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Review of Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc.�s, Compliance With Health and Safety Regulations for Head Start Programs

Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc. (the Grantee), located in Connecticut, did not fully comply with Federal and State Head Start regulations on ensuring the health and safety of children in its care. As of June 2009, the files on 21 of the Grantee�s 72 Head Start employees lacked required documentation on child abuse and neglect registry checks, criminal record checks, and/or fingerprint cards. In addition, the Grantee�s two facilities did not always provide a safe and secure environment. The Grantee�s failure to follow Head Start regulations jeopardized the health and safety of children in its care.

We recommended that the Grantee develop and consistently implement procedures to ensure that all employee files contain evidence of child abuse and neglect checks, criminal background checks, and fingerprint cards; all unsafe materials are stored in locked areas out of the reach of children and other unsafe conditions are addressed; and all facilities are secure. In response, the Grantee described its completed and ongoing actions to address the deficiencies that we identified.