Child care background checks
Owning a child care facility means you have many responsibilities, including managing staff and adhering to background check requirements. Child care regulations require both a state and federal background check for caregivers before hire and again once every five years.
A background check for child care employees ensures each person doesn’t have a conviction history that could put a child’s health and safety at risk.
Background check requirements for child care staff and volunteers
The federal government requires a comprehensive background check for any adult that might work with children unsupervised. This can include:
- All child care center staff members (directors, teachers, caregivers, bus drivers, kitchen staff, administrative staff, etc.).
- Every adult volunteer at the child care center that might be left unsupervised with the children.
- Adults that may come in for different programs, fundraisers, recitals, and other events and will have unsupervised access to children.
What is included in a background check for child care providers?
Child care background check requirements include several components, including:
- An FBI fingerprint check
- A search on the National Crime Information Center’s National Sex Offender Registry
- A search of the following registries, repositories, and databases in the state where the child care provider currently lives and any previous residencies within the past five years:
- Child abuse and neglect registry and database
- Sex offender registry or repository
- Criminal registry or repository
To help ensure all the information is correct, the fingerprint and background checks are compared to the FBI database.
How much does a child care background check cost?
The cost of a background check typically varies by state, and is also influenced by which components are included. Each component may have a cost associated with it.
Below is an example of Wisconsin-based pricing for a child care background check.
- FBI fingerprint-based check: $30.00
- Field print collection: $7.75
- Annual name-based Wisconsin DOJ check: $10.00
If the individual schedules a fingerprint appointment at a Field print location, additional fees may be charged. Learn more about Wisconsin background checks.
How long does a background check for child care take?
In most cases, the final eligibility determination is provided within 45 days. Sometimes this can take longer if additional out-of-state records are needed. Both the child care facility and the individual will receive the eligibility determination.
Find more specific information about child care background check requirements on ChildCare.gov.