Small Business Adminstration Will Give Expert Tax Advice and More on Child Care Strong! Register Today! Classes on Monday!

I am registered for the evening class. I wish to know how reimbursements to my business from the Child Care Strong Grant will impact Capital Gains Tax on my 2022 Corporate return.

This expert training will provide sound, reliable advice from those who truly have the knowledge to best guide my decisions.

To all who have participated in other question and answer sessions, I urge you to register for this training today, for the SBA best understands the mechanics of business.

There will be two classes on Monday:

Monday May 23, 2022 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Click here to register.

Monday May 23, 2022 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Click here to register.

Make Your Child Care Strong Smartsheet Reports SMART!

REMEMBER – KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!


Child Care Legislative Hearing at Capitol Thursday May 19th 10:00AM Room 113 All Providers are Encouraged to Attend!


The Mississippi Small Business Center Presents “Tips on the Business of Child Care” Training.

The Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning, MDHS, Loving Hands, Mississippi Early Learning Resources, and the Children’s Defense Fund have worked to make “Tips on the Business of Child Care” training available to us as a guide for good business practice and to aid us in the decisions we each make in the spending of Child Care Strong dollars!

If you are now managing Child Care Strong dollars, you will not want to miss this training!

It will be offered twice: 11 AM or 6 PM, May 23, 2022 but you must register to participate.

Click here to REGISTER today: https://nmec.msresaservices.com/s/event/search?search=Tips+on+the+Business+of+Child+Care+from+MS+Small+Business+Development+Center&description=true


UPDATE: Jacob Black implicated in USM Welfare Vollyball Ruse. See § 215.45 Cost and price analysis required for allowability.

Hass, 216 U.S. at 479-480. In Hammerschmidt, Chief Justice Taft, defined “defraud” as follows:

To conspire to defraud the United States means primarily to cheat the Government out of property or money, but it also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful governmental functions by deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest. It is not necessary that the Government shall be subjected to property or pecuniary loss by the fraud, but only that its legitimate official action and purpose shall be defeated by misrepresentation, chicane or the overreaching of those charged with carrying out the governmental intention.

April 12, 2022, Anna Wolfe of Mississippi Today revealed the following:

With the help of a deputy director named Jacob Black, who also attended the April 24 tour, Davis found the funding workaround. The day of the visit, Davis texted Bryant, saying he had “FOUND A WAY TO FUND THE T.K. Martin Center you ask me about.”

Later that day, Black texted Davis, recommending they add T.K. Martin into its application for renewed federal preschool funding, which was set to open in a few months. The federal agency eventually rejected Mississippi’s application and the state never got that funding.

“I think we can bridge the gap until that funding starts next spring. I will make that happen,” Black wrote.

Davis thanked Black for “always thinking ahead.”

“I am just tying to keep up with my teacher,” Black responded. “Thank you for being that teacher.”

Davis relied on Black, who is an attorney, to provide legal advice and ensure the agency was complying with the law. Their communication suggests Black knew how to get creative with funding. Once, when Davis asked Black by text if he could find $2.5 million to shore up New’s nonprofit, he agreed to find a way.

“Let me figure out how to do it without creating an audit finding,” Black wrote.

Jacob Black demonstrated what I consider to be aspirations of being appointed as the Executive Director of MSDH.

Jacob Black claims to be the innocent Whistleblower fingering John Davis and others of the largest State embezzlement in Mississippi history. He is one of the employees who took information about Davis’ alleged misspending to Phil Bryant’s office in late June of 2019, according to a former agency spokesperson.

Further, because child care providers have inquired, allegedly, as Dana Kidd expressed concern that CCDF vouchers were not being processed as they should be again in 2019 (only one year after she researched and designed the process to release the funding expeditiously following my post on the Family Resource Center and Families First) she was suddenly denied access to all child care data systems at MDHS.

Months later, after thirty-two years of unblemished and dedicated service to Mississippi and under threat of termination, Mrs. Kidd retired.

After Davis was ousted, Black remained a top agency official and even became interim director for about a month in early 2020 before current Gov. Tate Reeves replaced him with former prosecutor Bob Anderson. Soon after, Black left MDHS to take a staff attorney job at Medicaid.

To date, Jacob Black remains in good standing with the Mississippi Bar as he continues to serve as legal advisor to Medicaid.

Shad White’s office and the FBI have not yet brought any charges of conspiracy against Jacob Black.

As Mississippi low-income child care providers and the working poor were stripped of all resources funding new enrollment in the CCDF for five consecutive years, Jacob Black was the individual who announced even further MDHS Block Grant budget retraints.

Jacob Black was a willing participant who went above and beyond the call of duty to think even ahead of John Davis and make the unallowable diversion of Block Grant Funds “happen” all the while creating havoc in the professional lives of good people at MDHS, unaware, whose job was to actually serve the working poor. (See the comments of MDHS’s Jacob Black as he warns of fewer children to receive child care assistance because of the required increase in market rates SECAC/MDHS has not provided and as he confirms an unprecedented 1.4% percent acceptance rate of those applying for welfare assistance – only 167 of 11,700 approved.)

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A Free Mini Conference Just for Us! Limited Slots!

Fewer than one-half of the first come, first serve slots remain for the Plan, Practice, & Play Mini Conference to be held in Meridian July 20-21, 2022! There will be no charge for the Conference sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Child Care Strong Funds may be used to cover other expenses for this training such as meals and overnight stays!

Two of my staff members and I are already registered for this fun event and great morale booster!

Click here if you wish to register – Do it today! https://nmec.msresaservices.com/all-workshops/categories-EC/ECppp 

We cannot wait to see you there!


EARLY LEARNING GAME CHANGER TRAINING! April 5, 2022, 9:30 AM, 2 Contact Hours! Y’all Come! Form Fun Carpools!

Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum,
222 North St #1206, Jackson, MS 39201

Register Here: https://nmec.msresaservices.com/all-workshops/categories-EC&filter=


Training for the Child Care Strong Stabilization Grant is for ALL Licensed, Qualifying Providers in Mississippi. It is not too Late to Apply!

Those hardest hit by the ongoing pandemic have been those programs that do not receive Certificates of Payment from MDHS for they have not been paid for full enrollment over many months. The Child Care Strong Stabilization Grant is designed to provide them federal financial support too!

The goal is to stabilize Mississippi’s Entire Child Care Industry to the extent possible.

Following training from Dr. Cathy Grace of the Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning at Ole Miss, many of us have also gained the confidence to use the funding to make the quality improvements needed to fully participate in universal PreK and in support of any upcoming Build Back Better child care legislation.

Please see the video below to consider if you would like to participate and to learn of best practices in the quality improvements and finacial relief this grant will afford.

The federal government expedited this funding through MDHS because that agency was already set up to administer federal child care funding, BUT you do not have to be participating in the Certificate Program to participate. I urge all to strongly consider participation for you may never have such an opportunity again…and you deserve it! The application takes about 15 minutes to complete – if that – and the deadline for submitting it is January 31, 2022. Click here to read all about it and begin your application today!

Planning for a Mississippi Strong Child Care Program:


OPEN NOW – FUNDING AVAILABLE!

Below is the link to register for a Zoom Session on December 13th, 2021. 

Session 1:  9 – 11:30 am    OR    Session 2: 1 – 3:30 pm


CORRECTION: Mississippi received $133 million in supplemental CCDBG funding from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, passed in December 2020. This is three times the amount the state received in the CARES Act, and yet, thousands of families have been removed from services due to the DECCD decision to initiate a period of redetermination during the public health emergency. As expected, the date of publication for the Stabilization Grant has been postponed again. Not a Good Look for Embattled MDHS Following Largest Embezzlement in State’s History – DECCD Policy Makers Are Violating Federal Job Search Law, Failing to Convene COVID-19 Task Force Meetings for Provider Pandemic Input Following $633 Million in COVID Relief, Failing to Properly (Even) Discuss $133 Million of that in CRRSA Funding and Failing to Meet with Provider Groups Upon Written Requests to Bob Anderson.

Providers laughed out loud and together this morning after reading Chad Algood’s advice for deserving parents to call the DECCD Help Desk when met with the barriers DECCD has put in place for receiving child care assistance. (Even he knows that doesn’t work so he has invited all to contact him.)

The Conservative state of Texas has not destabilized its child care industry with a period of redeterming parent eligibility for receiving child care assistance at this time.

Illinois has not destabilized its child care industry with a period of redeterming parent eligibility for receiving child care assistance. at this time.

MDHS has not yet re-enacted the work requirement for able bodied citizens receiving food stamps – it has ONLY done so for those receiving child care assistance in Mississippi!

Who actually made the decision to destabilize Mississippi Child Care Programs by requiring 25 hours per week documented for continued child care services and even added a requirement for a current driver’s license for low-income parents all the while the Governor extended a State of Emergency…twice?

Who?

Who determined that the ten day application process enacted by former Deputy Director Dana Kidd should be relaxed to allow the agency 60 days to process and most likely deny an application for child care assistance?

Who?

Do they honestly think Walmart will hold an entry level job position open for two months for a single mom seeking a voucher?

Who at DECCD does not understand that the agency MUST fund these parents at the same level for no less than 90 days beyond the date of termination while they seek other employment and/or educational/vocational training according to federal law?

Who would even dare to defend such state actor conduct in defiance of federal law? (The key word is MUST.)

Who?

Who at DECCD has demonstrated the agency’s understanding of the intent of Congress to aid and stabilize child care asap?

Who at DECCD has not seen the help wanted signs at Wal-mart, Target, Waffle House, Olive Garden, Hospitals, etc. and does not comprehend or care about the importance of child care as a work force support system to Mississippi employers?

Who?

Who at DECCD has really demonstrated empathy for a single mom seeking child care assistance?

Who at DECCD has contacted all the parents terminated without the offer of the federally mandated job search to reinstate their child care assistance for a period of 90 days?

Who?

Actions speak louder than words.

Speaking of words, please read the articles by Anna Wolfe published today in Mississippi Today for our truth.

Right click here: https://mississippitoday.org/2021/11/01/mississippi-child-care-assistance-outdated-application-process/


Old DECCD Attitudes Wreaking Havoc on Child Care Recovery during Ongoing Public Health Emergency

I do not know if DECCD does not understand the National and State Headlines on the dire state of child care as an industry, or if they are not allowed to officially recognize the urgency of the ongoing Delta variant pandemic in Mississippi due to any allowable interest the state may be making on the funding until it is finally disbursed for use.

  • § 51c.112 Grantee accountability. Accounting for interest earned on grant funds. Pursuant to section 203 of the Intergovernmental Cooperative Act of 1968  (42 U.S.C. 4213), a State will not be held accountable for interest earned on grant funds, pending their disbursement for grant purposes.

The vast majority of child care leadership, however, feels the current mindset of DECCD is not new, but just recycled hatefulness.

They note some who are implementing harmful DECCD decisions at this time may have previously played a role in no new enrollment in child care assistance for five consecutive years under John Davis or other punitive policy of past administrations and related agencies so, they are likely just settling into the more familiar and comfortable business as usual pe-pandemic abuse and well documented second nature to resent, under appreciate and find child care and low-income families unworthy. (Click here to read post dated 3/12/18.)

Nothing has changed as of today and the information Sharing Meeting held September 1, 2021 (but for a few in our meetings who are ill-informed, or, as it has been opined through discussion, may wish to maintain perceived personal favor and relationships with state actors holding the purse strings and/or may place their own popularity and benefit above the good of the group) did not go any further in maintaining trust and confidence among most providers in the performance of DECCD at this time.

Andrea Sanders, who, when in a position to do so, so ably and expeditiously guided CARES Act policy at DECCD, is now the Executive Director of Mississippi Child Protective Services and many providers are convinced that it is her appreciation of child care as an essential business and her aim of fair DECCD policy making that is now so desperately missing.  (Andrea is also Executive Director of SECAC. If you wish, you may join her via live stream, also Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, 9:30 AM -12:00 Noon and show your support as she presides over the SECAC meeting.) (Click here.)

I have become disappointed and greatly discouraged by poorly rationalized and divisive DECCD rhetoric of late as well.

I had placed great hope and excitement in the possibilities of a future CCDF State Plan given COVID-19 Relief funding, defended DECCD when I felt they were being represented unfairly and advised or attempted to advise in matters of policy and public opinion, but the side I choose if I must choose – and now I must –  will always be that of licensed child care providers in Mississippi and things are just not going well for Recovery following Redetermination and other DECCD failure to effectively provide emergency support in its wake.

When I successfully advocated against a Redetermination procedure void the well-established pattern and practice of a client’s 30 days’ notice also provided via email to the provider so that assistance and Internet access may be offered, I met DECCD halfway by accepting the argument that the Redetermination process was necessary…until I learned last week that there is no current work requirement in Mississippi for SNAP until further notice and I realized I had only been given part of the MDHS story. (SNAP is not a block grant but consistency throughout the agency is vital to public understanding and success of programs and should be expected during a State of Emergency.)

At our last provider organization’s ZOOM, providers from Texas and Illinois who met with us reported no Redetermination practices with work requirements resulting in mass terminations had been carried out in their states.

(Other lead agencies and out-of-state providers who follow this blog are also welcomed to report the Redetermination status and Recovery consequences they are experiencing by writing to licensedprovider@aol.com and are welcomed to attend our meetings-as well.)

As it stands, any mention of support for the DECCD Recovery effort in Mississippi is strongly defeated – shot down – in our organizational meetings with facts and presentations of Program violation and half-truths.  (The very restrictive Redetermination decision was a mistake for many reasons.)

Honestly, DECCD does not have the right – even with a block grant – to behave so covertly, stealthily, and irresponsibly with such dire consequence for so many.  As a check and balance, there are huge federal penalties for willful violation of CCDF Redetermination and Eligibility statutes if a complaint is validated.

  • §98.92   Penalties and sanctions. (2)(i) A penalty of not more than four percent of the funds allotted under §98.61 (i.e., the Discretionary Funds) for a Fiscal Year shall be withheld if the Secretary determines that the Lead Agency has failed to implement a provision of the Act, these regulations, or the Plan required under §98.16;
  • 98.21 (2)(i) Job Search and Continuity of Care: Lead Agencies have the option, but are not required, to discontinue assistance due to a parent’s loss of work or cessation of attendance at a job training or educational program that does not constitute a temporary change in accordance with paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section. However, if the Lead Agency exercises this option, it must continue assistance at least at the same level for a period of not less than three months after each such loss or cessation in order for the parent to engage in job search and resume work, or resume attendance at a job training or educational activity.

Sadly, other recourse includes litigation in State Court. Let your clients know they should have been informed of their right to a hearing and job search.  Legal help is available through the Mississippi Center for Justice.

While it is great that DECCD announced last Wednesday the permanence of paying for full enrollment (now strongly encouraged), it must be noted that the purpose of paying for full enrollment has been defeated. Stringent Redetermination in Mississippi has proven even payment for full enrollment is too little help for those struggling child care programs today who recently lost 20 to 30 students for a reduction of 25% and more in total enrollment and operating capital as a result of the most restrictive decisions the lead agency could possibly make, with callous disregard for our public health emergency and in shocking, unexplainable conflict with its duty to stabilize all remaining child care quickly.

It is alleged one parent was terminated because her driver’s license was expired. Her expired license would have been accepted as a state issued photo i.d. if she had been going through recertification for SNAP.

Further reports allege another parent was terminated because she only had 24 hours of documented work in one week of her month’s long submission of check stubs.

The financial uncertainty due to COVID-19 is apparently of little or no concern to DECCD regardless of the ACF guidance:

  • Guidance  ACF CCDF-ACF-IM-2021-01 The CRRSA Act provides resources to address the immediate needs of families struggling to pay for child care and child care providers facing financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This Information Memorandum is designed to help states, territories, and tribes quickly distribute those funds to communities, given the precarious financial situation of many child care providers. (Click here.)

DECCD and MDHS also have a duty to guarantee the personally identifiable information coerced from providers in building the data base for the Standard Application (also unlawfully implemented) is purged from all use by them, third parties and NSparc when they bring that data base in-house as announced.

It was never necessary to involve our businesses and increase our exposure to suit through coercion in the collection of the birth dates, social security numbers and email addresses of our staff members for SEACA and DECCD to pretend to carry out the miserably failed Standard/Comprehensive Program. Therefore, suspicions of tracking low-wage individuals – largely African Americans – for income tax collections and more is understandable. (Providers already had an identification number assigned to the CCPP payment program and we must enter our federal tax i.d. numbers to log in.)

It is no wonder that the announcement of yet another stressful public hearing for policy changes is being scrutinized by providers for tricks, deceit, and punitive measures.  While battle fatigued providers disinfect entire facilities and vans DAILY and screen for the Delta variant THREE TIMES DAILY without promised PPE, they wait still for the promised reimbursement for school aged children who attended our classrooms fulltime last semester but only brought parttime fees.

If the proposed policy changes rightly redress Redetermination and Eligibility violations committed by DECCD, good…but it is not enough given the harm left in place.  It is estimated that thousands of families have recently been terminated from the child care assistance program.

I just received a call for advice from a provider who has lost 18 children so far due to DECCD’s choice to carry out Redetermination as it has – not to even mention the fulltime children lost to public PreK last month.

She has three staff members out on quarantine with their own children and has had to hire substitutes. She wanted to know if she was required to pay the employees on quarantine as well as the substitutes because she did not feel that she could pay both even if required.

I discovered her operating capital has been reduced by $9,000 per month and advised that she pay the substitutes first and hope that did not prevent other staff members from reporting COVID-19 exposure in the days to come.

I told her to advise non-paid staff members to file for unemployment and hope for the best.

This is what providers are going through every day!

Any limited reserve of energy expected from providers at this time should have been to announce a redo public hearing for the 2022-2024 CCDF State Plan that is required to list all planned use for CRRSA and ARPA funds, but the State Plan was not even mentioned at the information sharing. It t may be true, if the State Plan has been approved, that HHS ACF OCC and Region IV are allowing DECCD to largely circumvent Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law through the amendment process that usually is not published or known by stakeholders here until implemented. (Click here for more on the State Plan.)

Other providers I have talked to, now working to secure loans if possible and/or begin work to go out of business need to know what the future holds for child care in the Mississippi CCDF State Plan so that they are at least afforded the courtesy by DECCD to make informed decisions for their lives and that of their employees.

DECCD did announce consideration of one-time grants – like the Booster Shots – to help providers meet immediate PPE and payroll and other needs in a letter to OCC dated February 25, 2021.

  • Overview  ACF CCDF-ACF-IM-2021-01 Child care providers are critical to working families and economic recovery.  However, without immediate financial relief, child care providers will continue to close their doors, reducing the already limited supply of child care and making it harder for parents to work and children to learn.  (Click here.)  
  • Grants  or  Assistance  (Other  than Subsidies)  to  Stabilize Child  Care Providers   The intent is to offer one-time grants that can be used to cover current costs and/or recover revenue losses for prior service offered at reduced rates to families. The exact  amount  of  funding per  provider  is  currently (2/25/21) under  review  by MDHS.  (Click here to review Mississippi’s Planned Use of CRRSA.)

On June 7, 2021, however, DECCD announced it would not be issuing one-time CRRSA Grants.

During the Information Sharing meeting, we heard that over 300 providers have not yet submitted their Booster Shot reconciliation reports and that DECCD could not issue CRRSA one-time stabilizing grants until CARES Act Booster Shots reconciliation submissions were all finally reported.

We pointed out, in the chat box, that those requesting extensions had six months from their deadlines to submit reconciliation reports. That was later confirmed on the CCPP ledger Sign In page.  Log in to your ledger and you will see the invitation to extend your deadline.  (Click here.)

Cares Act, CRRSA and ARPA dollars are three separate funding streams.  Each funding stream has unique requirements. Because they are separate, one funding stream reporting practices does not nullify, void, or cancel out the next funding stream and so, suggesting otherwise was deliberately wrong.

  • § 51c.112 Grantee accountability. Accounting for grant award payments. All payments made by the Secretary shall be recorded by the grantee in accounting records separate from the records of all other funds, including funds derived from other grant awards.

We couldn’t speak, but we were all thinking even second round PPP was issued before forgiveness was granted for first draw PPP. (Bless their hearts!)

Then, at last, we were told that when DECCD learned of the ARPA Stabilization Grants, DECCD decided not to issue the CRRSA one-time stabilizing grants.

They changed their minds.

About 90% of the time allotted for the Information Sharing meeting was devoted to a repeat of information already presented by DECCD on ARPA Stabilization Grants. That is, DECCD is planning to begin the awards process in October. They will provide the Stabilization Grant Application and training and so on.

If you like, during the time DECCD is promising to get this funding opportunity together, you may go ahead and refer to ARPA guidance and training already provided online.

States Stabilization Grant Applications (Click here.)

There will be a ZOOM meeting of the Childcare Directors Network Alliance at 6:30 PM on Thursday.