As your trusted advisor, GCCA is available to help you understand the impact of federal and state legislation around criminal background check requirements and clarify the difference between comprehensive and local criminal background checks.
In addition, we can lighten your workload and facilitate the on-boarding of a new employee by managing the criminal background check process for provisional employees. Below you'll find some Frequently Asked Questions relating to the purpose, requirements, and application process of this important aspect to your business.
Understanding Criminal Background Checks
In September 2016, a new federal law was passed that affects all licensed childcare programs and a select few license-exempt programs. This new law requires all individuals under consideration for employment within the childcare industry undergo a rigorous, comprehensive background check.
The comprehensive background check includes the following:
1. A national fingerprint-based criminal history (which Georgia currently requires);
2. The Georgia Child Abuse Registry (which requires applicant consent);
3. The National Sex Offender Registry (which requires applicant consent);
4. A state fingerprint-based criminal history for every US state, territory, and/or tribal land in which an applicant has resided in the past five years (which requires applicant consent); and
5. The state child abuse registry in every US state, territory, and/or tribal land in which an applicant has resided in the past five years (which requires applicant consent).
This comprehensive background check applies to every employee (as defined in the rules and regulations) in the child care industry, even those who already have the national fingerprint-based background check. For further information and required action, please review the following:
- Individuals who have had a national fingerprint-based criminal background check through DECAL and have lived only in Georgia for the past five years must undergo a check of the Georgia Child Abuse Registry and the National Sex Offender Registry by October 1, 2017. (Please note that there is NO COST associated with these two additional checks; each person only needs to supply authorization for DECAL to complete them).
- Individuals who have had a national fingerprint-based criminal background check through DECAL but have resided in another US state, territory, and/or tribal land within the past five years must undergo a check of the Georgia Child Abuse Registry, the National Sex Offender Registry, and a check of both the fingerprint-based criminal history and child abuse registry for each state, territory, and/or tribal land by October 1, 2017.
- Every new employee hired on or after January 1, 2017 must receive a satisfactory comprehensive background check determination from DECAL before s/he can be present at a child care program while children are present for/under care.
Under the current regulations, DECAL does allow a child care center to hire an employee utilizing a "provisional employee" status.
DECAL defines a provisional employee as a person other than a Director or Employee:
- who has received a satisfactory Preliminary Records Check Determination; ( State GCIC) and
- whose duties involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for at the facility; and
- who is hired for a limited period of employment in accordance with these rules.
GCCA understands that a "provisional employee" status can be confusing. In simple terms, a provisional employee is someone who has been hired by a child care center based on a local criminal history check clearance conducted and issued by law enforcement within 10 days before the date of hire.
Currently, the rules allow for a provisional employee to be on the center's premises for one 21-day term of employment within which s/he must submit to the national fingerprint-based background check. The concept of the provisional term of employment will remain the same, but now each provisional employee must submit all required information to run the comprehensive background check within that 21-day term. If all requirements are met by the provisional employee within the 21-day period, s/he can remain on site until DECAL issues a satisfactory determination based on results of the comprehensive background check.
This status is in jeopardy due to new Federal Comprehensive Fingerprint Check Regulations.
DECAL has asked the federal government for a waiver to implement the new comprehensive background checks and GCCA is lobbying our congressional delegation to ask as well for the delayed implementation and the law to be rewritten.
Once you have your account set up with GCCA, we will provide you with the necessary pre-printed forms so that all you will need to do is fax or e-mail your CRC request directly to the police department. Once they have processed the requested record(s), they will e-mail the results directly back to you. You can then print the CRC to add it to your employee’s files.
While we do not guarantee the response time, requests submitted before noon will typically be processed and returned the same day—often in as little as two hours.
Yes. GCCA has arranged with Bright from the Start/Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) to allow centers to hire an applicant once they have received the e-mailed results (provided, of course, that the results come back with “No Record”). An individual convicted of any felony is “NOT ALLOWED” to be present in a center when children are present or if they have been convicted of certain misdemeanors involving sexual offenses and battery of children, contributing to the delinquency of a minor or other misdemeanors. For specific questions about a crime, contact your DECAL consultant for a determination. However, Bright from the Start requires that you print off the original hard copy and place it in the employee’s file.
There is a one-time only, non-refundable amount set up fee in order to establish your account with us. The fee for GCCA members is $25.00 and $50.00 for non-members. After paying the account set up fee and receiving your pre-printed forms, you may begin submitted CRC requests immediately. The fee for each CRC processed (regardless of the results) is $10.00 for GCCA members and $18.00 for non-members. You will receive an invoice once a month from GCCA indicating the total number of CRC’s processed for the month and the total amount due. The company also agrees to pay all invoices within twenty-one (21) days following the billing date. The company further understands and agrees that any invoice that remains unpaid after sixty (60) days following the billing date will result in immediate termination of this agreement and no further record check requests will be accepted or processed. Late fees are $25 – 30 days past due and $50 – 60 days past due. In the event this Agreement is terminated, the company shall remain responsible for all outstanding balances plus any collection fees.
Click here to complete the attached application and fax (770) 752-4207 or mail it back to us along with your account set up fee and we will get your account set up and e-mail you the necessary forms to begin submitting CRC requests.