Child Care Licensing
Background checks for hiring and registry tool for training
Completing a background check on a prospective program staff member is an essential step in protecting children in care outside their own homes. The background check is a program priority; the program must ensure completed checks before allowing an individual access to children in care.
Why are there more changes to background checks? The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) of 2014 contains specific requirements related to background checks. Child Care Licensing is responsible for ensuring background check rules are in place to safeguard all children in Texas in care outside their homes.
What does this mean to my program? §HRC 42.056 1/2018 Restricting the ability for a person whose background check is incomplete to be present at an operation, by prohibiting a person with a pending background check to provide direct care or have direct access to a child in care until the person’s FBI and Central Registry checks clear and requiring the person to be supervised by a qualified individual at all times.
Beginning Jan. 7, 2018, the Centralized Background Check Unit (CBCU) will no longer receive name-based criminal history results from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for individuals who require FBI fingerprint checks. This means that you will not receive criminal history results for an individual that requires an FBI fingerprint check until after that individual has been fingerprinted, and you may not allow the individual to work with children until you receive the Central Registry and FBI results that clear the person to be present at the operation.
The CBCU will notify you if further action must be completed for those background check results before the individual can be present.
In plain language this means you may not allow any individual to be in the presence of children without a completed background check, even in the case of staff shortages.
Can a potential employee without a clear background check (DPS/Central Registry/FBI) attend orientation and preservice training at the operation? Yes, as long as the individual is not in areas of the operation or home where children are in care.
What can I do if I’m having difficulty obtaining FBI fingerprinting appointments or receiving results in a timely manner? If you have not received the person’s fingerprint results from HHSC within seven calendar days from the date the person was fingerprinted, follow up with your operation’s assigned CBCU inspector (see the CBCU Contacts page at www.dfps.state.tx.us/Background_Checks/contact.asp for guidance).
A status of Pending usually occurs if the request was submitted recently. Wait the full seven calendar days and proceed as described above.
A status of Error means that the request couldn’t be submitted to the background check unit and hasn’t been processed. This error often occurs when the information submitted for the background check does not match the information in our system. Contact your CBCU representative so that the information can be reviewed to determine the error. Once the error is corrected, the request must be submitted again.
New free professional development tool
The Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (https://tecpds.org) is a statewide program that supports early childhood programs, professionals, and families across the state. This online system, launched in 2013, includes the Texas Trainer Registry, which approves early childhood trainers, and the Texas Workforce Registry, which helps early childhood professionals keep track of all their education and employment history.
The workforce registry provides you and your staff the opportunity to upload all training and professional development to a free, secure, and personal online account. This web-based tool is an amazing way to house your training in records in one place. The registry allows early childhood professionals to store and access their education and employment history, as well as the history of completed professional development and training hours.
As a Practitioner, you can create and update your professional development profile, view your professional development report, and link your data to your employer.
As a Center Director, you will have an account with the same features as a Practitioner’s account, and you will also be able to review center/facility reports, and post job openings to a centralized job board (https://tecpds.org/JobBoard.aspx).
For more information on the Texas Workforce Registry and the benefits of registering, watch the orientation video on the website (https://tecpds.org/CenterRegistry/TexasWorkforceRegistry.aspx).