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Criminal Background Checks
- Child Care -
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Frequently Asked Questions

The North Carolina Child Care Law (General Statute 110-90.2) requires a criminal background check be conducted on all persons who work or provide child care in a licensed or regulated child care facility.

All individuals who reside in a family child care home and are age 16 and older must also complete a criminal background check, regardless of whether they are caring for children or not.

Each prospective child care operator and provider (which includes any household member, age 16 and older), must complete the criminal background check and have a valid CBC Qualification letter prior to:

  • Being hired by a child care facility
  • Receiving a license to own or operate a child care facility
  • Becoming a household member of a Family Child Care Home (FCCH) or center in a residence
  • Moving into a FCCH or center in a residence
  • Working as a substitute in a child care facility
  • Working as an uncompensated provider who will be counted in staff/child ratio or left alone with children in a child care facility

A Criminal Background Check includes a check of the following:
  • Federal and State Fingerprint Database
  • Sex Offender Registry
  • NC Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) database for name check
  • Responsible Individuals List (RIL) - The RIL is a list of individuals that have abused or neglected a child in NC. The list is made up of those individuals that have been substantiated against for child abuse or serious neglect through the local departments of social services and have gone through an appeals process.
  • Child Maltreatment Registry (CMR) - This check determines if an individual has maltreated a child in child care since the January 2016 Session Law 2015-123 took effect. The law requires DCDEE to determine if individuals have maltreated a child in child care and requires an appeal process be followed prior to placement on the CMR.

How often must a criminal background check be completed?

A criminal background check must be completed every three years. The expiration date will be stated in your qualification letter. You should submit the criminal background check request prior to the expiration date to avoid an interruption in your employment.

What do I do if I become employed by another child care facility?

You will provide your new employer with a copy of your valid qualification letter. If you do not have a copy, you may call the CBC Unit and one will be mailed to you. A facility cannot hire you without having a qualification letter on file. Always maintain a copy of your qualification letter for your records to avoid delays from being hired.

Does the child care facility need to submit anything to the Division of Child Development and Early Education?

Owners/Directors must notify the Division when a new employee is hired or moves into the facility by submitting a Change of Information form to the Criminal Background Check Unit.

What disqualifies an applicant?

Multiple criteria are used when determining if an individual is qualified to work in licensed child care in NC.

To see the Criminal Background Check Review Policy, click HERE.

What do I need to complete the criminal background check application?

  1. Criminal Record Check Identifying Form (DHHS-004 bubble sheet)- This form can be obtained from a child care facility, local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, or by contacting the Division to have one mailed to you.
  2. VISA or MasterCard for Federal Fingerprint search of $25.00 plus $1.50 for online payment fee.
  3. Printer to print out required forms
  4. Valid government issued photo identification
    • Valid Driver's license (not expired)
    • Valid State Issued ID card
    • Contact your local law enforcement office for other acceptable forms of identification
  5. Valid email address

How do I complete the criminal background check?

  • Review the Notice of Child Care Provider Mandatory Criminal History Check DCD-0049 Form. You may print a copy for your record.
  • Complete and sign the Criminal Record Check Identifying Form (DHHS-004 bubble sheet).
  • Make a payment of $26.50 using the Online Payment Link and print receipt.
  • Complete the required Fingerprint Submission Release Forms.
  • Contact law enforcement agency in your area to find out if you need to schedule an appointment to have your fingerprint impressions completed Approved Agency Guide.
  • Take the completed Fingerprint Submission Forms and a government issued photo ID to a law enforcement agency found on the Approved Agency Guide to have fingerprint impression submitted to the SBI. The agent taking the prints must sign Fingerprint Submission Forms and return to you. We will also accept manual fingerprint impression on the FD-258 applicant card if the agency cannot submit them electronically.

What do I submit to DCDEE to process my criminal background check?

  1. Original completed and signed Criminal Record Check Identifying Form (DHHS-004 bubble sheet)
  2. Payment receipt for federal background check
  3. Completed and signed, by applicant and law enforcement agent, Fingerprint Submission Forms or manual fingerprint submissions FD-258
  4. Certified criminal history report (required by out of state residents only)

Where do I submit my background check information?

    Envelope Marked CONFIDENTIAL

    DHHS Criminal Background Check Unit/Child Care Team
    2201 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-2200

What happens if I get a new charge or conviction after being qualified?

All child care providers and household members who have incurred any pending charges, indictments or convictions (other than minor traffic offenses), since the last qualification letter was issued by the Division must notify the operator of such charges within five business days or before returning to work, whichever comes first. The operator must notify DCDEE within one business day of being notified. 10A NCAC 09 .2703.

Any new charges or convictions could result in a disqualification. In addition, if you have been placed on the Responsible Individual List (RIL), Child Maltreatment Registry (CMR), or the Sex Offender Registry (SOR) this will result in a disqualification.

If you operate a Family Child Care Home or a Center in a Residence and a household member has pending charges, is convicted, or is placed on any of the registries noted above, the result could be a disqualification.

What if I live in another state?

Applicants/providers who reside in another state are required to also submit a certified local history report from their state of residence. You must get a certified local history report from the Clerk of Superior Court of the Circuit or District Court in their county of residence, or the State Repository office for their state. The record check must reflect the providers legal and current first and last name and must be consistent with the name written on all other criminal record check forms. The county of residence must be consistent with the providers current address as shown on the other forms. This county or local check must have been done within the last 90 days (of date the forms are mailed to the Division). South Carolina residents may contact the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) at Virginia residents may contact the Virginia State Police (VSP) at For other states, contact the county Clerk of Court, or the State Repository. Once obtained, the original certified local history report from the Clerk of Court, SLED, VSP, or State Repository office must be submitted to the Division. (Record checks from local law enforcement or other criminal records agencies are not acceptable and will delay the process if submitted.) Your application is not complete if the Criminal Background Check Unit does not receive a valid out of state report for you in your packet.

Important Information

  • Keep a copy of your completed fingerprint forms and payment receipt until you receive your notification letter.
  • Submit the required documents together.
  • Make sure your name is your legal name and is the same on all documents to avoid returns or delays in the process.
  • Check email and mail daily to see if we need any additional information from you to complete the criminal background check.
  • Make sure you provide an accurate mailing address, email address, and a working telephone number on your paperwork should the DCDEE need to reach you.

How do I contact the CBC Unit with questions?

    1-800-859-0829 (In State)

For more detailed information see the link
  • Criminal Background Check Basic Instructions for Child Care.

  • NC.GOV NC Race to The Top Early Learning Challenge

    2201 Mail Service Center | Raleigh, NC 27699-2200
    919-527-6335 | 1-800-859-0829 (In State Only)

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