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Wisconsin to Require FBI Background Checks for Child Care Providers

Wisconsin will be the latest of the majority of states that require FBI background checks for child care providers, their employees and household members in a move advocates say is an important step to make sure criminals don’t slip through the cracks, The Journal Times reports.

Wisconsin requires state criminal background reviews conducted by the state Department of Justice, but until January – when a provision in the state budget takes effect – it does not require FBI fingerprint checks for child care providers, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

According to the Journal Times article, Child Care Aware of America, an advocacy group for parents and child care providers, says background checks have limited value unless they are based on fingerprints because criminals may use aliases. The organization recommends both a state criminal background check and an FBI fingerprint check, in addition to reviewing sec offender and child abuse and neglect registries.

Thirty-five states currently require FBI fingerprint checks for licenses child care centers, and 33 states require them for licensed family home child care providers. 

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