Government-funded childcare programs have violated serious safety rules, according to a report released Tuesday.
Health and Human Services investigated 175 Head Start centers and found most failed to conduct criminal background checks of employees.
Head Start is the federal program that provides early education services to nearly a million children.
Other violations include leaving household chemicals within a child's reach. In one instance, investigators found a machete and a hedge trimmer near an outdoor play area.
Playground equipment in dangerous states of disrepair was found at more than half the centers.