It has just been uncovered by a local television station that some Washington state pre-schools are not performing background checks on their volunteers. Parents are, of course, outraged by this development and many are calling for action to be taken. Though there are some pre-schools that are making the responsible choice and performing background checks on everyone who is in contact with children, those who are not area only putting kids and other employees at risk.
According to news reports, the schools that have been found to be lax in their background check policies are those in the Pasco, WA area. The television station who has released this information state that their research yielded the frightening statistic that only 4 out of 7 pre-schools that were contacted actually check their volunteers against criminal databases. For the 3 that are not performing these checks, the children who attend these pre-schools could be in a lot of danger.
Those schools who are currently performing background checks on volunteers and employees like Small World Learning Centers, has a defined process that everyone must go through who will be working with children. They need to get a background check done though the Department of Early Learning then send the official information back to the Small World Learning Center where they will be working. Only then will they be able to volunteer their time.
It is important to note that only parents and guardians of other students at pre-schools are generally allowed to volunteer for things, but these people can certainly have criminal backgrounds that many people would not be comfortable letting their young children communicate with. Gateway, another pre-school in the area does not background check any of their volunteers. According to a representative of the school, volunteers are not allowed to be in the classroom without a teacher, so they do not feel the need to background check everyone. However, just because there is a policy that a volunteer cannot be in the classroom alone, doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
For those pre-schools that are not performing background checks, hiring a third party company like backgroundchecks.com would be extremely beneficial to them. There are several great products that backgroundchecks.com offers like US Offender OneSEARCH which searches all sex offender registries nationwide. With this and other products that backgroundchecks.com provides, these schools could be thoroughly checking volunteers as well as employees, which can help keep children safer.
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