BOSTON (WGGB/AP) — The Massachusetts state auditor says the state’s office of early education and care has failed to take all necessary steps to assure that sex offenders are not working at licensed day care centers.
In a scathing report released on Wednesday, auditors said they found 119 cases in which the address of a registered sex offender matched the address of a licensed child care facility.
A subsequent investigation by the state’s Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) determined that in most of those cases, children were not in any danger.
The agency did revoke the licenses of four providers who were aware that a sex offender lived in the same building but did not disclose that information to the agency.
Bump says, “No parent who drops their child off at day care should have to worry about the safety of their son or daughter. The presence of registered sex offenders in such proximity to groups of children is information parents, providers, and the EEC must have and act upon.”
The report from auditor Suzanne Bump also said that, in some cases, the EEC had failed to ensure that licensed child care providers were performing required criminal background checks on employees.
Bump is now asking in addition to criminal record checks that already occur for staff and household members, she is calling on the EEC to make sex offender registry check a requirement as well.
“While I know that EEC has the best intention to fulfill its mission, this audit shows that more can be done to protect young children. Unfortunately, there is little margin of error as just one case can have dire consequences,” Bump adds.
CLICK HERE to read the auditor’s complete report.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.