New Child Care Provider Background Check Law to Take Effect in Indiana

By Michael Klazema on 6/6/2013

Starting in July, any Indiana child care facility that receives financial support from the federal government will be required to run a national background check on all new staff and volunteers. Facilities will have an additional year to complete background checks on their existing staff and volunteers.

Many child care providers welcome this new requirement. For example, Mike Garatoni, president of Growing Kids Learning Centers, said that the old background check standards were insufficient and did not do enough to protect kids.

Prior to the passing of this law, child care facilities were only required to run state background checks. This left employers vulnerable, because they could easily and unknowingly hire an individual who had committed crimes in neighboring states. It was clear that a more robust background check tool was needed. One possibility might have been to require a background check across a larger region. This could have been accomplished by using Multi-State OneSEARCH from, which allows employers to select up to five states to include in the background check.

However, to get the best possible protection for kids at child care facilities, an even more comprehensive background check would be needed. US OneSEARCH is a great example of a multi-jurisdictional nationally focused background check tool that enables employers to search over 450 million records culled from state and local databases. US OneSEARCH also includes a search of Offender Registries, which is especially important for businesses working with minors.

Indiana’s new law will require a national finger-print based background check, effectively closing their old loophole which potentially allowed individuals with out-of-state criminal records to be hired. This new law mirrors a recent tightening up of background check policies for Indiana school employees, so that now kids of all ages will be protected from predators in Indiana.

The new law also contains other provisions designed to protect kids. For example, workers must now be 14 or over, and supervisors must be 18 or over. This should help make sure a responsible individual is always on hand to deal with any safety issues that may arise at the facility.

Safety and sanitation standards have also been updated. For example, child care providers now have to do a better job keeping medicines where kids can’t access them.

Another significant aspect of this new law is that it applies to all child care providers receiving federal money, including church-based organizations. In the past, day care programs at religious institutions have not been subject to the same level of regulation as for-profit childcare organizations. This resulted in problems with safety and sanitation, not to mention potential issues with offenders or other criminals working with kids. By requiring national background checks for all types of child care providers, this new law really does make some great strides towards keeping all kids in Indiana child care facilities safer.

Of course, in order to benefit from the protections offered by this new law, parents must make sure that they are always dealing with licensed and reputable child care facilities.


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