GAO Studies Improper Child Care Payments
Sep 23, 2010
On September 22, The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on improper payments in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program. A series of undercover tests revealed that state child care programs were vulnerable to fraud. GAO investigators posed as parents and unregulated relative caregivers and successfully billed states for fraudulent child care payments.
The Child Care Bureau has taken issues to address improper payments and program integrity, including the issuing of an August 2010 Program Instruction, Program Integrity, Financial Accountability, Access to Child Care. In the report, GAO acknowledges that states in the study had already implemented, or planned to implement, GAO's recommended actions to reduce fraud and abuse. The Child Care Bureau is working with states to ensure that as they take actions to prevent improper payments, access to child care is not compromised for eligible children and families.
Improper payments are reason for concern. Particularly when resources are limited, it is critical that they go to those who are eligible and most in need of services. Currently only one in six federally-eligible children receives child care assistance.