Investigators focus on IL child care provider

Apr 8, 2014

State investigators say a child care provider bilked Illinois out of more than $200,000.  The case exposes gaps that could leave the state open to losing more. 

There are 60,000 day care providers in Illinois that get money from the state for taking care of kids from low-income families. A report from Illinois' Executive Inspector General says the Department of Human Services largely lets these providers monitor themselves.

As a result, one, who ran a program called "Jumpstart" in Chicago, falsely reported how many children were in her care each day. In effect, falsifying records.

Although a Department of Human Services employee noticed that billing for 100 percent attendance stood out as a "red flag", the state still paid Jumpstart's owner more than $232,000 she was not entitled to receive.

The inspector general's report recommends DHS try to recoup that money. But it also says the department should do more to make sure day-care providers supply accurate attendance records, in effect making sure there's not a repeat of the Jumpstart case.

A DHS spokeswoman says most of the recommendations have already been implemented.