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

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The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (State agency) did not always ensure that providers that received Child Care and Development Funds complied with applicable State requirements related to the health and safety of children. We determined that three providers complied with the State requirements. However, 17 providers did not comply with 1 or more of the State requirements to ensure the health and safety of children. Specifically, 16 providers did not comply with requirements related to the physical conditions of their facilities, 14 providers did not comply with administrative requirements, and 4 providers did not comply with requirements to obtain criminal history and child protection reports. In addition, one provider falsified the renewal application by certifying that there were no prohibited criminal charges pending. We made onsite visits to this provider but we were unable to gain access. However, our preliminary review determined that the provider had pending criminal charges including, but not limited to, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children. When we advised the State agency of the pending charges, it immediately suspended this provider.

We recommended that the State agency (1) correct the specific health and safety issues with the providers noted in this report, (2) implement policies and practices to ensure that inspections of family child day care homes are conducted before children are placed into care and at that least one annual unannounced onsite visit is conducted in accordance with new Federal requirements, (3) develop and implement State regulations to require that criminal background checks are conducted at least once every five years in accordance with new Federal requirements, (4) ensure that providers obtain required criminal background checks and child protection reports, and (5) ensure adequate oversight by reducing inspectors' caseloads.

The State agency concurred with our recommendations.

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families