Get a background check

Last updated October 29, 2019

If you own a child care center or work for a child care provider, you need a background check. Here’s how to start a new background check:

  • Get the required documents. If you work at a child care center, you can get a fingerprint card and other required documents from your employer. If you’re starting a family child care center or are a center director, you can get cards from OEC by completing the fingerprint card request form, emailing, or calling (860) 500-4466. If you leave a voicemail message, please speak slowly, spell important names and words, and tell us: (1) whether you are a center/group child care home OR family provider OR license-exempt center-based program that receives Care 4 Kids funding, (2) your name, (3) full address, and (4) how many fingerprint cards you need. 
  • Get fingerprinted. Fill out all of the information on the front of the fingerprint card. Click here for a sample. Then go to your local police department or State Police barracks to have your fingerprints taken. Some offices require an appointment or are only open at certain days and times.  Most agencies charge a fee to take your prints, which is separate from the DESPP and FBI background check processing fee. You must bring a current, government-issued photo ID and payment for the collection fee. You can also contact the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Fingerprinting Division at (860) 685-8270
  • Fill out forms. In addition to your completed fingerprint card, you need to provide a completed and signed DCF authorization form and a signed FBI Privacy Rights statement. Child care centers should follow these instructions to make sure you send the correct information. Family child care provider should follow these instructions.
  • Send them to OEC. Mail your completed fingerprint card, the 2 completed and signed forms, and a check or money order for the processing fee (when required again, after September 30, 2019) to the OEC Legal Division.  Documents with missing information, or applications that do not include (1) the fingerprint card, (2) the completed DCF Authorization, (3) signed FBI Privacy Rights Act statement, and (4) payment for processing [after September 30, 2019] cannot be processed and will be returned to sender.  Here is the OEC mailing address:
    Office of Early Childhood, Legal Division
    450 Columbus Blvd. Suite 303
    Hartford, CT 06103                                  
  • Wait…. Once we get your documents and processing fee, we record them in our database, then send them to DESPP and DCF for processing your background check. This can take about a month.  Sometimes fingerprint cards are rejected by the State Police or FBI. This means that the marks made by your fingerprints on the card do not allow them to confirm your identity, and use this to check the required registries. When this happens, you will receive a letter from OEC listing the reason for rejection provided by DESPP and asking for a new set of fingerprints.  Please repeat Step 2 above, and send your fingerprints to OEC within 30 days. Do not include a second processing fee, since you will have a credit from the first application. There is no need to send new DCF or FBI forms unless more than six months have passed.
  • Get results.  When we get your results from DESPP, FBI and DCF, we will send you a letter if you are not eligible to provide care because of a criminal, sex offender, or child abuse/neglect record. The letter will include instructions for you to appeal the finding, if you choose.  You are the only one who can receive details about your background check results. We will send a separate letter to your employer saying that you are not eligible to provide care, but cannot include any details. Currently, you will not receive any notice if there are no disqualifying crimes and no DCF Registry match found on your record.

How much does a background check cost?

The processing fee that OEC is covering until September 30, 2019 is $88.25 for child care workers, providers, and household members. The fee for volunteers is $86.25. Other than between now and September 30, 2019, we can only process your documents if you include a check or money order for the correct amount, made payable to “Treasurer, State of CT”. If you’re submitting more than one background check, please send individual payment for each person and include the person’s name on each check or money order to avoid delays.

Child care center staff$88.25
Family child care providers, staff, and household members$88.25
Child care center volunteers$86.25

Note that these fees are logged in at OEC, then go to the FBI ($13.25 or $11.25) and State Police ($75).  The State Police portion is then deposited into the State General Fund.