- Office of the State Auditor
Media Contact for Audit Calls for Improved Oversight of Background Checks at Quinsigamond Community College’s Early Childhood Education Program
Boston — In an audit released today, State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump found Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) could not substantiate that required criminal background checks were performed on some students participating in its Early Childhood Education (ECE) program. Bump’s audit, which examined July 1, 2017 through March 31, 2019, notes that allowing these students to enroll in these courses without first performing background checks could pose a risk to children at the facilities involved in the ECE program.
During the audit period, QCC could not verify that 44 of the 259 students enrolled in ECE program courses had received Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) checks prior to participating in these courses. The audit also noted that 17 students who worked directly with children and were required to have fingerprint-based background checks had not received those checks before beginning the coursework and interaction with children. In its response, QCC indicated it was taking steps to resolve this issue.
“Higher education institutions, like Quinsigamond Community College, which offer early education training, must ensure students working with children are properly screened before entering the childcare facility. This is just not something parents should have to worry about when dropping their kids off for the day,” Bump said of the audit. “QCC must develop a better process to ensure every student in the ECE program receives necessary background checks. I commend QCC for taking this matter seriously.”
Additionally, the audit notes QCC’s Children’s School, which provides daycare services to QCC’s staff, faculty, and members of the community, was in compliance with the Department of Early Education and Care’s licensing requirements.
This past December, an audit of Bristol Community College’s ECE Program found similar issues related to criminal background checks not being performed regularly.
QCC is one of 15 public community colleges in Massachusetts. QCC offers the ECE program to prepare students for work in education and care or other child-related fields. The program involves traditional courses, as well as hands-on experience at weekly off-campus field placements and at QCC’s Children’s School.