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Puerto Rico Child Day Care Centers Did Not Always Comply With Commonwealth Health and Safety Requirements

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The Puerto Rico Department of the Family (State agency) did not ensure that providers that received funding from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) complied with State plan requirements related to the health and safety of children. Although Puerto Rico's Administration for Integral Child Care and Development conducted the required inspections at all three providers that we reviewed, we found potentially hazardous conditions at the three providers, and two of the providers did not comply with requirements to obtain background checks on workers.

To improve its health and safety monitoring, we recommended that the State agency (1) establish binding health and safety requirements for all CCDF providers in Puerto Rico law or regulation, in accordance with the State plan; (2) have procedures in place to ensure that providers receive adequate training on health and safety requirements; (3) develop a single comprehensive and specific checklist to aid in its monitoring of providers for compliance with health and safety requirements, and provide all centers with the checklist; (4) correct the specific health and safety issues with the three providers noted in this report; and (5) ensure that providers employ only individuals with proper background certification. The State agency concurred with our findings and described actions it had taken and planned to take to address our recommendations.

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families