- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday released the latest in a series looking at how well states enforce their own rules governing child care centers. Some earlier federal findings in other states and Puerto Rico from reports released in 2014 and 2015:

- Arizona: All 23 providers inspected in 2013 had at least one violation. Inspectors found cleaning supplies stored in an unlocked room; uncapped electrical outlets; roaches on a first aid kit; and a portable electric fan that was accessible to young children.

- Connecticut: Of 23 facilities visited in 2012, 22 had at least one violation. Inspectors found aluminum fencing with sharp edges, dog feces in a play area and exposed wiring in a gazebo. The state’s inspector-to-facility ratio was 1 per 332, six times higher than the nationally recommended 1 per 50.

- Louisiana: All 24 facilities inspected in 2013 had at least one violation, including chemicals accessible to children, an unattended stove that was turned on, exposed nails in a play area and a large hole in a playground fence.

- Maine: Of 26 facilities inspected in 2013, 22 had violations. The state only requires one unannounced inspection every six to 18 months, potentially longer than the recommended minimum of annual inspections. Violations included frozen breast milk not discarded after two weeks; exposed wires; a heater repaired with duct tape; and a wheeled crib used to evacuate babies during a fire was filled with toys.

- Michigan: All 23 facilities inspected in 2013 had at least one violation. Several centers had blocked emergency exits and others had fire extinguishers that employees couldn’t quickly locate. Many had inoperable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. One facility had a broken gate leading to a pool.

- Minnesota: Of 23 facilities inspected in 2014, 22 had at least one violation. State inspections for home facilities are required only every two years, twice the recommended limit. The inspections found holes in a ceiling and wall; knives, scissors and plastic bags accessible to children; and the hot water temperature on a sink accessible to children exceeded 120 degrees.

- Pennsylvania: Of 22 providers inspected in 2014, 19 had at least one violation. The inspections found an electrical switch missing a cover, causing shock; a facility that used a hung string instead of a fence to separate the playground from the parking lot; and mold growing in a play area.

- Puerto Rico: All 23 providers inspected in 2014 had violations. Inspectors found a hacksaw, hammer and toolbox accessible to young children; a rusted propane tank inside a facility; and a play area next to a carport, allowing fumes to affect the children.

- South Carolina: Of the 20 facilities inspected in 2014, all had at least one violation of the state’s guidelines for building conditions. The inspectors found medicine stored in an unlocked cabinet; unsecured ladders stored in a play area; and soiled diapers placed on the floor in a food storage area.

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