February 22, 2012
Dear Child Care Provider:
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Division of Programs, Licensing Section is committed to providing protection, safety, and quality care to children in out-of-home child care settings. At this time, DCFS wants to remind you of the importance of obtaining satisfactory criminal background checks for your staff prior to them providing care for Louisiana's most precious resource, our children. For this reason, comprehensive hand-outs regarding criminal background checks have been posted on the DCFS website. The hand-outs contain clarifications to the most frequently asked questions and important updates and reminders regarding criminal background check requirements and procedures. New information will also be included about how you can utilize your local sheriff's office to process fingerprints in certain designated parishes. The hand-outs will provide you with essential information that will assist you in maintaining compliance with licensing standards regarding criminal background check requirements. It is imperative that each provider review this information.
DCFS is committed to serving children in high quality centers in accordance with state laws and regulations. Compliance with criminal background check requirements significantly impacts the licensing and regulation of child care facilities. We believe the strict enforcement of laws requiring criminal background checks will help better protect the children in licensed child care centers and we are grateful to you, the provider community, for your partnership and for working with us to advance this goal. To that end, hiring, continuing to employ, or having any person present who does not have a satisfactory criminal background check on file showing that the person has no enumerated convictions will be cited as a violation of the child care minimum standards and could result in enforcement actions up to and including revocation of your license to operate.
This deficient practice seriously endangers the safety and well-being of children receiving services in your center and is deemed unacceptable.
It is very important that you routinely access the Department's website for new licensing information and updates from the DCFS Licensing Section. In order to access these hand-outs, go to the DCFS website at www.dcfs.la.gov/childcareupdates
. Computer access is available at all public libraries.
If you have any questions regarding this information, contact a Licensing Manager at (225) 342-9905.
Angie Badeaux, Director
DCFS Division of Programs