EES Policy No. 04-03-02

RE: Child Care Plan Authorization - Sleep Time for Children

Policy Memo

Contact Persons: Sally Hargis

From:  Sandra Kimmons, Director, EES

KEESM Reference: 7620

Date:  March 12, 2004

Reissued February 1, 2022


Primary DCF Areas Affected: EES

Where Posted on Web:
Policy Memo/policy_memo_list.htm

Current policy allows staff a good deal of flexibility when determining the number of hours of child care needed to provide adequate support to an eligible family. EES staff establish a reasonable estimate of the hours needed for child care by determining with the parent the average number of hours needed for child care during a one-week period. The weekly number of hours is multiplied by 4.3 (average weeks in a month) to obtain a reasonable estimate of the monthly hours of care needed. If the estimated hours are 108 or less for a month, a part-time block of 129 hours for a month will be authorized. If the estimated hours are over 108 for a month, a full-time block of 215 hours for a month will be authorized. More than 215 hours per month may be authorized on a case by case basis if justification is provided. Staff are allowed the flexibility to develop child care plans to maximize the support needed to gain and/or maintain employment.

A maximum of 240 hours per month is a suggested guideline, but additional hours may be authorized on a case-by-case basis with supervisory approval. The supervisor's approval must be documented in the case file.

EES staff consider many factors when determining the scheduled hours. One support that is allowed is sleep time for children who require overnight care. This reference can be found in KEESM 7620 (4). This allows support for the individual needs of the child. Child care may be provided when a parent’s work schedule is such that the child’s normal sleep pattern would be interrupted. In some situations however, authorizing sleep time (in addition to the hours needed due to employment) for every child results in large payments to providers who may not be providing a level of oversight that warrants these payments for overnight care. This particularly applies to unregulated care (In-Home and Out of Home Relative) where the provider does not remain awake at all times children are in care or may not have sleep interrupted often to care for children in care.

The level of care given in overnight situations may not be as vigilant as care given during the day. Therefore, staff should use the following guidelines when discussing plan authorization with the parent/provider when overnight care is provided by an unregulated caregiver. Some general guidelines for staff are as follows:

  • If sleep time/overnight care is needed for a single child in care, it should be authorized.
  • Workers should always authorize sleep time/overnight care hours on plans where there are infants (11 months or younger as of the first day of the month) involved who may not sleep through the night or children with special needs who may require extra attention during the night.
  • In cases with more than one child in care (none are infants or special needs children), workers should authorize the additional sleep time for only one child in the family. This action would result in a lower payment rate to the provider for care given while children are sleeping. Workers should authorize the sleep hours on the youngest child(ren)’s plan(s).
  • Workers should address situations where children are in child care for excessive hours weekly as this does not promote good parent-child relationship building. Parents should be referred to the local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency if they would like information on positive parent-child relationships. Where resources are available, parents should be provided with assistance in securing employment that would not require them to be away from their children for long periods of time.
  • Regulated caregivers are required to be awake while children are in care so full payment for overnight care provided is allowable.

If staff are questioning a situation, they are encouraged to investigate the arrangement further. EES staff are encouraged to review questionable situations locally with a supervisor or higher authority. Administrative Office staff may also be consulted if needed.


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This page was last updated: 
February 1, 2022 3:48 PM