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Mo. Audit Gives 'Poor' Rating To Management Of Early Childhood Fund Grants

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich. (via Office of the Auditor)
State Auditor's office
Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich. (via Office of the Auditor)

The management of an early childhood fund by the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) has received a "poor" rating in a state audit released Monday.

State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) said the Early Childhood Development, Education and Care Fund provided more than $170,000 to three child care facilities that failed to open or expand their facilities as planned.

"We found $60,000 spent on a facility that was never built," Schweich said.  "We found $22,500 spent to build a new facility which was built, and then that facility never had any kids and shut down…$18,000 of that $22,500 went to somebody's salary – they were paid a salary for overseeing no children."

Schweich also said that $89,000 was spent on increasing the size of another facility which was sold three months later, and the new owner then chose not to use it as a child care facility.

"(That) part...bothered me the most," Schweich said.  "(The new buyer) didn't want to operate a child care facility, so they got the benefit of all the improvements, courtesy of the taxpayer, and there's no children being seen at that facility now."

Department of Social Services officials say they're seeking repayment on the $89,000 and $60,000 grants.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.