Background Checks and Fingerprinting

As of October 31, 2018, we are no longer accepting fingerprinting reimbursement requests.  

Background checks play an essential role in ensuring that children are safe in child care facilities. 

People who work or live in Maryland child care facilities need to complete a comprehensive background check at least once every five years.

Why are we Doing This?

On November 19, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-186) into law following its passage in the 113th Congress. The CCDBG Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 9858 et seq., and hereinafter referred to as the “Act”), along with Section 418 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 618) authorizes the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), which is the primary Federal funding source devoted to providing low-income families who are working or participating in education or training activities with help paying for child care and improving the quality of child care for all children.

By September 30, 2018, states and territories must have requirements, policies and procedures for the following specific background check components, and must be conducting those checks for all child care staff, in accordance with 45 CFR 98.43 and 98.16(o). 

The specific 8 components of the criminal background check are listed below:

  1. Criminal registry or repository using fingerprints in the current state of residency (in‐state);
  2. Sex offender registry or repository check in the current state of residency (in‐state);
  3. Child abuse and neglect registry and database check in the current state of residency (in‐state);
  4. FBI fingerprint check (national);
  5. National Crime Information Center (NCIC) National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) (national)
  6. Criminal registry or repository in any other state where the individual has resided in the past 5 years, with the use of fingerprints being optional (inter‐state)
  7. Sex offender registry or repository in any other state where the individual has resided in the past 5 years (inter‐state)
  8. Child abuse and neglect registry and database in any other state where the individual has resided in the past 5 years (inter‐state)

The federal law requires that providers complete all eight checks every five years.  In some instances, Maryland regulation requires a shorter period, such as a child protective services clearance every two years.  You must comply with the Maryland regulations in those instances.

When we became aware of the new background check requirements, we contacted CJIS (Maryland’s Criminal Justice Information System) to determine next steps.  We learned CJIS was working with the FBI to implement a federal rap-back program in Maryland.  By enrolling providers in the rap-back, Maryland will meet, and partially exceed, some requirements of the Reauthorization. 


Maryland has had its own rap-back program in place for several years.  When a triggering event, such as an arrest, occurs, we receive electronic notification from CJIS.  We will get those notifications until the individual is removed from the authorization list. 

The federal rap-back will work in the same way.  If a triggering event occurs, the Office of Child Care will receive an electronic notification. 

Most providers who live and work in Maryland will not need to get re-printed every five years.  However, the other checks must be done following our regulations (if our requirements are more strict) or the federal requirement of every five years.   

Here is a partial list of why some providers may need to get re-printed every five years: 

  • Provider, or center, does not certify they are entitled to receive criminal history information (You will receive more information from CJIS regarding this in the future).
  • You leave one job and start another. 
  • Prints were rejected by CJIS, and/or the FBI
    • For rejected prints – you can choose to go through the process every five years, or you can ask a physician to certify that you are unable to comply with the fingerprinting requirement.  That note must be updated every five years.  You must still meet the other parts of the background check.

Out-of-state residents must complete all checks every five years.


Out-of-state residents will not be enrolled in the rap-back program because each State has different policies and procedures in place and their systems do not “talk” to each other.  The only way to meet the requirements of the reauthorization is for those providers to follow the procedure every five years.

Next Steps:

Providers who fail to meet the new background check requirements will not be allowed to be left with children unsupervised.

To minimize the financial burden, the Office of Child Care is picking up the cost of the background checks through the reimbursement procedure detailed above.

In cooperation with CJIS, OCC came up with the printing schedule detailed above.  By following the posted dates, you are helping Maryland comply with the new requirements.  There will be no more opportunities for reimbursements once the October 1, 2018 deadline passes.

The FBI rap-back is not officially “live” yet.  CJIS has put procedures in place to allow us to start putting providers through the system in an effort to help us meet our deadline. 

We will return packages that do not contain all of the required documentation for corrections.  

You must sign and date the invoice and the W-9.



Understanding Background Check Results 

"Successfully passed" means, when used in connection with a criminal background check or a review of records of abuse and neglect of children or adults conducted on an individual, that the individual:

  • (a) Has not received a conviction, a probation before judgment disposition, or a not criminally responsible disposition, or does not have a pending charge for the commission or attempted commission of a crime that:
    • (i) Is listed at COMAR 13A.15.02.07B(1)—(11); or
    • (ii) Indicates other behavior harmful to children; or
  • (b) Has not been identified as responsible for the abuse or neglect of a child or an adult. 

Learn more about background check regulations here.

Links for Pennsylvania Residents:

Pennsylvania ​does a name only search.  Cost is $8.00 on-line and $10 if done by paper.  Payment must be credit card, money order or cashier check. No personal checks accepted.

Customer Service - 1-888-783-7972 option 3

  • Online CBC is completed immediately
  • Mailed in results can take 4-6 weeks
  • Mail in form

  • Results are sent to the requesting Agency/indiviual
  • Whoever is listed as Company has to pay for the results


Once on the Website make the following choices:

1) Company/individual

2) Reason - other

3) If Company - Add contact - this will generate a control number for each employee

4)The control number is given to the individual who can log in with their information

5) The company can then log into Check Status with the control #, employee name and birthdate and retrieve the results of the check.

"No record" results are available immediately

"Under review" status may take extra time.

Reports and receipts can be printed directly from the website.



Child Abuse Check:

Sex Offender Registry:

PA Sex Offender Registry Check