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RULE §700.1013Who is eligible for child-care services?

(a) In this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

  (1) "Child care services" has the same meaning as "day care."

  (2) "Day care" means the assessment, care, training, education, custody, treatment, or supervision of a child in DFPS conservatorship by a person other than the child's caregiver for less than 24 hours a day, but at least two hours a day, three or more days a week.

  (3) Emergency placement that is in the child's best interest" means that despite the exercise of reasonable diligence, compliance with the Department's verification process regarding the availability of community day care resources would interfere with a placement that is in the child's best interest.

(b) To the extent funds are available, and in accordance with any priority system established under subsection (e) of this section, DFPS may provide child care services to a caregiver who meets the requirements in §700.1003 of this title (relating to What are the eligibility requirements for caregiver assistance?) if:

  (1) all appropriate caregivers work outside the home 40 hours per week or more;

  (2) the caregiver is a resident of Texas;

  (3) the child is in DFPS' managing conservatorship;

  (4) the child is 13 years old or younger, or is younger than 18 years old if the child has a developmental delay or a physical disability;

  (5) the child is not receiving adoption assistance; and

  (6) the caregiver verifies in writing that the caregiver has attempted to find appropriate day care services for the child through community services, including:

    (A) Head Start programs;

    (B) Prekindergarten classes;

    (C) Early education programs offered in public schools; and

    (D) Any other available and appropriate resources in the caregiver's community.

(c) Day care for caregivers is authorized for the purpose of providing daily supervision:

  (1) during the caregivers' work hours; or

  (2) while the caregivers are attending judicial reviews, case conferences, or kinship caregiver training.

(d) To the extent funds are available, day care may also be authorized for the following:

  (1) full-time day care during spring break and summer vacation for children who attend school full-time; and

  (2) after-school day care.

(e) To monitor the spending of funds, a priority system among caregivers will also be established in policy. The priority system will be based upon need, but at a minimum will require:

  (1) a determination by DFPS that the provision of day care is critical to maintaining the placement of the child with the caregiver; and

  (2) at least one child placed by DFPS is:

    (A) under six years of age or over six years of age but in day care during a scheduled break in the public school system; or

    (B) at least one child placed by DFPS has a developmental delay (including physical, emotional, and cognitive or language) or physical disability.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if DFPS determines that requiring the written verification of a caregiver's attempts to find appropriate community day care services would prevent an emergency placement in the child's best interest, DFPS may waive the submission of the written verification of the caregiver's attempts. DFPS is authorized to require the submission of the written verification at any point following the initial authorization of day care services.

(g) The Associate Commissioner for Child Protective Services, the Associate Commissioner for Child Protective Investigations, or the Associate Commissioners' designees, may grant a good cause waiver of any of the requirements in subsection (b) of this section if that person determines that:

  (1) the placement cannot be sustained or is unlikely to be sustained if the caregivers cannot receive day care;

  (2) there is no reasonable alternative to the provision of day care, such as a change in working hours; and

  (3) day care services are only authorized in increments that are commensurate with the hours and days the relative caregiver must be outside the home for employment.

(h) DFPS pays for day care only in licensed child care centers and registered child care homes that are contracted through the local child care management service agency, unless care is self-arranged and DFPS gives prior approval to pay day care in the arrangement.

Source Note: The provisions of this §700.1013 adopted to be effective December 1, 2005, 30 TexReg 7486; amended to be effective March 1, 2014, 39 TexReg 1174; amended to be effective January 19, 2017, 42 TexReg 84; amended to be effective February 2, 2021, 46 TexReg 839

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