Government-Paid Childcare Workers Not Being Properly Background Checked

By Michael Klazema on 11/14/2013

The Child Care and Development Fund was initially designed with the goal of helping low-income American families afford daycare services, nannies, and other childcare support, but according to a recent article from the Washington Free Beacon, the Child Care and Development Fund may not be doing proper background checks on the employees it works with.

The Free Beacon article states that the Child Care and Development Fund—a program managed through the Administration for Children and Families—uses some $5.2 billion in government funding each year to help support needy families in all 50 states, as well as in Washington D.C. The organization’s mission is simple: give parents a way to care for their children without requiring them to miss out on work hours. However, if background checks for such government-paid childcare workers are not being administered in a thorough fashion, it is likely that parents will think twice before using them in the future.

Not that the Administration for Children and Families is completely turning a blind eye to past criminal behavior. 15 States were found to be performing suitable background checks. The rest of the states, meanwhile, were following the administration’s background screening guidelines, which dictate that a “thorough” background check involves looking at state and national registries of known child abusers.

While criminal record registry screenings and child abuse checks obviously go a long way in clearing an employee for hands-on childcare duties, they don’t cover all types of sources that track dangerous criminal behavior. For instance, most states were not screening Child Care and Development Fund employees with a sex offender registry search. The core database search offered by includes a search of offender registries from all 50 states and can be run instantly. Considering the sensitive nature of the work promoted by the Administration for Children and Families and the Child Care and Development Fund, it is a bit alarming that most of their employees are not required to undergo a sex offender registry check.

Unsurprisingly, the Administration for Children and Families is now proposing a “more stringent” set of employment regulations, included more thorough criminal background checks and full clearance checks of sex offender registries. Still, the fact that states have not always required childcare workers to undergo sex offender checks has proven alarming to many parents throughout the country, and may now lead to a call for more sweeping legislation regarding childcare services.


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