On Friday, the state Department of Public Health was accused of putting kids at risk. A new report showed it had not done enough to make sure daycares were safe.
Two daycares just caught the state auditor’s attention.
Officials there said one was the Imagine Nation Preschool Learning Center in Bristol. The other was Roscco Stamford Schools Community Organization.
“It's a concern,” said auditor John Geragosian, who released an audit for the Health Department, the agency that oversees daycares across Connecticut.
The report shows it gave those two daycares a license to open in 2009, before criminal background checks for three workers were completed.
“It doesn’t mean they had any blemishes on their record. It means the department didn’t do the due diligence it was supposed to do,” said. Geragosian.
That auditor told NBC Connecticut it was possible those workers were never even screened.
“In the cases of those three employees, I don’t believe they've ever gotten the results,” Geragosian said.
No one from the Department of Public Health would comment on camera, but the agency responded in the audit. It disputed any problem, and said it screens every worker. The agency also admitted it has granted licenses to daycares, even when some screenings weren’t complete. In the documents, the agency said background checks often take a long time, so it has let daycares open if enough workers passed the test.
“They should have better procedures in place to make sure that no kids are put in danger,” Geragosian said.
The auditor said he would look at other new daycares to see if screening problems happened elsewhere. He wanted the Connecticut Department of Public Health to strengthen guidelines, and told NBC Connecticut there could be penalties if more issues were found.
Both of the daycares in question were still in operation. The auditor wanted to emphasize those businesses have done nothing wrong.