Audit: DCF did not always follow up with timely inspections after daycare violations found

A new audit reveals that when the Florida Department of Children and Families found violations at daycares, it didn’t always follow up in a timely manner, to make sure those problems were fixed.

It says the department did not conduct timely re-inspections following 115 violations over an 18-month period.

The audit tracked agency activity in nine Florida counties, including Duval, Clay and Nassau.

The violations included an unscreened employee left unsupervised with children, an unclean facility where rodents were found, hazards where children played, and insufficient employee training.

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There are three types of violations a daycare can receive, with Class I being the most severe. These are the types of violations that can pose harm to children.

Department records show most of the 115 in this audit were class II and III violations, but in at least one case it took DCF 68 days to circle back with the violating daycare.

Class I violations needed to be corrected at the time of the inspection. For Class II violations, the correction deadline is 10 days. For Class III, the deadline is 30 days.

In response to the findings in the audit, the agency says it will be making changes.

DCF’s response reads in part:

“Of the 115 violations examined in the audit, only six violations were not followed up within the current performance tracking system of violations pending over 30 days from the corrective action date.”

“The program will issue a policy directive stating that beginning March 1, 2019, re-inspections for violations must be completed timely; occurring as early as one day after the due date but not later than 10 business days after the due date.”

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