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Review of Renewal Unlimited, Inc.'s Compliance With Health and Safety Regulations for Head Start Programs

As part of a series of reviews requested by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, we found that Renewal Unlimited, Inc. (the Grantee), located in Wisconsin, did not fully comply with Federal and State requirements on ensuring the health and safety of children in its care. The major objectives of the Head Start program include promoting school readiness and enhancing the social and cognitive development of low-income children by providing health, educational, nutritional, and social services. In fiscal year (FY) 2009, Congress appropriated $7.1 billion to fund the Head Start program's regular operations. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides an additional $2.1 billion for the program during FYs 2009 and 2010.

As of February 2010, the Grantee's files provided no evidence that the paint coatings at any of its 15 childcare facilities were free from hazardous quantities of lead. In addition, 10 of the Grantee's 12 childcare facilities that we visited did not meet other Federal Head Start and State regulations on protecting children from unsafe materials and equipment. The Grantee's failure to consistently comply with requirements jeopardized the health and safety of children in its care.

We recommended that the Grantee develop and consistently follow procedures to ensure that all unsafe conditions are addressed in a timely manner. The Grantee described actions that it had taken or planned to take to address most of our findings.

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families