October 22, 2020
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HB 1571

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to early learning; amending s. 120.80,
3F.S.; exempting early learning coalitions from the
4Administrative Procedure Act; amending s. 411.01, F.S.;
5revising requirements for establishing the minimum number
6of children to be served by an early learning coalition to
7increase the maximum number of coalitions; deleting
8obsolete provisions relating to procedures for merging
9early learning coalitions; revising the review period for
10school readiness plans; authorizing school readiness
11payment rates that create certain standards or levels of
12services; limiting a prohibition that restricts early
13learning coalitions from implementing revisions to school
14readiness plans without approval by the Agency for
15Workforce Innovation; exempting early learning coalitions
16from chapter 287, F.S., relating to the procurement of
17personal property and services; requiring early learning
18coalitions to comply with certain federal requirements for
19the expenditure of, and the procurement of property and
20services from, certain school readiness funds; deleting a
21provision prohibiting the term of services contracts from
22exceeding a specified period; requiring early learning
23coalitions to comply with certain federal requirements for
24funding quality activities; amending s. 411.0101, F.S.;
25requiring early learning coalitions to comply with certain
26federal requirements for the selection of child care
27resource information agencies; amending s. 1002.71, F.S.;
28exempting early learning coalitions from chapter 287,
29F.S.; requiring early learning coalitions to comply with
30certain federal requirements for the expenditure of, and
31the procurement of property and services from, certain
32funds provided for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
33Program; providing an effective date.
35Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
37     Section 1.  Paragraph (d) is added to subsection (10) of
38section 120.80, Florida Statutes, to read:
39     120.80  Exceptions and special requirements; agencies.-
41     (d)  Notwithstanding s. 120.52(1), an early learning
42coalition created under s. 411.01 is not an agency or part of an
43agency for purposes of this chapter.
44     Section 2.  Paragraphs (a), (d), and (e) of subsection (5)
45and paragraph (d) of subsection (9) of section 411.01, Florida
46Statutes, are amended to read:
47     411.01  School readiness programs; early learning
50     (a)  Early learning coalitions.-
51     1.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall establish the
52minimum number of children to be served by each early learning
53coalition through the coalition's school readiness program. The
54Agency for Workforce Innovation may only approve school
55readiness plans in accordance with this minimum number. The
56minimum number must be uniform for every early learning
57coalition and must:
58     a.  Permit 31 30 or fewer coalitions to be established; and
59     b.  Require each coalition to serve at least 2,000 children
60based upon the average number of all children served per month
61through the coalition's school readiness program during the
62previous 12 months.
64The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt procedures for
65merging early learning coalitions, including procedures for the
66consolidation of merging coalitions, and for the early
67termination of the terms of coalition members which are
68necessary to accomplish the mergers. Each early learning
69coalition must comply with the merger procedures and shall be
70organized in accordance with this subparagraph by April 1, 2005.
71By June 30, 2005, each coalition must complete the transfer of
72powers, duties, functions, rules, records, personnel, property,
73and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and
74other funds to the successor coalition, if applicable.
75     2.  If an early learning coalition would serve fewer
76children than the minimum number established under subparagraph
771., the coalition must merge with another county to form a
78multicounty coalition. However, the Agency for Workforce
79Innovation may authorize an early learning coalition to serve
80fewer children than the minimum number established under
81subparagraph 1., if:
82     a.  The coalition demonstrates to the Agency for Workforce
83Innovation that merging with another county or multicounty
84region contiguous to the coalition would cause an extreme
85hardship on the coalition;
86     b.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation has determined
87during the most recent biennial annual review of the coalition's
88school readiness plan, or through monitoring and performance
89evaluations conducted under paragraph (4)(l), that the coalition
90has substantially implemented its plan and substantially met the
91performance standards and outcome measures adopted by the
92agency; and
93     c.  The coalition demonstrates to the Agency for Workforce
94Innovation the coalition's ability to effectively and
95efficiently implement the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
98If an early learning coalition fails or refuses to merge as
99required by this subparagraph, the Agency for Workforce
100Innovation may dissolve the coalition and temporarily contract
101with a qualified entity to continue school readiness and
102prekindergarten services in the coalition's county or
103multicounty region until the coalition is reestablished through
104resubmission of a school readiness plan and approval by the
106     3.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs 1. and
1072., the early learning coalitions in Sarasota, Osceola, and
108Santa Rosa Counties which were in operation on January 1, 2005,
109are established and authorized to continue operation as
110independent coalitions, and shall not be counted within the
111limit of 31 30 coalitions established in subparagraph 1.
112     4.  Each early learning coalition shall be composed of at
113least 18 members but not more than 35 members. The Agency for
114Workforce Innovation shall adopt standards establishing within
115this range the minimum and maximum number of members that may be
116appointed to an early learning coalition. These standards must
117include variations for a coalition serving a multicounty region.
118Each early learning coalition must comply with these standards.
119     5.  The Governor shall appoint the chair and two other
120members of each early learning coalition, who must each meet the
121same qualifications as private sector business members appointed
122by the coalition under subparagraph 7.
123     6.  Each early learning coalition must include the
124following members:
125     a.  A Department of Children and Family Services district
126administrator or his or her designee who is authorized to make
127decisions on behalf of the department.
128     b.  A district superintendent of schools or his or her
129designee who is authorized to make decisions on behalf of the
130district, who shall be a nonvoting member.
131     c.  A regional workforce board executive director or his or
132her designee.
133     d.  A county health department director or his or her
135     e.  A children's services council or juvenile welfare board
136chair or executive director, if applicable, who shall be a
137nonvoting member if the council or board is the fiscal agent of
138the coalition or if the council or board contracts with and
139receives funds from the coalition for any purpose other than
141     f.  An agency head of a local licensing agency as defined
142in s. 402.302, where applicable.
143     g.  A president of a community college or his or her
145     h.  One member appointed by a board of county
147     i.  A central agency administrator, where applicable, who
148shall be a nonvoting member.
149     j.  A Head Start director, who shall be a nonvoting member.
150     k.  A representative of private child care providers,
151including family day care homes, who shall be a nonvoting
153     l.  A representative of faith-based child care providers,
154who shall be a nonvoting member.
155     m.  A representative of programs for children with
156disabilities under the federal Individuals with Disabilities
157Education Act, who shall be a nonvoting member.
158     7.  Including the members appointed by the Governor under
159subparagraph 5., more than one-third of the members of each
160early learning coalition must be private sector business members
161who do not have, and none of whose relatives as defined in s.
162112.3143 has, a substantial financial interest in the design or
163delivery of the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program
164created under part V of chapter 1002 or the coalition's school
165readiness program. To meet this requirement an early learning
166coalition must appoint additional members from a list of
167nominees submitted to the coalition by a chamber of commerce or
168economic development council within the geographic region served
169by the coalition. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall
170establish criteria for appointing private sector business
171members. These criteria must include standards for determining
172whether a member or relative has a substantial financial
173interest in the design or delivery of the Voluntary
174Prekindergarten Education Program or the coalition's school
175readiness program.
176     8.  A majority of the voting membership of an early
177learning coalition constitutes a quorum required to conduct the
178business of the coalition. An early learning coalition board may
179use any method of telecommunications to conduct meetings,
180including establishing a quorum through telecommunications,
181provided that the public is given proper notice of a
182telecommunications meeting and reasonable access to observe and,
183when appropriate, participate.
184     9.  A voting member of an early learning coalition may not
185appoint a designee to act in his or her place, except as
186otherwise provided in this paragraph. A voting member may send a
187representative to coalition meetings, but that representative
188does not have voting privileges. When a district administrator
189for the Department of Children and Family Services appoints a
190designee to an early learning coalition, the designee is the
191voting member of the coalition, and any individual attending in
192the designee's place, including the district administrator, does
193not have voting privileges.
194     10.  Each member of an early learning coalition is subject
195to ss. 112.313, 112.3135, and 112.3143. For purposes of s.
196112.3143(3)(a), each voting member is a local public officer who
197must abstain from voting when a voting conflict exists.
198     11.  For purposes of tort liability, each member or
199employee of an early learning coalition shall be governed by s.
201     12.  An early learning coalition serving a multicounty
202region must include representation from each county.
203     13.  Each early learning coalition shall establish terms
204for all appointed members of the coalition. The terms must be
205staggered and must be a uniform length that does not exceed 4
206years per term. Appointed members may serve a maximum of two
207consecutive terms. When a vacancy occurs in an appointed
208position, the coalition must advertise the vacancy.
209     (d)  Implementation.-
210     1.  An early learning coalition may not implement the
211school readiness program until the coalition is authorized
212through approval of the coalition's school readiness plan by the
213Agency for Workforce Innovation.
214     2.  Each early learning coalition shall develop a plan for
215implementing the school readiness program to meet the
216requirements of this section and the performance standards and
217outcome measures adopted by the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
218The plan must demonstrate how the program will ensure that each
2193-year-old and 4-year-old child in a publicly funded school
220readiness program receives scheduled activities and instruction
221designed to enhance the age-appropriate progress of the children
222in attaining the performance standards adopted by the Agency for
223Workforce Innovation under subparagraph (4)(d)8. Before
224implementing the school readiness program, the early learning
225coalition must submit the plan to the Agency for Workforce
226Innovation for approval. The Agency for Workforce Innovation may
227approve the plan, reject the plan, or approve the plan with
228conditions. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall review
229school readiness plans once every 2 years at least annually.
230     3.  If the Agency for Workforce Innovation determines
231during the biennial annual review of school readiness plans, or
232through monitoring and performance evaluations conducted under
233paragraph (4)(l), that an early learning coalition has not
234substantially implemented its plan, has not substantially met
235the performance standards and outcome measures adopted by the
236agency, or has not effectively administered the school readiness
237program or Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, the
238Agency for Workforce Innovation may dissolve the coalition and
239temporarily contract with a qualified entity to continue school
240readiness and prekindergarten services in the coalition's county
241or multicounty region until the coalition is reestablished
242through resubmission of a school readiness plan and approval by
243the agency.
244     4.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt
245criteria for the approval of school readiness plans. The
246criteria must be consistent with the performance standards and
247outcome measures adopted by the agency and must require each
248approved plan to include the following minimum standards and
250     a.  A sliding fee scale establishing a copayment for
251parents based upon their ability to pay, which is the same for
252all program providers, to be implemented and reflected in each
253program's budget.
254     b.  A choice of settings and locations in licensed,
255registered, religious-exempt, or school-based programs to be
256provided to parents.
257     c.  Instructional staff who have completed the training
258course as required in s. 402.305(2)(d)1., as well as staff who
259have additional training or credentials as required by the
260Agency for Workforce Innovation. The plan must provide a method
261for assuring the qualifications of all personnel in all program
263     d.  Specific eligibility priorities for children within the
264early learning coalition's county or multicounty region in
265accordance with subsection (6).
266     e.  Performance standards and outcome measures adopted by
267the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
268     f.  Payment rates adopted by the early learning coalition
269and approved by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Payment
270rates may not have the effect of limiting parental choice or
271creating standards or levels of services that have not been
272authorized by the Legislature or recognized by the Federal
273Government as an appropriate use of funding.
274     g.  Systems support services, including a central agency,
275child care resource and referral, eligibility determinations,
276training of providers, and parent support and involvement.
277     h.  Direct enhancement services to families and children.
278System support and direct enhancement services shall be in
279addition to payments for the placement of children in school
280readiness programs.
281     i.  The business organization of the early learning
282coalition, which must include the coalition's articles of
283incorporation and bylaws if the coalition is organized as a
284corporation. If the coalition is not organized as a corporation
285or other business entity, the plan must include the contract
286with a fiscal agent. An early learning coalition may contract
287with other coalitions to achieve efficiency in multicounty
288services, and these contracts may be part of the coalition's
289school readiness plan.
290     j.  Strategies to meet the needs of unique populations,
291such as migrant workers.
293As part of the school readiness plan, the early learning
294coalition may request the Governor to apply for a waiver to
295allow the coalition to administer the Head Start Program to
296accomplish the purposes of the school readiness program. If a
297school readiness plan demonstrates that specific statutory goals
298can be achieved more effectively by using procedures that
299require modification of existing rules, policies, or procedures,
300a request for a waiver to the Agency for Workforce Innovation
301may be submitted as part of the plan. Upon review, the Agency
302for Workforce Innovation may grant the proposed modification.
303     5.  Persons with an early childhood teaching certificate
304may provide support and supervision to other staff in the school
305readiness program.
306     6.  An early learning coalition may not implement its
307school readiness plan until it submits the plan to and receives
308approval from the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Once the plan
309is approved, the plan and the services provided under the plan
310shall be controlled by the early learning coalition. An early
311learning coalition The plan shall review and revise its school
312readiness plan be reviewed and revised as necessary, but at
313least once every 2 years biennially. Revision of any provision
314of the plan that implements the an early learning coalition's
315duties provided by law or contractual obligations to the Agency
316for Workforce Innovation coalition may not take effect implement
317the revisions until the coalition submits the revised provision
318plan to and receives approval from the agency for Workforce
319Innovation. If the Agency for Workforce Innovation rejects a
320revised provision of a school readiness plan, the coalition must
321continue to operate under its prior approved plan.
322     7.  Sections 125.901(2)(a)3., 411.221, and 411.232 do not
323apply to an early learning coalition with an approved school
324readiness plan. To facilitate innovative practices and to allow
325the regional establishment of school readiness programs, an
326early learning coalition may apply to the Governor and Cabinet
327for a waiver of, and the Governor and Cabinet may waive, any of
328the provisions of ss. 411.223, 411.232, and 1003.54, if the
329waiver is necessary for implementation of the coalition's school
330readiness plan.
331     8.  Two or more counties may join for purposes of planning
332and implementing a school readiness program.
333     9.  An early learning coalition may, subject to approval by
334the Agency for Workforce Innovation as part of the coalition's
335school readiness plan, receive subsidized child care funds for
336all children eligible for any federal subsidized child care
338     10.  An early learning coalition may enter into multiparty
339contracts with multicounty service providers in order to meet
340the needs of unique populations such as migrant workers.
341     (e)  School readiness funds; expenditure and procurement of
342property and services; Requests for proposals; payment
344     1.  Chapter 287 does not apply to an Each early learning
345coalition. However, an early learning coalition must comply with
346all federal regulations applicable to the expenditure of, and
347the procurement of property and services from, federal grant
348funds, which regulations may include, but are not limited to, 2
349C.F.R. part 215, 45 C.F.R. part 74, or 45 C.F.R. part 92. An
350early learning coalition must also apply such federal
351regulations to s. 287.057 for the expenditure of, and the
352procurement of property and commodities or contractual services
353from, all state and local the funds described as school
354readiness funds in subparagraph (9)(d)1. paragraph (9)(d). The
355period of a contract for purchase of these commodities or
356contractual services, together with any renewal of the original
357contract, may not exceed 3 years.
358     2.  Each early learning coalition shall adopt a payment
359schedule that encompasses all programs funded by the coalition
360under this section. The payment schedule must take into
361consideration the relevant market rate, must include the
362projected number of children to be served, and must be submitted
363for approval by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Informal
364child care arrangements shall be reimbursed at not more than 50
365percent of the rate developed for a family day care home.
367     (d)1.  All state, federal, and required local maintenance-
368of-effort or matching funds provided to an early learning
369coalition for purposes of this section shall be used by the
370coalition for implementation of its school readiness plan,
371including the hiring of staff to effectively operate the
372coalition's school readiness program.
373     2.  As part of plan approval and periodic plan review, the
374Agency for Workforce Innovation shall require that
375administrative costs be kept to the minimum necessary for
376efficient and effective administration of the school readiness
377plan, but total administrative expenditures must not exceed 5
378percent unless specifically waived by the Agency for Workforce
379Innovation. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall annually
380report to the Legislature any problems relating to
381administrative costs.
382     3.  An early learning coalition must comply with the
383federal requirements for funding quality activities in 45 C.F.R.
384s. 98.51.
385     Section 3.  Section 411.0101, Florida Statutes, is amended
386to read:
387     411.0101  Child care and early childhood resource and
388referral.-The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall establish a
389statewide child care resource and referral network. Preference
390shall be given to using the already established early learning
391coalitions as the child care resource and referral agency. If an
392early learning coalition cannot comply with the requirements to
393offer the resource information component or does not want to
394offer that service, the early learning coalition shall select
395the resource information agency in accordance with the
396requirements for the procurement of property and services in
397based upon a request for proposal pursuant to s. 411.01(5)(e)1.
398At least one child care resource and referral agency must be
399established in each early learning coalition's county or
400multicounty region. Child care resource and referral agencies
401shall provide the following services:
402     (1)  Identification of existing public and private child
403care and early childhood education services, including child
404care services by public and private employers, and the
405development of a resource file of those services. These services
406may include family day care, public and private child care
407programs, head start, prekindergarten early intervention
408programs, special education programs for prekindergarten
409handicapped children, services for children with developmental
410disabilities, full-time and part-time programs, before-school
411and after-school programs, vacation care programs, parent
412education, the WAGES Program, and related family support
413services. The resource file shall include, but not be limited
415     (a)  Type of program.
416     (b)  Hours of service.
417     (c)  Ages of children served.
418     (d)  Number of children served.
419     (e)  Significant program information.
420     (f)  Fees and eligibility for services.
421     (g)  Availability of transportation.
422     (2)  The establishment of a referral process which responds
423to parental need for information and which is provided with full
424recognition of the confidentiality rights of parents. Resource
425and referral programs shall make referrals to licensed child
426care facilities. Referrals shall be made to an unlicensed child
427care facility or arrangement only if there is no requirement
428that the facility or arrangement be licensed.
429     (3)  Maintenance of ongoing documentation of requests for
430service tabulated through the internal referral process. The
431following documentation of requests for service shall be
432maintained by all child care resource and referral agencies:
433     (a)  Number of calls and contacts to the child care
434information and referral agency component by type of service
436     (b)  Ages of children for whom service was requested.
437     (c)  Time category of child care requests for each child.
438     (d)  Special time category, such as nights, weekends, and
439swing shift.
440     (e)  Reason that the child care is needed.
441     (f)  Name of the employer and primary focus of the
443     (4)  Provision of technical assistance to existing and
444potential providers of child care services. This assistance may
446     (a)  Information on initiating new child care services,
447zoning, and program and budget development and assistance in
448finding such information from other sources.
449     (b)  Information and resources which help existing child
450care services providers to maximize their ability to serve
451children and parents in their community.
452     (c)  Information and incentives which could help existing
453or planned child care services offered by public or private
454employers seeking to maximize their ability to serve the
455children of their working parent employees in their community,
456through contractual or other funding arrangements with
458     (5)  Assistance to families and employers in applying for
459various sources of subsidy including, but not limited to,
460subsidized child care, head start, prekindergarten early
461intervention programs, Project Independence, private
462scholarships, and the federal dependent care tax credit.
463     (6)  Assistance to state agencies in determining the market
464rate for child care.
465     (7)  Assistance in negotiating discounts or other special
466arrangements with child care providers.
467     (8)  Information and assistance to local interagency
468councils coordinating services for prekindergarten handicapped
470     (9)  Assistance to families in identifying summer
471recreation camp and summer day camp programs and in evaluating
472the health and safety qualities of summer recreation camp and
473summer day camp programs and in evaluating the health and safety
474qualities of summer camp programs. Contingent upon specific
475appropriation, a checklist of important health and safety
476qualities that parents can use to choose their summer camp
477programs shall be developed and distributed in a manner that
478will reach parents interested in such programs for their
480     (10)  A child care facility licensed under s. 402.305 and
481licensed and registered family day care homes must provide the
482statewide child care and resource and referral agencies with the
483following information annually:
484     (a)  Type of program.
485     (b)  Hours of service.
486     (c)  Ages of children served.
487     (d)  Fees and eligibility for services.
488     (11)  The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt any
489rules necessary for the implementation and administration of
490this section.
491     Section 4.  Subsection (10) is added to section 1002.71,
492Florida Statutes, to read:
493     1002.71  Funding; financial and attendance reporting.-
494     (10)  Chapter 287 does not apply to an early learning
495coalition. However, an early learning coalition must apply all
496federal regulations applicable to the expenditure of, and the
497procurement of property and services from, federal grant funds
498as specified in s. 411.01(5)(e)1. to the expenditure of, and the
499procurement of property and services from, all state funds
500provided for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program
501under this part.
502     Section 5.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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