- Reauthorizing CCDBG to require comprehensive background checks, including fingerprint checks for all child care providers caring for unrelated children and for all providers receiving federal subsidies.
- Prohibiting the use of CCDBG or TANF funds to pay convicted felons to provide child care.
- Requiring all paid providers (caring for unrelated children on a regular basis) to have a state license or permit.
Chief among safety standards is that children are safe in the care of child care providers. Parents expect their children to be safe in child care. A comprehensive background check is key to providing this protection. Comprehensive background checks include: fingerprint checks against state and FBI records, a check of the child abuse registry, and a check against the sex offender registry.
The reality is that many states do not require fingerprints to check state and federal records. Given the transitory nature of the child care field, it is important that fingerprints are used to conduct checks of criminal records. A simple background check using a name search is not as effective as a background check using a fingerprint match. Individuals can have very common names or use aliases.
Background checks are of limited value unless they are based on fingerprints. A name check can be manipulated, a fingerprint check cannot.
- GAO Report Findings — Our One Pager
- GAO Report on Sex Offenders in Child Care
- HHS, Office of Child Care, Information Memorandum, Recommendations to the States on Background Checks
- Illustrative Data from States Where Fingerprint Checks Act as a Filter (Fall 2012)
- Sex Offenders: IL Audit Finds Sex Offenders in Child Care Programs
- Sex Offenders: KY Audit Finds Sex Offenders in Child Care Programs
- Sex Offenders: MA Audit Finds Sex Offenders in Child Care
- Sex Offenders: WA Audit Finds Sex Offenders in Child Care
- HHS announces first federal health and safety standards for child careMay 17, 2013 - Washington Post
- Arlington Board Will Not Eliminate Higher Child Care StandardsApr 3, 2013 - Washington Post
- Arlington County manager seeks to cut child care standardsMar 20, 2013 - Washington Post
- Grandparents urge state to reconsider cuts to child care assistance programs May 22, 2013 - Lexington Herald-Leader
- Head Start Centers Feeling 'Sequester' Pain May 16, 2013 - Education Week
- In D.C., parents miss work, lose jobs trying to get child-care subsidy May 16, 2013 - Washington Post