Most parents do some research on the people that watch their kids. They get referrals from friends or family members or perhaps they search for the person on the Internet. If you find their name on the Internet, are you sure the website you are looking at is credible? Did you look to see if there was any disclaimer on the home page? For example, Instant Checkmate is a website that you can go to and search public records. However, if you read the disclaimer at the bottom of the page, you will see that it states, “the information available on our website may not be 100% accurate, complete, or up to date, so do not use this information as a substitute for your own due diligence, especially if you have concerns about a person’s criminal history.”
When you contact a person or facility, do you ask what types of screenings they do? Do they background check and drug test their employees? Do they perform follow-up checks on these people, such as annual background checks and random drug testing? If they answer yes, I’d ask where they get their information for the results.
Federal law requires that all states have policies in place to protect the health and safety of children in childcare programs. However, even though they are “required,” that doesn’t mean the background screen is being done correctly and thoroughly. Parents should be requesting a comprehensive background check be done on anyone that is going to be in charge of the care of their child (including volunteers). And that background screening should be repeated annually on those people.
Some states have their own guidelines for background checks for childcare facilities. For example, Missouri outlines exactly who is required to have a background screen. They also list what is required but their screenings only check in the state of Missouri. What happens when the person just moved to Missouri or had been arrested in another state?
Drug tests should also be conducted on childcare workers, both at the time of beginning employment and on a random basis. Unfortunately, there was an incident in Indiana where two daycare workers tested positive for marijuana after an infant was found deceased while in their care.
It’s interesting that there is a lot of talk about drug tests and background checks at businesses to get a job, as well as performing those screenings on teachers. However, you don’t hear a lot in the media about background checks and drug tests being performed on the people that parents pay to watch their children.
Luckily there are resources available to help get those checks done and drug tests coordinated. 3rd Degree Screening will put together a comprehensive background check and coordinate drug testing for those persons caring for your children. They can also help develop a policy for conducting these screenings on your employees. 3rd Degree Screening is an accurate and reliable source that can assist parents as they search for the right people to care for their children.