SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary there shall be established under the Department of Early Education and Care a new fund to be known as the “Disproportionate Share Childcare Provider Fund”. This fund shall provide supplemental funding to certain eligible childcare provider agencies which care for a disproportionate number of high risk children and which meet the criteria set forth in Section 3 of this act.
SECTION 2. On an annual basis not less than fifty percent of licensing fees collected by the Department of Early Education and Care shall be deposited into the Disproportionate Share Childcare Provider Fund established in Section 1 of this act.
SECTION 3. Childcare provider agencies which meet the following criteria shall be eligible for supplemental funding from the Disproportionate Share Childcare Provider Fund:
a) Be an agency which offers center based, family and after school early education and care programs with a licensed capacity of over 150 children; and
b) Have at least 95% of their capacity serving children whose families live at or below the federal poverty level; and
c) Not be a provider of HeadStart or eligible for federal funding as a Community Anti-Poverty Agency; and
d) Receive not less than 90% of agency early education and care revenue from the Department of Early Education and Care; and
e) Operate in a designated “gateway municipality” as defined by Section 3A of Chapter 23A of the General Laws.
SECTION 4. Licensed childcare provider agencies which meet the criteria set forth in Section 3 of this act shall be entitled to an annual payment from the Disproportionate Share Childcare Provider Fund. Payment to eligible agencies shall be made in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Early Education and Care. All funds contained in the account shall be expended to eligible licensed childcare provider agencies bi-annually in proportion to the licensed capacity of the eligible agency. Any funds not expended at the end of each fiscal year shall remain in such fund and shall not revert to the General Fund.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
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