Child care provider background checks advance

A bill that would require more Nebraska child care providers to undergo a federal background check advanced from general file March 9.

Sen. Sara Howard
Sen. Sara Howard

LB1185, introduced by the Health and Human Services Committee, would amend the Child Care Licensing Act to require that individuals who are not required to be licensed under the act but who seek to be providers under the federal Child Care Subsidy program, must submit a request for a national criminal history check for each child care staff member.

Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, chairperson of the committee, said that a bill passed last year requiring fingerprinting and background checks every five years for child care providers under the federal Child Care Development Block Grant did not include unlicensed child care providers.

“LB1185 corrects that omission,” Howard said. “These are childcare providers that care for no more than three children. These unlicensed providers can have an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to be a part of the Child Care Subsidy program.”

Non-compliance with the federal requirement could cause the state to lose up to five percent of its federal block grant funds, she said.

A Health and Human Services Committee amendment, adopted 35-0, added provisions of La Vista Sen. John Arch’s LB837 to the bill.

The amendment would require the state Department of Health and Human Services to seek federal funding to implement a program to assist residential child-care providers and their employees with the cost of fingerprinting and national criminal history record information checks.

Lawmakers advanced LB1185 to select file on a 35-0 vote.

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