All caregivers/teachers and staff in early care and education settings (in addition to any individual age 18 and older, or a minor over age 12 if allowed under State law and if a registry/database includes minors, residing in a family child care home) should undergo a complete background screening upon employment and once at least every five years thereafter. Screening should be conducted as expeditiously as possible and should be completed within 45 days after hiring. Caregivers/teachers and staff should not have unsupervised access to children until screening has been completed. Consent to the background investigation should be required for employment consideration. The comprehensive background screening should include the following:
a) A search of the State criminal and sex offender registry or repository in the State where the child care staff member resides, and each State where such staff member resided during the preceding 5 years;
b) A search of State-based child abuse and neglect registries and databases in the State where the child care staff member resides, and each State where such staff member resided during the preceding 5 years; and
c) A Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint check using Next Generation Identification.
Directors/programs should review each employment application to assess the relevancy of any issue uncovered by the complete background screening, including any arrest, pending criminal charge, or conviction, and should use this information in employment decisions in accordance with state laws.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Early Childhood Health and Wellness
Last Updated: February 8, 2019