FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2020
Lincoln – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will hold a public hearing on Friday, April 10, to receive additional comments on proposed changes to Title 392 of the Nebraska Administrative Code (NAC) – Child Care Subsidy Program.
The proposed changes will streamline the regulations by removing direction to staff and duplicative statutory language from the regulations and condensing six chapters of regulations down to five chapters.
The proposed changes will implement the federally required changes under the 2014 Reauthorization to the Child Care and Development Block Grant; update definitions; extend eligibility for three months of job search; allow for homelessness to be a need for service; allow for continued eligibility through the remainder of the certification period the family's income does not exceed 85% state median income; no longer allow for sliding fee adjustments to a higher amount during the certification period; require providers to pass background checks and complete trainings prior to receiving subsidy payments; require providers to be age 19 or older; require providers to complete pre-service orientation; and allow providers to bill up to five absence days per month.
Additional proposed changes include: child care for job search activities cannot be authorized at initial application; adding language back in for unborn children being included in the unit size; updating the definition of an infant to be six weeks to 18 months; allowing payment by enrollment Foster Children/Adoption or Guardianship Subsidy; and minor spelling corrections.
Authority for these regulations is found in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-3117(7).
The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. CDT, Friday, April 10, at the Nebraska State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, Nebraska, Lower Level Conference Room A.
In accordance with new guidelines influencing the size of gatherings, the public hearing will be limited to eight (8) in-person attendees. The guidelines were issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
In order to encourage participation in this public hearing, a phone conference line will be available so that any member of the public may call in and provide oral comments. Those interested in doing so may call (888) 820-1398. The participant code is 3213662#.
Interested persons are also invited to submit written comments. Written comments must be postmarked or received by 5 p.m., CDT, the day of the hearing, and should be emailed to DHHS.Regulations@nebraska.gov, faxed to (402) 742-2382, or sent to DHHS Legal Services, 301 Centennial Mall South, P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, NE 68509-5026. Any written comments will be part of the record and will be considered.
The draft regulations can be found at www.sos.ne.gov.