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All Six States Reviewed Had Partially Implemented New Criminal Background Check Requirements for Childcare Providers, and Five of the States Anticipate Full Implementation by Fiscal Year 2020

Why OIG Did This Review

The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG Act) added new requirements for States receiving Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) money to conduct comprehensive criminal background checks on staff members and prospective staff members of childcare providers every 5 years. States must have requirements, policies, and procedures in place to conduct criminal background checks for staff members of childcare providers (other than relatives) that are licensed, regulated, or registered under State law or receive CCDF funds. Background check requirements apply to any staff member who is employed by a childcare provider for compensation or whose activities involve the care or supervision of children or unsupervised access to children.

Our objective was to determine the six States' progress toward implementing new criminal background check requirements established under the CCDBG Act.

How OIG Did This Review

This review summarizes what we reported in prior audits of six States' implementation of the new criminal background check requirements that were in place as of March and October 2018. We reviewed Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New York.

What OIG Found

All six States had implemented some of the new criminal background check requirements established under the CCDBG Act as of March and October 2018. Five of the six States anticipate full implementation by fiscal year 2020. However, certain criminal background check requirements for childcare providers remained unimplemented, and significant challenges may delay full implementation. These challenges included data system limitations, insufficient funds and staff to process the criminal background checks, and delays associated with making required changes to State laws or policies and procedures.

What OIG Recommends and Administration for Children and Families Comments

We recommend that the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) (1) continue to monitor the States' actions and progress toward implementation of the new background check requirements and (2) continue to work with States and Federal partners to ensure that all remaining background check requirements are implemented.

ACF concurred with our recommendations and stated that it is working diligently to support State implementation of the background check requirements of the CCDBG Act and will continue to pursue new strategies and partnerships to strengthen the infrastructure for conducting background checks for childcare staff.

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families