N.J. may extend background checks to include home-based daycare centers

 New Jersey state capitol building in Trenton. (NewsWorks file photo)

New Jersey state capitol building in Trenton. (NewsWorks file photo)

A bill passed by the New Jersey Assembly would require criminal background checks for family daycare providers and any adult living there.

Day care facilities that receive federal subsidies already perform the background checks.

Cynthia Rice with Advocates for Children of New Jersey said the measure to extend that requirement to all registered day care providers in the state is a logical bill that will protect kids.

“To think that we have 2,000 registered family child care homes in our state, many take care of our youngest children, many have infants and toddlers in their home, and yet this criminal history background check was not required.”

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Rice said the legislation will give parents peace of mind that their kids are safe in daycare homes.

Nancy Thompson with Child Care Aware, an organization of child care referral agencies, said the legislation closes a gap in services.

“Family child care providers are state registered so they have a certificate from the state of New Jersey that they’re registered with the state. I think most parents assume that because they have that state registration certificate in their home that somebody has done a background check, but that hasn’t been the case.”

The bill is awaiting final legislative approval in the state Senate.

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