Health and Human Services

Child care measure clears final round

Lawmakers passed a bill April 11 to broaden options for determining child care provider reimbursement rates and establish intergenerational care facility grants.

Sen. Wendy DeBoer
Sen. Wendy DeBoer

Under current law, the state Department of Health and Human Services is required to conduct a market rate survey every two years to determine provider reimbursement rates under the Child Care Subsidy Program.

LB904, introduced by Bennington Sen. Wendy DeBoer, gives the department authority to consider a different federally approved methodology to determine reimbursement rates or to create their own model and seek federal approval. If DHHS chooses to continue using the existing method, the bill requires that the reimbursement rate be at least the 75th percentile of the current market rate survey.

The measure also includes provisions of a bill that seeks to incentivize creation of on-site child care services in the state’s nursing and assisted living facilities.

LB1178, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Anna Wishart, creates the Intergenerational Care Facility Incentive program to provide one-time startup grants for child care programs in nursing and assisted living facilities that are certified for Medicare or Medicaid. The program will be funded through a one-time $300,000 appropriation from the Medicaid Managed Care Excess Profit Fund.

Certified facilities are eligible for a grant of up to $100,000 for structural updates, outside campus space, equipment and supplies. Facilities that have been cited for providing a substandard quality of care during their most recent survey are not eligible to receive a grant.

The bill also requires DHHS to collaborate with a statewide association representing long-term care facilities and other stakeholders prior to Oct. 1, 2024, to develop the program and identify barriers that may impede the development of intergenerational care facilities.

LB904 passed on a vote of 45-0.

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