Background checks for daycare centers begin with a finger print

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - “We try to make things as safe as possible for children so the parents can be ensured there's a safe environment there,” said Tom Shanahan, Public Information Officer for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Most jobs require background checks, but when your job involves the well-being of someone else's child, that check is especially important.

In Idaho, this background check begins with a finger print.

"With that finger print, what we can do is actually check all the registries both national, state, and local and so we'd look at the Federal Bureau of Investigations national criminal history background check system, the Idaho State Bureau criminal identification, the statewide child abuse registries, state driving records, and then the federal and state sex offender registries,” said Shanahan.

The Step Ahead Learning Center in Twin Falls conducts a reference check in addition to a criminal background check.

“Before we even hire someone, we do do a reference check, we have to do, if they had a background check within the last two years they have to do a name check with the Idaho State Police,” said Rosalinda Bowman, Executive Director of Step Ahead Learning Center.

Not only do traditional day care facilities require background checks, but at-home daycares need them as well.

Those criminal background checks are required for anyone in the home over the age of 13.

“We need to keep our younger population safe, and I think this is a great way to make sure that people that we hire, as much as we want them to be the adequate person, we want to keep everyone safe,” said Bowman.

In the past 16 years, Bowman has only had to turn away one potential hire because of an inadequate background check.

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