Wisconsin to Require FBI Fingerprint Checks for Child Care Providers

By Michael Klazema on 11/15/2013

According to a recent Associated Press article, the United States Department of Health and Human Services has stated that nearly three dozen states throughout the country now require federal fingerprint background checks for child care workers. Wisconsin became the latest addition to that list at the beginning of November, passing legislation that will require all child care providers working in the state to submit to an FBI fingerprint background check. The new employment screening process will go into effect in January, along with the state’s latest budget plan.

Wisconsin has been requiring FBI fingerprint scans on a limited basis for several years. In 2011, the state’s Department of Children and Families began instituting fingerprint scans for child care providers who had lived outside of the state within the three years prior to their employment. Until now, longtime state residents have only been subject to state background checks, with the logic that if they had any criminal activity, it would be on their state record.

However, Wisconsin’s decision to require FBI background checks for all child care workers—not just for new residents or for employees of child care centers, but also for in-home child care providers like nannies or babysitters—is a sign of the increased worry in the child care industry that workers may be using aliases to hide their pasts.

The Associated Press piece cited one specific example from Virginia, where a 13-week old infant died while in the care of a babysitter whom the parents had background checked through state records. When the parents ran a check on the caregiver’s social security sumber, they found a colorful criminal record dotted with convictions under aliases names associated with that social security number.

For Wisconsin, the new FBI background check provision is a means of making sure that fewer criminals “fall through the cracks” of their child care system. Fingerprinting will undoubtedly serve as a good weapon against evasive aliases and similar background check dodging methods. As was hinted at in the Virginia story, however, uncovering additional criminal records under alias names, can also be achieved by using private criminal database searches that use the subject's social security number to uncover alias names, like the ones offered in starter package. Those report also includes nationwide criminal checks and offender registry checks, with prices as low as $15 per search.


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • March 20 Employers who use E-Verify must follow the proper steps and procedures when they receive a “tentative non-confirmation notice” from either the Social Security Administration or Department of Homeland Security. Failure to follow the proper procedures can cost employers both time and money. 
  • March 20

    Four Department of Commerce employees are out after their background checks resulted in security clearance denials. All four had worked high-ranking positions for months despite incomplete background checks.

  • March 15 As more states legalize the recreational use of cannabis, they contend with the emergence of new industries surrounding marijuana cultivation and production. 
  • March 14 In most cases, it is easy to determine where an issue might show up on a pre-employment background check. Citations for traffic violations or reckless driving charges will appear on a motor vehicle record check. Verdicts in a civil court case will show on a civil court background check. And criminal convictions—from petty theft to violent felonies—show up on criminal background checks.
  • March 13 How many years back do employment background checks go? This question can have multiple different answers depending on the situation.
  • March 13 A new bill in Florida would require landlords of apartment complexes to present tenants with verifications of employee background checks to give them peace of mind the people working in and around their homes are trustworthy.
  • March 08 Police officers working with the University of Texas at Arlington recently arrested a man who had avoided police capture on a warrant out of Oregon for nearly two decades. The man, whose real name is Daniel Charles Ray Hanson, spent those 17 years using a variety of fake names and identification documents to move around the country, often engaging with educational institutions under false pretenses. Police say Hanson regularly went by at least three different aliases. He sports a rap sheet that stretches back to an arson conviction in 1995. 
  • March 07

    The Future of EEOC Guidance in Texas Is Up in the Air

    The EEOC issued guidance in 2012 warning employers about the dangers of enforcing categorical policies to bar candidates with criminal histories. That guidance is not enforceable in Texas thanks to a recent court ruling.

  • March 05 Vermont is the latest state to restrict employers’ access to and use of social media accounts of employees and applicants. 
  • March 01 In an age of "industry disruptors" turning established business models on their heads, companies such as Uber and Lyft rely on a unique workforce of individuals outside the traditional employer-employee context. Uber calls them "partners" while other businesses refer to them as "independent contractors," the official classification these individuals use for tax purposes. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) revealed they had warned a business, Postmates, for misclassifying their staff as independent contractors. In the NLRB's determination, these individuals were employees.