Office of Children and Family Services

Division of Child Care Services

SCR Clearance Fees--Questions and Answers

  1. Question: Does OCFS charge $25 when a registered family day care applies to be a licensed group family day care or vice versa?
  2. Answer: Yes, persons already cleared at one facility who are applying for another license or registration must be re-cleared and charged an additional $25. The law requires prospective day care providers and applicants for employment to pay the fee.

  3. Question: We’d like more guidance on the definition of a “volunteer” who is not required to pay for the clearance. Regulation 413.2(o) includes volunteer as a type of staff. However, there is no specific definition of what a volunteer is in regulation. What if an assistant or alternate provider is “volunteering” his/her time?
  4. Answer: A volunteer is generally a person who performs a service willingly and without pay. For OCFS purposes, the definition must also contain an assessment of the role they play in the day care facility. Teachers, aides, directors, assistants, alternate assistants, substitutes, alternate providers, operators and on-site providers are not considered volunteers, even if they are not paid. Their day care role is what is significant, not whether they are paid or unpaid. A $25 fee must be paid for the clearance with the SCR.

    Unpaid persons who volunteer to assist teachers or aides in the classroom and on field trips, or who come in to read to children, would be examples of true volunteers and are not subject to the $25 fee.

  5. Question: Are there plans to develop additional payment options, (ex.: credit card, PayPal, SCR “EZ Pass”)?

    Answer: Yes, other payment options are being explored and will likely be implemented in the future.

  6. Question: If a person works at multiple sites, is a $25 fee associated with each site?
  7. Answer: The law allows day care centers and school-age child care programs that operate multiple sites and deploy staff persons between programs to clear the individual once (one fee of $25 per person), and then keep a central file for all staff records. This is not permitted in family day care or group family day care programs. Family and group family day care operators that own more than one program must submit 3370 clearance forms for each employee, at each program. ; Policy does not allow this information to be transferred or shared between family or group family programs. Persons working in more than one family or group family day care program must submit a clearance for each program for which they are associated. A corresponding $25 payment must accompany the submission of each 3370 clearance form.

  8. Question: What about volunteers who get cleared without charge, work for a month or so, and then seek to become a paid employee?
  9. Answer: A person who was cleared as a volunteer and then changes role to that of an employee will be required to be re-cleared and pay for the clearance. The Online Clearance System will allow for re-clearances of an individual within 6 months if they change roles or are cleared in a different facility.

  10. Question: Is sending separate checks for each clearance request the rule?
  11. Answer: For child day care centers not using the Online Clearance System, the database check form (DSS 3370) must be accompanied by a payment of the fee for $25 when it is submitted to the SCR. The application will not be processed without the required payment of the fee. For your convenience, OCFS will accept a single check / money order covering the total cost associated with multiple forms up to $500; for example, should a day care center submit 10 clearance forms, it may send one check in the amount of $250. Remember, the Request ID must be on the check/money order submitted or must accompany the check money order in a separate attachment, if there is no room on the check to write the number(s). For the purpose of simplicity, it may be easier to request one payment per 3370 submitted.

  12. Question: Whom should I send my payments to once I have submitted the clearance request in the Online Clearance System?
  13. Answer: Your payments for the submission of SCR clearances should go to the following address:

    New York State Office of Children and Family Services
    Bureau of Financial Operations/Accounting and Revenue Collection
    Capital View Office Park
    52 Washington Street, South Building Room 204
    Rensselaer, NY 12144

  14. Question: Does policy allow for a licensor/registrar to receive payment for clearance from a provider while on-site?
  15. Answer: Do not take checks, money orders, etc., while in the field. All money must be mailed to the Office for your own safety and to avoid lost or stolen checks.

  16. Question: Can a program require that the applicant for employment pay the $25 clearance fee?
  17. Answer:  Yes. The language in the law requires that the applicant for licensure or employment pay for clearance, not the facility. However, a provider could voluntarily pay for clearances if they choose to do so.

  18. Question: Are “interns” (usually college students working in a program for a semester) considered to be volunteers and therefore exempt from the $25 fee as long as they are not paid staff?
  19. Answer: If the interns are paid for their employment then they must pay the clearance fee. If the interns are unpaid, but are fulfilling a caregiver role such as teacher or assistant, then they must pay the fee. If they are not paid, not counted in ratio, do not have a caregiver role, and are only providing additional assistance or are simply observing the program, then they do not have to pay the fee. Again, role assessment is critical.

  20. Question: Are agency checks acceptable?
  21. Answer: Yes, agency checks are acceptable as a form of payment. Please note that an agency check is different from a commercial, business account check. An example of an agency check would be a check issued by a large organization such as the YMCA or a Head Start program. If a Family or Group Family provider has a business account and issues a check from that account, it would not be considered an agency check.

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