B-601: Requirements for Determining the Parent Share of Cost

Federal Child Care Development Fund regulations at 45 CFR §98.42 require that parents receiving child care assistance be assessed a parent share of cost.  Parent share of cost must be on a sliding fee scale based on family size and income and may be based on other factors as appropriate, but may not be based on the cost of care or amount of subsidy payment.

Workforce Development Boards (Boards) must set a parent share of cost policy that provides for the parent share of cost being:

  • assessed to all parents, except when one of the exemptions described below, in B-602: Parents Exempt from the Parent Share of Cost, applies
  • an amount determined on a sliding fee scale based on family size and gross monthly income (number of children in care may also be considered)
  • an amount that is affordable and does not result in a barrier to families receiving assistance

Additionally, the policy must provide for a process to ensure a review of the sliding fee scale if there is a pattern of frequent terminations due to parents’ failure to pay the parent share of cost.

- Rule Reference: §809.19(a)(1)

B-601.a: Parent Share of Cost – Sliding Fee Scale Based on Family Size and Income

Workforce Development Boards (Boards) must ensure that the sliding fee scale is based on family size and gross family income expressed as a percent of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines (aka federal poverty guidelines) or state median income for the appropriate fiscal year, as shown in the Parent Share of Cost Sliding Fee Scale PDF.

Based on the Board’s local policy, if care is frequently terminated due to failure to pay the parent share of cost, the Board must review the sliding fee scale and its affordability. Based on review, Boards must adjust the sliding fee scale to ensure that the parent share of cost is not a barrier to assistance for families at certain income levels.

- Rule Reference: §809.19(e)

B-601.b: Other Considerations for Assessing Parent Share of Cost

In establishing a parent share of cost policy, Boards also may consider the number of children in care, by including an additional amount for each additional child in care. 

Consistent with CCDF regulations at §98.45(k), Boards must ensure that the parent share of cost policy does not consider the cost of care or the amount of the provider reimbursement.

Boards must be aware that discounts based on family size or number of children in care—other than the additional amount per child—are not allowed.

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B-602: Parents Exempt from the Parent Share of Cost

Parents meeting one or more of the following criteria are exempt from paying the parent share of cost for the duration of the 12-month eligibility period:

  • Parents participating in Choices or in Choices child care as described in D-300
  • Parents participating in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) or in SNAP E&T child care as described in D-500
  • Parents of a child receiving Child Care for Children Experiencing Homelessness as described in D-600
  • Parents with children receiving protective services child care, including parents of children authorized by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) for former protective services child care, as described in D-902: Continuity of Care for Children in Protective Services, unless DFPS assesses a parent share of cost

- Rule Reference: §809.19(a)(2); §809.54(c)(1)

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B-603: Parent Share of Cost for Teen Parents

Teen parents not covered under exemptions listed above in B-602: Parents Exempt from the Parent Share of Cost must be assessed a parent share of cost.  Teen parent share of cost is based solely on the teen parent’s income and family size as defined in A-100: Definitions.

- Rule Reference: §809.19(a)(3)

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B-604: Changes Reductions in the Assessed Parent Share of Cost during the 12-month Eligibility Period

B-604.a: Reductions Due to Changes in Income and Family Size

The Board must ensure parent share of cost is reassessed when a parent reports a change in income, family size, or number of children in care that would result in a reduced parent share of cost assessment.

Rule Reference: §809.19(a)

Boards must ensure that any change in family income resulting in a reduction in the parent share of cost is documented in the case file or The Workforce Information System of Texas (TWIST) Counselor Notes.

B-604.b: Upon Resumption of Activities

The Board must ensure that parent share of cost is reassessed upon resumption of work, job training, or education activities following temporary changes as described in D-804. However, the newly assessed parent share of cost must not exceed the amount assessed at the most recent eligibility determination (except upon the addition of a child in care).

Rule Reference: §809.19(a)

B-604.c: Temporary Reductions for Extenuating Circumstances

The Board or its child care contractor may review an assessed parent share of cost in accordance with local procedures for possible temporary reduction if there are extenuating circumstances that jeopardize a family’s self-sufficiency, and may temporarily reduce the assessed parent share of cost if warranted by the circumstances.

Rule Reference: §809.19(g)

Boards must ensure that any temporary reduction for extenuating circumstances is documented in TWIST Counselor Notes. Documentation must include the reason for and the duration of the temporary reduction.

Following a temporary reduction in parent share of cost, the Board must ensure that the parent share of cost is reinstated at the full amount originally assessed for the eligibility period.

Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, unexpected temporary costs such as medical expenses, work-related expenses that are not reimbursed by the employer and extraordinary events or disasters that affect a family financially.

Based on locally developed policy, Boards may limit the number of reductions of parent share of cost for extenuating circumstances during the eligibility period when requested by the parent. However, Boards must ensure that the parent share of cost is reduced any time the parent reports decrease in income or a change in family size or number of children in care, which would result in a reduced parent share of cost as described in B-604.a.

To temporarily assist a parent who is new to the program, Boards may temporarily reduce the assessed parent share of cost for a limited period of time ((not to exceed two months of child care). However, after this temporary initial reduction, the parent share of cost assessment based on the family size, income, and number of children in care must be reinstated. Parents must be informed of their actual parent share of cost before the temporary initial reduction is applied.

However, if the parent is not covered by one of the exemptions specified in B-602, then the Board or its child care contractor must not waive (reduce to zero) the assessed parent share of cost under any circumstances.

Rule Reference: §809.19(e)

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B-605: Prohibition of a Minimum Parent Share of Cost Amount

If the parent share of cost, based on family income and family size, is calculated to be zero, then the Workforce Development Board or its child care contractor must not charge the parent any minimum share of cost amount.

- Rule Reference: §809.19(f)

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B-606: Policies Regarding Reimbursing Providers for Parent Failure to Pay the Parent Share of Cost

Workforce Development Boards must establish policies regarding reimbursement of providers when parents fail to pay the parent share of cost.

- Rule Reference: §809.19(c)

The Board’s policy may include full or partial reimbursement to a provider when a parent fails to pay the parent share of cost.

The Board’s policy may include a required time frame for a provider to report nonpayment of parent share of cost and include consequences for when a provider fails to report within the specified time frame.

As described in G-600, if the Board’s policy is to reimburse the provider, the Board must ensure the following:

  • Parents repay the amount of the parent share of cost paid by the Board
  • Parents are prohibited from future child care eligibility until the repayment owed to the Board is recovered, provided that the prohibition does not result in a Choices or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training participant becoming ineligible for child care services

Rule Reference: §809.117(d)(3), §809.117(e)

Boards must ensure that for a customer who owes a recoupment to a Board for unpaid parent share of cost, the customer’s recoupment status is flagged in The Workforce Information System of Texas on the Intake-Common Family tab.

Additionally, if a Board does not have a policy to reimburse providers when the parent fails to pay the parent share of cost, the Board has the option to require parents to repay the provider before being eligible or redetermined eligible for future child care services.

Rule Reference: §809.19(f)

Boards must ensure that when a parent owes a recoupment for unpaid parent share of cost to a Board in one local workforce development area (workforce area), the recoupment and prohibition on future child care eligibility remain in effect even if the customer moves to a different workforce area.

In accordance with the Board’s transfer policy as described in B-302, a Board may have a policy that prohibits a parent from voluntarily transferring from a provider when he or she owes a parent share of cost to that provider. However, if a requested transfer is due to a health and safety concern for the child, the Board must work with the parent to transfer the child in accordance with local procedures.

Board child care contractors are encouraged to work with parents to determine why payments are not being made and possibly temporarily reduce the parent share of cost if necessary, as described in B-604.

A Board must establish a policy regarding termination of child care services within a 12-month eligibility period when a parent fails to pay the parent share of cost. The policy must include the following:

  • A requirement to evaluate a family’s financial situation for extenuating circumstances that may affect affordability of the assessed parent share of cost
  • A provision to offer a temporary reduction in the parent share of cost if the family has extenuating circumstances that warrant a reduction
  • A requirement to document the evaluation of the family’s financial situation and any temporary reduction granted
  • General criteria for determining the affordability of the Board’s parent share of cost and a process to identify and assess the circumstances that may jeopardize a family’s self-sufficiency
  • Maintenance of a list of all terminations due to failure to pay the parent share of cost, including family size, income, family circumstances, and the reason for the termination
  • The Board’s definition of what constitutes frequent terminations and its process for assessing the general affordability of the Board’s parent share of cost schedule

Rule Reference: §809.19(d)

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B-607: Parent Share of Cost for Non–Child Care Allocated Funds

For child care services funded by sources other than those specified above in B-601: Requirements for Determining the Parent Share of Cost, a Workforce Development Board must set a parent share of cost policy based on a sliding fee scale.  However, the sliding fee scale may differ from the requirements of B-601: Requirements for determine the Parent Share of Cost.

- Rule Reference: §809.19(b)

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B-608: When to Assess the Parent Share of Cost

Boards must ensure that the parent share of cost is only assessed at the following times:

  • Initial eligibility determination 
  • 12-month eligibility redetermination
  • Upon the addition of a child in care that would result in an additional amount added to the parent share of cost
  • Upon a parent’s report of a change in income, family size, or number of children in care that would result in a reduced parent share of cost assessment
  • Upon resumption of work, job training, or education activities following temporary changes
  • Upon resumption of work, job training, or education activities during the three-month continuation of care period

Rule Reference: §809.19(a)

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B-609: Prohibition on Increasing the Parent Share of Cost Assessment during the 12-Month Eligibility Period

Boards must ensure that the parent share of cost does not increase above the amount assessed at initial eligibility determination or at the 12-month eligibility redetermination, except upon the addition of a child in care.

Rule Reference: §809.19(e)

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B-610: Reductions to Parent Share of Cost for Selection of a Texas Rising Star Provider

A Board may establish a policy to reduce the parent share of cost assessed in compliance with B-601.a and B-601.b upon the parent’s selection of a Texas Rising Star (TRS)-certified provider. 

The Board policy must ensure the following:

  • The parent continues to receive the reduction if one of the following applies:
  • The parent no longer receives the reduction if the parent voluntarily transfers the child from a TRS-certified provider to a non-TRS-certified provider.

Rule Reference: §809.19(j)

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B-611: Entering Parent Share of Cost Amounts into The Workforce Information System of Texas

Boards must enter sliding fee scale and parent share of cost into The Workforce Information System of Texas under the "WDA Administration – Share of Cost" tab.  

Additional information is available in Technical Assistance Bulletin 252, Entering Board Contract Year Parent Share of Cost Amounts into The Workforce Information System of Texas PDF.

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Part A - Definitions

Part H - Consumer Education and Child Care Quality Activities

Part J - Appendix