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Utah's Monitoring Process Generally Ensured Child Care Provider Compliance With State Criminal Background Check Requirements

Why OIG Did This Audit

The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG Act) of 2014 added new requirements for States that receive funding from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) to conduct comprehensive criminal background checks on staff members and prospective staff members of child care providers every 5 years. Criminal background check requirements apply to any staff member who is employed by a child care provider for compensation or whose activities involve the care or supervision of children or unsupervised access to children.

Our objective was to determine whether Utah's monitoring of child care providers ensured provider compliance with State requirements related to criminal background checks established under the CCDBG Act.

How OIG Did This Audit

We analyzed and tested a sample of 30 out of 872 licensed family child care providers and child care centers that received CCDF funding during State fiscal year 2018. We reviewed 15 family child care providers (at which we conducted unannounced site visits) and 15 child care centers.

What OIG Found

Utah's monitoring process generally ensured provider compliance with State requirements related to criminal background checks at the 30 child care provider locations we reviewed. Although 12 of the 30 child care providers had employees who did not have the required criminal background checks, the errors related to only 20 of 1,338 (1.5 percent) unique child care employees whom we reviewed.

These errors occurred because the child care providers did not always update the State with the necessary information to meet its requirements related to criminal background checks. Although Utah performs at least two inspections of each facility per year, it relies only on information supplied by providers and does not take advantage of wage information maintained by the Utah Department of Workforce Services to identify individuals who were paid by a child care provider, but not reported to Utah.

Thus, the safety and well-being of some children were potentially at risk because 20 individuals were providing child care without having the required criminal background checks.

What OIG Recommends and Utah's Comments

We recommend that Utah consider improving its policies and procedures for the monitoring of criminal background checks so that it routinely obtains wage information from the Utah Department of Workforce Services prior to the inspections of child care providers, so as to reduce the State's dependence on provider disclosure of prospective covered individuals.

Utah accepted our recommendation and described the actions that it planned to take to address it.

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families