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Audit (A-07-09-02763)

Review of Head Start Health and Safety Standards at Longmont Children’s Council

Executive Summary

Longmont Children’s Council (LCC), 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 October 2009, employee files showed that 10 of LCC’s 52 employees were hired before their criminal background checks were completed. In addition, LCC’s facilities did not meet all Federal Head Start and State health and safety regulations on protecting children from unsafe conditions. LCC’s failure to follow these regulations potentially jeopardized the safety of children in its care. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, LCC had received $83,000 in Federal funding.

We recommended that LCC develop and consistently implement procedures to ensure that (1) employees are hired only after passing criminal background checks and (2) all unsafe conditions identified in this report are addressed in a timely manner. LCC concurred with our recommendations but disagreed with our finding regarding the hiring of employees before their criminal background checks were completed. Nothing in LCC’s comments caused us to change our finding.

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Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services | 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201