In the United States, 46% of households with children have both parents working full-time. As you can see, this can leave many parents with the pressing issue of child care, especially if their kids are very young.
In many cases, Americans turn to child care centers so their children are looked after well and are enrolled in programs that enrich their lives.
If you're looking to do so yourself, you might be concerned about who's interacting with your little ones. To get peace of mind, you can always get a background check for child care providers.
To learn more, read on. We'll discuss everything you need to know about background checks.
What Does a Comprehensive Background Check Include?
Parents can rest easy knowing that it's federal law for states to perform background checks for child care providers who work at a licensed and registered center. This ensures that they're only hiring reliable and trustworthy employees to look after children.
But what does a comprehensive background check entail? Below is everything it includes:
- State criminal and sex offender registries
- State child abuse and neglect registry
- National Crime Information Center (done by the FBI)
- National Sex Offender Registry (done by the Department of Justice)
- FBI fingerprint check
Not only will these advanced background checks be done for the current state the applicants work in, but they'll also be performed for prior states of residence in the last 5 years.
By checking all these databases across the nation, it allows a child care center to have full confidence that the employees they're hiring can watch over children without issue.
Who Should Have A Comprehensive Background Check?
Federal law dictates that all adults who work and volunteer in a child care center must have comprehensive background checks. This even includes those over 18 who live in a family child care home!
Generally, these are the people who need to have advanced background checks:
- All staff members (including but not limited to janitors, kitchen staff, bus drivers, teachers, directors, caregivers, and administrative employees)
- Volunteers who potentially have unsupervised access to children
- Other adults who potentially have unsupervised access to children (such as instructors for art, sports, or dance)
- Adults over 18 who live in the family child care home
Do note that not all states require volunteers to go through criminal background checks. You'll have to check your state's policy to find out more.
Also, if a child care provider is caring for children in their family, then they do not have to undergo a background check. But if any children under their are not related to them, then they must have a comprehensive background check.
The important thing to note here is that all child care providers need to undergo checks. So this means it's not just limited to those who are licensed in the industry.
How Often Must Background Checks Be Conducted?
Parents will be glad to know that background checks must be performed before an employee is hired. This means there is no excuse for hiring someone who has a criminal record, since the child care facility must submit completed background checks for child care providers at the very beginning of the hiring process.
Do note that employees can work before the background checks are complete. However, they must be supervised at all times by another staff member who has successfully passed their background check.
After employees are hired, child care centers need to still keep up with occasional background checks. Laws require that these checks must be done at least once every 5 years.
That way, employers can have up-to-date criminal records for their workforce. This will provide even more peace of mind for their clients.
How Do I Know If the Adults In My Child Care Program Have Had Comprehensive Criminal Background Checks?
It's federal law that all adults working for child care centers must have comprehensive background checks done. So it's a huge red flag if the center you're using doesn't have proper checks done for all employed adults.
To find out if the adults in your child care program have had comprehensive criminal background checks, all you have to do is ask. They should be able to provide proof that they've done their due diligence.
If they haven't performed background checks, it's well within your rights to ask them to do so. You can even take matters into your own hands and set things in motion yourself by contacting the state police for more information.
In any case, it may be in your best interest to only choose child care centers that can prove they've had employee background checks done. This indicates that they're proactive and take your children's safety very seriously.
Get Peace Of Mind By Getting A Background Check For Child Care Providers
Leaving your child in the care of other adults (especially ones you don't know) can be a scary thought. But in many cases, it's necessary so you can work and earn a living for your family.
There are things you can do to ensure your kids are in a good place while you're at work. For instance, choosing a center that runs a background check for child care workers is one of the best things you can do.
So with the information in this article, do careful research and make sure to ask questions when you're looking at daycare centers for your children. Only pick ones that can confidently say they've run criminal background checks on their employees.
If you're running a child care center yourself, then you might want to save time on administrative tasks. In that case, schedule a demo with us now to find out what Early Learning Ventures can do for you.
Are you looking for more child care management information? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Child Care Management.
Our child care management system makes running your child care program simple and efficient. Get back to what's most important. You shouldn't have to spend more time on the administrative tasks than you do with children and staff.
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Do you run an early childhood association made up of child care providers? If so, check out our Ultimate Guide to Shared Service Alliance.
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