(a) Plan approval. The Assistant Secretary will approve a Plan that satisfies the requirements of the Act and this part. Plans will be approved not later than the 90th day following the date on which the Plan submittal is received, unless a written agreement to extend that period has been secured.
(b) Plan amendments.
(1) Approved Plans shall be amended whenever a substantial change in the program occurs. A Plan amendment shall be submitted within 60 days of the effective date of the change. Plan amendments will be approved or denied not later than the 90th day following the date on which the amendment is received, unless a written agreement to extend that period has been secured.
(2) Lead Agencies must ensure advanced written notice is provided to affected parties (i.e., parents and child care providers) of substantial changes in the program that adversely affect eligibility, payment rates, and/or sliding fee scales.
(c) Appeal of disapproval of a Plan or Plan amendment.
(1) An applicant or Lead Agency dissatisfied with a determination of the Assistant Secretary pursuant to paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section with respect to any Plan or amendment may, within 60 days after the date of receipt of notification of such determination, file a petition with the Assistant Secretary asking for reconsideration of the issue of whether such Plan or amendment conforms to the requirements for approval under the Act and pertinent Federal regulations.
(2) Within 30 days after receipt of such petition, the Assistant Secretary shall notify the applicant or Lead Agency of the time and place at which the hearing for the purpose of reconsidering such issue will be held.
(3) Such hearing shall be held not less than 30 days, nor more than 90 days, after the notification is furnished to the applicant or Lead Agency, unless the Assistant Secretary and the applicant or Lead Agency agree in writing on another time.
(4) Action pursuant to an initial determination by the Assistant Secretary described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section that a Plan or amendment is not approvable shall not be stayed pending the reconsideration, but in the event that the Assistant Secretary subsequently determines that the original decision was incorrect, the Assistant Secretary shall certify restitution forthwith in a lump sum of any funds incorrectly withheld or otherwise denied. The hearing procedures are described in part 99 of this chapter.
[63 FR 39981, July 24, 1998, as amended at 81 FR 67578, Sept. 30, 2016]