Background Checks and Fingerprinting

We are no longer accepting 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. Please use the following links for additional information regarding the required background clearances: 

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.  However, the FBI rap-back is not officially "live" yet.   


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.


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.