Some Maine Child Day Care Centers Did Not Always Comply With State Health and Safety Licensing Requirements
Although the Maine Department of Health and Human Services' (State agency) licensing division conducted the required inspections at all six of the providers that we reviewed, this onsite monitoring did not ensure that providers that received Child Care and Development Funds complied with State licensing requirements related to the health and safety of children. We determined that the six providers did not comply with one or more State licensing requirements to ensure the health and safety of children. Specifically, we found that all six of the providers did not always comply with State licensing requirements related to the physical conditions of child day care centers, five of the providers did not always comply with inspection procedures or other administrative requirements, and four of the providers did not comply with requirements to obtain criminal history and child protection reports. We recommend that the State agency work with the State licensing agency to:
- ensure through more frequent and thorough onsite monitoring that providers comply with health and safety requirements,
- consider State regulatory changes to ensure unannounced inspections are required to be conducted at least annually,
- ensure adequate oversight by reducing licensing inspectors' caseloads, and
- ensure that providers obtain criminal history and child protection reports for all employees who provide direct services to children.
In written comments on our draft report, the State agency generally concurred with our findings and explained its plans for addressing our recommendations.