Day Care Background Checks required by Law in Arkansas

Day Care Background Checks required by Law in Arkansas

Day Care Background Checks required by Law in Arkansas

by Janelle Lilley

Monday, May 22nd 2017

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — One of the many difficult aspects of parenting is handing over your child to the care of another person. When it comes to placing your child in day care, you want to be 100% sure the people who work there are safe and can be trusted to provide good care for your child.

Arkansas day cares are required to conduct background checks on all child care workers. However, a legal grace period allows workers to be placed in classrooms before the background check is submitted, potentially allowing a new employee to be in the classroom weeks before the results of their background checks are returned.

By law, a daycare has 10 days to submit a background check. During that time, the new employee is required to be on probation and “closely supervised.” However, for those subject to a federal background check, that 10 day period can stretch more than six weeks. The delay is extended when inadequate fingerprints are submitted.

The state maintains that the grace period is necessary. If there were no such provision, the state says, understaffed day care facilities would either be forced to turn parents away or maintain inappropriate child-adult ratios in the classroom. According to the Department of Human Services, dangerous ratios have led to several child accidents and even deaths. However, no incident of abuse of a child by a person on probation has been reported, though the state acknowledges the risk of each scenario.

 

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