Background Checks

The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) requires background checks for licensed child care program staff (and some others). We do it to help make sure that children stay safe in Connecticut’s child care programs.

Background checks have 2 parts. You need to:

  1. Submit information using the online Background Checks Information System (BCIS)
  2. Get your fingerprints taken in person

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Who needs to get a background check?

Anyone who works or lives in Connecticut child care facilities and licensed homes need a background check at least once every 5 years.

People who need a background check at least every 5 years include:

  • Child care staff members, including employees and volunteers age 16 and older who care for children or have unsupervised access to children
  • Family child care home providers, assistants, and substitutes
  • Everyone age 18 or older who lives in a licensed family child care home

Child care programs are responsible for submitting background checks if they are:

  • Licensed child care facilities and group child care homes
  • Licensed family child care homes
  • License-exempt child care facilities (like those run by schools or towns) that receive funding from Care 4 Kids
Family child care homes have special requirements

If you provide care to children in your own home, we need background checks on you, your staff, and everyone living in your home age 18 and older — including your own family. Keep in mind:

• Household members will need to get a new background check every 5 years
• When someone age 18 or older moves into your home, they need to get a background check
• As soon as your child (or another household member) turns age 18, they need to get a background check

Conducting background checks on household members is required to make sure that family child care homes are safe, healthy environments.

What happens during a background check?

Your information gets checked in a number of registries to look for:

  • Criminal convictions for specific disqualifying crimes (learn more about disqualifying crimes)
  • Any listing in the Child Abuse or Neglect Registry
  • Any listing on state or national sex offender registries

The background check process will review your history in Connecticut and every state or territory where you’ve lived during the past 5 years.

You need to complete a background check before you can work in a child care program

If you’ve never had a background check before, you need to:

  1. Start the process to get licensed (if you haven’t already)
  2. Get a background check

Once you’ve completed both steps and are approved, you can start working.

Last updated November 9, 2022