Childcare workers must get background check every three years

PULASKI (WSLS 10) - Childcare employee screening is stricter than it used to be, but it can still allow for certain crimes to go unnoticed.

Virginia law requires criminal and social services background checks on childcare employees every three years. It used to require only one check.

If a worker gets in trouble with the law or the Department of Social Services between background checks, they are expected to self-report to their employer. If they do not speak up, there is a chance that a daycare center and parents will not know about the issue for months or years.

Background check results cannot be released to parents without the worker's permission.

"There's always a fine line with protecting the privacy of the individual, but also making sure public safety and children's safety are also in that equation," said Pulaski County D.S.S. director Guy Smith. "I think that's a conversation people will continue to have."

The D.S.S has a list of barrier crimes. By law, if someone has been convicted of something on that list, they cannot be hired to work with children.