A federal inspection of family day cares in Connecticut found numerous violations, including lack of criminal background checks, safety issues, and sanitary concerns. It's not the first time issues have been found with the way the state monitors day care facilities.
After the audit, which was conducted by the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, two of the providers voluntarily surrendered their day care licenses. Their licenses come from Connecticut Department of Public Health, which is also responsible for inspecting day cares, but is only required by state law to do inspections once every three years.
"We found a total of 116 violations," said Senior Auditor Tammy Levesque, "associated with the physical conditions of the homes and outdoor play areas. We also found eight providers that did not get the required criminal record and protective service checks for household members."
Among the federal recommendations: the state should increase day care inspections, and improve the way day care providers are educated about health and safety regulations. The state concurred with the findings in the federal audit, saying in a letter that it applied for federal funding to hire more staff to do inspections. It also noted the creation of the new Office of Early Childhood, which eventually will be responsible for family day care licensing and child care subsidies.
In 2012, a state audit found similar issues with the Department of Public Health. In 2009, DPH gave licenses to two new day care providers before criminal background checks were completed on its employees.