Effective December 15, 2022: New Hampshire childcare providers are prohibited from starting new hires before their background checks are completed – a process which currently takes six weeks or even longer.
Prior to December 15, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) “had provided centers a waiver that allows them to bring on new staff immediately with a requirement they not be left alone with children before their background checks are completed.” However, the DHHS will no longer approve these waivers in order to maintain compliance with federal regulations that prohibit providers from working with children before their background check is done.
An executive director of a non-profit childcare provider advocacy group noted, “Everyone understands the value of background checks. No one wants to stop the background check process. The ideal is you have a quick background check approval process that lasts about a week.”
According to a spokesman for the New Hampshire Department of Safety (the agency that helps perform background checks with state criminal history records and federal fingerprint-based records), the agency is working to improve turnaround times and processes, including a new criminal records portal.
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