Ill. provides child care in sex offenders’ homes

SPRINGFIELD – The state of Illinois helped pay for day care services in homes where sex offenders live, the auditor general reported Tuesday.

Auditors found 90 cases in which day care providers paid by the Department of Human Services had the same address as someone on the statewide sex-offender registry. The total number might be even higher because the audit only counted cases where addresses matched exactly, down to whether street names were spelled out or abbreviated.

In one case, the person who was paid to care for children actually was on the offender registry.

The provider had a conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault but received two payments totaling $187.69, according to the report by Auditor General William Holland.

The Department of Human Services only recently was given authority to check the backgrounds of the people it pays to provide child care, said spokesman Tom Green.

“The sex offender registry is out there for a purpose, particularly for people in this situation,” Holland said. “They hadn’t done any of this before.”

The agency agreed to begin checking the lists and notifying parents when they find a provider where a sex offender lives.

The Human Services Department’s Child Care Assistance Program provides child care to low-income working families on a sliding fee scale.

The program paid $634 million in 2008 for about 170,000 children, according to the audit. There are 38,000 providers, Green said, including 27,000 who offer services at home.

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