- Associated Press - Monday, July 28, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - A review of 20 Michigan home day cares found that each wasn’t in compliance with at least one state licensing requirement for children’s health and safety, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Health and Human Services inspector general’s office.

Conditions in 19 of the homes failed to meet some standards, while 16 failed state record-keeping and supervision requirements. Ten providers had not properly completed criminal background checks for assistant caregivers, according to the report, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

In Michigan, unannounced inspections occur once a year for group childcare homes and at 10 percent of family childcare homes in each county every year. The Michigan Department of Human Services’ Bureau of Children and Adult Licensing is responsible for onsite monitoring of licensed family care home providers.

“The (state’s) licensing department does not often identify health and safety violations when they first occur or identify when a provider might need additional training,” the report said. “Therefore, some health and safety violations may exist several years before a state licensing inspector discovers a problem that places children at risk.”

Officials with the inspector general’s office accompanied state licensing consultants from June 13, 2013 to Aug. 6, 2013 during unannounced inspections of the 20 day cares.

The review noted some day cares:

- had blocked pathways or inadequate fire escape exits

- had inoperable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

- had exposed nails in wooden fences

- had unsecured swimming pools near play areas and play areas with dog feces in them

- had chemicals labeled “flammable” stored near a furnace and water heater

- had pet food on a kitchen cutting board that also was used to cut an apple for children

The state has reviewed the findings, which are similar to what licensing inspectors find during home visits, said Bob Wheaton, a state Human Services spokesman.

“The state is concerned about the violations found in these homes,” Wheaton told The AP.

Wheaton said that state licensing workers spotted the violations during the 20 inspections and issued citations.

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