GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2013

H                                                                                                                                                    1

HOUSE BILL 935

 

 

Short Title:        NC Pre-K Law Changes.

(Public)

Sponsors:

Representatives Burr and Avila (Primary Sponsors).

For a complete list of Sponsors, refer to the North Carolina General Assembly Web Site.

Referred to:

Education.

April 15, 2013

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT renaming the child care commission the early childhood care and education commission, expanding the scope of the commission to encompass issues relating to early childhood education programs, and making other conforming statutory changes; requiring that local partnerships shall be the sole contract administrators for the prekindergarten (nc pre-k) program; and clarifying the definition of "at-risk" as related to eligibility for participation in nc Prekindergarten program.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

PART I. EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION COMMISSION

SECTION 1.  G.S. 110-86(1) reads as rewritten:

" 110-86.  Definitions.

Unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the terms or phrases used in this Article shall be defined as follows:

(1)        Commission. - The Child Care Commission created under this Article.Early Childhood Care and Education Commission.

."

SECTION 2.  G.S. 110-91(4) reads as rewritten:

" 110-91.  Mandatory standards for a license.

All child care facilities shall comply with all State laws and federal laws and local ordinances that pertain to child health, safety, and welfare. Except as otherwise provided in this Article, the standards in this section shall be complied with by all child care facilities. However, none of the standards in this section apply to the school-age children of the operator of a child care facility but do apply to the preschool-age children of the operator. Children 13 years of age or older may receive child care on a voluntary basis provided all applicable required standards are met. The standards in this section, along with any other applicable State laws and federal laws or local ordinances, shall be the required standards for the issuance of a license by the Secretary under the policies and procedures of the Commission except that the Commission may, in its discretion, adopt less stringent standards for the licensing of facilities which provide care on a temporary, part-time, drop-in, seasonal, after-school or other than a full-time basis.

(4)        Building. - Each child care facility shall be located in a building which meets the appropriate requirements of the North Carolina Building Code under standards which shall be developed by the Building Code Council, subject to adoption by the Commission specifically for child care facilities, including facilities operated in a private residence. These standards shall be consistent with the provisions of this Article. A local building code enforcement officer shall approve any proposed alternate material, design, or method of construction, provided the building code enforcement officer finds that the alternate, for the purpose intended, is at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the technical building codes in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, or safety. A local building code enforcement officer shall require that sufficient evidence or proof be submitted to substantiate any claim made regarding the alternate. The Child Early Childhood Care and Education Commission may request changes to the Building Code to suit the special needs of preschool children. Satisfactorily written reports from representatives of building inspection agencies shall be required prior to the issuance of a license and whenever renovations are made to a child care center, or when the operator requests licensure of space not previously approved for child care.

."

SECTION 3.  G.S. 120-123(44) reads as rewritten:

" 120-123.  Service by members of the General Assembly on certain boards and commissions.

No member of the General Assembly may serve on any of the following boards or commissions:

(44)      The Child Early Childhood Care and Education Commission, as established by G.S. 143B-168.3.

."

SECTION 4.  G.S. 143B-138.1 reads as rewritten:

" 143B-138.1.  Department of Health and Human Services - functions and organization.

(a)        All functions, powers, duties, and obligations previously vested in the following commissions, boards, councils, committees, or subunits of the Department of Human Resources are transferred to and vested in the Department of Health and Human Services by a Type I transfer, as defined in G.S. 143A-6:

(11)      Division of Child Development.Development and Early Education.

(b)        All functions, powers, duties, and obligations previously vested in the following commissions, boards, councils, committees, or subunits of the Department of Human Resources are transferred to and vested in the Department of Health and Human Services by a Type II transfer, as defined in G.S. 143A-6:

(8)        Child Day Care Commission.Early Childhood Care and Education Commission.

."

SECTION 5.  G.S. 143B-147(a) reads as rewritten:

"(a)       There is hereby created the Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services of the Department of Health and Human Services with the power and duty to adopt, amend and repeal rules to be followed in the conduct of State and local mental health, developmental disabilities, substance abuse programs including education, prevention, intervention, screening, assessment, referral, detoxification, treatment, rehabilitation, continuing care, emergency services, case management, and other related services. Such rules shall be designed to promote the amelioration or elimination of the mental illness, developmental disabilities, or substance abuse problems of the citizens of this State. Rules establishing standards for certification of child care centers providing Developmental Day programs are excluded from this section and shall be adopted by the Child Early Childhood Care and Education Commission under G.S. 110-88. The Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services shall have the authority:

."

SECTION 6.  G.S. 143B-168.3 reads as rewritten:

" 143B-168.3.  Child Care Commission - powers and duties.

(a)        The Child Day-Care Licensing Commission of the Department of Administration is that was transferred, recodified, and renamed the Child Care Commission of the Department of Health and Human Services is renamed the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission of the Department of Health and Human Services with the power and duty to adopt rules to be followed in the licensing and operation of child care facilities as provided by Article 7 of Chapter 110 of the General Statutes.Statutes and regarding the provision of early childhood care and education programs.

(a1)      The Child Early Childhood Care and Education Commission shall adopt rules:

(1)        For the issuance of licenses to any child care facility; and

(2)        To adopt rules as provided by Article 7 of Chapter 110 of the General Statutes of the State of North Carolina, and to establish standards for enhanced program licenses, as authorized by G.S. 110-88(7).

(3)        In collaboration with appropriate agencies, establishing policies and procedures to ensure coordination among early childhood care and education programs, including completing necessary memoranda of agreement among federal and State-funded programs.

(b)        The Early Childhood Care and Education Commission shall adopt rules consistent with the provisions of this Chapter. All rules not inconsistentconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter heretofore previously adopted by the Child Day-Care Licensing Commission and the Child Care Commission shall remain in full force and effect unless and until repealed or superseded by action of the Child Early Childhood Care and Education Commission. All rules and regulations adopted by the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission shall be enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services."

 SECTION 7.  G.S. 143B-168.4 reads as rewritten:

" 143B-168.4.  Child Early Childhood Care and Education Commission - members; selection; quorum.

(a)        The Child Early Childhood Care and Education Commission of the Department of Health and Human Services shall consist of 17 11 members. Seven Five of the members shall be appointed by the Governor and 10six by the General Assembly, five three upon the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and five three upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Four Two of the members appointed by the Governor, two by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and two by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives,Governor shall be members of the public who are not employed in, or providing, child care and who have no financial interest in a child care facility. Two of the foregoingOne of the public members appointed by the Governor, one of the foregoing public members recommended by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and one of the foregoing public members recommended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be parents of children receiving child care or early childhood education services. Of the remaining two public members appointed by the Governor, oneOne member appointed by the Governor shall be a pediatrician currently licensed to practice in North Carolina. Three of the membersOne member appointed by the Governor shall be a child care providers, one of whom shall be affiliated with a for profit child care  center, one of whom shall be provider affiliated with a for profit family child care home, and one of whom shall be affiliated with a nonprofit facility. Two home. One of the members appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and two one of the members appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall be child care providers, one affiliated with a for profit child care facility, and one affiliated with a nonprofit child care facility. The General Assembly, upon the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the General Assembly, upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall appoint two early childhood education specialists. None of the members appointed to the Commission may be employees of the State.

(b)        Members shall be appointed as follows:

(1)        Of the Governor's initial appointees, four shall be appointed for terms expiring June 30, 1986, and three shall be appointed for terms expiring June 30, 1987;

(2)        Of the General Assembly's initial appointees appointed upon recommendation of the President of the Senate, two shall be appointed for terms expiring June 30, 1986, and two shall be appointed for terms expiring June 30, 1987;

(3)        Of the General Assembly's initial appointees appointed upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, two shall be appointed for terms expiring June 30, 1986, and two shall be appointed for terms expiring June 30, 1987.

Appointments by the General Assembly shall be made in accordance with G.S. 120-121. After the initial appointees' terms have expired, allAll members shall be appointed to serve two-year terms. Any appointment to fill a vacancy on the Commission created by the resignation, dismissal, death, or disability of a member shall be for the balance of the unexpired term.

(c)        A vacancy occurring during a term of office is filled:

(1)        By the Governor, if the Governor made the initial appointment;

(2)        By the General Assembly, if the General Assembly made the initial appointment in accordance with G.S. 120-122.

At its first meeting theThe Commission members shall elect a chairman to serve a two-year term. Chairmen shall be elected for two-year terms thereafter. The same member may serve as chairman for two consecutive terms.

Commission members may be reappointed and may succeed themselves for a maximum of four consecutive terms.

The Commission shall meet quarterly, and at other times at the call of the chairman or upon written request of at least six members.

The members of the Commission shall receive per diem and necessary travel and subsistence expenses in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 138-5. A majority of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

All clerical and other services required by the Commission shall be supplied by the Secretary of Health and Human Services."

SECTION 8.  G.S. 143B-168.5 reads as rewritten:

" 143B-168.5.  Child Care - special unit.

There is established within the Department of Health and Human Services a special unit to deal primarily with violations involving child abuse and neglect in child care arrangements. The Child Early Childhood Care and Education Commission shall make rules for the investigation of reports of child abuse or neglect and for administrative action when child abuse or neglect is substantiated, pursuant to G.S. 110-88(6a), 110-105, and 110-105.2."

SECTION 9.(a)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, members serving on the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission, renamed under G.S. 143B-168.3, as enacted in Section 6 of this act, on the effective date of this act may complete the terms for which they were appointed.

SECTION 9.(b)  The terms of the two members appointed by the Governor, the terms of the two members appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the terms of the two members appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives who are members of the public and not employed in, or providing, child care and who have no financial interest in a child care facility who are currently serving on the Child Care Commission shall expire on the effective date of this act.

SECTION 10.  The Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early Education, shall report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services no later than September 1, 2014, on the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission's progress in establishing rules, policies, and procedures under G.S. 143B-168.3(a1)(3), as enacted by Section 6 of this act.

 

PART II. LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS SOLE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATORS/NC PRE-K

SECTION 11. Beginning July 1, 2013, local partnerships shall serve as the sole contract administrators of the prekindergarten (NC Pre-K) program. Local school administrative units shall not serve as contract administrators for the NC Pre-K program.

 

PART III. CLARIFY DEFINITION OF "AT-RISK"/NC PRE-K ELIGIBILITY

SECTION 12.  The prekindergarten program may continue to serve at-risk children identified through the existing "child find" methods in which at-risk children are currently served within the Division of Child Development. For purposes of determining a child's eligibility for the prekindergarten program, the term "at-risk" shall be defined to include the following:

(1)        A child whose family's gross income is at or below one hundred percent (100%) of the federal poverty guidelines.

(2)        A child with an identified disability as indicated by the child having a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

(3)        A child of either of the following: (i) an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the North Carolina National Guard, State military forces, or a reserve component of the Armed Forces, who was ordered to active duty by the proper authority within the last 18 months or is expected to be ordered within the next 18 months or (ii) a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the North Carolina National Guard, State military forces, or a reserve component of the Armed Forces, who was injured or killed while serving on active duty.

Eligibility determinations for prekindergarten participants may continue through local North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., partnerships.

 

PART IV. EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 13.  This act becomes effective July 1, 2013.