Here’s a rundown of answers to questions that providers, staff, and others have asked about background checks.
How will I get the results from my background check?
Currently, if you don’t hear from us, you can assume we didn’t find any problems in your background check. OEC is developing a Background Check Information System (BCIS) to provide more communication and information related to background check results. Learn more about it.
If the background check did pick up possible problems, we will send you a letter explaining next steps.
Why were my fingerprints rejected?
The State Police or FBI sometimes reject a person’s fingerprints, usually because the prints weren’t clear. We will send you a notice explaining why your fingerprints were rejected and include information about what to do next.
What happens if I have a criminal or DCF record?
Remember that not all crimes affect your eligibility to provide care to children. But if the background check turns up a problem — like a history of disqualifying crimes or a record of child abuse or neglect — you will need to send us more information within 30 days.
We will review all of your information and make a final decision about whether you are eligible to work as a child care provider, or not.
Throughout this process, you are the only person who will receive details about your results. We will not share specific results with your employer, but we will let them know that we’re conducting a review and have asked you for more information.
Follow-up background checks
I already got a background check in the last five years. Do I need another?
That depends. Even if you switched child care jobs, your previous background check will still be valid as long as you:
- Got it in Connecticut within the last five years
- Needed it because you were working in an OEC-licensed child care facility or home — or a license-exempt facility that receives Care 4 Kids funds — and worked in child care since that background check without a break in employment of 180 days or more (that is, 180 days when you were not working in child care)
However, if you got your background check for any reason besides providing child care — even if it was processed by the State Police at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) — it doesn’t count. You will need to get a new one through OEC.
Why do my fingerprints have to be collected again?
We need updated fingerprints as part of your routine background check at least every five years. There are several reasons:
- Your old fingerprints may no longer be accurate (for example, people sometimes get burns or scars that affect their fingerprints)
- The State Police Fingerprint Identification System needs to be able to compare new and old prints so it can use the best print for each finger — that’s the only way to produce the most accurate overall set
- Up-to-date fingerprints help us prevent fraud and make sure your personal data is matched to the right prints and not someone else’s (even if you share the same name and birth date)
Where does my background check fee go?
The fees received by OEC are split between the FBI ($13.25 or $11.25) and Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection ($75). The DESPP portion is deposited into the State General Fund.
Keep in mind that OEC is paying the background check processing fees for applications between August 4, 2020 and April 1, 2021.
Federal law requires that background checks are completed in every state or territory where a child care provider has lived within the last 5 years. If you lived or provided care in another state within the last 5 years, please see our page on out-of-state background checks.
Can new staff start work while they wait for background check results?
According to current state law — CGS section 19a-80(c) — prospective employees of licensed child care centers and group child care homes cannot have unsupervised contact with children until OEC confirms they have completed a comprehensive background check and are eligible to work in child care.
We recognize that this is hard to implement, since there’s currently no way for child care programs to verify that we have completed a background check.
OEC is working to make this easier. We’re developing a Background Check Information System (BCIS), which includes an electronic Roster. Employers will be able to use the Roster to find out the status of their employees’ background checks. Learn more about BCIS and the Roster.