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Florida Senate - 2008 CS for CS for CS for SB 1670

By the Committees on Commerce; Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; Education Pre-K - 12; and Senators Gaetz and Lynn

577-06924-08 20081670c3

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A bill to be entitled

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An act relating to early learning; providing a short

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title; amending s. 402.316, F.S.; requiring the Department

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of Children and Family Services to adopt rules regarding

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screening standards and notice for certain child care

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personnel; amending s. 411.01, F.S.; authorizing the use

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of telecommunication methods in conducting early learning

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coalition board meetings; amending and renumbering s.

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402.27, F.S.; transferring requirements for the

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establishment of a statewide child care resource and

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referral network by the Department of Children and Family

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Services to the Agency for Workforce Innovation; providing

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for use of early learning coalitions as child care

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resource and referral agencies; requiring rulemaking;

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amending and renumbering s. 409.178, F.S.; transferring

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duties of the Department of Children and Family Services

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with respect to the Child Care Executive Partnership

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Program to the Agency for Workforce Innovation and early

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learning coalitions; requiring rulemaking; amending s.

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435.04, F.S.; providing additional criminal offenses for

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screening child care personnel; amending s. 1001.10, F.S.;

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requiring the Department of Education to assist school

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districts, charter schools, the Florida School for the

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Deaf and the Blind, and certain private schools and

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providers in developing policies and procedures governing

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educator ethics and employment; requiring the department

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to provide authorized staff with access to or provide

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verification through certain employment-screening tools;

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amending ss. 1002.55, 1002.61, and 1002.63, F.S., relating

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to the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program;

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providing additional accreditation standards for private

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prekindergarten providers; providing requirements for

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assignment of substitute instructors; requiring owners of

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certain private schools and private prekindergarten

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providers to adopt ethical standards for all employees;

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prohibiting confidentiality agreements regarding

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terminated or dismissed employees which have the effect of

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concealing certain conduct; requiring such owners and

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providers to contact the previous employer of each

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instructional or administrative candidate for employment

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and notify the Department of Education of dates of

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employment of an educator; requiring rulemaking;

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conforming cross-references; amending s. 1002.69, F.S.;

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revising the basis for calculating a school's kindergarten

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readiness rate; providing an effective date.

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Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

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     Section 1. This act may be cited as the "Success in Early

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Learning Act."

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     Section 2.  Subsection (4) is added to section 402.316,

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Florida Statutes, to read:

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     402.316  Exemptions.--

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     (4) In order to implement the provisions of s. 1002.55(2),

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the department shall adopt rules establishing minimum standards

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for screening and notification of employee termination for all

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child care personnel.

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     Section 3.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section

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411.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

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     411.01  School readiness programs; early learning

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coalitions.--

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     (5)  CREATION OF EARLY LEARNING COALITIONS.--

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     (a)  Early learning coalitions.--

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     1.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall establish the

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minimum number of children to be served by each early learning

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coalition through the coalition's school readiness program. The

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Agency for Workforce Innovation may only approve school readiness

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plans in accordance with this minimum number. The minimum number

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must be uniform for every early learning coalition and must:

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     a.  Permit 30 or fewer coalitions to be established; and

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     b.  Require each coalition to serve at least 2,000 children

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based upon the average number of all children served per month

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through the coalition's school readiness program during the

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previous 12 months.

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The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt procedures for

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merging early learning coalitions, including procedures for the

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consolidation of merging coalitions, and for the early

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termination of the terms of coalition members which are necessary

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to accomplish the mergers. Each early learning coalition must

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comply with the merger procedures and shall be organized in

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accordance with this subparagraph by April 1, 2005. By June 30,

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2005, each coalition must complete the transfer of powers,

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duties, functions, rules, records, personnel, property, and

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unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other

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funds to the successor coalition, if applicable.

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     2.  If an early learning coalition would serve fewer

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children than the minimum number established under subparagraph

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1., the coalition must merge with another county to form a

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multicounty coalition. However, the Agency for Workforce

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Innovation may authorize an early learning coalition to serve

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fewer children than the minimum number established under

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subparagraph 1., if:

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     a.  The coalition demonstrates to the Agency for Workforce

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Innovation that merging with another county or multicounty region

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contiguous to the coalition would cause an extreme hardship on

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the coalition;

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     b.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation has determined

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during the most recent annual review of the coalition's school

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readiness plan, or through monitoring and performance evaluations

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conducted under paragraph (4)(l), that the coalition has

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substantially implemented its plan and substantially met the

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performance standards and outcome measures adopted by the agency;

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and

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     c.  The coalition demonstrates to the Agency for Workforce

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Innovation the coalition's ability to effectively and efficiently

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implement the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program.

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If an early learning coalition fails or refuses to merge as

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required by this subparagraph, the Agency for Workforce

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Innovation may dissolve the coalition and temporarily contract

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with a qualified entity to continue school readiness and

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prekindergarten services in the coalition's county or multicounty

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region until the coalition is reestablished through resubmission

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of a school readiness plan and approval by the agency.

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     3.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs 1. and

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2., the early learning coalitions in Sarasota, Osceola, and Santa

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Rosa Counties which were in operation on January 1, 2005, are

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established and authorized to continue operation as independent

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coalitions, and shall not be counted within the limit of 30

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coalitions established in subparagraph 1.

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     4.  Each early learning coalition shall be composed of at

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least 18 members but not more than 35 members. The Agency for

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Workforce Innovation shall adopt standards establishing within

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this range the minimum and maximum number of members that may be

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appointed to an early learning coalition. These standards must

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include variations for a coalition serving a multicounty region.

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Each early learning coalition must comply with these standards.

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     5.  The Governor shall appoint the chair and two other

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members of each early learning coalition, who must each meet the

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same qualifications as private sector business members appointed

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by the coalition under subparagraph 7.

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     6.  Each early learning coalition must include the following

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members:

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     a.  A Department of Children and Family Services district

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administrator or his or her designee who is authorized to make

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decisions on behalf of the department.

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     b.  A district superintendent of schools or his or her

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designee who is authorized to make decisions on behalf of the

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district, who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     c.  A regional workforce board executive director or his or

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her designee.

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     d.  A county health department director or his or her

144

designee.

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     e.  A children's services council or juvenile welfare board

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chair or executive director, if applicable, who shall be a

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nonvoting member if the council or board is the fiscal agent of

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the coalition or if the council or board contracts with and

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receives funds from the coalition.

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     f.  An agency head of a local licensing agency as defined in

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s. 402.302, where applicable.

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     g.  A president of a community college or his or her

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designee.

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     h.  One member appointed by a board of county commissioners.

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     i.  A central agency administrator, where applicable, who

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shall be a nonvoting member.

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     j.  A Head Start director, who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     k.  A representative of private child care providers,

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including family day care homes, who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     l.  A representative of faith-based child care providers,

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who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     m.  A representative of programs for children with

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disabilities under the federal Individuals with Disabilities

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Education Act, who shall be a nonvoting member.

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     7.  Including the members appointed by the Governor under

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subparagraph 5., more than one-third of the members of each early

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learning coalition must be private sector business members who do

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not have, and none of whose relatives as defined in s. 112.3143

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has, a substantial financial interest in the design or delivery

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of the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program created under

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part V of chapter 1002 or the coalition's school readiness

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program. To meet this requirement an early learning coalition

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must appoint additional members from a list of nominees submitted

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to the coalition by a chamber of commerce or economic development

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council within the geographic region served by the coalition. The

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Agency for Workforce Innovation shall establish criteria for

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appointing private sector business members. These criteria must

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include standards for determining whether a member or relative

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has a substantial financial interest in the design or delivery of

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the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program or the

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coalition's school readiness program.

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     8.  A majority of the voting membership of an early learning

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coalition constitutes a quorum required to conduct the business

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of the coalition. An early learning coalition board may use any

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method of telecommunications to conduct meetings, including

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establishing a quorum through telecommunications, provided that

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the public is given proper notice of a telecommunications meeting

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and reasonable access to observe and, when appropriate,

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participate.

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     9.  A voting member of an early learning coalition may not

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appoint a designee to act in his or her place, except as

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otherwise provided in this paragraph. A voting member may send a

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representative to coalition meetings, but that representative

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does not have voting privileges. When a district administrator

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for the Department of Children and Family Services appoints a

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designee to an early learning coalition, the designee is the

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voting member of the coalition, and any individual attending in

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the designee's place, including the district administrator, does

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not have voting privileges.

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     10.  Each member of an early learning coalition is subject

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to ss. 112.313, 112.3135, and 112.3143. For purposes of s.

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112.3143(3)(a), each voting member is a local public officer who

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must abstain from voting when a voting conflict exists.

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     11.  For purposes of tort liability, each member or employee

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of an early learning coalition shall be governed by s. 768.28.

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     12.  An early learning coalition serving a multicounty

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region must include representation from each county.

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     13.  Each early learning coalition shall establish terms for

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all appointed members of the coalition. The terms must be

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staggered and must be a uniform length that does not exceed 4

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years per term. Appointed members may serve a maximum of two

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consecutive terms. When a vacancy occurs in an appointed

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position, the coalition must advertise the vacancy.

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     Section 4.  Section 402.27, Florida Statutes, is renumbered

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as section 411.0101, Florida Statutes, and amended to read:

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     411.0101 402.27 Child care and early childhood resource and

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referral.--The Agency for Workforce Innovation Department of

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Children and Family Services shall establish a statewide child

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care resource and referral network. Preference shall be given to

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using the already established early learning coalitions central

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agencies for subsidized child care as the child care resource and

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referral agency. If an early learning coalition the agency cannot

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comply with the requirements to offer the resource information

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component or does not want to offer that service, the early

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learning coalition Department of Children and Family Services

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shall select the resource information agency based upon a request

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for proposal pursuant to s. 411.01(5)(e)1. At least one child

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care resource and referral agency must be established in each

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early learning coalition's county or multicounty region district

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of the department, but no more than one may be established in any

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county. Child care resource and referral agencies shall provide

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the following services:

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     (1)  Identification of existing public and private child

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care and early childhood education services, including child care

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services by public and private employers, and the development of

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a resource file of those services. These services may include

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family day care, public and private child care programs, head

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start, prekindergarten early intervention programs, special

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education programs for prekindergarten handicapped children,

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services for children with developmental disabilities, full-time

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and part-time programs, before-school and after-school programs,

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vacation care programs, parent education, the WAGES Program, and

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related family support services. The resource file shall include,

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but not be limited to:

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     (a)  Type of program.

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     (b)  Hours of service.

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     (c)  Ages of children served.

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     (d)  Number of children served.

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     (e)  Significant program information.

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     (f)  Fees and eligibility for services.

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     (g)  Availability of transportation.

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     (2)  The establishment of a referral process which responds

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to parental need for information and which is provided with full

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recognition of the confidentiality rights of parents. Resource

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and referral programs shall make referrals to licensed child care

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facilities. Referrals shall be made to an unlicensed child care

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facility or arrangement only if there is no requirement that the

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facility or arrangement be licensed.

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     (3)  Maintenance of ongoing documentation of requests for

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service tabulated through the internal referral process. The

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following documentation of requests for service shall be

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maintained by all child care resource and referral agencies:

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     (a)  Number of calls and contacts to the child care

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information and referral agency component by type of service

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requested.

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     (b)  Ages of children for whom service was requested.

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     (c)  Time category of child care requests for each child.

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     (d)  Special time category, such as nights, weekends, and

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swing shift.

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     (e)  Reason that the child care is needed.

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     (f)  Name of the employer and primary focus of the business.

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     (4)  Provision of technical assistance to existing and

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potential providers of child care services. This assistance may

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include:

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     (a)  Information on initiating new child care services,

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zoning, and program and budget development and assistance in

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finding such information from other sources.

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     (b)  Information and resources which help existing child

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care services providers to maximize their ability to serve

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children and parents in their community.

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     (c)  Information and incentives which could help existing or

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planned child care services offered by public or private

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employers seeking to maximize their ability to serve the children

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of their working parent employees in their community, through

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contractual or other funding arrangements with businesses.

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     (5)  Assistance to families and employers in applying for

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various sources of subsidy including, but not limited to,

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subsidized child care, head start, prekindergarten early

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intervention programs, Project Independence, private

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scholarships, and the federal dependent care tax credit.

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     (6)  Assistance to state agencies in determining the market

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rate for child care.

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     (7)  Assistance in negotiating discounts or other special

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arrangements with child care providers.

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     (8)  Information and assistance to local interagency

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councils coordinating services for prekindergarten handicapped

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children.

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     (9)  Assistance to families in identifying summer recreation

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camp and summer day camp programs and in evaluating the health

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and safety qualities of summer recreation camp and summer day

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camp programs and in evaluating the health and safety qualities

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of summer camp programs. Contingent upon specific appropriation,

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a checklist of important health and safety qualities that parents

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can use to choose their summer camp programs shall be developed

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and distributed in a manner that will reach parents interested in

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such programs for their children.

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     (10)  A child care facility licensed under s. 402.305 and

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licensed and registered family day care homes must provide the

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statewide child care and resource and referral agencies with the

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following information annually:

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     (a)  Type of program.

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     (b)  Hours of service.

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     (c)  Ages of children served.

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     (d)  Fees and eligibility for services.

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     (11) The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt any

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rules necessary for the implementation and administration of this

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section.

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     Section 5.  Section 409.178, Florida Statutes, is renumbered

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as section 411.0102, Florida Statutes, and subsection (4),

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paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of subsection (5), and subsection

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(6) of that section are amended to read:

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     411.0102 409.178 Child Care Executive Partnership Act;

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findings and intent; grant; limitation; rules.--

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     (4)  The Child Care Executive Partnership, staffed by the

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Agency for Workforce Innovation department, shall consist of a

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representative of the Executive Office of the Governor and nine

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members of the corporate or child care community, appointed by

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the Governor.

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     (a)  Members shall serve for a period of 4 years, except

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that the representative of the Executive Office of the Governor

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shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

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     (b)  The Child Care Executive Partnership shall be chaired

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by a member chosen by a majority vote and shall meet at least

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quarterly and at other times upon the call of the chair.

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     (c)  Members shall serve without compensation, but may be

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reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses in accordance with s.

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     (d)  The Child Care Executive Partnership shall have all the

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powers and authority, not explicitly prohibited by statute,

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necessary to carry out and effectuate the purposes of this

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section, as well as the functions, duties, and responsibilities

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of the partnership, including, but not limited to, the following:

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     1.  Assisting in the formulation and coordination of the

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state's child care policy.

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     2.  Adopting an official seal.

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     3.  Soliciting, accepting, receiving, investing, and

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expending funds from public or private sources.

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     4.  Contracting with public or private entities as

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necessary.

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     5.  Approving an annual budget.

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     6.  Carrying forward any unexpended state appropriations

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into succeeding fiscal years.

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     7.  Providing a report to the Governor, the Speaker of the

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House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate, on or

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before December 1 of each year.

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     (5)

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     (b)  To ensure a seamless service delivery and ease of

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access for families, an early learning coalition the community

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coordinated child care agencies or the state resource and

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referral Agency for Workforce Innovation shall administer the

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child care purchasing pool funds.

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     (c) The Agency for Workforce Innovation department, in

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conjunction with the Child Care Executive Partnership, shall

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develop procedures for disbursement of funds through the child

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care purchasing pools. In order to be considered for funding, an

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early learning coalition the community coordinated child care

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agency or the statewide resource and referral Agency for

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Workforce Innovation must commit to:

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     1.  Matching the state purchasing pool funds on a dollar-

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for-dollar basis; and

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     2.  Expending only those public funds which are matched by

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employers, local government, and other matching contributors who

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contribute to the purchasing pool. Parents shall also pay a fee,

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which shall be not less than the amount identified in the early

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learning coalition's department's subsidized child care sliding

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fee scale.

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     (d) Each early learning coalition community coordinated

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child care agency shall be required to establish a community

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child care task force for each child care purchasing pool. The

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task force must be composed of employers, parents, private child

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care providers, and one representative from the local children's

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services council, if one exists in the area of the purchasing

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pool. The early learning coalition community coordinated child

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care agency is expected to recruit the task force members from

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existing child care councils, commissions, or task forces already

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operating in the area of a purchasing pool. A majority of the

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task force shall consist of employers. Each task force shall

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develop a plan for the use of child care purchasing pool funds.

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The plan must show how many children will be served by the

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purchasing pool, how many will be new to receiving child care

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services, and how the early learning coalition community

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coordinated child care agency intends to attract new employers

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and their employees to the program.

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     (6) The Agency for Workforce Innovation Department of

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Children and Family Services shall adopt any rules necessary for

396

the implementation and administration of this section.

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     Section 6.  Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (4) of

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section 435.04, Florida Statutes, to read:

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     435.04  Level 2 screening standards.--

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     (4)  Standards must also ensure that the person:

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     (c) For child care personnel screened pursuant to s.

402

402.305, s. 402.3055, s. 402.313, s. 402.3131, or s. 402.316, has

403

not been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo

404

contendere, regardless of adjudication, to offenses prohibited

405

under any of the following statutes or under similar statutes of

406

another jurisdiction:

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     1. Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child.

408

     2. Section 794.05, relating to unlawful sexual activity

409

with certain minors.

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     3. Section 810.14, relating to voyeurism.

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     4. Section 810.145, relating to video voyeurism.

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     5. Any delinquent act that qualified or would have

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qualified an individual for inclusion on the Registered Juvenile

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Sex Offender List pursuant to s. 943.0435(1)(a)1.d.

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     Section 7.  Present subsection (4) of section 1001.10,

416

Florida Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (6), and

417

subsections (4) and (5) are added to that section, to read:

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     1001.10  Commissioner of Education; general powers and

419

duties.--

420

     (4) The Department of Education shall provide technical

421

assistance to local school districts, charter schools, the

422

Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, and private schools

423

that accept scholarship students under chapter 1002 or s. 220.187

424

in the development of policies, procedures, and training related

425

to educator ethics and employment practices.

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     (5) The Department of Education shall provide authorized

427

staff of local school districts, charter schools, the Florida

428

School for the Deaf and the Blind, private schools that accept

429

scholarship students under chapter 1002 or s. 220.187, and

430

private providers pursuant to s. 1002.55 with access to

431

electronic verification of information from the following

432

employment-screening tools:

433

     (a) The Professional Practices' Database of Disciplinary

434

Actions Against Educators; and

435

     (b) The Department of Education's Teacher Certification

436

Database.

437

     Section 8.  Present subsections (2), (3), and (4) of section

438

1002.55, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (3),

439

(4), and (5), respectively, a new subsection (2) is added to that

440

section, and present subsection (3) of that section is amended,

441

to read:

442

     1002.55  School-year prekindergarten program delivered by

443

private prekindergarten providers.--

444

     (2) A private provider participating in the Voluntary

445

Prekindergarten Education Program under this section must comply

446

with the following:

447

     (a) The provider must complete ethics training that has

448

been developed jointly by the Department of Children and Family

449

Services, the Department of Education, and the Agency for

450

Workforce Innovation. Such training shall include strategies on

451

how to adopt and communicate policies, responsibilities, and

452

procedures for reporting suspected or actual misconduct by a

453

prekindergarten instructor or administrator which affects the

454

health, safety, or welfare of a student, and an explanation of

455

liability protections provided to students, parents, and

456

employees under ss. 39.203 and 768.095. Successful completion of

457

training shall be documented on the child care personnel training

458

transcript of the Department of Children and Family Services.

459

     (b) The provider must disqualify from employment any

460

prekindergarten instructor or administrator who has been

461

convicted of a disqualifying offense identified under s. 435.04.

462

     (c) Before appointing a candidate as a prekindergarten

463

instructor or administrator, the provider must contact the

464

candidate's previous employer pursuant to ss. 402.302(13) and

465

435.10 to assess the candidate's ability to meet ethical

466

standards for professional educators, screen the candidate

467

through the use of the educator-screening tools described in s.

468

1001.10(5) and the electronic database of the Department of

469

Children and Family Services, and document the findings.

470

     (d) The provider may not enter into a confidentiality

471

agreement regarding a terminated or dismissed employee or an

472

employee who resigns in lieu of termination based in whole or in

473

part on unethical conduct that affects the health, safety, or

474

welfare of a student and may not provide the employee with a

475

favorable recommendation for employment in another educational

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setting. A portion of an agreement or contract that has the

477

purpose or effect of concealing the misconduct of a

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prekindergarten instructor or administrator is void, is contrary

479

to public policy, and may not be enforced.

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     (e) The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall prohibit a

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private provider that fails to comply with this subsection from

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accepting funds under the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program for a

483

period of 1 calendar year and until the provider complies with

484

this subsection.

485

     (4)(3) To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten

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program, a private prekindergarten provider must meet each of the

487

following requirements:

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     (a)  The private prekindergarten provider must be a child

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care facility licensed under s. 402.305, family day care home

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licensed under s. 402.313, large family child care home licensed

491

under s. 402.3131, nonpublic school exempt from licensure under

492

s. 402.3025(2), or faith-based child care provider exempt from

493

licensure under s. 402.316.

494

     (b)  The private prekindergarten provider must:

495

     1.  Be accredited by an accrediting association that is a

496

member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation,

497

the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation,

498

or the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools and have

499

written accreditation standards that meet or exceed the state's

500

licensing requirements under s. 402.305, s. 402.313, or s.

501

402.3131 and require at least one on-site visit to the provider

502

or school before accreditation is granted;

503

     2.  Hold a current Gold Seal Quality Care designation under

504

s. 402.281; or

505

     3.  Be licensed under s. 402.305, s. 402.313, or s. 402.3131

506

and demonstrate, before delivering the Voluntary Prekindergarten

507

Education Program, as verified by the early learning coalition,

508

that the provider meets each of the requirements of the program

509

under this part, including, but not limited to, the requirements

510

for credentials and background screenings of prekindergarten

511

instructors under paragraphs (c) and (d), minimum and maximum

512

class sizes under paragraph (f) (e), prekindergarten director

513

credentials under paragraph (g) (f), and a developmentally

514

appropriate curriculum under s. 1002.67(2)(b).

515

     (c)  The private prekindergarten provider must have, for

516

each prekindergarten class, at least one prekindergarten

517

instructor who meets each of the following requirements:

518

     1.  The prekindergarten instructor must hold, at a minimum,

519

one of the following credentials:

520

     a.  A child development associate credential issued by the

521

National Credentialing Program of the Council for Professional

522

Recognition; or

523

     b.  A credential approved by the Department of Children and

524

Family Services as being equivalent to or greater than the

525

credential described in sub-subparagraph a.

526

527

The Department of Children and Family Services may adopt rules

528

under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 which provide criteria and

529

procedures for approving equivalent credentials under sub-

530

subparagraph b.

531

     2.  The prekindergarten instructor must successfully

532

complete an emergent literacy training course approved by the

533

department as meeting or exceeding the minimum standards adopted

534

under s. 1002.59. This subparagraph does not apply to a

535

prekindergarten instructor who successfully completes approved

536

training in early literacy and language development under s.

537

402.305(2)(d)5., s. 402.313(6), or s. 402.3131(5) before the

538

establishment of one or more emergent literacy training courses

539

under s. 1002.59 or April 1, 2005, whichever occurs later.

540

     (d)  Each prekindergarten instructor employed by the private

541

prekindergarten provider must be of good moral character, must be

542

screened using the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04

543

before employment and rescreened at least once every 5 years,

544

must be denied employment or terminated if required under s.

545

435.06, and must not be ineligible to teach in a public school

546

because his or her educator certificate is suspended or revoked.

547

     (e) A private prekindergarten provider may assign a

548

substitute instructor to temporarily replace a credentialed

549

instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned to a

550

prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute

551

instructor is of good moral character, has been screened in

552

accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in s.

553

435.04, and meets the screening standards in that section. The

554

Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt rules to implement

555

this paragraph which shall include required qualifications of

556

substitute instructors and the circumstances and time limits for

557

which a private prekindergarten provider may assign a substitute

558

instructor.

559

     (f)(e) Each of the private prekindergarten provider's

560

prekindergarten classes must be composed of at least 4 students

561

but may not exceed 18 students. In order to protect the health

562

and safety of students, each private prekindergarten provider

563

must also provide appropriate adult supervision for students at

564

all times and, for each prekindergarten class composed of 11 or

565

more students, must have, in addition to a prekindergarten

566

instructor who meets the requirements of paragraph (c), at least

567

one adult prekindergarten instructor who is not required to meet

568

those requirements but who must meet each requirement of

569

paragraph (d). This paragraph does not supersede any requirement

570

imposed on a provider under ss. 402.301-402.319.

571

     (g)(f) Before the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year,

572

the private prekindergarten provider must have a prekindergarten

573

director who has a prekindergarten director credential that is

574

approved by the department as meeting or exceeding the minimum

575

standards adopted under s. 1002.57. Successful completion of a

576

child care facility director credential under s. 402.305(2)(f)

577

before the establishment of the prekindergarten director

578

credential under s. 1002.57 or July 1, 2006, whichever occurs

579

later, satisfies the requirement for a prekindergarten director

580

credential under this paragraph.

581

     (h)(g) The private prekindergarten provider must register

582

with the early learning coalition on forms prescribed by the

583

Agency for Workforce Innovation.

584

     (i)(h) The private prekindergarten provider must deliver

585

the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program in accordance

586

with this part.

587

     Section 9.  Section 1002.61, Florida Statutes, is amended to

588

read:

589

     1002.61  Summer prekindergarten program delivered by public

590

schools and private prekindergarten providers.--

591

     (1)(a)  Each school district shall administer the Voluntary

592

Prekindergarten Education Program at the district level for

593

students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(b) in a summer

594

prekindergarten program delivered by a public school.

595

     (b)  Each early learning coalition shall administer the

596

Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at the county or

597

regional level for students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(b) in a

598

summer prekindergarten program delivered by a private

599

prekindergarten provider.

600

     (2)  Each summer prekindergarten program delivered by a

601

public school or private prekindergarten provider must:

602

     (a)  Comprise at least 300 instructional hours;

603

     (b)  Not begin earlier than May 1 of the school year; and

604

     (c)  Not deliver the program for a child earlier than the

605

summer immediately before the school year for which the child is

606

eligible for admission to kindergarten in a public school under

607

s. 1003.21(1)(a)2.

608

     (3)(a)  Each district school board shall determine which

609

public schools in the school district are eligible to deliver the

610

summer prekindergarten program. The school district shall use

611

educational facilities available in the public schools during the

612

summer term for the summer prekindergarten program.

613

     (b)  Except as provided in this section, to be eligible to

614

deliver the summer prekindergarten program, a private

615

prekindergarten provider must meet each requirement in s.

617

     (4)  Notwithstanding ss. 1002.55(3)(c)1. and 1002.63(5),

618

each public school and private prekindergarten provider must

619

have, for each prekindergarten class, at least one

620

prekindergarten instructor who:

621

     (a)  Is a certified teacher; or

622

     (b)  Holds one of the educational credentials specified in

623

s. 1002.55(4)(a) or (b).

624

625

As used in this subsection, the term "certified teacher" means a

626

teacher holding a valid Florida educator certificate under s.

627

1012.56 who has the qualifications required by the district

628

school board to instruct students in the summer prekindergarten

629

program. In selecting instructional staff for the summer

630

prekindergarten program, each school district shall give priority

631

to teachers who have experience or coursework in early childhood

632

education.

633

     (5)  Each prekindergarten instructor employed by a public

634

school or private prekindergarten provider delivering the summer

635

prekindergarten program must be of good moral character, must be

636

screened using the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04

637

before employment and rescreened at least once every 5 years,

638

must be denied employment or terminated if required under s.

639

435.06, and must not be ineligible to teach in a public school

640

because his or her educator certificate is suspended or revoked.

641

This subsection does not supersede employment requirements for

642

instructional personnel in public schools which are more

643

stringent than the requirements of this subsection.

644

     (6) A public school or private prekindergarten provider may

645

assign a substitute instructor to temporarily replace a

646

credentialed instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned

647

to a prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute

648

instructor is of good moral character and has been screened in

649

accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in s.

650

435.04, and meets the screening standards in that section. The

651

Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt rules to implement

652

this subsection which shall include required qualifications of

653

substitute instructors and the circumstances and time limits for

654

which a public school or private prekindergarten provider may

655

assign a substitute instructor.

656

     (7)(6) Notwithstanding ss. 1002.55(3)(f)(e) and

657

1002.63(8)(7), each prekindergarten class in the summer

658

prekindergarten program, regardless of whether the class is a

659

public school's or private prekindergarten provider's class, must

660

be composed of at least 4 students but may not exceed 10

661

students. In order to protect the health and safety of students,

662

each public school or private prekindergarten provider must also

663

provide appropriate adult supervision for students at all times.

664

This subsection does not supersede any requirement imposed on a

665

provider under ss. 402.301-402.319.

666

     (8)(7) Each public school delivering the summer

667

prekindergarten program must also:

668

     (a)  Register with the early learning coalition on forms

669

prescribed by the Agency for Workforce Innovation; and

670

     (b)  Deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program

671

in accordance with this part.

672

     Section 10.  Section 1002.63, Florida Statutes, is amended

673

to read:

674

     1002.63  School-year prekindergarten program delivered by

675

public schools.--

676

     (1)  Each school district eligible under subsection (4) may

677

administer the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at the

678

district level for students enrolled under s. 1002.53(3)(c) in a

679

school-year prekindergarten program delivered by a public school.

680

     (2)  Each school-year prekindergarten program delivered by a

681

public school must comprise at least 540 instructional hours.

682

     (3)  The district school board of each school district

683

eligible under subsection (4) shall determine which public

684

schools in the district are eligible to deliver the

685

prekindergarten program during the school year.

686

     (4)  To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten program

687

during the school year, each school district must meet both of

688

the following requirements:

689

     (a)  The district school board must certify to the State

690

Board of Education that the school district:

691

     1.  Has reduced the average class size in each classroom in

692

accordance with s. 1003.03 and the schedule in s. 1(a), Art. IX

693

of the State Constitution; and

694

     2.  Has sufficient satisfactory educational facilities and

695

capital outlay funds to continue reducing the average class size

696

in each classroom in the district's elementary schools for each

697

year in accordance with the schedule for class size reduction and

698

to achieve full compliance with the maximum class sizes in s.

699

1(a), Art. IX of the State Constitution by the beginning of the

700

2010-2011 school year.

701

     (b)  The Commissioner of Education must certify to the State

702

Board of Education that the department has reviewed the school

703

district's educational facilities, capital outlay funds, and

704

projected student enrollment and concurs with the district school

705

board's certification under paragraph (a).

706

     (5)  Each public school must have, for each prekindergarten

707

class, at least one prekindergarten instructor who meets each

708

requirement in s. 1002.55(3)(c) for a prekindergarten instructor

709

of a private prekindergarten provider.

710

     (6)  Each prekindergarten instructor employed by a public

711

school delivering the school-year prekindergarten program must be

712

of good moral character, must be screened using the level 2

713

screening standards in s. 435.04 before employment and rescreened

714

at least once every 5 years, must be denied employment or

715

terminated if required under s. 435.06, and must not be

716

ineligible to teach in a public school because his or her

717

educator certificate is suspended or revoked. This subsection

718

does not supersede employment requirements for instructional

719

personnel in public schools which are more stringent than the

720

requirements of this subsection.

721

     (7) A public school prekindergarten provider may assign a

722

substitute instructor to temporarily replace a credentialed

723

instructor if the credentialed instructor assigned to a

724

prekindergarten class is absent, as long as the substitute

725

instructor is of good moral character and has been screened in

726

accordance with level 2 background screening requirements in s.

727

435.04, and meets the screening standards in that section. The

728

Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt rules to implement

729

this subsection which shall include required qualifications of

730

substitute instructors and the circumstances and time limits for

731

which a public school prekindergarten provider may assign a

732

substitute instructor.

733

     (8)(7) Each prekindergarten class in a public school

734

delivering the school-year prekindergarten program must be

735

composed of at least 4 students but may not exceed 18 students.

736

In order to protect the health and safety of students, each

737

school must also provide appropriate adult supervision for

738

students at all times and, for each prekindergarten class

739

composed of 11 or more students, must have, in addition to a

740

prekindergarten instructor who meets the requirements of s.

741

1002.55(3)(c), at least one adult prekindergarten instructor who

742

is not required to meet those requirements but who must meet each

743

requirement of subsection (6).

744

     (9)(8) Each public school delivering the school-year

745

prekindergarten program must:

746

     (a)  Register with the early learning coalition on forms

747

prescribed by the Agency for Workforce Innovation; and

748

     (b)  Deliver the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program

749

in accordance with this part.

750

     Section 11.  Subsection (5) of section 1002.69, Florida

751

Statutes, is amended to read:

752

     1002.69  Statewide kindergarten screening; kindergarten

753

readiness rates.--

754

     (5)  The State Board of Education shall adopt procedures for

755

the department to annually calculate each private prekindergarten

756

provider's and public school's kindergarten readiness rate, which

757

must be expressed as the percentage of the provider's or school's

758

students who are assessed as ready for kindergarten. The

759

kindergarten readiness rates must be based exclusively upon the

760

results of the statewide kindergarten screening for students

761

completing the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program and,

762

if applicable, the students' results on the department's approved

763

Aural/Oral Language Proficiency Test beginning with students

764

completing the program during the 2005-2006 school year who are

765

administered the statewide kindergarten screening during the

766

2006-2007 school year. The rates must not include students who

767

are not administered the statewide kindergarten screening.

768

     Section 12.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

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

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