Frequently Asked Questions for Child Care Providers

General Questions

Q: How do I become a Licensed Child Care Provider?

A: In order to obtain a Family Child Care Home License you must:

  1. Attend a Family Child Care Home orientation presented by Community Care Licensing. You may contact Community Care Licensing at (323) 981-3350 or (310) 337-4333 for a schedule of upcoming orientations.
  2. You must complete the three (3) requisite safety courses and submit the Family Child Care Home application to Community Care Licensing. Reimbursement for course fees may be available. Click here to learn more.
  3. You must pass a home inspection by Community Care Licensing.

Pathways LA can provide support every step of the way. Learn more here.

Q: Where can I get training about caring for children and improving the quality of my child care?
A: Pathways LA offers trainings and professional development opportunities to license exempt and licensed child care providers and their staff in our service area. Topics vary from child development, business development, children with special needs, and much more. Learn more about Pathways LA training and coaching opportunities here.

CalWORKS Stage 1 Programs
Note: In the following sections, a “participant” is the parent or guardian of a child receiving care.

Q: If a participant informs me that s/he is eligible for CalWORKS Stage 1 child care, does this mean that s/he is approved?
A: A participant may be determined to be categorically eligible for child care, meaning that they meet a defined criteria based on the CalWORKs programs. However, there are other requirements that must be met by the participant and provider before child care can be approved. A participant’s child care eligibility does not guarantee that a participant will be approved.

Q: For how many days and hours of care is the family authorized/approved?
A: When a participant’s case is approved, you will receive a notice informing you of the days, hours, rates, and effective dates (start and end date) of the child care authorization.

Q: I previously submitted my established rates, do I need to indicate my rates on the Participant-Provider Services Agreement (ST1-05)?
A: Yes. Each Participant-Provider Services Agreement is specific to one family. To avoid delays in the processing of these forms please indicate your rates per child. If the rate section is left blank the form is considered incomplete and will be returned to the participant. In addition, the rates listed on the Participant-Provider Services Agreement should be consistent with what you charge private paying families.

Q: As a provider, what should I do if the participant is requesting more days and hours of child care than the child care approval I received?
A: The participant must contact their Stage 1 Program Specialist to report any changes that may affect their need for child care. For example, if the participant was approved for child care Monday-Friday for five (5) hours per day and is now in need of child care Monday-Friday for eight (8) hours per day, you should refer the participant to their Stage 1 Program Specialist immediately. The participant may or may not be eligible for an adjustment in child care hours. Unless you receive an approval notice from Pathways LA, we will not be able to honor any additional hours of care provided outside of the authorization; the participant would be responsible to reimburse you directly.

Q: What should I do if a child stops attending my child care center or home?
A: If the participant fails to take the child to your child care facility you should contact our office to report the absence to a Stage 1 Program Specialist. Providers are required to notify the Agency by the fifth consecutive days a child is absent.

Q: Who do I contact if I need assistance in completing a Provider Payment Request (PPR)?
A: For your convenience, instructions on how to complete a PPR are included on the back of the form. However, you may contact our Stage 1 Department and schedule an appointment to
meet with one of our Program Specialists to review the proper procedure for completing the form.

Q: I am no longer providing child care services for a participant, and I cannot obtain their signature. What can I do to receive payment for the services I rendered?
A: We strongly recommend you obtain the participant’s signature on the last day of services. If you have made all attempts to contact the participant and have not been successful, you may submit
the PPR with a letter attached explaining the situation. We will attempt to contact the participant to obtain the participant’s signature on the PPR. If we are unable to contact the participant, the Program Managers will review the form and make a decision on the case based on the situation. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Can I use white out on a Provider Payment Request (PPR)?
A: The PPR is a legal document and the use of white out on the form is not acceptable. If a mistake is made, cross out the information, make the correction and initial and date on each correction made. We will not accept PPRs that have information written over the white out.

Q: What happens if the PPR is returned to me for corrections? When will I get paid?
A: When a PPR is returned to you, there will be a cover letter attached that indicates the reason(s) for the rejection. Please make any corrections on your PPR and return to our office (make sure to initial and date any changes). Once the PPR is resubmitted to our office, we will process your reimbursement according to the date the corrected PPR is received at our office.

California Department of Education (CDE) Programs

Q: What are the CDE Child Care Subsidized Programs?
A: CDE stands for California Department of Education. The department at Pathways LA, known as CDE subsidy, encompasses four CDE funded programs: Stage 2, Stage 3, Alternative Payments (CAAP), and the Berendo Family Child Care Home Network. All four programs follow the regulations set by the State CDE department.

Q: I have not received an Attendance Sheet. Can you please send me one?
A: It is your responsibility to ensure that you have an Attendance Sheet prior to the beginning of the service month. If you did not receive an Attendance Sheet, please contact a Program Specialist immediately, prior to rendering services. The form will be issued to you via mail.

Q: The period indicated at the top of the Attendance Sheet does not cover the entire month. What does that mean?
A: If the period on the Attendance Sheet does not cover the entire month, it can mean several things. It is important that you contact the participant’s Program Specialist for clarification.

Q: I cannot get in contact with a participant’s Program Specialist. What should I do?
A: Although it is preferred that you speak to the participant’s Program Specialist, you may speak to the on-duty Program Specialist in the CDE Subsidy Department at Pathways LA. They will forward the information to the appropriate person.

Q: A participant that was using my services stopped care, and I cannot obtain their signature. What should I do?
A: It is your responsibility to have all participants sign in and out on a daily basis. In doing so, there is no reason why an Attendance Sheet should be blank or missing signatures, unless it is the final signature on the bottom of the sheet which is signed at the end of the month of service. In those cases, Pathways LA will attempt to contact the participant for their signature; however, the signature must be obtained in order for the payment to be processed.

Q: What are the approved child care hours?
A: A notice indicating the approved child care hours will be sent to you upon the initial enrollment or whenever there is a change. It is important that you read the “comments” on the notice for the exact approved child care hours. If a participant uses hours that are outside the approved hours, Pathways does not assume responsibility for reimbursement of those hours.

Q: Am I responsible for reporting changes in a child’s attendance?
A: Yes, both participant and provider are responsible for reporting changes in a child’s attendance. If a child has stopped attending your facility, you must report this change within five (5) calendar days. If the hours the participant is taking the child to your facility have changed, you must also report this information because your reimbursement may be affected.

Q: I have a participant that is on a variable schedule. What does that mean?
A: A participant that is approved on a variable schedule has work days and hours that fluctuate. Pathways LA does not know the days or hours the participant is going to work ahead of time; therefore, they are approved on a variable basis. Participants on a variable schedule must submit a variable calendar and other information by the fifth day of the month. Upon assessment of the documents submitted, Pathways LA will determine your reimbursement.

Q: I know the variable calendar was submitted on time. Why has my payment not been processed?
A: Although the variable calendar was submitted on time, additional documentation must be submitted by the participant to support their work activity. If any information is missing or incomplete, your payment will not be processed until the participant completes the process.

Q: What are my approved rates?
A: Upon approval of your Service Agreement, a copy of the approved rates is sent to you. If you did not receive a copy, please contact a Program Specialist. Also, upon approval of a new family, you are sent an Enrollment Certificate that indicates the rates that will be used to determine reimbursement for each child.

Q: I informed the Resource & Referral Department about a change to my child care facility. Do I also have to report this change to the CDE Subsidized Programs?
A: Yes. Although the Resource & Referral Department and the CDE Subsidized Programs are in the same office, they have different functions within the agency. Please contact both departments to report the change.

Provider Payments

Q: When should the Provider Payment Request (PPR) and Attendance Sheet (AS) be submitted in order to be considered on time?
A: PPRs and ASs should be submitted by the fifth of each month. Any PPRs/ASs submitted after the fifth of the month will be considered late. Please refer to the payment calendar for payment distribution. If the family you service is on a variable schedule, then a variable calendar should also be submitted by the fifth of each month to avoid any delays to your payment.

Q: What are some reasons my payment may be delayed?
A: Some reasons your payment may be delayed include: the PPR/AS was submitted after the fifth of the month, the participant’s Variable Calendar was not submitted or was submitted after the fifth of the month, your PPR/AS was submitted with errors and was returned to you for correction, you did not re-submit your PPR/AS by the date indicated on your return letter, and/or the hours indicated on your PPR/AS do not match the hours for which you are approved.

Q: If my PPR/AS is returned, when will I be paid?
A: If you are enrolled with Stage 2, Stage 3, A.P., or the Berendo Child Care Network, we will honor the second submission date. Payments for AS re-submitted by the 15th day of the month will be released on the second business day of the following month. Payments for AS re-submitted from the 16th through the 20th will be released with the late payments. Payments for AS re-submitted from the 20th through the 31st will be released with the next month’s on-time cycle.

If you are a Stage 1 provider, we will honor the new stamped date of receipt.

Q: Who can I contact regarding any changes in the child’s attendance, changes in address and phone numbers?
A: Any changes must be reported within five (5) business days to the Program Specialist assigned to the family you provide care for. Failure to report any changes regarding a child’s attendance for more than five (5) days may result in a delay in your payment or non-reimbursement.

Q: Who do I contact to enroll in your Direct Deposit program?
A: Please contact the Finance Department at Pathways LA to enroll in our Direct Deposit program. The Direct Deposit request form is available here.

Q: Can providers call on behalf of participants to clarify information needed by the participant to initiate payment?
A: No. Due to confidentiality, Pathways LA will not disclose any information regarding the participant’s child care case to Providers. You may inquire about your service agreement, payment or hours approved. If the participant has any questions s/he should directly contact their Program Specialist.

Q: Can the participant call on behalf of the provider to inquire about payments?
A: Due to confidentiality, provider information will not be shared with the participant. We will not give specific information regarding a payment such as when the payment was mailed, the check number, or the exact check amount, which could include payments for other families. Participants wishing to inquire about the amount that was paid on behalf of their specific child/children may contact their case specialist.

Q: Will I be paid for hours that are not authorized by Pathways LA?
A: No. Providers will only be reimbursed for hours that have been authorized through a Notice of Action.

Q: What do I need to do if I believe my check amount is incorrect?
A: If you wish to have your payment reviewed please submit a Payment Review Request form to the Payment Services Department. You can obtain a form by calling the Payment Services Department to have one mailed to you or by requesting a form in person. We will contact you when your review is complete.

Q: Am I considered a Pathways LA employee because I get reimbursed by the agency?
A: No. Pathways LA is not your employer. You are self-employed and sub-contracted for child care services. Pathways reimburses you on behalf of the participant enrolled in the program. Because you are not an employee of Pathways LA, we cannot provide employment verification on your behalf or complete any employment verification paperwork for credit purposes, etc.

Q: How much does Pathways LA pay providers?
A: Pathways LA does not set payment rates for providers. We reimburse the provider according to their published public rates, what they charge their public paying participants, in accordance with the Regional Market Ceiling (RMC).

Q: How is my payment calculated?
A: Your payment is determined by several factors: the participant’s approved schedule, the child’s school schedule, absences, and other circumstances that may change month to month affect your payment.

Q: How do I know if I will be paid for full-time or part-time care?
A: The following chart shows how part-time and full-time hours are determined. However, the participant’s approved child care hours will be considered when calculating full-time/part-time reimbursement.
• Hourly: Less than 30 hours a week or less than six (6) hours per day
• Daily: Six (6) hours or more per day
• Weekly Full Time: 30 hours or more per week
• Weekly Part Time: Less than 30 hours per week
• Monthly Full Time: 30 hours or more per week or an average of 30 hours or more per week; care occurs on every week of the month
• Monthly Part Time: Less than 30 hours per week or an average of less than 30 hours per week; care occurs in every week of the month

Q: If a child is sick and unable to attend child care, will providers be reimbursed?
A: Only licensed child care providers are eligible for payment when a child is absent. Reimbursement for absences must be included in the provider’s submitted published public policies. Licensed providers will only be reimbursed if the participant signs the back of the PPR and the AS and indicates the reason why the child was absent AND if the reason for absence is considered an excused absence according to the requirements listed on the back of the AS. When a child is absent more than five (5) consecutive days, a doctor’s note will be required.