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(a) For purposes of calculating a family's program benefits under 4 AAC 65.321, the program rate for each category of care authorized for a child is stated in the department's program rate schedule. The rates in the schedule are set out by type of facility, category of care, and political subdivision or geographic area.
(b) The categories of care differentiate by age group of the child and by nature of the care, and by whether the care is provided on an enrollment basis or an attendance basis. The categories of care are
(1) preschool age child, school age child, infant, and toddler, as those terms are defined in the schedule for purposes of the schedule;
(2) type of facility;
(3) full-time and part-time monthly enrollment;
(4) full-time and part-time daily attendance; and
(5) type of licensure.
(c) The program rates in the schedule are based on the following:
(1) to ensure eligible families have equal access to child care services comparable to child care provided to families not eligible to participate in the program
(A) if the full range of providers is available in a community, a choice of the full range of providers is available to eligible families; in this subparagraph, "full range of providers" includes center, home, group home, and in-home child care; and
(B) contributions required of eligible families are based on a sliding fee scale;
(2) to ensure program rates are adequate, rates
(A) are established at least once every two years in the context of market conditions using information obtained by the department through a market rate survey of child care providers in the state;
(B) for a political subdivision or geographic area are a percentile of the rates of a representative sample up to the 75th percentile of the rates of a representative sample of child care providers in that political subdivision or geographic area or in a similar one; and
(C) for a political subdivision or geographic area may be adjusted by the department to
(i) expand capacity for child care;
(ii) address factors indicating a shortage of available care, such as care for infants, children with disabilities or special needs, or children of parents who work during non-traditional hours;
(iii) improve the quality of child care; and
(iv) address market imperfections, including situations in which the market rate is below the actual cost of care.
(d) A child with a developmental disability who is 13 years of age up to 19 years of age or a child with special needs who is under 13 years of age may qualify for supplemental program rates as determined by the department.
(e) If child care is provided in the child's own home, the maximum rate is based on the rate for a provider approved under 4 AAC 65.181(a) (3) that is shown on the department's schedule set under this section.
History: Eff. 6/28/90, Register 114; am 9/12/97, Register 143; am 3/8/2002, Register 161; am 9/11/2002, Register 163
Authority: AS 14.07.060
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Last modified 7/05/2006