Faulty data led Pa. to pay cons to watch kids, auditor says

Faulty data led Pa. to pay cons to watch kids, auditor says

Pennsylvania's Child Care Information Services maintained a faulty database of child care providers and as a result issued child care checks to persons who were in prison during the time they were supposed to be watching children, according to the state's auditor.

The Department of Public Welfare agreed with the auditor's finding that its child care provider database contains missing and invalid information, according to the report issued by auditor general Robert P. Casey. The department plans to implement an improved child care management information system, the report said.

The auditor's review of child care agencies' payments between September 2000 and July 2001 revealed payments totaling $103,000 to 25 unregulated child care providers with criminal records. Of the 25, 11 had been convicted of serious crimes, the auditor said, including statutory rape, manslaughter, corruption of minors and felony drug violations.

In addition, the auditor said, the state agencies issued checks totaling $9,667 to six persons who were in state prisons at the times when they were supposed to be providing child care services.

'We found records indicating that two of the six providers were also arrested on days they were caring for children,' the report said.

The auditor's office reported those cases to the District Attorneys' offices in the areas where they occurred.

Among the auditor's many recommendations were that the agencies improve their computerized criminal background check methods and match databases.


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