Three-fourths of Kansas' subsidized childcare services were given to non-U.S. citizens or families with too-old children, according to a federal watchdog.

The childcare services go to low-income families and are funded by federal taxpayers through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

However, policies at the Kansas Department for Children and Families for processing claims and determining the eligibility of families were not always effective in 2011, according to the HHS inspector general.

Seventy-five of 100 randomly selected claims reviewed had at least one eligibility miscue, which led to an estimated $40.9 million going to unqualified families, according to the inspector general.

The agency does not require program applicants to present physical evidence — such as a passport or birth certificate proving citizenship status — to prove their eligibility, the inspector general said.

In addition, Kansas officials typically accept application unless the information provided seems "questionable," the inspector general said.

Without these types of requirements, the program is increasingly "vulnerable to fraud, waste and abuse." Kansas officials said they are correcting the problems.