People who work in Connecticut child care facilities and licensed homes must complete a comprehensive background check at least once every five years. There are expanded federal requirements for staff at centers, group child care homes, family care homes, and license-exempt center based programs that receive the federal Care 4 Kids subsidy that Connecticut is rolling out in 2019 and 2020. Please check this webpage often for updates.
Who needs a background check?
If you provide care for children in a child care center or home, you’ll likely need to get a background check through the OEC. The following groups must get fingerprint-based background checks once every five years:
- All child care staff, including employees and volunteers who are 16 and older and work with children 12 or more times per year.
- Family home child care providers, their household members 16 and older, assistants, and substitutes.
- License-exempt providers who receive Care 4 Kids funding, EXCEPT youth camps and unlicensed Care 4 Kids providers who are related to all the children in their care.
- NOTE: If you are not employed by or a volunteer at the child care program, you do not need a background check through the OEC. Examples might include a private nurse hired by the family, or a school district-employed physical therapist working with a specific child.
If a child care center is hiring, individuals must wait until they’ve been hired or received an offer letter to start a background check. We do not offer pre-employment screening. The background check process must begin immediately, prior to the staff member working directly with children.
If you’re not a licensed provider yet, you’ll need to start the licensing process before you can get a background check. You can learn more about getting licensed by visiting our licensing page or contacting us at (860) 500-4450.
Why do I need a background check?
Certain crimes can make a person ineligible to own, work for, or be an assistant at a child care center or home. As a result, everyone who provides care for non-relative children needs to get a background check. People who run family child care homes must also have all household members 16 and older checked. If there is a disqualifying crime on a person’s record, or the person is listed on the Department of Children and Families Child Abuse or Neglect Registry, it may affect their ability to own or work in a child care facility.
What if I already had a background check?
If you’ve worked in a child care facility that is licensed by OEC in the last five years, you may already have a completed child care background check recorded in the OEC database. State law allows a completed background check result to be sufficient for five years, regardless of any change in child care employers, unless the individual has a break in child care employment for 180 days or more within that five year period.
Unfortunately, background checks completed for any other reason cannot be used as OEC child care background checks, even if they were processed by the State Police at DESPP.
OEC has developed a new tool for providers to record an updated Roster of staff and volunteers affiliated with Centers and Group Child Care Homes. This will allow OEC to research our database for any completed background check results and add them to the OEC Roster. Employers will then have a complete set of background check results for each person.
See a list of disqualifying crimes.
Why do my fingerprints have to be collected again if they don’t change?
There are several reasons:
- New fingerprints give an updated impression. Fingerprints that were collected five years ago may not show any permanent scars, burns or amputations that happened since.
- The State Police Fingerprint Identification System can compare new and old prints, then use the best print for each finger to produce the best possible set of prints for identification and matching.
- Sometimes people share the same name and date of birth, so fingerprints can be used to tell which record should be searched.
- Sometimes people use another person’s name and date of birth to hide their identity or criminal record. Checking against an earlier set of prints can identify this kind of fraud.
- The requirement to provide new prints helps ensure that your fingerprints are matched against your personal history and not someone else’s.