Background Check Requirements

State law requires the Department to conduct background checks on anyone who is authorized to care for or have unsupervised access to children in early learning programs.

Requirements

DCYF issues portable background checks, valid for three years, which can be submitted through the Managed Education and Registry Information Tool (MERIT).

Individuals associated with a licensed child care facility or an ECEAP site must register in MERIT and have a STARS ID. This includes:

  • The licensed provider
  • Anyone who cares for or has unsupervised access to children in a licensed child care facility or ECEAP site
  • Anyone age 13 or older who live in the licensed family child care home

Visit MERIT online:

  • Sign in if you already have a STARS ID
  • Apply for a STARS ID if you do not have one
  • Click on the "application" tab
  • Click "Portable Background Check Application" and follow all the instructions
    • You will need the following to complete the application:
      • Name of the Licensed Child Care Provider or ECEAP site
      • Addresses where you have lived for the last five (5) consecutive years

Send payment as instructed.

First-time applicants must complete the fingerprint process. Individuals must submit a new application prior to the expiration date of the active background check application. If this is not done then the individual must complete the fingerprint check process. Licensed providers can track the background check clearances for employees and applicable household members through the MERIT facility registration process.

Request a copy of results:

Effective October 1, 2018 the Child Care Development Fund Block Grant Act (CCDF) requirement to request the existence of child abuse or neglect founded findings from each state an applicant has lived in the five years preceding the date of the background check. If you have lived in any other state in the previous 5 years you may receive additional requests for information.