National Study Indicates Not All State Daycare Centers Run Comprehensive Background Checks

It’s 10 o’clock. Do you know where your children are? At one point, this public service announcement of 20 to 50 years ago was relevant. As most children likely stay in and play video games at night these days, however, parents know where they are. But what about at 8 a.m., when you drop your child off at daycare? According to Fox News, most children might be safer wandering outdoors than staying inside a daycare center.

But, you might think to yourself, “What’s so awful about my three-year-old playing with blocks, having snacks, or napping?” It’s not your child’s activities you need to be concerned about – it’s the workers taking care of your child.

As the Fox story reports, a recent study conducted by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies on 26 states shows that a majority of daycare centers received failing grades, particularly in the areas of background checks and licensing. Not all states require comprehensive background check policies, so someone with a history of crimes out-of-state may be taking care of your child. Similarly, the Fox piece states that not all centers checked new hires against child abuse records. More specifically, only 10 out of 26 states require comprehensive background checks; seven out of 26 do not require centers to consult child abuse registries.

Aside from safety, wouldn’t you expect the daycare provider to be moderately educated? Tied into comprehensive criminal records checks is education history. As this study found out, some employees in daycare centers did not even earn high school diplomas.

If you are a parent and wondering what to do now, look up to see where your state stands in this study. Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Washington, D.C., all scored fairly high. The Department of Defense had the highest rating. Louisiana, on the other hand, was one of the lowest. If you are concerned about your area, research daycare centers that run comprehensive background checks on all employees and are licensed.