Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We have made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Feedback button on the bottom right of each page!

e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 45Subtitle ASubchapter APart 98 → Subpart D


Title 45: Public Welfare
PART 98—CHILD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT FUND


Subpart D—Program Operations (Child Care Services)—Parental Rights and Responsibilities


Contents
§98.30   Parental choice.
§98.31   Parental access.
§98.32   Parental complaints.
§98.33   Consumer and provider education.
§98.34   Parental rights and responsibilities.

return arrow Back to Top

§98.30   Parental choice.

(a) The parent or parents of an eligible child who receives or is offered child care services shall be offered a choice:

(1) To enroll the child with an eligible child care provider that has a grant or contract for the provision of such services, if such services are available; or

(2) To receive a child care certificate as defined in §98.2. Such choice shall be offered any time that child care services are made available to a parent.

(b) When a parent elects to enroll the child with a provider that has a grant or contract for the provision of child care services, the child will be enrolled with the provider selected by the parent to the maximum extent practicable.

(c) In cases in which a parent elects to use a child care certificate, such certificate:

(1) Will be issued directly to the parent;

(2) Shall be of a value commensurate with the subsidy value of the child care services provided under paragraph (a)(1) of this section;

(3) May be used as a deposit for child care services if such a deposit is required of other children being cared for by the provider;

(4) May be used for child care services provided by a sectarian organization or agency, including those that engage in religious activities, if those services are chosen by the parent;

(5) May be expended by providers for any sectarian purpose or activity that is part of the child care services, including sectarian worship or instruction;

(6) Shall not be considered a grant or contract to a provider but shall be considered assistance to the parent.

(d) Child care certificates shall be made available to any parents offered child care services.

(e)(1) For child care services, certificates under paragraph (a)(2) of this section shall permit parents to choose from a variety of child care categories, including:

(i) Center-based child care;

(ii) Family child care; and

(iii) In-home child care, with limitations, if any, imposed by the Lead Agency and described in its Plan at §98.16(i)(2). Under each of the above categories, care by a sectarian provider may not be limited or excluded.

(2) Lead Agencies shall provide information regarding the range of provider options under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, including care by sectarian providers and relatives, to families offered child care services.

(f) With respect to State and local regulatory requirements under §98.40, health and safety requirements under §98.41, and payment rates under §98.45, CCDF funds will not be available to a Lead Agency if State or local rules, procedures or other requirements promulgated for purposes of the CCDF significantly restrict parental choice by:

(1) Expressly or effectively excluding:

(i) Any category of care or type of provider, as defined in §98.2; or

(ii) Any type of provider within a category of care; or

(2) Having the effect of limiting parental access to or choice from among such categories of care or types of providers, as defined in §98.2, with the exception of in-home care; or

(3) Excluding a significant number of providers in any category of care or of any type as defined in §98.2.

(g) As long as provisions at paragraph (f) of this section are met, parental choice provisions shall not be construed as prohibiting a Lead Agency from establishing policies that require providers of child care services for which assistance is provided under this part to meet higher standards of quality, such as those identified in a quality rating and improvement system or other transparent system of quality indicators.

(h) Parental choice provisions shall not be construed as prohibiting a Lead Agency from providing parents with information and incentives that encourage the selection of high-quality child care.

[63 FR 39981, July 24, 1998, as amended at 81 FR 67580, Sept. 30, 2016]

return arrow Back to Top

§98.31   Parental access.

The Lead Agency shall have in effect procedures to ensure that providers of child care services for which assistance is provided afford parents unlimited access to their children, and to the providers caring for their children, during normal hours of provider operation and whenever the children are in the care of the provider. The Lead Agency shall provide a detailed description in the Plan of such procedures.

[81 FR 67581, Sept. 30, 2016]

return arrow Back to Top

§98.32   Parental complaints.

The State shall:

(a) Establish or designate a hotline or similar reporting process for parents to submit complaints about child care providers;

(b) Maintain a record of substantiated parent complains;

(c) Make information regarding such parental complaints available to the public on request; and

(d) The Lead Agency shall provide a detailed description in the Plan of how:

(1) Complaints are substantiated and responded to, including whether or not the State uses monitoring as part of its process for responding to complaints for both CCDF and non-CCDF providers; and,

(2) A record of substantiated complaints is maintained and is made available.

[81 FR 67581, Sept. 30, 2016]

return arrow Back to Top

§98.33   Consumer and provider education.

The Lead Agency shall:

(a) Certify that it will collect and disseminate consumer education information to parents of eligible children, the general public, and providers through a consumer-friendly and easily accessible Web site that ensures the widest possible access to services for families who speak languages other than English and persons with disabilities, including:

(1) Lead Agency processes, including:

(i) The process for licensing child care providers pursuant to §98.40;

(ii) The process for conducting monitoring and inspections of child care providers pursuant to §98.42;

(iii) Policies and procedures related to criminal background checks for child care providers pursuant to §98.43; and

(iv) The offenses that prevent individuals from serving as child care providers.

(2) A localized list of all licensed child care providers, and, at the discretion of the Lead Agency, all eligible child care providers (other than an individual who is related to all children for whom child care services are provided), differentiating between licensed and license-exempt providers, searchable by zip code;

(3) The quality of a provider as determined by the Lead Agency through a quality rating and improvement system or other transparent system of quality indicators, if such information is available for the provider;

(4) Results of monitoring and inspection reports for all eligible and licensed child care providers (other than an individual who is related to all children for whom child care services are provided), including those required at §98.42 and those due to major substantiated complaints about failure to comply with provisions at §98.41 and Lead Agency child care policies. Lead Agencies shall post in a timely manner full monitoring and inspection reports, either in plain language or with a plain language summary, for parents and child care providers to understand, and shall establish a process for correcting inaccuracies in the reports. Such results shall include:

(i) Information on the date of such inspection;

(ii) Information on corrective action taken by the State and child care provider, where applicable;

(iii) Any health and safety violations, including any fatalities and serious injuries occurring at the provider, prominently displayed on the report or summary; and

(iv) A minimum of 3 years of results where available.

(5) Aggregate number of deaths and serious injuries (for each provider category and licensing status) and instances of substantiated child abuse that occurred in child care settings each year, for eligible providers.

(6) Referrals to local child care resource and referral organizations.

(7) Directions on how parents can contact the Lead Agency or its designee and other programs to help them understand information included on the Web site.

(b) Certify that it will collect and disseminate, through resource and referral organizations or other means as determined by the State, including, but not limited to, through the Web site described in paragraph (a) of this section, to parents of eligible children and the general public, and where applicable providers, information about:

(1) The availability of the full diversity of child care services to promote informed parental choice, including information about:

(i) The availability of child care services under this part and other programs for which families may be eligible, as well as the availability of financial assistance to obtain child care services;

(ii) Other programs for which families that receive assistance under this part may be eligible, including:

(A) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

(B) Head Start and Early Head Start (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.);

(C) Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) (42 U.S.C. 8621 et seq.);

(D) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.);

(E) Special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (42 U.S.C. 1786);

(F) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) (42 U.S.C. 1766);

(G) Medicaid and the State children's health insurance programs (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq., 1397aa et seq.);

(iii) Programs carried out under section 619 and part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. 1419, 1431 et seq.);

(iv) Research and best practices concerning children's development, meaningful parent and family engagement, and physical health and development, particularly healthy eating and physical activity; and

(v) State policies regarding social emotional behavioral health of children which may include positive behavioral health intervention and support models for birth to school-age or age-appropriate, and policies to prevent suspension and expulsion of children birth to age five in child care and other early childhood programs, as described in the Plan pursuant to §98.16(ee), receiving assistance under this part.

(c) Provide information on developmental screenings to parents as part of the intake process for families receiving assistance under this part, and to providers through training and education, including:

(1) Information on existing resources and services the State can make available in conducting developmental screenings and providing referrals to services when appropriate for children who receive assistance under this part, including the coordinated use of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment program (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.) and developmental screening services available under section 619 and part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1419, 1431 et seq.); and

(2) A description of how a family or eligible child care provider may utilize the resources and services described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section to obtain developmental screenings for children who receive assistance under this part who may be at risk for cognitive or other developmental delays, which may include social, emotional, physical, or linguistic delays.

(d) For families that receive assistance under this part, provide specific information about the child care provider selected by the parent, including health and safety requirements met by the provider pursuant to §98.41, any licensing or regulatory requirements met by the provider, date the provider was last inspected, any history of violations of these requirements, and any voluntary quality standards met by the provider. Information must also describe how CCDF subsidies are designed to promote equal access in accordance with §98.45, how to submit a complaint through the hotline at §98.32(a), and how to contact local resource and referral agencies or other community-based supports that assist parents in finding and enrolling in quality child care.

(e) Provide linkages to databases related to paragraph (a) to HHS for implementing a national Web site and other uses as determined by the Secretary.

(f) Inform parents who receive TANF benefits about the requirement at section 407(e)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 607(e)(2)) that the TANF agency make an exception to the individual penalties associated with the work requirement for any single custodial parent who has a demonstrated inability to obtain needed child care for a child under six years of age. The information may be provided directly by the Lead Agency, or, pursuant to §98.11, other entities, and shall include:

(1) The procedures the TANF agency uses to determine if the parent has a demonstrated inability to obtain needed child care;

(2) The criteria or definitions applied by the TANF agency to determine whether the parent has a demonstrated inability to obtain needed child care, including:

(i) “Appropriate child care”;

(ii) “Reasonable distance”;

(iii) “Unsuitability of informal child care”;

(iv) “Affordable child care arrangements”;

(3) The clarification that assistance received during the time an eligible parent receives the exception referred to in paragraph (f) of this section will count toward the time limit on Federal benefits required at section 408(a)(7) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 608(a)(7)).

(g) Include in the triennial Plan the definitions or criteria the TANF agency uses in implementing the exception to the work requirement specified in paragraph (f) of this section.

[81 FR 67581, Sept. 30, 2016]

return arrow Back to Top

§98.34   Parental rights and responsibilities.

Nothing under this part shall be construed or applied in any manner to infringe on or usurp the moral and legal rights and responsibilities of parents or legal guardians.

return arrow Back to Top

Need assistance?