Code of the District of Columbia

§ 4–402. Day care program authorized; funding system for child development facilities.

(a) The Department is hereby authorized to provide a broad program of day care services for children of parents referred or approved by the Department for various training and work incentive programs, for children of other parents known to the Department where day care appears to be in the child’s best interest, and for children of low-income families, otherwise unknown to the Department, where the parents are employed outside of the home. As a part of its broad program of day care services, the Department shall develop a funding system for all child development facilities serving such children consistent with the provisions of this chapter that will encourage such facilities to:

(1) Provide a setting and a comprehensive program for the critically important early childhood development experience that will include, but not necessarily be limited to, educational, social, recreational, transportation, health, and nutritional services;

(2) Provide services directed to the total well-being of the child and the stabilization of the family unit;

(3) Provide a program which incorporates a broad-based parent and community participation component;

(4) Provide a resource to enable parents to join or remain in the work force, participate in job training and to attain self-sufficiency and independence for their families;

(5) Provide a program which protects children of working parents from neglect or inadequate care; and

(6) Provide a program which supports the childcare needs of children with disabilities and their families.

(b) The Department is further authorized to provide supplemental payments to child development facilities licensed pursuant to § 7-2034 to implement the ECE salary scale. The Department shall:

(1) Establish and periodically update a child development facilities payroll funding formula through rules issued pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, which the Department shall use to issue payments from the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund to licensed child development facilities that enter into contracts or agreements with the Department to implement the minimum salaries provided in the ECE salary scale;

(2) Publish a recommended salary schedule, consistent with the minimum salaries in the ECE salary scale, which shall include pay bands or steps that reflect proposed salary increases based on experience or time-in-position;

(3) Establish requirements for licensed child development facilities to receive CDF payroll formula funds;

(4) Execute contracts or agreements with licensed child development facility operators to govern Department distribution and facility use and administration of CDF payroll formula funds, which shall:

(A) Be renewed not less frequently than once every 3 years;

(B) Describe the basis on which CDF payroll formula payments will be calculated;

(C) Provide a schedule of when the Department will distribute CDF payroll formula payments;

(D) State requirements for participating facilities and remedies for failure to meet requirements; and

(E) Specify reporting and auditing requirements for participating facilities; and

(5) Ensure that licensed child development facilities that receive CDF payroll formula funds pay lead teachers and assistant teachers employed by the child development facility wages or salaries, on a regular basis, that meet or exceed the minimum salaries in the ECE salary scale applicable for an employee's role and credentials.

(b-1) The Department is further authorized to:

(1) Make grants, as authorized by § 38-2613(c)(5), to child development facilities to support the costs of:

(A) Maintaining dedicated slots for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities;

(B) Providing out-of-school-time programming to school-aged children with disabilities; and

(2) Establish a referral program to place children with disabilities in dedicated grant-funded slots.

(c)(1) By March 1, 2023, the Department shall publish the first CDF payroll formula, which shall be based on the recommendations in the Final Report of the Early Childhood Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force, introduced March 23, 2022 (RC 24-154), and take into account the cost modeling analysis conducted pursuant to section 11a(b). The CDF payroll formula shall incorporate the estimated cost for child development facilities to implement the minimum salaries specified in § 4-410.02(b). The publication shall include:

(A) The estimated total cost of payments to be made to child development facilities in Fiscal Year 2024;

(B) An explanation of the methodology used to develop the CDF payroll formula; and

(C) The information required to be reported pursuant to § 4-410.01(c).

(2) The proposed CDF payroll formula shall account for valid and reliable indicators of child, family, or community economic disadvantage and resources, in order to direct increased funding to child development facilities serving families and communities with fewer economic resources.