Effective Date:  02/01/11
Revised: 5/26/11, 7/5/12, 2/19/13

Reference: 89 Ill. Adm. Code, Chapter IV, §50.430


POLICY STATEMENT:

  1. Child Abuse/Neglect
    As a condition of eligibility to receive a state subsidy for providing child care services to eligible families, all license exempt child care providers under the Child Care Act of 1969 [225 ILCS 10] must agree, in writing, to a CANTS check in the Central Register as defined in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act [325 ILCS 5].
    1. Providers subject to the CANTS check include:
      1. Child care centers exempt from licensing;
      2. Child care homes exempt from licensing;
      3. Relative child care in the home of the relative;
      4. Non-relative child care in the home of the child; and
      5. Relative child care in the home of the child.
    2. All staff at a child care center and all persons age 13 and older residing in a child care home exempt from licensing are subject to CANTS check.
    3. Limitations on Perpetrators of Child Abuse/Neglect
      Persons who have been indicated as the perpetrator of any of the child abuse/neglect allegations identified in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385.50 shall be disqualified from participating in the child care assistance program.
  2. Sex Offender Registry
    All persons subject to CANTS checks pursuant to this Part shall be screened for inclusion in the Illinois and National Sex Offender Registries.
  3. Criminal History
    1. As a condition of eligibility to receive a state subsidy for providing child care services to eligible families, all license exempt child care providers, except a provider who is a relative of the child, shall complete and sign authorizations for a State and Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint-based criminal history record check and submit to fingerprinting, if required, to determine if the child care provider has prior criminal convictions or pending criminal charges. Provider types subject to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check include:
      1. Child care centers exempt from licensing
      2. Child care homes exempt from licensing; and
      3. Non-relatives who provide care in the child's home.
    2. Persons subject to a background check include:
      1. an employee of a license exempt child care center whose duties require the employee to be present during the hours children are present in the facility. In addition, any person who is permitted to be alone with children receiving care in the facility is subject to the background check requirement. This applies to all current and conditional employees as well as any individual used as replacement or supplemental staff in the direct care and supervision of children.
      2. All persons age 17 and over who reside in a child care home exempt from licensing even if those household members are not usually present in the home during the hours the children are present. This shall also apply to a person age 13 and over who has been tried as an adult and convicted of any crime identified in 89 Ill. Adm. Code, Chapter III, Part 385.
    3. Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Illinois State Police via the fingerprint vendor stipulated by the Department of Children and Family Services for criminal history check.
    4. Fingerprints for the following persons shall be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a search of its records:
      1. persons who have resided outside the State of Illinois for any part of the preceding three years; and
      2. persons who have a record of criminal activity which may impact their suitability for employment as evidenced either by their own acknowledgment or according to the records of the Illinois State Police.
    5. Persons subject to criminal background checks shall make themselves available for fingerprinting when scheduled by the Department or its authorized representatives. Persons subject to criminal background checks who fail to appear for scheduled fingerprinting will be disqualified as a child care provider.
    6. Persons who have been convicted of certain serious crimes identified in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385 Appendix A, Background Checks, will be disqualified as a child care provider.
    7. A copy of the criminal history record check shall be provided to the subject of the criminal history record.
    8. Any information concerning convictions is confidential and may not be transmitted outside the Department or to anyone within the Department except as needed for the purposes of determining participation in the child care assistance program.
    9. There is no charge to any person subject to background checks required by this part.
    10. Any person who fails to provide written authorization for a background check pursuant to this part shall be disqualified from participating in the child care assistance program.
  4. Convictions Which Disqualify Persons for Employment or Residence in a Child Care Facility that Allows Access to Children
    A person who has been convicted of certain serious crimes identified in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385 Appendix A or who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit any of the offenses identified below shall be disqualified from participation in the child care assistance program. In addition, no person who has been convicted of certain serious crimes identified in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385 Appendix A or who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit any of the offenses listed below shall either be employed in a licensed-exempt child care facility in a position that allows access to children or reside in a family home in which a license exempt child care facility operates. This includes persons who have been:
    1. declared sexually dangerous person under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act [725 ILCS 205] or identified as a sex offender in the Illinois Sex Offender Registry operated by the Illinois State Police; or
    2. convicted of committing or attempting to commit any of the offenses specified in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385 Appendix A that are defined by the Criminal Code of 1961 [720 ILCS 5] or any earlier Illinois criminal law or code (See Section 4.2 of the Child Care Act of 1969 [225 ILCS 10/4.2]); or
    3. convicted of committing or attempting to commit an offense in another state, the elements of which are similar and bear a substantial relationship to any of the criminal offenses specified in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385 Appendix A.
  5. Assessment of Indicated Reports of Abuse or Neglect and Criminal Convictions
    A person who is disqualified from participating in the child care assistance program as a license exempt child care provider who has an indicated report of abuse or neglect or who has been convicted of certain serious crimes identified in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385 Appendix A, Background Checks may only receive payment through the child care assistance program if the individual obtains a license from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services wherein a review and assessment of the allegations and criminal charges will be made pursuant to 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385.
  6. Pending Criminal Charges
    A person who has criminal charges pending will not be disqualified from participating in the child care assistance program as a license exempt child care provider.

PROCEDURES:

CCR&R staff shall take the following actions whenever a child care application, redetermination, or provider change/add form is received:

  1. CCTS Check

    Check to see if the provider and/or household members have already cleared CANTS, Sex Offender, and Criminal History Record Checks, as appropriate and indicated by the matrix included in these procedures.

    1. If so, approve or deny the provider, as appropriate.
    2. If the provider is already listed in the CCTS as either type of care 765 or 767 (relative) but is not related to the child on the current application, a criminal history background check must be completed. You must change the provider type code in the CCTS to the non-relative type of care code and proceed to step II to obtain the required background checks as indicated on the matrix.
    3. If the provider and/or household member(s) is not listed in the CCTS, or is in the CCTS but has not completed all of the required background check elements for the provider type, proceed to Step II.
  2. Identify the Provider Type
    Whether related or unrelated to the child(ren), the provider and household members must provide a social security number to be checked through the CANTS and/or criminal history.  If the provider or household member does not have a social security number or if an individual refuses to provide a social security number, the background check process cannot be completed and the provider should be denied. 
    1. Relative Providers (765 and 767)
      1. Send relative provider letter and:
        1. If care is done in the child's home, send one Authorization for Background Check form.
        2. If care is done in the provider's home and you receive the old application, send one Authorization for Background Check form.
        3. If care is done in the provider's home and you receive the revised application (2011), send an Authorization for Background Check form for the provider and all household members age 13 and older.
        4. Allow 10 business days to return the form.
          1. If forms are not returned within 10 business days, issue a provider closeout using Reason Code #84 (Because we have not received a completed CANTS form that we requested from your provider, we cannot establish that your child care arrangement meets the IDHS child care requirements.) and send the parent a Change of Provider (COP) form.
          2. If forms are returned, review the forms for completeness, batch and mail to DCFS.  See batching instructions below.  Return incomplete forms to the provider.  If the forms are returned incomplete again, deny the provider and send the parent a COP form.
    2. Non-Relative Providers (764 and 766)
      For providers who are not related to the child in care, decide who needs to be fingerprinted by checking DCFS Database at https://fingerprintsearch.dcfs.illinois.gov/.  This must be done to eliminate the duplication of fingerprint submissions and to minimize the cost of conducting State and FBI fingerprint-based inquiries. If you receive a version of the application/redetermination dated prior to 2011 or if care is done in the child's home, only check the provider.  If you receive the new application/redetermination (revised 2011) check the provider and household members age 17+ when care is provided in the provider's home.
      1. Name Found on DCFS Database (fingerprint records exists)
        1. Print the confirmation screen for your records.
        2. Send the non-relative provider letter and the Authorization for Background Check form to the provider and/or household member for completion.  The Authorization form must be complete and returned within 10 business days.
          1. If the form(s) is not returned, close out the provider using Reason Code #84 (Because we have not received a completed CANTS form that we requested from your provider, we cannot establish that your child care arrangement meets the IDHS child care requirements.)  Send the parent a COP form.
          2. If the form(s) is returned, review for completeness, batch and send to DCFS.  See batching instructions below.  Return incomplete forms to the provider.  If the forms are returned incomplete again, deny the provider and send the parent a COP form.
      2. Name NOT found (needs fingerprint)
        If a name is not found in the DCFS Database, that person must be fingerprinted.
        1. Print 2 copies of the confirmation screen.  Attach one copy of the confirmation screen to the Authorization for Background Check form.  Keep a copy for your records.
        2. Send the non-relative provider letter, the Authorization form, and the confirmation screen to the provider and/or household member for completion.  The non-relative provider letter contains fingerprint instructions.  Individuals have 21 business days to be fingerprinted.
        3. If the individual does not complete fingerprinting within 21 days, close out the provider using Reason Code #84 ("Because we have not received a completed CANTS form that we requested from your provider, we cannot establish that your child care arrangement meets the IDHS child care requirements"). Send the parent a COP form.
    3. License Exempt Center
      1. The center should return all employee Authorization forms at the same time. Centers may submit random forms as new staff are periodically hired.
      2. CCR&R shall make a copy of all forms for their records. This will be your tickler system for re-checking for background check results (see below #6).
      3. Look up all employee names in DCFS database (https://fingerprintsearch.dcfs.illinois.gov/) and print the screen. 
      4. If the name is NOT FOUND, return the original Authorization Form with a copy of the screen print to the employee with instructions to be fingerprinted. You may either return them as a group to the exempt center OR you may return them individually to the employee. You should coordinate this effort with the Center Director.
      5. If the name is FOUND in the DCFS database, the employee does not need to be fingerprinted. Send the completed authorization form to DCFS via the normal batch process.
      6. Within 30 days, recheck the DCFS system to verify the employees have been fingerprinted. If any employee fails to obtain fingerprints, the exempt center should be notified. We cannot continue to pay them if their employees do not comply with this process. That means, you will either have to close them out as a provider OR they will have to let that employee go. If they choose to retain the employee, please close the provider out using Reason Code #84 ("Because we have not received a completed CANTS form that we requested from your provider, we cannot establish that your child care arrangement meets the IDHS child care requirements). Send all parents a COP form. If any parent wishes to continue to use the license exempt center, issue the parent a denial using Reason Code #11 ("Your child care arrangement does not meet the IDHS child care requirements.")
  3. Batch Process
    Authorization forms (IL444-4194) must be batched in the following manner:
    1. All forms must be alphabetized by last name, first name, middle initial.
    2. No more than 20 forms shall be included in a single batch.
    3. Submit the forms of the provider and their respective family members in the same batch.If all of the forms are not returned, deny the provider and send the parent a COP form. 
    4. Complete a cover sheet for each batch of 20 Authorization forms.
      1. All names on the cover sheet must be in alphabetical order.
      2. Except for Illinois Action for Children, CCR&Rs must use the first 3 letters of the city to designate where the Authorization forms are being received from.  Illinois Action for Children shall use AFC.
    5. Staple the cover sheet and the Authorization forms together with the cover sheet on top.  Please do not use paper clips or rubber bands.
    6. Send the original forms to:
      Illinois Dept. of Children & Family Services
      Background Check Unit
      1911-21 S. Indiana, 7th Floor
      Chicago, IL  60616
    7. DCFS will return the Authorization forms directly to the CCR&R
    8. CCR&Rs shall maintain the Authorization forms either in a provider file or some other file specifically designated for Background Check Authorization forms where it can be used to verify the entries on the CCTS in the case of an audit or as a quality control check.  DO NOT FILE THE IL444-4194 IN THE CLIENT CASE RECORD.
  4. Fingerprint Process
    1. The fingerprint vendor will:
      1. Verify the identity and signature of the individual by checking a valid government issued photo identification card and will compare it with the information on the IL444-4194.
      2. Verify the CCR&Rs approval/authorization number for the individual to be fingerprinted on the IL444-4194.
      3. Obtain fingerprints of the provider, and
        1. Send fingerprints to Illinois State Police, or
        2. Send fingerprints to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) if:
          1. The person has a record of criminal activity that may impact their suitability for approval or employment by their own acknowledgment or according to the records of the Illinois State Police; and
          2. The person has resided outside the State of Illinois for any part of the preceding three (3) years.
      4. Forward the IL444-4194 to DCFS Background Check Unit and indicate on the IL444-4194 the date the fingerprints were taken.
    2. DCFS Background Check Unit will
      1. Perform a CANTS check on the license exempt provider and on household members age 13 and older when care is given in the provider's home;
      2. Perform a check of the Illinois and National Sex Offender Registries on the provider and on household members age 13 and older when care is given in the provider's home;
      3. For non-relative providers, members of the provider's household age 17 and older when care is given in the provider's home, and employees of a license exempt center, confirm and compare whether a criminal conviction record sent by ISP and/or FBI is listed as a bar for operating as a license exempt child care provider or for working in or residing in a license exempt child care facility;
      4. Record the result of CLEAR or FAILED for each type of check on the IL444-4194,  and
      5. Return the IL444-4191 to the appropriate CCR&R.

V. Sex Offender Registry Address Match

  1. The Bureau of Child Care & Development (BCCD) Operations/MIS Unit runs a match between all CCAP family child care home provider addresses and the addresses on the IL Sex Offender Registry (SOR).
  2. When BCCD runs the address match, a report is generated that lists the matches between CCAP family child care home provider addresses and the IL SOR.  The BCCD Operations/MIS Unit then indicates the provider household members as FAILED in the Child Care Tracking/Management Systems (CCTS/CCMS) on the Provider screens and notifies the CCR&R agencies of the results of the address match by sending the report to them.
  3. For any FAIL result, CCR&R staff should follow the steps in Section VI of these procedures (Results Process), as they would for any other FAIL result on a background check.
  4. For Types of Care 766 and 767 (Care Provided in the Home of the Child), CCR&R staff should verify with each of the clients and providers that the care is still being provided in the home of the child.  If it is, no action will be taken for these providers.  If the care is being provided in the Provider's home, CCR&R staff should update the type of care code in CCTS/CCMS, notify the CCAP Help Desk email to update the provider household member as "Not Clear/Fail" in CCTS/CCMS, and follow the procedures in Section VI, Results Process.
  5. Providers shaded and coded as "Provider Closed Out" on the report are providers that were already closed out in CCTS/CCMS.  No action needs to be taken for these providers.
  6. Providers shaded and coded as "Provider at New Address" on the report are providers whose addresses in CCTS/CCMS have been updated to new addresses that are not the same as the provider addresses that MIS used to run the match.  No action needs to be taken for these providers.
  7. Instructions for challenges on this check are the same as those for SOR name checks, as enumerated in Section VII. C.  Providers should be directed to contact the Illinois State Police's sex offender registration team for a challenge to this check.

VI.Results Process
A nightly data exchange will pre-populate the fields on the Provider Documentation screens with the results of CLEAR or FAILED and the date for each type of background check.  If the provider, employee, or any member of the provider's household fails any one of the three types of background checks, issue a provider closeout with a 10-day notice using Reason Code #86 (Your child care arrangement does not meet the IDHS child care requirements) and send the parent a COP form.  Do NOT issue an overpayment due to a failed background check.

VII.Challenges to Background Checks

  1. Challenges to CANTS findings must be made in writing to:
    Dept. of Children & Family Services
    State Central Register
    406 E. Monroe - Station #30
    Springfield, IL 62701
  2. Challenges to criminal history findings must be made in writing to the nearest Illinois State Police or the FBI.
  3. Challenges to sex offender registry information may be made by contacting the Illinois State Police sex offender registration team at (217) 785-0653 between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

VIII.Automatic Updates
Effective with this release and due to the nightly data exchange, the two-year mandatory recheck of CANTS has been eliminated. 

  1. DCFS shall provide to IDHS periodic electronic updates when new indicated reports of child abuse or neglect are recorded by the DCFS State Central Registry on persons previously cleared.  CCR&Rs are required to work the daily reports and close out a provider with the required 10-day notice when their CANTS status is updated to "FAILED".
  2. DCFS shall provide IDHS periodic electronic updates of new ISP findings of criminal convictions on persons previously cleared.  CCR&Rs are required to review and process the daily reports and close out a provider with the required 10-day notice when their criminal conviction status is updated to "FAILED".
  3. No subsequent updates will be provided for persons having an indicated report of abuse/neglect or a criminal conviction.

IX.Re-Fingerprint/Fingerprint Not Legible or Invalid
There may be occasions when ISP or the FBI returns the fingerprints because they are not legible or because technical problems make reading the fingerprint impossible.  DCFS will send a written notice to the CCR&R indicating the name of the person whose fingerprints are not legible or are otherwise impossible to check.  The CCR&R shall contact the individual to request the need for a reprint. The individual must present a copy of the DCFS notice to the fingerprint vendor for the re-fingerprinting to occur.

X.Confidentiality of Background Check Information
Any employee of the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Human Services, a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, the Illinois State Police, or a child care facility receiving confidential information under this Section who gives or causes to be given any confidential information concerning any criminal conviction or child abuse or neglect information of a child care facility applicant or child care facility employee shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor unless release of such information is authorized by Sections 4.1 and 4.3 of the Child Care Act of 1969. [225 ILCS 10/4.1 and 4.3]