ND Audit Faults Human Services for Improper Childcare Licensing

Published 08/25 2016 05:24PM

Updated 08/25 2016 07:30PM

North Dakota's department of Human Services has come under fire for allowing child-care providers to continue operating despite having knowledge of inappropriate activities.
Today, the department responds to the audit.
Ben Smith has the story.
A report from the state Auditor's office faults Human Services for not properly monitoring or suspending childcare providers.
They're accused of not notifying parents about activities jeopardizing the health and safety of children.
Between 2013 and 2014 the report found cases where providers were allowed to continue operating while the Department of Human Services was aware of activities.
These included illegal drug use by the provider, inappropriate touching from adults and inappropriate sexual play between children.
"We follow North Dakota century code and lays out notification to parents in the event of a suspension and a revocation of license," says Rebecca Everhardt, Administrator for Early Childhood Services
She says it's up to Child Protection Services and childcare licensing to suspend or revoke providers licenses.
The audit reported 13 MOU agreements, or cases where providers are allowed to continue operating for a time, despite the possibility of activities jeopardizing the health and safety of children
"Just because there is an MOU, does not mean there has been a rule violation...Of those MOU's that were mentioned, some closed, some license revoked, some had license denied when they went for renewal," says Everhardt
In four the 13 of cases, the childcare provider is currently still in operation.
Their location, or if they were in violation, is confidential under state law.
Everhardt says they are reviewing their policies when it comes to licensing.
She says parents are encouraged to contact Child Care Aware for tips on selecting licensed child care providers, and can also contact county social service office child care licensors for information on provider licensing history.

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