Bill Summary for S 288 (2023-2024)
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AN ACT TO INCREASE CHILD CARE SUBSIDY RATES TO THOSE IN THE 2021 MARKET RATE STUDY, WITH AUTOMATIC INCREASES UPON COMPLETION OF SUBSEQUENT NEW STUDIES, TO IMPLEMENT TEMPORARY MARKET RATE INCREASES, AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR THOSE PURPOSES.Intro. by Burgin, Chaudhuri, Corbin.
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Requires the Department of Health and Human Services (Department), Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCEE) to increase the child care subsidy market rates to the seventy-fifth percentile as recommended by the 2021 Child Care Market Rate Study for children in three-, four-, and five-star-rated child care centers and homes beginning October 1, 2023. Requires DCEE to automatically increase the child care subsidy rates to the seventy-fifth percentile of those recommended rates beginning July 1 of the next fiscal year when new rates are recommended in subsequent market rate studies. Appropriates from the General Fund to DCEE, $24 million in recurring funds for the 2024-25 fiscal year to implement the market rate increases. Amends Section 9L.2(b)(1)a of SL 2021-180, as amended (pertaining to the appropriation of certain funds to the DCEE for child care subsidies), to provide for the child care subsidy rate increase to meet the rates recommended in the 2021 Child Care Market Rate Study through the end of the 2023-24 fiscal year or until funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first (was, to meet the rates of the 2018 Child Care Market Rate Study until the funds expire on September 30, 2024).
Beginning October 1, 2023, sets provisions of payment rates for childcare providers in counties that have a county rate below the State rate for center-based and home-based care as follows: (1) as a general rule, payment rates are set at the seventy-fifth percentile of the statewide market rate as recommended by the 2021 Child Care Market Rate Study for children birth through 5 years of age for licensed child care centers and homes; and, (2) if it can be demonstrated that the application of the statewide rate to a county with fewer than 50 children in each age group is lower than the county market rate and would inhibit the ability of the county to purchase child care for low-income children, then the county market rate can be applied. Appropriates from the General Fund to DCEE $14 million in recurring funds for the 2023-24 fiscal year and $85 million in recurring funds for the 2024-25 fiscal year to implement the temporary market rate increases set forth above.
Specifies the intent of the NCGA to use a portion of the anticipated increase in funds to the Child Care and Development Fund Block Grant to supplement funding for the child care market rate increases described above.
Effective July 1, 2023.