Administrative Actions – Penalties for noncompliance with licensing requirements, including written reprimand, written warnings, suspension, summary suspension or revocation of license imposed by Regulatory Services Section of the Division of Child Development.
Adult and Family Services Section – Section of the Division of Social Services which provides oversight of social services programs provided by the 100 county departments of social services to older and disabled adults and their families across the state.
Agency Error - An agency error exists if one of the following occurs: 1.) policies, rules or statutes were not applied correctly, or 2.) staff responsible for administering the Subsidized Child Care Program failed to take action on a change when notified by the recipient, other agency staff, or other interested party, or 3.) the local purchasing agency failed to take appropriate action such as termination or reduction of services, or 4.) a policy requirement was not met, or 5.) an ineligible recipient received services or an ineligible provider received payments, or 6.) an eligible provider received an underpayment or overpayment.
Americans with Disabilities Act – A civil rights law for persons with disabilities that eliminates barriers that prevent full participation in society.
Appeal - An oral or written request from a family or provider for a hearing to review an action of the local purchasing agency when the family or provider is dissatisfied with a decision made by the agency.
Approval Notice - Written notification to the local purchasing agency that a caregiver is eligible to receive state and federal subsidy funds for child care services. The Approval Notice includes age range of children, capacity, payment rates, coding for the SCC Reimbursement System, facility ID number, license number, changes in licensing status, and other information that the LPA must know before paying the provider.
Bartering - Trading goods or services without exchanging money.
Central Registry – An automated statewide data collection system containing information on all child abuse and neglect cases.
Certified Developmental Day Facility – A child care center certified by the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services (DMH/DD/SAS) and which serves primarily children with special needs, but may also serve typically developing children.
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) – Federal program administered in North Carolina by the Division of Public Health within the Department of Health and Human Services that provides reimbursement to qualified caregivers for meals and supplements (snacks) served to program participants.
Child Care Commission – A commission established by the North Carolina General Assembly that is responsible for adopting, amending or repealing rules for licensed child care programs.
Child Care Provider Agreement - An agreement between a provider and the local purchasing agency citing the requirements for participation in the Subsidized Child Care Program and the policies for payment. The Provider Agreement is required initially and renewed annually.
Child Care Services - The provision of protection, care and developmental experiences for children ages birth through 17, for a portion of a day but less than 24 hours, in the child’s own home, in the home of a caregiver, or in a child care facility.
Child Only Case – A request for subsidy services for a child (or sibling group) who lives with someone other than her biological parent who does not have court ordered financial responsibility.
Child Protective Services - A legally mandated service to families that encompasses the provision by county departments of social services of specialized services for maltreated children (abused, neglected, or dependent) or those who are at imminent risk of maltreatment.
Child Support Enforcement – Service provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to locate absent parents, establish paternity and child support orders and pursue, collect and distribute child support payments to custodial parents.
Child Welfare Services – Services to prevent foster care placement, reunify families or achieve other permanent placement or to aid families in crisis. Subsidized child care services are provided to child welfare services families without regard to income and no parent fee is assessed.
Children with Special Needs – Children identified by Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services or by the Local Education Agency as having developmental delays, disabilities, or atypical development that require specialized services to meet their need for child care. Providers may receive a supplemental rate for providing services to children with special needs if needed and requested.
Criminal Records Check - A search of local, state, and/or federal records to determine if a person has been convicted of a crime. Effective January 1, 1996, anyone working, or wanting to work, in child care must complete a criminal records background check. The results of the background check are used to decide if the person is fit to care for children.
Division of Child Development Monitoring Review Panel – A panel which consist of staff from the Division that review program monitoring reports for accuracy and consistency as well as reviewing recommendations from local purchasing agencies to impose sanctions and terminate subsidy payments for providers.
Division of Social Services (DSS) - A division of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services that administers programs of financial assistance and services for low income and other families with children and aged and disabled individuals.
Early Head Start - A federally funded, comprehensive preschool program designed to meet emotional, social, health, nutritional and psychological needs created by the 1994 Head Start Reauthorization Act. Early Head Start serves low-income families with children ages birth through three and pregnant women.
Education and Training – A need category for children who receive care so the parent/responsible adult may attend high school, college, or community college, or enroll in a job-training program. Post-secondary (after-high school) education is limited to 24 months for receiving subsidy.
Eligibility Period – Time frame a child is eligible to receive child care subsidy services.
Family Child Care Home – A child care program, licensed to provide care with a capacity of no more than eight children, but no more than five children may be preschool age.
Food Stamp Employment and Training (E &T) Program - A program that promotes work-related activities for able-bodied food stamp recipients. In North Carolina, E&T participants are provided employment services by the Employment Security Commission (ESC) through a contract with the Division of Social Services. In addition, ESC helps arrange education and training for participants at community colleges and through programs offered by Workforce Development Boards. Local departments of social service refer E&T participants to the local ESC office for services that will lead to employment. Certain remote counties are not served by the E&T program.
Fraud - A criminal act in which a family/provider or authorized representative makes a false statement and/or withholds information willfully, knowingly, and with deceitful intent and, as a result, obtains or attempts to obtain assistance or payment for which he/she is not eligible.
Head Start - A federally funded, comprehensive preschool program designed to meet emotional, social, health, nutritional and psychological needs of three and four year olds and their families. The goal of the program is to help children from low-income families to be better prepared for school.
Inadvertent Error - error exists if one of the following occurs; 1.) the recipient of child care subsidy funds unintentionally failed to provide the local purchasing agency with correct or complete information, or 2.) the recipient unintentionally failed to report changes to the local purchasing agency, or 3.) a provider unintentionally failed to notify the local purchasing agency within thirty (30) calendar days of temporary operational changes or of circumstances which affect payments for SCC children, or 4.) a provider submitted information, such as an attendance report, that has unintentional errors.
Legal Non-Citizen – A person who is legally admitted to the U.S. by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to live, study, or work.
Local Contractors – Private non-profit/for-profit agencies such as the local child care resource and referral agency who contracts with the county DSS to administer the local subsidized child care program.
Maintenance of Effort (MOE) – Requirement for states to maintain state spending levels as a condition for receiving federal funds. This insures that states do not replace state funds with federal funds.
Mandated – Required by law, rules, regulations or a court of the United States.
Market Rate – Rates that reflect the amount that most private paying parents in the locality are paying for child care, which are used to establish limits for subsidized children.
More at Four – A pre-kindergarten education program to prepare at-risk four-year-olds for success in kindergarten and throughout their schooling.
Mutual Responsibility Agreement – An agreement between a Work First Employment Services participant and the county department of social services that describes work and work-related activities and the supportive services to be provided by the agency.
Parental Choice – A federal requirement that requires that parents be allowed to choose a child care arrangement from a variety of providers, including regulated and unregulated.
Program Compliance Consultants – DCD staff who are responsible for monitoring local purchasing agencies, licensed facilities and nonlicensed homes. They also provide technical assistance and consultation regarding fraud and overpayment cases, and respond to audit requests.
Provisional License – An administrative action taken by the Division of Child Development due to a violation of licensing regulations that have been willful or ongoing, or has jeopardized the health and safety of the children.
Ratesetters – DCD staff who process enrollment information used to generate Approval Notices for providers participating in the subsidy program and provide technical assistance to local purchasing agencies and providers about payment rate issues.
Regulatory Services Section of the Division of Child Development – Responsible for licensing and approving child care centers and homes in accordance with laws and rules established by the North Carolina General Assembly and the Child Care Commission.
Religious-Sponsored Programs - Any child care center, home, or summer day camp run by a church, synagogue, or school of religious charter that receives a Notice of Compliance in lieu of a license. Also referred to as G.S. 110-106.
Reversion/Reallocation Process – The process of redistributing SCC funding throughout the year to counties which may involve reverting funds from counties that cannot spent their allocation and reallocating funds to counties that need additional subsidy funds.
Sanction – A penalty which may be imposed when subsidy funds or services were obtained fraudulently that prohibits or limits a family or child care provider from participating in the subsidy program.
School-Age Child - A child who will reach the age of 5 on or before October 16 of that school year who is enrolled and attending a public or private school. In some situations, a child may be allowed to enroll in kindergarten prior to turning age 5 on or before October 16. (Refer to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) website at www.dpi.state.nc.us/ for more information.)
Section VIII – Housing and Urban Development Program that provides rental assistance usually administered by the local Housing Authority.
Self Employment - An individual working in his/her own business, trade or profession rather than working for an employer. Self-employed individuals usually incur operational expenses related to conducting his/her business or work activity.
Smart Start – A statewide initiative to provide the preschool children of North Carolina and their families with access to affordable, high quality early childhood education and family support services.
Social Services Commission –An commission created by the North Carolina General Assembly that is responsible for adopting, rules which govern the Subsidized Child Care Program.
Star-Rated License – Child Care Programs may obtain a 1-5 Star Rated License based upon three components: compliance history, educational levels of staff, and program standards. Programs with a 1 star license meet minimum standards. Programs with a 2-5 star license voluntarily meet a higher level of enhanced standards, and may qualify for Smart Start quality bonuses.
Subsidy Services Consultants – Subsidy Services Section staff who provide technical assistance and training to local purchasing agencies and providers regarding regulations and policies for the child care program. They also work with the local Partnerships for Children regarding the use of subsidy funding, monitor case records and report the findings to the appropriate agencies.
Subsidy Services Policy Consultants – Raleigh based Subsidy Services Section staff who are responsible for developing and writing policy, implementing contract procedures for services related to the Subsidized Child Care Program and for reporting information pertaining to subsidized services statewide to the Department of Health and Human Services and to the NC General Assembly. Also provide policy interpretations and guidance to families, child care providers, and staff from DCD, DSS and other agencies.
Summer Day Camp - A seasonal recreational program that provides child care and operates for less than 4 months per year. These programs are not required to be licensed unless they participate in the Subsidized Child Care Program.
Supplemental Payment – A payment to cover additional costs which are incurred for a child with special needs that is being mainstreamed in a child care facility, including nonlicensed homes, which serves primarily typically developing children.
Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H.) – A comprehensive statewide initiative to provide training and education scholarships to child care center teachers and directors as well as family child care providers.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - A federal block grant program that provides financial assistance and supportive services to help low-income families achieve self-sufficiency. The program is administered by DSS under the Work First Family Assistance Program.
Temporary License - A temporary license is given to a new center, or to a previously licensed center when there is a change in ownership or location, for a period of no more than six months. This allows the center to achieve a satisfactory rating for a regular license. A temporary license must be posted in the center where it can be easily seen.
Voucher - A form that authorizes payment for subsidized child care services and notifies the provider of the plan of care and whether the parent is responsible for a fee. The voucher enables the parent to assume responsibility for the selection of the provider rather than the LPA arranging care.
WAGE$ - A salary supplement program for early childhood professionals based on the level of education an individual has attained.
Waiting List – A prioritized list of children who are eligible for child care, but cannot be served due to limited resources. The waiting list provides an equitable and efficient method of allocating services.
Work First Employment Services – A program of work and work-related activities and supportive services provided by county departments of social services to help low-income families achieve self-sufficiency.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.