WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new review says parents should not assume that the day care workers taking care of their children have cleared background checks or that the facility has passed unannounced inspections.
The watchdog arm of the Department of Health and Human Services has found that 21 states do not require an annual unannounced inspection of all licensed child care providers. Only 15 require background checks considered comprehensive by the agency's Administration for Children and Families.
The report from HHS's inspector general says even when unannounced inspections are required by states, they weren't always done. And when inspection visits were done, the deficiencies found included not enough staff to maintain required staff-to-child ratios, unscreened people living in family day care homes and broken playground equipment.
The inspector took a closer look at California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Texas.