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Audit (A-01-09-02505)

Review of New Opportunities, Inc.’s, Compliance With Health and Safety Regulations for Head Start Programs

Executive Summary

Our review found that New Opportunities, Inc. (the Grantee), did not fully comply with Federal and State regulations on ensuring the health and safety of children in its care. The Grantee provides early learning services to children aged 6 weeks to 5 years and their families through a variety of programs at three facilities.

As of May 2009, (1) the files on 6 of the Grantee’s 127 Head Start employees did not contain all required documents, (2) the Grantee’s three childcare facilities did not always meet Federal Head Start and State regulations on protecting children from unsafe materials and equipment, and (3) the Grantee’s three childcare facilities did not always provide a secure environment for the children in their care. These deficiencies occurred because the Grantee did not have adequate procedures or did not consistently follow procedures that were in place to ensure that it complied with Federal and State health and safety regulations. The Grantee’s failure to follow these regulations jeopardized the health and safety of children in its care.

We recommended that the Grantee develop and consistently implement procedures to ensure that (1) all employee files contain all required documentation, (2) all unsafe materials and equipment are stored in locked areas out of the reach of children and all necessary repairs are addressed in a timely manner, and (3) all facilities are secure. In written comments on our draft report, the Grantee described its completed and ongoing actions to address the deficiencies that we identified.

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