Commonly Used Acronyms
|CDC||Child Day Care Contracts|
|C4K||Care 4 Kids|
|DCCC||Day Care Childcare Center|
|DCFH||Day Care Family Home|
|DCGH||Day Care Group Home|
|OEC||Office of Early Childhood|
|RFA||Request for Application|
|RFP||Request for Proposal|
|SFY||State Fiscal Year|
|SMI||State Median Income|
|SVI||Social Vulnerability Index|
Who is funding this RFA?
Child Day Care (CDC) Contracts Infant and Toddler Expansion funding is part of P.A. 22-80 (S.B. 1). Funds are intended to provide Connecticut families with increased access to high-quality, affordable infant and toddler care through the creation of NEW full-day/full-year infant and toddler state-funded spaces.
An application approved for infant/toddler expansion spaces will result in a direct contract between the child care center or intermediary organization with the OEC.
What is the OEC’s role?
The OEC division of Early Care and Education has dedicated staff, Program Managers, who directly oversee state-funded programs, such as Child Day Care Contracts, School Readiness, and Smart Start.
The CDC Program Managers are available to CDC Contractors and Subcontractors to provide:
- Resources and guidance to programs in onboarding of this contract
- Technical assistance on the requirements of the contract and OEC general policies
- TA sessions are being developed to address specific areas of compliance (I.e. reporting requirements, family eligibility and fees, etc.)
- On-going program quality technical assistance
If approved for funding, the contracted spaces are only guaranteed July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, what happens after that?
The OEC will release another RFP or RFA to apply for these state-funded spaces to contract for the next two state fiscal years (SFY25-26). That will bring these ‘new’ spaces in alignment with other pre-existing state-funded initiatives (I.e., School Readiness Grant, Child Day Care Contract).
Does the term ‘spaces’ relate to each individual child enrolled or a full classroom?
For Child Day Care Contracts, a space refers to each individual child that is enrolled.
Who is eligible to apply?
- All licensed child care centers (DCCC), group child care homes (DCGH) located in Connecticut with an endorsement to serve children under 3.
- All licensed family child care (DCFH) homes located in Connecticut may apply through an intermediary organization.
- If a provider is in the process of obtaining a license they may apply if the anticipated licensing date approval is no later than July 1, 2023.
Who should complete the application?
Providers with, or in the process of obtaining, a DCCC or DCGH license from the OEC can apply in two different ways:
- One their own: Programs may apply on their own. If approved for funding, the OEC will have a direct contract with the provider for awarded infant/toddler expansion spaces.
- Through an Intermediary Organization: Program may choose to apply through an intermediary organization. An intermediary organization would submit the application on behalf of one or multiple sites. If approved for funding, the OEC will contract with the intermediary organization – now the contractor – for awarded infant/toddler expansion spaces. This intermediary/contractor would then subcontract out the spaces to the programs as designated in their contract.
Providers with, or in the process of obtaining, a DCFH license from the OEC cannot apply on their own. They must apply through an intermediary organization.
How does a Family Child Care provider apply for this funding?
Family Child care providers must apply through an intermediary organization. The intermediary must complete the application and can include multiple family child care providers in one application. If approved for funding, the OEC will have a direct contract with the intermediary organization – now the contractor – for awarded infant/toddler expansion spaces. This intermediary/contractor would then subcontract out the spaces to the family child care providers as designated in their contract.
Our Child Care Center has multiple sites. Do we need to submit an application for each individual site?
No, the application should be completed at the program/organizational level. There are opportunities within the application to enter the information for up to ten (10) sites with space to request a specific number of spaces for each individual site.
My program is already state-funded and received infant/toddler expansion spaces during phase 1 [or phase 2], do I need to complete this application too?
A provider should only complete this application if they are applying for infant/toddler expansion spaces during this phase. State-funded programs that were awarded spaces during phase 1 or phase 2 may apply for additional spaces.
What do you mean by “NEW” spaces?
For Child Care Centers and Child Care Group Homes: “New” means spaces for infants and/or toddlers that were open and available to families after and not before June 30, 2022.
- A program closed March 2020 due to the pandemic. When the program reopened in September 2020, not all classrooms were reopened and/or available for families to enroll. If a program plans to use this expansion funding to reopen these classrooms to enroll children, these will count as “NEW” spaces.
- A program is currently licensed to serve 4 children under the age of three. If the program is to increase the under three license endorsement to 8 children, these 4 new spaces would count as “NEW”.
For Family Child Care: “NEW” means a space that has been unutilized for at least eight (8) months by an infant and/or toddler.
- A licensed family child care provider has an infant/toddler space that has not had a child enrolled in that space for at least 8 months. If this provider plans to use expansion funding to enroll a child in this open space, this will count as “NEW”.
In the RFA it says there is a “maximum number of spaces per license: 24” then the following line says, “Maximum number of spaces per application: No maximum”, what does this mean?
For child care centers and group child care homes, applicants may request no more than 24 Infant/Toddler Expansion spaces per site/OEC license. However, an applicant could be a larger provider that has multiple sites. In that case, they may request up to 24 spaces per site without a limit to the number of sites included in the application.
What is an Intermediary Organization?
Examples of an intermediary organization include, but are not limited to:
- Local towns/cities
- Family child care provider union;
- Board of Education;
- Faith-based (religious) organizations;
- Staffed Family Child Care Networks; and
- Child Care organizations/networks.
How does an intermediary organization work?
The intermediary organization will serve as the primary contractor with the OEC. They will then subcontract funding to a minimum of one (1) child care center, child care group home or a minimum of 5 individual family child care homes.
What are the responsibilities of the intermediary organization/contractor?
All OEC contractors are required to monitor their subcontractors, in this case providers, as defined by the contract. Currently, the OEC has General Policy D-02 that provides more detailed information on the responsibilities of the contractor when a contractor/subcontractor relationship exists with a CDC contract.
Can intermediary organizations receive administrative funds for serving as the CDC Contractor with the OEC?
An intermediary organization/CDC Contractor will only receive administrative funds, in the amount of 10% of their total service award, for spaces to be subcontracted to family child care homes.
Who connects a provider with an intermediary organization?
It is the responsibility of the provider to find an intermediary organization to partner with. Organizations interested in being an intermediary may also reach out to providers in their area. Family child care providers may reach out to their Staffed Family Child Care Network (SFCCN) for support. To find the network that services your region, please visit the SFCCN Hub Webpage.
We realize the funding starts July 1, 2023. Would it be possible to open these spaces to families after July 1, 2023, and be approved for funding?
Priority will be given to providers who have a start date to enroll children in these new infant/toddler OEC-funded spaces by July 1, 2023. Consideration will be given to providers who can start at a later date as funding allows.
Please clarify the following question from the RFA: Was this program site licensed on or after 3/1/2021. Y/N
- Answer “Yes” if your program was issued its first license March 1, 2021, or any date after that.
- Answer “No” if your program was issued its first license before March 1, 2021.
All license information can be found via the CT’s eLicense Lookup Tool.
What is the process for approving applications?
Complete applications, submitted by the deadline, will be approved for funding based on a tiered system. More information on the tiers and sub-tiers can be found here. A list of towns with their desertification score and SVI can be found here.
- Tier 1: Providers who have or will be licensed by OEC and have current NAEYC/NAFCC Accreditation/Early Head Start Approval and the program is in a town designated as a high child care desert and high social vulnerability index (SVI).
- Tier 2: Providers who have or will be licensed by OEC and not currently Accredited or EHS approved but agree to obtain within 3 years and the program is in a town designated as a high child care desert and high social vulnerability index.
- Tier 3: Providers who have or will be licensed by OEC and have current NAEYC/NAFCC Accreditation/Early Head Start Approval or in process as of 1/1/23 and the program is in a town designated as a medium child care desert and high social vulnerability index.
- Tier 4: Providers who have or will be licensed by OEC and not currently Accredited or EHS approved but agree to obtain within 3 years and the program is in a town designated as a medium child care desert and high social vulnerability index.
How do we determine the enhancement funding amount we can request?
Enhancement funding will be determined based on the number of requests and available funding.
What can enhancement funding be used for?
Enhancement funds are intended to support the infant/toddler expansions paces. This funding may be used for things including but not limited to:
- Classroom renovations;
- Classroom fixtures;
- Classroom materials/supplies/equipment;
- Teacher sign-on bonuses; and
- Teacher training/on-boarding requirements.
Providers who request and are approved for enhancement funding must submit a budget to OEC for approval for funding to be released. Budget templates will be provided by OEC.
When will enhancement funds be distributed?
Enhancement funds will be distributed no later than June 30, 2023.
How will enhancement funds be distributed?
Enhancement funds will be awarded to programs outside of the CDC contract through a process to be determined by the OEC.
State-Funded Compliance Requirements
If approved for this funding what compliance requirements will my program need to follow?
An approved application will result in a direct contract with the OEC. All contractors, and any approved subcontractors, will be required to meet all contractual requirements and OEC General Policies, specific to Child Day Care Contracts.
Some of these requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Licensed by OEC
- Meet all required Quality Assurance Requirements
- Hold current NAEYC/NAFCC Accreditation or Head Start Approval
- Achieve NAEYC/NAFCC Accreditation or Head Start Approval within three (3) years of the date when children funded through CDC begin attending the program.
- Engage in Alternative Interim Quality Assurance Processes while working towards Accreditation/Head Start Approval that includes having an early childhood environment rating scale conducted by an OEC approved rater, at the program’s expense.
- Meet Qualified Staff Member requirements by established deadlines
- Plan of Study on file for staff who do not yet meet requirements to be designated as a QSM but working towards it
- Reporting Requirements
- Maintain current and accurate account in the OEC Early Childhood Professional Registry
- Enter child enrollment data and submit monthly reports in the OEC’s ECE Reporter System
In the RFA, it says the reimbursement rate for full-day, full-year infant/toddler spaces is $13,500.00 per child annually. How does this work?
If a provider is a OEC CDC approved contractor or subcontractor, then a provider may collect the following reimbursements for the cost of providing care:
- OEC CDC Reimbursement = $1,125/month, CDC Contracts pay based on utilization. If the space is utilized by a child for at least one day of the reporting period, the program will be paid.
- Care4Kids = If a child enrolled in a CDC funded space, existing or part of the I/T expansion funding, has or is awarded an active C4K certificate, the provider may collect the provider reimbursement as designated/per the terms of the certificate. OEC General Policy B-02 has more information on this allowance (pg. 8 & 9).
- Family Fee = The OEC has two general policies that address the family contribution for a state-funded space. OEC General Policy B-01 contains the sliding scale, that determines family fee according to State Median Income (SMI) levels and space type the child is enrolling in. SMI takes into account gross annual income and the size of family. OEC General Policy B-02 further explains what qualifies as income and how to determine family size.
- To assist providers in determining the weekly family fee, the OEC has developed a ‘Family Fee Calculator’ as a tool that may assist providers in determining weekly family contributions.
OEC CDC Reimbursement + C4K Reimbursement* + C4K Family Fee or if no C4K, OEC sliding fee scale family fee = Total amount earned by provider per utilized space
*C4K Reimbursement only applies to families with an active C4K certificate
If the reimbursement from the CDC contract and family fee does not cover my cost of care, am I [provider] allowed to charge the difference?
No, providers may only charge the family the weekly fee based on either the OEC published Family Fee Sliding Scale or the family fee as determined by the Care4Kids Certificate.
Who is responsible for enrolling families? Do families apply for these spaces on their own (like Care4Kids)?
The provider is responsible for enrolling families, determining eligibility and family fees. More specific policies and procedures will be in the CDC Contract and OEC General Policies.