What we examined
In 2010, we audited systems that the Department of Human Services used to monitor and enforce compliance with its regulations for childcare programs. We made three recommendations. This year, we conducted follow-up work to assess the department’s and the Child and Family Services Authorities’ progress in implementing the following recommendations:
- Child and Family Services Authorities improve systems to ensure consistent compliance with monitoring and enforcement policies and processes
- Department, working with the Child and Family Services Authorities, review documentation and training requirements for monitoring licensed and approved programs to ensure requirements are being met
- Child and Family Services Authorities improve systems for monitoring and enforcing childcare program compliance with statutory requirements and standards by ensuring that all verbal warnings are adequately documented and resolved
What we found
We found that all the recommendations were implemented:
- The authorities consistently used a risk-based matrix to determine their enforcement actions.
- The department revised its policies on documentation and trained its licensing officers on the importance of corroborating evidence.
- The authorities updated their policies on verbal warnings and follow up of low-risk non-compliances.
Why this is important to Albertans
More than 73,000 children are in childcare programs in the province. Parents rely on provincial standards to ensure that their children are safe. Albertans want to know whether daycare operators are following these standards and that the department is monitoring childcare providers.