Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Audit criticizes DESE, DSS for handling of Early Childhood program
In the areas audited, the overall performance of this entity was Poor.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) doubled its funding of Early Head Start (EHS) contractors in 2014 but gave the contractors seven months at the higher pay without requiring them to increase the number of children and expectant mothers served. Eight of the nine EHS contractors served less than the required number of children and expectant mothers, averaging 420 families served instead of 580 (72 percent), resulting in the DSS paying $1.5 million for services not provided.
After the seven months, the DSS continued allowing four contractors to serve fewer children and expectant mothers than required. The DSS paid these contractors approximately $133,000 for services not delivered and has not attempted to recover any of the money.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) does not adequately monitor contractors and grantees to ensure monies are being spent in accordance with contract and grant requirements for the Early Childhood Special Education (ESCE), Missouri Preschool Project, or the Parents as Teachers Program. For the ESCE program, monitoring weaknesses resulted in overpayments totaling about $86,500 to one school district.
To read the full report, visit: http://www.auditor.mo.gov/AuditReports/AudRpt2.aspx?id=59