Child Care Providers Could Need Comprehensive Background Check

Courtesy 1011 Now

The state of Nebraska is working to make sure your children are safe while you’re at work or school, reports our media partner 1011 Now. It’s all in relation to a federal law from 2014 requiring all states to do F.B.I background checks on childcare providers.

Currently, the state does do background checks, but not fingerprinting, and not to the extent the federal government requires.

Shelley Wallace runs a daycare out of her home here in Lincoln.

“I found my love,” Wallace said. “I want my kids to learn, I want them to be successful adults. And they are my kids.”

She’s licensed, and says she’s the only in-home daycare in the state to also be accredited.

“The state has regulations, accreditation has stricter,” Wallace said. “I care about what I do and I want my parents to know I care about what I do. I want to be accountable to someone about what I do.”

Right now, the state requires daycare owners like Wallace to have background checks, but a bill in the legislature would require all employees to also have a strict, F.B.I background check and fingerprinting, a move that could affect nearly 13,000 childcare providers.

“Anything we can do to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to make sure all the daycare providers are safe as possible, that they’re as high quality as possible is just going to benefit the children,” said Matt Wallen, Director of the Division of Children and Family Services.

The bill is mandatory, so it’s expected to pass.

If the state doesn’t comply, it could lose some or all of its $30 million in funding from this grant. But the Department of Health and Human Services says it’s focus is on the safety of kids. Wallace says that’s exactly what she wants to see.

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