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Important Information on Mandated Background Checks for the Child Care Provider Community

Prior to September 25, 2019, all licensed, registered, permitted or legally exempt childcare programs were required to comply with certain background check provisions. Those persons who have completed the existing background check requirements prior to September 25, 2019 are still in compliance as of September 25, 2019. As such, those persons may continue to work, volunteer, or reside in a child care program on September 25, 2019. A schedule for their "re-check" - an updated background check process under the new rules – will be distributed by OCFS.

All staff, volunteers, and adult household members who are new (prospective) on or after September 25, 2019, must comply with the new background check process required under the law. This is true for the licensed and registered community (please use this link for the licensed/registered regulations: https://ocfs.ny.gov/main/childcare/assets/Licensed-Registered-Regulations.docx) as well as for the legally exempt community (please use this link for the legally exempt regulations: https://ocfs.ny.gov/main/childcare/assets/Legally-Exempt-Regulations.docx).

In brief, the new rules require:

  • All new (prospective) individuals at licensed, registered, and legally-exempt programs must complete the background check process prior to beginning at the program.
  • Existing licensed/registered programs will receive a schedule for updating their background checks in conformance with the new law. Generally, the schedule requires a person to schedule an appointment for criminal history fingerprinting within 1 week of their birthday.
  • Existing legally-exempt informal programs will receive a schedule for updating their background checks in conformance with the new law. Generally, the schedule requires a person to schedule an appointment for criminal history fingerprinting with their re-enrollment packet. This should happen within 60 days of the end of their enrollment period.
  • Existing legally-exempt group programs will receive a schedule for updating their background checks in conformance with the new law. Generally, the schedule requires a director to schedule an appointment for criminal history fingerprinting as part of the re-enrollment packet; staff and volunteers will schedule an appointment within 1 week of their birthday.

OCFS is stressing to regulatory staff the importance of providing technical assistance to child care programs and supporting their efforts to come into compliance with these new requirements.