Legislation would require comprehensive background checks for all
licensed, regulated, or registered child care providers
Arlington, VA – Child Care Aware® of America announced its support for the “Child Care Protection Act of 2013” introduced today by U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). The bill was cosponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). The bill would require a comprehensive background check (a fingerprint check against state and federal records, as well as a check of the child abuse registry and sex offender registry for all licensed, regulated or registered child care providers.
"Children should be safe in child care,” said Lynette Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America. “Without a comprehensive check that includes fingerprints, parents have no way of knowing whether their child care provider has a history of violent convictions. We commend Senator Burr for his commitment to children and making their safety a top priority through the introduction of the ‘Child Care Protection Act of 2013,’” Fraga added.
Child Care Aware® of America has released six reports that examine state laws and regulations with regard to child care centers and family child care homes. The most recent reports have found that only 13 states require a comprehensive check for staff in a child care center. Only 11 states require a comprehensive check for individuals licensed to operate a family child care home.
“Currently, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the law that allocates funds to states for child care, does not require background checks,” Fraga said. “We think it’s time for the law to protect children.”
To ensure that children are in settings that are safe and promote healthy development, Child Care Aware® of America recommends that Congress require comprehensive background checks for all paid child care providers who regularly care for unrelated children and for providers who receive taxpayer funds to care for low income children.