We met with DECAL Commissioner Amy Jacobs and her senior leadership team today to discuss a host of issues impacting providers. We are very thankful for this ongoing partnership that allows us to bring forward ideas, solutions and concerns.
Some big news from our meeting:
CAPS PROGRAM STATUS: DECAL will be informing providers that moving forward their goal is to serve approximately 50, 000 children. There are currently 52,000 children in the system. The priority categories will remain for new families, but existing families in the system will not be dropped due to not being in one of these categories. Down the road, if more money becomes available, DECAL will explore expanding the very low income threshold for new families.
The current market rate that has been in use will be maintained ( 2006), the new tiered reimbursement rates will stay in effect AND new will be that families that seek care in a Quality Rated Center will get a 15% reduction of their family fee. This fee will be covered by DECAL in their payment to providers. There is no implementation date yet on these new changes so stay tuned. If you or a family are experiencing problems with recertification or getting a child who is qualifies for new services based upon the priority groups, please email DECAL at firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Program :GCCA has asked DECAL to seek a federal waiver to allow for-profit programs to participate in the summer food program. DECAL was very receptive, and we will need to help create an analysis to support this request. Please look for an upcoming survey to help assist in our fact gathering.
Regulatory: Fingerprint Background Check Update: DECAL received the implementation waiver until Oct, 2018. They will be requesting that all out of state employees obtain their comprehensive check including out of state checks beginning July 1, 2017. They have listen to provider concerns and have changed the letters for out of state checks to include specific contact people for each state as well as created a database on DECAL’s website by state on who to contact and what the next steps are! This is very helpful!
Provisional Employee Status is still valid until Oct. 2018. A Provisional Employee may work with children with a satisfactory state GCIC check and have 21 days to submit the national check. This important status WILL GO AWAY by 10/1/2018 if the Federal government does not amend this part of the regulation. GCCA is ACTIVELY setting up meeting with the Congressional Delegation in GA and bringing providers to meet with Congressmen to ASK to maintain our Provisional Employees!! This is very important work that will impact all centers. Please be on the watch for upcoming alerts to help our grassroots efforts .