Georgia legislators are taking the next step to further to keep children safe, with the introduction of finger-printing based background checks in the child care industry.
“Parents come to us regularly. One of the first questions they ask is what measures are taken with your new employees, do they have background checks?” said the Director of Best Academy, Nancy Isaacson. Right now state and local background checks are required for child care workers but employers might not get the full criminal picture. This introduction intends to change that.
“A background check will examine criminal convictions for misdemeanors and felonies locally and within the state,” said WSAV Crime Expert, Gerry Long. “This would prevent individuals from moving from state to state that have convictions not only for sexual offenses but as well as violent offenses that could put their access to children and to your children in jeopardy,” said Long.
According to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, the child care agency will be responsible for paying for the fingerprint-based background checks. The Director of Best Academy said she doesn’t mind paying for fingerprinting.
“We want to have the double protection and want to make sure the staff is the best and of the utmost,” said Isaacson, providing everyone a better peace of mind.
“Children are their most prized possession. They [parents] want to make sure that when they cannot be with their children that they are in the most protective and safe environment and the people that are working with them are the most trustworthy and responsible,” said Isaacson.
Under the law, a child care worker hired next year will have to get a fingerprint background check. Those who are already working will have to be fingerprinted no later than January 2017