Mike O'Connor and Julie O'Connor, are the owners and operators of the Little Angels Preschool and Childcare, a nonresidential childcare program in Keokuk, Iowa. The Center has participated in the CACFP program since August of 2004. This program was created by the Agricultural Risk Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. ? 1766, regulated in 7 C.F.R. ? 226, and administered in Iowa by the Bureau. The CACFP provides reimbursement for meals and snacks provided to children in daycare homes and centers.
The CACFP regulations at 7 C.F.R. ? 226.6(c)(3) enumerate reasons why an institution may be terminated from program participation. Being cited as seriously deficient and not correcting all deficiencies is cause for termination.
The regulations governing CACFP are quite strict. While a termination from CACFP may seem harsh, the rationale for the strictness of the regulations is simple. CACFP is funded by public monies; therefore, a recipient of those funds is required to be accountable to the public for how it operates. When such accountability is lacking, the public trust is gone. The Bureau has a duty to hold recipients accountable on behalf of the public. 7 C.F.R. ? 226.16(c).
The evidence presented here amply supports a finding that the center failed to permanently and completely correct the serious deficient practices with which it was cited during the first administrative review on August 27, 2010. While the Center responded to these deficiencies and worked hard to correct them in November of 2010 and thereafter, the Center failed to permanently correct these deficiencies as evidenced by the recurring deficiencies cited in the August 22, 2012, administrative review.
While, the federal regulations in 7 C.F.R. 216.16 permit the Bureau to give more time to a recipient to correct a serious deficiency, they provide no authority for the Bureau or the undersigned to overlook the recurring deficiencies and the lack of correction of the same. Accordingly the proposed termination of the Little Angels Childcare and Preschool Center from the CACFP must be upheld.
For the foregoing reasons, the proposed termination of the Little Angels Preschool and Childcare Center from the Child and Adult Care Food Program is hereby upheld. This decision is final and should be considered final agency action by the Department of Education.