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Do Daycares Run Background Checks on Parents?

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In looking for a job after release, a felon with children who finds a position may need to place them at a daycare in order to attend work.

This blog post will cover whether or not daycares run background checks on parents.

  • What Is Included in a Background Check?
  • Daycare Background Check on Job Applicants
  • Background Checks on Parents?
  • Can You Run a Credit Check on Yourself?


What Is Included in a Background Check?

Daycare is a childcare option allowing parents to drop off their children during the day for care and supervision. Daycare centers specialize in the care of infants through preschoolers. Some daycare facilities also offer care before and after school for school-age children.

A daycare might review a person’s background because they don’t want someone who poses a risk for security and safety issues, mainly because of dishonesty. Their criminal history can be a problem when applying at a daycare even if they are now committed to living an honest lifestyle.

A company may view:

  • Credit reports
  • Driving records
  • Educational records
  • Criminal offenses

Background information helps a daycare to determine someone’s:

  • Past mistakes
  • Character
  • Financial fitness

The criminal record review conducted of a background check includes examining criminal history files for any criminal offenses, which will reveal all convictions and non-convictions, including cases not prosecuted or ones dismissed. Convictions can be reported with no time limit while a non-conviction will show up for seven years. A crime will not show up on a background check if a felon has his or her record expunged.

Daycare Background Check on Job Applicants

If someone is applying for a job position at a daycare rather than for child enrollment, a number of factors are essential in any hiring decision. All U.S. childcare facilities are required to pass a twice annual inspection. Sex offenders and violent criminals are not eligible to work at a daycare facility.

The reason for conducting background checks at a daycare is to determine whether someone has a criminal history or a history of abuse and neglect that may present a risk to the health and safety of children. There are several types of background checks that the Health and Human Services Commission in most states is authorized to perform:

Criminal-record check – A nationwide criminal-record check can only be done through the FBI. A typical record check is conducted on a statewide or countywide basis.

Court-record check – Criminal history information in civil records is available to the public.

Department of Motor Vehicle check – A child care provider’s driving record can provide information regarding prior driving offenses.

Credit-report check – This can provide information regarding how reliable a person is financially.

Social Security Number trace – This allows for a state check on where an individual has lived the past seven years.  A child care provider’s permission is not needed to run this type of check.

Daycares Run Background Checks on Parents?

When seeking to place a child at a daycare, an application must be completed. Typical information requested in a parental childcare application includes:

  • Parent name
  • Child name
  • Date of birth
  • Existing medical conditions
  • Allergies
  • Guardian information
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Relationship to child
  • Emergency contact information
  • Relationship child
  • Pediatrician name, phone number, and address
  • Insurance information
  • Preferred hospital

While a daycare has a great deal of information on parents, there is no criminal background check that is run on them prior to enrolling their child.

Childcare providers often deal with parents who are bad daycare payment risks. They may have a history of non-payment or childcare collection legal issues. Information that is essential for daycares to know about prospective parents includes:

  • Uncollected payments with another daycare provider
  • Outstanding debts
  • Currently involved in a childcare collection proceeding
  • History of bad checks

Some daycares will run a credit check on parents prior to accepting their child into daycare to help ensure that the parents are a good risk for making daycare payments. Many of the larger, national daycares are more likely to run a credit check on parents than some of the smaller, local child care centers. The decision to run credit checks is up to the daycare center.

The information contained in a credit check that a daycare might run will vary based on the reporting agency and the depth of a report but typically includes:

  • Identifying Information – Name, current and previous addresses, date of birth, employers, name of spouse, and Social Security Number
  • Credit History – Bank accounts, credit card accounts, and any loans or mortgages; will show long the account has been open, the payment pattern over the last two years, the loan amount or credit card limit
  • Public Records – Lists any evictions, bankruptcies, tax liens, or civil judgments
  • Inquiries – Shows the names of those who have requested a credit report in the past last year

Can You Run a Credit Check on Yourself?

Doing a credit check on him or herself before applying to enroll a child at a daycare will allow a felon to know exactly what will be discovered when the daycare does its credit review. A felon with any questions can contact an attorney.

There are two different types of credit inquiries that are run:

  • Hard inquiry – One which is run when applying for a credit card, loan, or mortgage from a financial institution
  • Soft inquiry – One which is run when a company or person does a credit check as part of a background check, such as in a job application or application as a parent at a daycare

When a person runs a credit check on him or herself, it is considered to be a soft inquiry, which does not affect the credit score (unlike a hard inquiry which will lower a credit score a few points). A credit check can be done through the major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

It is never a good idea to lie about your past financial history on an application. This could result in not having your child accepted if the daycare finds out about it. Take responsibility for past financial difficulties and explain how you are putting your life in order. Doing your own credit check allows you, as a felon, to know what a daycare will see on your record.

So what do you think about this blog post about whether or not daycares run background checks on parents? Have you or someone you know had a daycare run a background check? What was that like and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below. 

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