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Review of Head Start Health and Safety Standards at Saguache County Community Council

Filed under: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Saguache County Community Council (SCCC), located in Colorado, complied with the majority of Federal and State requirements on ensuring the health and safety of children in its care. However, as of May 2009, the files on 9 of SCCC’s 25 employees lacked documentation of criminal background checks, checks of the State child abuse and neglect system, or busdriver qualifications, and 1 employee’s child abuse and neglect check was not completed within 10 days of employment as required. In addition, SCCC’s two facilities did not always meet Federal Head Start and State health and safety regulations on protecting children from unsafe conditions. SCCC’s failure to follow these regulations potentially jeopardized the health and safety of children in its care.

We recommended that SCCC develop and consistently implement procedures to ensure that (1) employees are hired only after passing criminal background checks, all employee files contain documentation of criminal background checks and checks of the child abuse and neglect system, and busdriver employee files contain documentation of background checks and other busdriver qualifications and (2) all unsafe conditions identified in this report are addressed in a timely manner. SCCC concurred with our findings and described its completed and ongoing actions to address the deficiencies that we identified. 

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families