Federal Register Publication of the Revised Child Care Improper Payments Data Collection Instructions

On September 8, 2021, the 30-day public comment period opened in the Federal Register for the revised Child Care Improper Payments Data Collection Instructions (DCI).

This Federal Register Notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, which requires Federal agencies to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)/Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for any information collection effort that will ask the same question of 10 or more persons, including stakeholders. The process includes the publication of an initial Federal Register Notice (FRN), allowing 60 days for public comments on the initial draft of the revised DCI for information collection, the publication of a second FRN allowing 30 days for public comments on the final proposed information collection, and review and approval by OMB/OIRA.

The 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other interested parties have 30 days to make formal comments during this comment period. The public comment period will end on October 7, 2021. Please refer to the Federal Register publication for instructions on how to submit comments and to request a copy of the proposed information collection.

Overview of the Revised Child Care Improper Payments Data Collection Instructions

The DCI details the methodology to be used to implement the error rate reporting requirements at Subpart K of 45 CFR, Part 98, of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program, including the preparation and submission of the State Improper Payments Report (ACF-404) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services once every 3 years.

The current DCI expires on October 31, 2021. As part of the renewal process, the Office of Child Care (OCC) has revised the document with minor revisions that do not change the methodology but that provide additional guidance, clarification, and examples to support complete and accurate report submissions. Specifically, clarifying language has been added to address considerations for conducting error rate reviews when the Lead Agency administers all or part of the CCDF program through other governmental or nongovernmental agencies. A question was added to the Sampling Decisions, Assurances, and Fieldwork Preparation Plan about how Lead Agencies access documents stored by other entities, as may be required if part of eligibility is determined by the other entity. OCC is particularly interested in feedback about the clarity of these instructions, the ease with which respondents can access documents stored by other entities, and the expected level of accuracy of the information received.

OCC has given thoughtful consideration to the comments received by one state following the publication of the 60-day public comment period. Although no additional changes were made in response to the comments, OCC will use the feedback to inform training and technical assistance for states. In addition, feedback provided by states during the last 3-year cycle of error rate reviews has informed the minor proposed revisions to this data collection.

Office of Child Care

Administration for Children and Families

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Mary E. Switzer Building, Fourth Floor, MS 4425

330 C Street, S.W.

Washington, DC  20201

General office number: (202) 690-6782

Fax: (202) 690-5600

General email: occ@acf.hhs.gov

Website: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/occ