In early May, the California Department of Education (CDE) placed funding for the Communtiy Child Care Council of Santa Clara County (4Cs) on conditional status following a scathing 63-page report by California State Auditor Elaine M. Howle detailing questionable and unfair practices.
The report details how 4Cs:
- Unfairly disrupted and terminated services to some families;
- Terminated a preschool program to seemingly avoid further scrutiny;
- Misused state funds;
- Paid providers late, creating unnecessary financial hardship for them;
- Engaged in questionable management of its employee retirement plans.
Recently, CDE issued an addendum to this decision outling the conditions 4Cs must meet to keep their funding from the state (you can read the full addendum here). If the Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County (4Cs) violates any of the conditions set out by the California Department of Education (CDE) in this addendum, they could be at risk of losing their funding altogether.
“We are glad to see that CDE has put the rules that 4Cs must follow to keep their funding in writing. But child care providers received an email from 4Cs just last week saying that the reimbursements they owed us on July 15 wouldn’t arrive until July 23,” said Patricia Moran, a family child care provider who contracts with 4Cs. “That email came after the date we were supposed to receive our reimbursements. When 4Cs doesn’t pay providers on time, it makes it difficult for us to provide for our own families and continue providing child care.”
The conditions 4Cs’ must meet to keep their funding include:
- Submitting a corrective plan to stay in compliance with program eligibility requirements;
- Committing to greater transparency and oversight from CDE;
- Ceasing their misuse of state grant money on questionable and unallowable purchases;
- Giving more detailed reports to CDE about their finances and evidence that they’re spending and managing state grant money appropriately;
- Developing and training staff to make sure people are qualified to perform the functions of the jobs they hold;
- Updating their policies ensure that the health and safety of children are guaranteed;
- Setting up a plan to properly document their Notices of Action and avoid fraud;
- Pay child care providers in a timely manner and;
- Allow for proper self-evaluation so they’re meeting requirements.
4Cs employees voted to form a union with SEIU 521 last year and continue to work on securing a first contract that protects our rights and benefits and ensures that we have a voice at work to improve services. 4Cs workers are committed to winning a fair contract.
Have questions about 4Cs conditional status or contract negotiations? Contact Mario del Castillo at 408-340-3122.