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Some Minnesota Childcare Centers Did Not Always Comply With State Health and Safety Licensing Requirements

Chemicals within reach of children in a classroom.

View photos taken at inspected facilities.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (State agency) conducted the required inspections at all three of the childcare centers that we reviewed; however, this onsite monitoring did not ensure that providers that received funds from the Federal Child Care and Development Fund complied with State licensing requirements related to the health and safety of children.

We determined that the three providers that we reviewed did not always comply with one or more State licensing requirements to ensure the health and safety of children. Specifically, we found that all three providers did not always comply with one or more requirements related to the physical conditions of the childcare centers and with required background studies. On the basis of our discussion with State officials and our review of the State licensing regulations, we determined that noncompliance with State requirements and limited oversight occurred because the inspectors were responsible for too many providers, resulting in high caseloads and limiting the amount of time spent on each inspection.

We recommended that the State agency (1) ensure through more frequent onsite monitoring that providers comply with health and safety regulations, (2) ensure that providers' employees (current and prospective) who provide direct services to children have completed background studies, and (3) ensure adequate oversight by reducing licensing inspectors' caseloads. The State agency concurred with our first and second recommendations and partially concurred with our third recommendation.

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families