Frequency of Background Check

States must have a process to ensure the timeliness and required frequency of background checks. They must ensure that CBCs on child care staff members are conducted within no more than 45 days from when the request is received, and at least once every 5 years. [2]

Note: The FFY 2019–2021 CCDF Preprint clarifies provisional employment for staff members working under supervision pending the completion of the required background checks as follows:

Provisional Employment

The CCDF final rule states a child care provider must submit a request to the appropriate state/territory agency for a CBC for each child care staff member, including prospective staff members, prior to the date an individual becomes a child care staff member and at least once every 5 years thereafter (98.43(d)(1) and (2). A prospective child care staff member may not begin work until one of the following results have been returned as satisfactory: either the FBI fingerprint check or the search of the state/territory criminal registry or repository using fingerprints in the state/territory where the staff member resides. The child care staff member must be supervised at all times pending completion of all the background check components (98.43(d)(4)).

In recognition of the concerns and feedback OCC received related to the provisional hire provision of the CCDF Final Rule, OCC allowed states and territories to request time-limited waiver extensions for the provisional hire provision. (see Appendix A). A state/territory received a waiver from this requirement only when:

  • Prospective staff members: Providers must request a background check before beginning their employment and no less than once every 5 years thereafter.

    Prospective staff members may begin work on a provisional basis (if supervised at all times by someone who has been successfully cleared) after completing (which means submitting and receiving the results from) one of the following:

    • An FBI fingerprint check
    • A check of the state criminal repository, using fingerprints, in the state of residence
    1. the state requires the provider to submit the background check requests before the staff person begins working; and
    2. the staff member, pending the results of the elements of the background check, is supervised at all times by an individual who has completed the background check.
  • Current or recent employee of another child care provider:Staff members do not need new background check requests if they satisfy all three of the following requirements:
    1. The staff member received a background check that included all the required parts within the past 5 years while employed by, or seeking employment by, another child care provider in the state
    2. The state gave a qualifying result to the first provider for the staff member
    3. The staff member is employed by a child care provider within the state or has been separated from employment from a child care provider for less than 180 days

Lead Agencies are encouraged to enroll child care staff members in rap back programs. A rap back program works as a subscription notification service. An individual is enrolled in the program, and the state identification bureau receives a notification if that individual is arrested or convicted of a crime. States can specify which events trigger a notification. However, unless the rap back program includes all the components of a CBC under the CCDBG Act, the Lead Agency is responsible for ensuring that child care staff members still complete all other components at least once every 5 years.

For further information see the Policy Interpretation Questions (CCDF-ACF-PIQ-2017-01).



[1] CCDBG Act of 2014 658H(b); Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.43(b) (2016).

[2] CCDBG Act of 2014 658H(d), (e)(1); Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. §§ 98.43(d), 98.43(e)(1) (2016).