Fraud is defined as an intentional misrepresentation of information to gain an unfair advantage over an individual or system. Examples of fraud within the Certificate of Achievement and Stipend Program and Wage Supplement Program include, but are not limited to:
a) Misleading or inaccurate documentation
b) Altered pay documentation
c) Employment deception
The Oklahoma Professional Development Registry (OPDR) has mechanisms in place to aid in detecting fraudulent reports of experience working in a licensed childcare facility and positions held while in a facility that might be needed to meet criteria.
a) Our staff is regularly updated on the format of supporting documentation used in processing applications.
b) Participants enter their place of employment, position held, and amount of time worked in a licensed facility into one database that is used by several programs. Employment dates and positions held are “verified” and documented annually by the facility administration.
The OPDR staff are obligated to report any suspicion of fraudulent practices within the system. The suspicion of fraud should be documented and kept in the participant’s file and immediately brought to the attention of the Project Director.
OPDR staff researches the suspected fraudulent information to determine if the information/document is indeed fraudulent.
a) If fraud is still suspected and no verification from other sources can verify the document, the staff makes detailed notes of the findings in the participant’s online account.
b) Participant is issued a letter requesting proof of the authenticity of the documentation received. This is handled on a case-by-case basis as to what is needed to prove this authenticity.
c) Participant has two weeks from the date of the letter to submit a formal appeal, which would need to include supporting documentation.
d) If an appeal is submitted and found that fraud was not committed, OPDR staff continues with the processing of any current Wage or Stipend applications, and no action is taken.
e) If an appeal is submitted and we determine that fraud was committed, the Project Director informs the participant (via mail) of the finding and will uphold the corrective action for the fraud committed.
f) If no appeal is submitted within the allowed timeline with the necessary supporting documentation, we will proceed with corrective action for the fraud committed.
If fraud is confirmed, or an appeal is not submitted within the allowed timeline, then the participant is notified by email of suspension from the Registry for a total of 90 days from the suspension date (letter issued by the Oklahoma Registry’s Project Director). In addition, the participant will not be eligible to receive payments from the Oklahoma Registry Certificate of Achievement Stipend Program or the Oklahoma Child Care Wage Supplement Program for 1 year from the suspension date.
If suspended, the participant will also adhere to the following guidelines.
a) If the participant has an active ODC or PDL at the time of suspension, the current credential is revoked. The OPDR requests the return and/or destruction of the revoked credential.
b) The participant may only use OPDR-approved coursework to meet ODC or PDL criteria for as long as they participate in the OPDR.
Participants that are suspended from the Registry may also be subject to disciplinary action from The OPDR’s Professional Development Approval System (PDAS). This action can include but is not limited to ineligibility to participate in the training approval process, educator services, or other voluntary programs now or in the future.
If subsequent suspensions occur, the amount of time the participant is ineligible will be extended. See below.
1st-time suspension occurs - ineligible for the Oklahoma Registry Certificate of Achievement Stipend Program and the Oklahoma Child Care Wage Supplement Program for 1 year from the suspension date.
2nd-time suspension occurs - ineligible for the Oklahoma Registry Certificate of Achievement Stipend Program and the Oklahoma Child Care Wage Supplement Program for 2 years from the suspension date.
3rd-time suspension occurs - ineligible for the Oklahoma Registry Certificate of Achievement Stipend Program and the Oklahoma Child Care Wage Supplement Program for 5 years from the suspension date.
Participants suspended from the Registry will show a status of “Suspended” along with detailed notes as to timelines, requested documentation, and any correspondence with the participant.
OPDR staff contacts CECPD’s Director, Stipend and Wage Staff, PDAS Administration, DHS Professional Development Administrator, QRIS Administration, and DHS Child Care Licensing Administration via e-mail that includes:
a) The participant’s full name, and place of employment, including the K8 number of the facility and the position held at the facility.
b) The participant’s suspension dates.
c) The length of time the participant is not eligible to receive a stipend from the Certificate of Achievement and Stipend program and the Wage Supplement program.
d) The participant is only allowed to use OPDR-approved coursework to meet ODC or PDL criteria in the future.
e) A copy of the suspension letter that was sent to the participant.