The state’s Child Development and Care (CDC) Program, which provides payment assistance for child care to qualified families, has come under a lot of fire recently – especially after a Detroit Free Press report revealed recurring problems that have left providers unpaid and parents unexpectedly and sometimes erroneously without funds they had been promised for child care.
Problems identified by the report include:
- Communication delays. Parents and care providers receive notice weeks after a determination, including a termination of benefits, and notifications are always made via mail. Often, by the time parents and providers are made aware that child care stipends have been canceled, the parents have a large bill they can’t afford to pay.
- Wrongful termination. Back payments to reimburse parents or providers for missed payments due to wrongful termination of benefits are not provided, even after clear mistakes are identified.
- Government inefficiency. Errors and delays are likely partially caused by the fact that the CDC program is administered by the Office of Great Start in the Department of Education, but the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) determines a family’s eligibility.
To combat the issue, I recently co-sponsored House Bill 4615. Our plan consolidates the entire program within DHHS and places higher expectations on program administrators.
If the department discontinues a family’s subsidies in error, House Bill 4615 requires reimbursement for care provided during that period. The reimbursement would be paid within 15 days to parents, if they paid out of pocket, or to providers if they provided care for which they were not paid.
Our plan would also require future notice of eligibility changes to be sent in a timely manner, electronically and through the postal service.
The legislation has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.
Michigan has some of the best fishing anywhere. That’s why we celebrate annually with Free Fishing Weekend, which is coming up on June 10 and 11. During those two days, you can fish without a license, and you won’t need a Recreation Passport to ride ORV trails or visit state parks and boating access sites.
If you’re an angler, this is a great opportunity to introduce a friend or family member to fishing. If you’ve never experienced fishing, it’s a great time to try your hand at fishing on one of our local waterways.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by calling (517) 373-3906 or emailing RobertBezotte@house.mi.gov. I am always happy to hear from people in our community.
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