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Family Connections Montana

Changes to Scholarship Rates and Sliding Fee Scale

Best Beginnings Scholarship Rate Increase

Early Childhood Services Bureau has increased the state rates for child care by 2%.  It is important to remember that this is not an automatic increase for child care providers.  If you will be implementing a rate change as a result of this increase, you must report the rate change through the regular process and current MT Department of Public Health and Human Services (MTDPHHS) policies will apply.  The easiest way to change your rates is to go to https://familyconnectionsmt.org/and click on the orange button that says “I Want to Update My Provider Info”.  From there, click on the orange button that says, “Provider Rates”.  Please note that rates must be supplied in the correct format, including an hourly and daily rate, which is required in the state computer system for scholarship families.  Rates that are supplied in the correct format will be effective the first of the month following the date they are received in accordance to the MTDPHHS policy.  For example, if you supply a correct format on 8/1/2013, the new rate will be effective for scholarship payment as of 9/1/2013.  Unfortunately, because of the great volume of providers making rate changes  across the state that is anticipated, we will be unable to call providers who report rates incorrectly and as a result, your rate adjustment will be delayed until the error is corrected.

If you have questions about the rate changes, the reporting format for rate changes, or alternative ways rates can be reported, please call or e-mail Trina at FCMT at (406) 770-3177 or 1-855-406-CARE (2273), trinan@familyconnectionsmt.org.  To view a copy of the letter that was mailed out to providers regarding this rate change, please click here https://familyconnectionsmt.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/rate-letter.pdf.

Changes to the Sliding Fee Scale

Early Childhood Services Bureau has increased the Sliding Fee Scale.  This is great news for  Best Beginnings Scholarship families starting August, 2013, since many families may see a decrease to their co-pay. Also, some families that were previously over income for the scholarship may now be eligible.  Child care providers or current families, please encourage other families who were over income in the past to apply again since this adjustment may allow them to qualify for a child care scholarship.  This change increases the income to the 2012 federal poverty index with the funds that the 2013 legislature was able to provide ECSB.

Eligibility specialists are going to be evaluating the new sliding fee scale and cases to see if the co-pays should be adjusted.  For families that currently have a $10 co-pay, this is the lowest amount and as a result, there will be no change in their co-pay amount.  Families do not need to do anything at this time to have this change take effect.  Eligibility specialists will be reviewing cases that may need adjustment and will send out information if there is a change.  If you have questions, we welcome you to call the FCMT eligibility specialist handling the case.  To read the ECSB’s letter regarding this change that was mailed to providers and famiies, please click here https://familyconnectionsmt.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2013-ltr-Sliding-Fee-Scale.pdf