Eye on Oversight: Child Care Safety Lapses

NARRATOR: Nails sticking out of playground
fences, an unlocked liquor cabinet in a play area, and a tree saw accessible to children. These
were some of the violations found at state-licensed day care providers around the country.
HHS provides grant money to states, through the Child Care Development Fund, to help low-income
families get child care. This money covers nearly 1.5 million children every month. But
since 2013, the Office of Inspector General found that many state-licensed day care providers
failed to meet state health and safety requirements. GEORGE NEDDER: In some of our site visits,
we found some very dangerous conditions. For example, we found fire hazards, we found employees
without background checks, we found individuals that were not employees, and not approved
by the state, living in the home. For example, we found one individual, who was living in
a basement of a home, with access to the kids, all day long. Could you imagine, I couldn’t
even spend an hour on a soccer field, when I was coaching my kids, without a background
check? And here, we have an individual, that no one at the state, no one knows who they
are, with access to kids all day long. NARRATOR: In 2014, President Obama signed
the bipartisan Child Care Development Act which gave HHS the authority to strengthen
health and safety requirements for child care providers. This includes conducting background
checks on staff members, first-aid training for employees and improving site inspections
to identify unsafe conditions. But more needs to be done to keep kids safe. States should
meet new legal requirements to fix these lapses. GEORGE NEDDER: And let’s face it, child
care affects everybody. It affects my kids, your kids, my sister’s kids, your cousin’s
kids, everyone’s kids. Everybody, at least somebody knows somebody, who is impacted by
child care. And you know what, we really got to make it better.

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