MEMORANDUM

TO: Child Care Resource & Referral Directors, Community Partnership for Children Program Coordinators and Contracted Child Care Providers
FROM: Ann Reale, Commissioner of Early Education and Care
RE: Enrolling Katrina Evacuees and Children of Deployed Military Personnel in Early Education and Care Programs
CC: EEC Policy, Liaisons, Licensing and Contracting Staff, Directors and Senior Staff
DATE: September 22, 2005
 
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) wishes to thank everyone who has volunteered to support the families relocated to Massachusetts as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
 
EEC wants to assure that families relocated to Massachusetts as a result of Hurricane Katrina and families of military personnel deployed to provide emergency relief services to the Gulf Coast have immediate access to early education and care programs. It is EEC’s expectation that these families should be able to enroll their children quickly and easily in the program that best meets their needs, and supplemental funding will be made available as needed. This memorandum is intended to help provide preliminary guidance. If additional questions arise please contact your EEC Policy and Training Advisors and/or your CPC Liaison.
 
Given the nature and immediacy of both the family relocation and the military relief deployment, these families may be unable to meet all of EEC’s documentation requirements. EEC contracted and voucher providers and Community Partnerships for Children programs should use the criteria outlined below when accepting these families into their programs. (Please note: Head Start programs should follow the guidelines in their Head Start Advisory, Log No. ACYF-IM-HS-05-04 dated September 7, 2005.)
 
Documentation/Procedures for Hurricane Katrina Evacuees
Please request and accept documentation that families have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or other relief services agencies, such as the American Red Cross. In the event that families cannot provide such registration documentation, you may accept a driver’s license or other documentation confirming that they lived in one of the Gulf Coast areas affected by Hurricane Katrina (e.g., Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama). Please also ask families about their children’s previous early education and care enrollment, including whether they received a subsidy. Further guidance on collecting this information will be forwarded later this week.
 
Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) will receive instructions for coding these families in CCIMS by e-mail later this week. Contracted providers should look on the eCCIMS website later this week for coding instructions.
 
Community Partnerships for Children programs and EEC contracted providers may immediately place these children in any of their vacant slots. Any children that they are unable to service due to capacity issues should be referred to their CCR&R for a child care voucher.
 
Families relocated will be allowed up to six months from the time of their child’s admission into the licensed child care program to provide documentation of their child’s immunization and physical examination.
 
Initially, families will be granted access to early education and care programs for six months and shall be re-assessed and continue to receive services as needed until the family’s service need changes. Families shall not be assessed a parent fee, and any relief assistance that they receive shall not be counted as part of their income.
 
Documentation/Procedures for Families of Military Personnel Deployed to the Gulf Coast
 
Families of military personnel who are deployed to provide emergency relief services to the Gulf Coast and meet our income eligible guidelines shall also receive immediate access to early education and care programs. These families will be required to provide their deployment documentation and will be allowed a reasonable timeframe to submit custody documentation. Acceptable custody documentation includes a legal custodial order or a reasonable custody substitution, such as a document that gives a custodial relative the right to make medical decisions on behalf of the child in care. Access to early education and care programs for families of military personnel deployed to the Gulf Coast should be based upon the anticipated duration of the deployment and then re-assessed. These families will continue to have access as needed until the end of their deployment.
 

***********************

 
Please note that all other EEC requirements pertaining to your specific program type remain in effect.
 
Thank you again for your assistance in meeting the needs of the children and families affected by Hurricane Katrina. You may access additional copies of this memorandum by going to the EEC website at http://www.eec.state.ma.us.