposing to amend ARM 37.80.306(2) by adding two additional reasons for denying an application for certification or recertification as a legally certified provider (LCP). Certification or recertification will be denied if the background check process has exceeded 90 days in duration or the applicant has an open child protection services (CPS) case under investigation. The change to deny an application that exceeds 90 days is necessary because the occasional application that exceeds that window may cause other background check information to become outdated and require reprocessing because of the time delay. The change to deny an application when there is an open CPS investigation is necessary to allow time for that investigation to be completed before a decision is made on child care certification.
The department is proposing to amend ARM 37.80.306(4) by requiring attestation regarding criminal convictions for all adults in the household of the person applying to be certified as a legally certified provider (LCP). Adult household members living with LCPs will receive this scrutiny because there is no additional oversight by the department for this provider type. The department believes that such charges and convictions on the part of adults living in the provider's household should preclude these individuals from receiving state or federal funds for providing care to children. The department does not anticipate any adverse impact for parents and children; however, the department does see potential adverse impact for providers who may not qualify to provide legally certified care because of criminal records pertaining to other adults in the household.
ARM 37.80.306(4)(d) is being amended to include the requirement that an applicant not have a pending charge for a crime that bears upon the applicant's fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of children. The department believes that a criminal charge for a crime that bears upon the applicant's fitness to care for children should preclude these individuals from receiving state or federal funds for providing care to children until the criminal matter is resolved. The department does not anticipate any adverse impact for parents and children; however, the department does see potential adverse impact for providers who may not qualify to provide legally certified care.
ARM 37.80.306(5) is being added to remove from consideration convictions for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol that occurred more than three years prior to the application date. The applicant must disclose these convictions but is not automatically precluded from certification. Background checks currently go back to age 18 for all adults living in the legally certified provider's household. The department believes that DUIs within three years of the date of application have a greater potential for putting the health and safety of young children at risk. The department does not anticipate any adverse affect for parents and children; however, the department does see potential adverse impact for providers who may not qualify to provide legally certified care.
Child Care Manual Changes
The following is a brief overview of the Child Care Manual Section with changes related to the above rule citations.
Section 6-2 Serving the Family – Legally Certified Providers
This manual section is being revised to add language allowing the denial of applications where background check processing exceeds 90 days or there is an open CPS case under investigation for applicants. In both cases, once background checks are completed and the applicant is cleared, they may reapply.
The phrase "and all adults in their household" is added to the manual so that all criminal records that disqualify an LCP applicant also applies to all adults living in the household.
Additional language included in this manual provision allows the bureau to approve applicants who have DUI charges and adjudications that are older than three years of the application date.
The department does not anticipate any adverse effect or any fiscal impact associated with the proposed amendments to this rule and manual.
5. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Kenneth Mordan, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail email@example.com, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., August 9, 2012.
6. The Office of Legal Affairs, Department of Public Health and Human Services, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.
7. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 5 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.
8. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register. The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered. In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.
9. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.
/s/ Geralyn Driscoll /s/ Anna Whiting Sorrell
Rule Reviewer Anna Whiting Sorrell, Director
Public Health and Human Services
Certified to the Secretary of State July 2, 2012