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New Jersey’s top watchdog finds big problems with a state program designed to help low-income families with child-care costs.

State Comptroller Matt Boxer says a just completed audit finds the child care program administered by the state Division of Family Development “is really riddled with ineligible participants, and has been the subject of overpayments for many of the children in the program…we found that 1out of every 7 children in the program are actually ineligible based on their family income - that indicates that there may be 4 thousand children statewide in the program who shouldn’t be.”

He adds sloppy record keeping and simple math errors may have led to millions of dollars in improper payments to child care providers.

The audit makes 12 recommendations to address the deficiencies identified, including recouping misspent funds and requiring applicants to submit their income tax returns as part of the application process.