Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers Page: 15 of 30
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Table 3: Enrollment and Attendance for Midwest Grantee in the 2009 Grant Year
daily attendance Attendance on Attendance on
Funded Reported Average daily as a percentage of highest day lowest day
Month enrollment enrollment attendance reported enrollment of attendance of attendance
June 255 104 51 49 98 6
July 255 203 129 63 158 100
August 255 247 170 69 188 117
September 255 256 142 55 166 118
October 255 256 57 22 113 8
Source: Information obtained from the Midwest Head Start nonprofit grantee administrators.
Notes: Early Head Start classes were excluded from the analysis. The average daily attendance was
calculated by summing the total number of students who attended class during the month, divided by
the number of days during the month. Highest day of attendance was calculated as the day with the
highest number of students who attended class during the month. Lowest day of attendance was
calculated as the day with the lowest number of students who attended class during the month. For
the Midwest, these calculations excluded weekends and holidays. Attendees of Migrant and Seasonal
Head Start programs are children of laborers whose schedule and location often changes depending
on unpredictable factors such as agricultural needs. As a result, attendance by any particular child is
likely to be more inconsistent than for children in other programs. In addition, in June and in October,
at the start and end of the growing season, respectively, not all centers were open each day.
As we have previously reported,' the number of children and families
served by Head Start is an essential measure of the program's impact. Yet
OHS lacks assurance that grantees actually serve the numbers of children
they report having enrolled and for which they are receiving funds. Under
the current definition of enrollment in Head Start regulations, grantees
could reasonably report full enrollment without providing services to the
number of children they were funded to serve. Reporting figures to the
Congress and the American public that do not represent children and
families to whom services have been provided fails to provide a
transparent measure of the important work undertaken by these
programs." In addition, without monitoring information on services
actually provided, OHS could miss opportunities to assist grantees that are
experiencing significant difficulties in their ability to serve the children
they have enrolled. Calculating attendance, which fluctuates, may be
7GAO, Recovery Act: States' and Localities' Uses of Funds and Actions Needed to Address
Implementation Challenges and Bolster Accountability, GAO-10-604 (Washington, D.C.:
May 26, 2010).
sHowever, as part of the PIR, grantees are required to report annually on the number of
children who dropped out and on the number of children who were in class for less than 45
GAO-10-1049 Head Start
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers, report, September 28, 2010; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296264/m1/15/?rotate=270: accessed June 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.