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

  • July 16 A New Jersey organization that was administering federal grant-funded programs has agreed to pay a $1.1 million settlement for failing to conduct background checks on 46 volunteers.
  • July 11 Under an innovative program that went into effect July 1, Pennsylvania will automatically seal many old criminal records. 
  • July 09 In October, the Georgia Long-Term Care Background Check Program will officially go into effect. Here’s what employers in the state need to know about the law.
  • July 04 Despite the failure of a full-scale legalization effort, New York state has reduced cannabis-related penalties and introduced automatic expungement.
  • July 03 Preparing for the employment background check process can improve your chances of getting hired. Here’s how to do it.
  • July 02 Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina stopped fingerprinting new hires last July even though board policy requires fingerprinting during pre-hire background checks. The fingerprinting “pause” caused alarm in the Charlotte community.
  • June 27 In 2012, the EEOC published new guidelines instructing employers not to use blanket bans against applicants with criminal records. The state of Texas sued. Today, arguments continue in federal circuit court.
  • June 25 Learn the differences between infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies and what each run-in with the law means for a background check report.
  • June 25 A recent federal court ruling has called into question how employers should observe the FCRA when filling independent contractor positions rather than full- or part-time jobs. Many sections of the FCRA are only relevant if background checks are intended for “employment purposes.”
  • June 20 The ACLU has filed suit against the owner of an apartment complex in Virginia alleging discriminatory practices. The owner contends otherwise.