New regulation on daycare workers, background check must be done before starting work

Summer Preschool in New Paltz

A new federal regulation set to take effect in 2-months has area child care centers “scrambling.”

The new employees will no longer be able to work with the kids until their background check is complete.

At the YMCA, just over 250 workers teach the 2,500 kids at their area childcare centers, and when they hire a new worker, that worker can start right away under the eyes of a supervisor. But not anymore.

“The fact that their background check has to be complete before boots on the ground with the kids,” said YMCA employee Kari Uzzle.

The daycare centers have no problem with background checks.

It’s the new regulations, the waiting period, waiting for fingerprints to get checked and processed that “… puts us in a heck of a pickle,” according to Garry Cochran of the ABC Sandcastle Child Care Center.

And smaller childcare centers, like Cochran’s ABC Sandcastle, fear they may have to turn away parents and kids, because the new rule does not allow them to bring new workers on right away, leaving them short-staffed.

“We could lose good people and it is hard to get good people to work in the field anymore. So when you find a good one, you want to hold on to them,” Cochran said.

Even though this is a new federal rule, it’ll be the states and counties that enforce it, despite their concerns about the impact on local childcare centers.