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Some Maine Family Child Day Care Home Providers Did Not Always Comply With State Health and Safety Licensing Requirements

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The Maine Department of Health and Human Services' licensing division (State licensing division) conducted the required inspections at 18 of the licensed family child day care home providers (providers) that we reviewed, but it did not conduct the required inspections at 2 of the providers until more than 18 months before our inspections. The State licensing division's onsite monitoring did not always 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 16 of the providers did not comply with 1 or more State licensing requirements to ensure the health and safety of children. Specifically, we found that 14 providers did not comply with requirements related to the physical conditions of their facilities, 10 providers did not comply with inspection procedures and other administrative requirements, and 5 providers did not comply with requirements to obtain criminal history and child protection reports.

We recommended that the State agency (1) ensure through more frequent and thorough onsite monitoring that providers comply with health and safety requirements; (2) consider State regulatory changes to ensure unannounced inspections are required to be conducted at least annually; (3) ensure adequate oversight by reducing licensing inspectors' caseloads; and (4) ensure criminal history and child protection reports are obtained for each individual applicant; paid, unpaid, temporary, or regular staff member or volunteer; and any adult living in or frequenting the premises. The State agency generally concurred with our findings and explained its plans for addressing our recommendations.