Child care background checks are one of the most important parts of hiring teachers and child care workers. A complete background check of a personal and criminal history is necessary in order to ensure student safety, a clean care center reputation, and to offer the best quality of care and education possible.

While most states require background checks for child care workers, there are also other forms of background checks you should do before deciding to hire a potential employee. It’s important to pre-check their abilities, fulfill all mandatory checks, and perform any additional searches that may not be included in your state’s requirements.


In a perfect world, all candidates would have an honest resume and there would be no need to double check any information. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as perfect and it is your responsibility as an employer to review a candidate’s resume and references thoroughly.

An interview is a good way to double check and clarify any facts that may seem out of place, but contacting past employers is an even better way to be sure that everything is what it seems. Shooting a quick email or making a phone call to a potential employee’s previous job is a good place to start.

Another great way to be sure a candidate possesses certain abilities is through pre-employment tests that assess personality traits, aptitude, and basic skills. You can find tests such as a Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP), Customer Service Aptitude Profile (CSAP), and a Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) here.


The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requires that all states require some sort of comprehensive background check. A comprehensive background check includes, but is not limited to, a state and federal criminal history check using an individual’s name and fingerprints, a Child Abuse Registry check (may also be known as the Child Protection Index), and a Sex Offender Registry check.

These checks are required for all regulated child care providers including bus drivers, janitors, kitchen staff, administrative employees, and all adults living at the location of an in-home child care facility. Many states also require updated background checks after a certain number of years.

Don’t know what requirements your state has? Check out your state’s child care resources here.


If your state doesn’t already require certain background checks for child care providers, you should look into additional resources. While additional checks may cost more time and money, they will pay for themselves in quality employees. When you look for additional background check options, make sure you know how far back the check will go. Different background checks can go 3, 5, 7, or more years into a person’s past. Additional background checks may include:

  •      Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Search
  •      Sex Offender Search
  •      Education and Employment History
  •      Social Security Trace Search

Better Child Care Applicants:

Whether it is a preschool teacher background check or background checks for daycare workers, publicly posting your hiring requirements often means that you will get the best applicants that are more likely to be honest and reliable employees. Hiring the best teachers and staff helps to ensure a safe environment for your staff and students, and should not be taken lightly. While it would be nice to assume that everyone has the best intentions, this isn’t always the case and it’s necessary to be sure you know exactly who you’re hiring, whether it’s state required or not.

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