Child Care:

State Requirements for Background Checks

HEHS-00-66R: Published: Feb 28, 2000. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2000.

Additional Materials:


Cynthia Maher Fagnoni
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information for each state about the background checks it requires to be conducted on its regulated child care providers.

GAO noted that: (1) background checks involve gathering information from state and federal databases to determine if providers have a history of child abuse or other criminal convictions that would make them unacceptable for working with children; (2) as GAO reported, experts and the literature both identified conducting background checks as one of several critical licensing activities that help states ensure the safety and health of children in child care settings; (3) background checks on providers include state criminal history checks, state child abuse registry checks, and Federal Bureau of Investigation checks; and (4) all but four states require that at least one type of check be conducted on their regulated providers, while many states require that more than one be conducted.

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