In November 2009, the Caregiver Background Check Bill (SB331), was signed into law by Governor Doyle. The bill- created to increase safety and decrease fraud within child care programs- will go into effect February 1, 2010 across the state. The bill includes legislation that 1) requires much more frequent criminal background checks for child care providers, 2) bans individuals convicted of certain crimes from holding a child care license, working in a child care facility, or living in a family child care home, and 3) requires the Department of Children and Families to suspend a provider’s license if they are charged with a serious crime and revoke the license if the provider is convicted of the crime.
All Wisconsin licensed child care programs recently received a letter from the Bureau of Early Care Regulation outlining some of these specific changes. The state will perform background checks on license holders every 3 months (licensees will be charged $10 per check), on licensee household member once per year, and on employees of licensees once per year. Licensees will be notified when they need to pay for these checks. Additionally, if licensees, their household members, or their employees are convicted of certain crimes, they will be permanently banned from providing child care in the future. Examples of these crimes include first/second degree reckless or intentional homicide, kidnapping, and armed burglary. Additional crimes carry a permanent ban for licensees or certified providers only. These crimes are broad and include identity theft, felony forgery, felony retail theft, and felony cable theft. A complete listing of these crimes were included in the letter from the Bureau of Early Care Regulation.
I WANT KNOW IF THE NEW LAW AFFECTS CHILDCARE PROVIDERS WHO ARE ALREADY IN FIELD AND HAVE BEEN DOING CHILDCARE FOR YEARS. I THINK THE NEW LAW SHOULD BE FOR NEW CHILDCARE PROVIDERS WHO WANT TO GET IN THE FIELD NOW TO BE CHILDCARE PROVIDERS.
The new law does apply to providers who are already in the field. It also will apply to any new license applicants. According to a letter issued by the Department of Children and Families “even if the Department has issued a license or
allowed a person to reside at a child care center with a criminal conviction in the past, the Department is now
required to revoke the license if the licensee, a household resident or an employee has an offense that will
permanently bar that person. The Department is also required to revoke the license in those situations where a
person has a conviction that will require a rehabilitation review.” The new law will go into effect on February 1st. If you have specific questions about the types of crimes included, call or email your licensing specialist.
What is the time frame on a current provider regarding a rehabilitation review? How many years from the conviction must someone stand accountable or be required to have a rehabilitation review?
This is a great question. The time frame and rules vary with different types of convictions, so the best way to get your question answered is to contact the licensing department at the Department of Children and Families. Click here to determine who your contact should be, based on your location.
If an employer has to “fire” an employee due to the new background check requirements, is the employer responsible for unemployment benefits? Also according to section 111.33 to 111.36 of the wisconsin statues we cannot discriminate based on arrest and conviction records. Do these statues apply?
Another great question. The best way to get your question answered is to contact the licensing department at the Department of Children and Families. Click here to determine who your contact should be, based on your location. You can also contact the unemployment compensation office in Wisconsin- find that contact information here.
i have a retail theft felony from 6 years ago. My nieces are in DCFS custody. Could I be eligible to be a relative caregiver? I live in IL.
This is a tough question to answer. The Caregiver Background Check Law only applies to child care programs in the state of Wisconsin. You should check with Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to get your question answered.
Will I be denied a license if I have two retail theft convictions, the most recent is about 3 years old and the other is almost 5 years old?
Good question! In the letter from the Bureau of Early Care Regulation, a felony retail theft conviction is listed as an offense that results in a permanent bar from becoming a child care licensee or certified provider. For more clarification, please contact the licensing department at the Department of Children and Families. Click here to determine who your contact should be, based on your location.