(1) The Department of Management Services shall approve, administer, and coordinate child care services for state officers’ and employees’ children or dependents. Duties shall include, but not be limited to, reviewing and approving requests from state agencies for child care services; providing technical assistance on child care program startup and operation; and assisting other agencies in conducting needs assessments, designing centers, and selecting service providers. Primary emphasis for child care services shall be given to children who are not subject to compulsory school attendance pursuant to part II of chapter 1003, and, to the extent possible, emphasis shall be placed on child care for children aged 2 and under.
(2) Child care programs may be located in state-owned office buildings, educational facilities and institutions, custodial facilities and institutions, and, with the consent of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in buildings or spaces used for legislative activities. In addition, centers may be located in privately owned buildings conveniently located to the place of employment of those officers and employees to be served by the centers. If a child care program is located in a state-owned office building, educational facility or institution, or custodial facility or institution, or in a privately owned building leased by the state, a portion of the service provider’s rental fees for child care space may be waived by the sponsoring agency in accordance with the rules of the Department of Management Services. Additionally, the sponsoring state agency may be responsible for the maintenance, utilities, and other operating costs associated with the child care center.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the cost of child care services shall be offset by fees charged to employees who use the child care services. Requests for proposals may provide for a sliding fee schedule, with fees charged on the basis of the employee’s household income.
(4) The provider of proposed child care services shall be selected by competitive contract. Requests for proposals shall be developed with the assistance of, and subject to the approval of, the Department of Management Services. Management of the contract with the service provider shall be the responsibility of the sponsoring state agency.
(5) An operator selected to provide services must comply with all state and local standards for the licensure and operation of child care facilities, maintain adequate liability insurance coverage, and assume financial and legal responsibility for the operation of the program. Neither the operator nor any personnel employed by or at a child care facility shall be deemed to be employees of the state. However, the sponsoring state agency may be responsible for the operation of the child care center when:
(a) A second request for proposals fails to procure a qualified service provider; or
(b) The service provider’s contract is canceled and attempts to procure another qualified service provider are unsuccessful;
and plans for direct operation are approved by the Department of Management Services.
(6) In the areas where the state has an insufficient number of employees to justify a worksite center, a state agency may join in a consortium arrangement utilizing available state facilities with not-for-profit corporations or other public employers to provide child care services to both public employees and employees of private sector employers. The consortium agreement must first address the unmet child care needs of the children of the public employees whose employers are members of the consortium, and then address the child care needs of private sector employees.
(7) The Department of Management Services may adopt any rules necessary to achieve the purposes of this section.