SB 4 - This act requires the Department of Social Services in collaboration with the Departments of Health and Senior Services, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Mental Health to develop by September 1, 2009, a quality rating system for early childhood and before-and after-school programs licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services that operate in this state. The licensing of such facilities shall be the baseline, while the highest rating includes accreditation. The departments shall utilize the model from the existing Missouri quality rating system pilots developed by the University of Missouri Center for Family Policy and Research to establish the system. The system will allow consumers and parents to evaluate and select high quality programs and creates a system of accountability for policymakers and those who fund such programs.
By July 1, 2012, all licensed child care facilities voluntarily receiving quality improvement funds and services shall, upon the facilities' request, be rated using the quality rating system established under this act. The Coordinating Board of Early Childhood shall develop a plan for a tiered system of reimbursement for child care subsidies based on the quality rating system established under this act. The proposed plan shall be submitted to the General Assembly with recommendations for implementation of the reimbursement system by December 31, 2010. The plan shall only become effective upon passage of a concurrent resolution by the General Assembly authorizing the implementation of the plan.
The Quality Rating System Program Improvement Grant Fund is established and shall consist of all gifts, donations, transfers, moneys appropriated by the General Assembly, and bequests to the fund. Money in the fund shall be used to provide grants directly to licensed providers seeking assistance for quality improvements to undergo evaluation under the quality rating system established under this act or to community-based organizations assisting providers with such improvements.
The Department of Social Services in collaboration with the Departments of Health and Senior Services, and Elementary and Secondary Education shall be responsible for promoting and distributing materials to educate the public and providers about the quality rating system established under this act. By January 1, 2011, the ratings of the quality rating system shall be posted on the Internet in a format easily understood and accessible by the public.
This act shall sunset in six years.
This act is substantially similar to HB 387 (2009) and to provisions in HCS/SB 79 (2009), SS/SB 94 (2009) and HCS/SB 291 (2009) and SS/SCS/SB 726 (2008).