The People's Guide

35th Edition 2013-2014

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Page 19 of 71

The People's Guide 2013-2014 20 Child Care and Education Child Care/Ed. Children between the ages of 6 and 18 are required by California law to attend school. The L.A. County Office of Education offers numerous programs for all family members, including: • Literacy programs to help students and parents learn to read, and to train parents to help their children learn • Computer training and job readiness for parents • Early Advantage programs for children under age 3 • Head Start and State Preschool pro- grams for children Call your local school district or call (562)922-6111 County-wide to find out about preschool programs and family literacy programs. 1. After School Enrichment Especially if you are in CalWORKs, call your local elementary school to see if it has an after-school enrichment program. This pro- gram provides supervised afterschool fun, growth, snacks, and learning for children from first through sixth grade. Children must be attending the school where the program is offered. If your children attend school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), call (213) 745-1900 for information on enrollment in afterschool programs. If your children attend school in a different school district, call the lo- cal district. 2. Homeless Children's Rights Homeless children: • Do not need a permanent address to enroll in school • May remain at the same school they attended before becoming homeless, or enroll at the school serving the place they are living temporarily • Cannot be denied enrollment just be- cause any documents are not immediately available to choose good child care; • Make child care payments You can get information about how to request CalWORKs child care over the phone (877) 244-5399 or in person. You can request child care at DPSS, or at the agency. Your child care request will be approved or denied in within 4 business days of receiving and verifying required documents, including a completed Stage 1 Services which provides the agency with all the necessary information about you, your child care needs, and your provider Call the child care hotline (877) 244-5399 or Legal Aid for help if it takes a long time to get your child care approved. You will get written notice telling you whether you and your provider have been approved or denied. If you disagree with the decision you can ask for a fair hearing. 2. How Payment is Made A Provider Payment Request will be mailed each month to you and to your child care provider. Both you and the child care provider must sign the request and mail it to the child care agency at the address on the form. Payments are then made directly to your child care provider. If the payment is missing or incorrect contact the agency. 3. Choosing Quality Child Care It is your right as a parent to choose the child care you think is best for your child. The agency will give you referrals and infor- mation on what to look for when choosing a provider. If you decide the referrals are not good choices, ask for more referrals. Choose the child care that's best for you: • Child care centers, preschools, or family child care are licensed. • License-exempt child care can be pro- vided by friends, relatives, or neighbors. If you use license-exempt care, you will need to file a statement that your provider meets minimal health and safety require- ments. The child care agency will not pay for child care provided to you by someone on your CalWORKs case. • If the provider is caring for children from more than one family (besides their own) they may need a license. Most providers will have to be fingerprinted and go through a criminal background check. Your relatives may not have to go through this process. • Have the right to participate in school meals, special education, Title I and any other federal, state or local programs for which they are eligible • Must be provided transportation if other children get transportation • Cannot be isolated or separated from the main school environment just because they are homeless. These special rights under federal McK- inney-Vento law apply to all children and teens without a fixed, regular adequate residence including if you are staying with friends or relatives because you lost your housing, you are waiting for foster placement, or you are living in any kind of shelter, car, motel, campground, aban- doned building, garage, or similar place. = CalWORKs may pay for child care for chil- dren who are 10 years old or younger, up to age 12 if the county has funds available or if other exceptions are met, and up to age 18 if the child is disabled and needs special care. You may be eligible for child care even if you are under a CalWORKs sanction, and after you leave CalWORKs for up to two years. If you are low income, working, but do not get CalWORKs cash aid, you may still qualify for subsidized child care: for information call (800) 543-7793. If you or someone you know would like to provide child care, call (323) 981-3350 or a Child Care Agency for licensing, training and other information. 1. How Do I Get Child Care? To get money for child care, you will have to talk to a child care "agency." These agencies are called Resource and Referral (R&R) or Alternative Payment Programs (APP). They will • Help any family find child care; • Provide information to parents on how Every child in California has the right to a free public education, whether they are citizens, legal residents, have no documents, or are home- less. There is government money available to pay for child care when kids are not at school, for families who are in CalWORKs or working. EDUCATION CALWORKs CHILD CARE

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