What Does a Daycare Background Check Include?

By Michael Klazema on 8/31/2018

When a parent chooses a daycare, they are picking a person or business to entrust with their child’s safety and wellbeing for hours at a time. For this reason, parents pay close attention to indicators they are choosing a safe background facility, including licensing, insurance, a good reputation, and background checks. If you are picking a daycare for the first time, or thinking about opening your own daycare business, you might be wondering: what do daycare background checks entail?

Historically, there has been no federal law demanding specific background checks for all daycare businesses in the country. However, federal law has long required that every state implement its own policies to protect kids in childcare. This law, the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant, was reauthorized and updated in 2014. The update made it a legal requirement for every state to run “comprehensive background checks” on any regulated childcare facility or provider. This requirement will usher in a new era of daycare background checks that provides more consistency from one state to the next.

“Regulated” means the childcare provider is licensed by the state. To earn a state license, childcare providers must meet health and safety requirements, and to meet those requirements, providers must pass regular facility inspections and conduct background checks of all staff.

At this point, the daycare background checks each state requires for regulated childcare facilities still vary from one state to the next. In the coming years, states will need to adjust their policies to abide by the federal call for “comprehensive background checks.” These checks will include:

  • FBI fingerprint background checks
  • Sex offender registry checks—both of the National Crime Information Center’s National Sex Offender Registry checks and state registries or repositories
  • State-based child abuse and neglect registry checks
  • State-based criminal history checks

For state-based checks, employers are expected to check registries and databases in both the state where the candidate lives currently and any state where they have lived in the past five years. All these checks must be repeated every five years, should a daycare staff member’s employment last that long.

While county criminal history checks are not listed as part of the federal requirements, daycares should also consider this type of check. State repositories do not always include the latest criminal record information from county courts. A search of county records where the candidate has lived in the past five years can add another layer of thoroughness to the background check process.

Some in-home daycare facilities are regulated; others are not. Unregulated in-home daycares are typically only allowed to care for a small number of children at any one time. These daycares are not required to meet the same standards as regulated daycares but are still advised to do so to ensure child safety. As a rule, parents should look for daycares that have met standard daycare background check and inspection requirements.

If you own or operate a daycare center and want to find out more about criminal and non-criminal screening options for your employees, check out our products page or contact our US-based customer service team.

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • October 18 In response to rising concerns about restricted opportunities for those in the county with a record, the county council recently adopted a new proposal to make accessing expungement easier for tens of thousands of King County residents.
  • October 16 A woman in Georgia failed a drug test and lost out on a job because there was THC in her system. The THC came not from marijuana but from a natural supplement called CBD oil.
  • October 11 Sporting organizations have long maintained lists of people barred for misconduct. A new agency wants to collect those names into a publicly searchable database.
  • October 09 In July, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed an executive order requiring criminal background checks for all Medicaid providers. Some healthcare professionals, particularly counsellors to drug addicts, worry the new rule could cost them their jobs.
  • October 05 After a city in Georgia adopted ban the box rules to increase fairness in hiring, unforeseen conflicts with additional city regulations rendered the change ineffective. The city must now find a fix. 
  • October 04 Whether you are applying for a job that involves driving or renewing your car insurance policy, your driving record can have an impact on what comes next. At, we offer a way to check the accuracy of your record.
  • October 03 What should employers expect to see on criminal history reports, and what should job seekers expect these checks to reveal? We take a look at what shows up on criminal background checks.
  • October 02 Employers across the country are becoming more open to hiring people with criminal records. The reasons behind the shift range from new laws to the state of the job market.
  • October 01 Insurance points can affect how much you pay for your auto insurance policy. How are these points assessed and what do you need to know about them?
  • September 28 A driver’s license check includes more than just details about moving violations. Here’s what to expect if an employer or insurance provider pulls your driving record.