Blog

 
     

New Hampshire Governor Signs Daycare Background Check Law

By Michael Klazema on 6/3/2016

Deeper background checks are on the way for childcare providers in New Hampshire. According to a report from New Hampshire Public Radio, State Governor Maggie Hassan recently signed a piece of legislation that both "expands" and "streamlines" the state's policies.

Regarding expansions, the newly approved bill will require all licensed daycare facilities to screen their employees for incidents from the past five years. The checks will include criminal histories, sex offender registries, and history of child abuse and neglect. The criminal checks will now include a fingerprint screening through the FBI—a step that was not required by previous legislation.

The bill also includes a contingency for when the print sets that daycares send to the FBI are, for whatever reason, unusable. After two unsuccessful attempts with the fingerprint check, the state may "accept police clearances from every city, town, or county where the person has lived during the past five years." Such an address-based criminal screening strategy would be a smart one as it helps ensure smarter coverage during the background check process.

Also new are the consequences for daycare facilities wishing to hire certain felons. The state now has the legal right to withhold any and all funding from institutions that hire convicted murderers, violent criminals, or offenders guilty of sexually related felonies.

The requirements laid forth by the new law apply to employees or any other individuals who will be "responsible for the care of, or having regular contact with children." The checks are not required as a pre-employment measure, but must be on file before the employee starts caring for children.

All licensed and registered day care facilities must also hand over information about their employees to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, including current names, birth names, birthdates, and addresses from the past five years. It's unclear whether or not childcare businesses will need to run address history checks to get that information, or if the bill will hinge on an honor system where applicants and employees are expected to provide accurate address information.

The "streamlining" part of the legislation will make it easier for day care workers to change jobs or move from one facility to the next without having to repeat the entire background screening process. When someone passes the state-required checks, they will receive a card verifying that state law has vetted them. This card is valid for five years and will help to cut down on unnecessarily repetitious background screenings.

This new policy seems like a smart compromise between adding new security and protection to New Hampshire's childcare industries while also respecting the industry's workers. While five years might be a little long for the background check cards to stay valid—especially with children's safety at stake—the precise nature of the controls and the promise of consequences for daycares that fail to run them form the backbone of a strong policy. The new law goes into effect in October.

Sources:

http://nhpr.org/post/state-expands-streamlines-background-checks-child-care-providers

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?id=939&txtFormat=html

http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/expansion-of-background-checks-in-nh


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.


  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.


  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.