Dear License Exempt Center Director:

To be paid by the State of Illinois to provide child care services, all providers who are exempt from licensing are required to have all required checks in the background check process. The background check consists of three (3) elements:

  • A CANTS (Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System) check,
  • A check of the Illinois and/or National Sex Offender Registries (SOR), and
  • A criminal background check (done through fingerprinting).

Each 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, as well as any person who is permitted to be alone with the 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.

Authorizations for Background Check forms are enclosed. Please make additional copies if there are not enough forms for your staff. You should also keep a supply of blank forms to use as you hire new employees. All employees who are required to do a background check must complete an Authorization for Background Check form and return it to the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R) listed below within ten (10) business days. Please return all forms for your center together. Failure to complete and return the form(s) by [10 business days from date of issue] will result in the State denying you as a DHS-approved child care provider and no longer being able to pay you for providing child care services.

If an employee has already been fingerprinted, that individual will not need to be printed again. We will check the DCFS database and let each person know whether or not they need to be fingerprinted. For those employees who need to be fingerprinted, a copy of the Authorization form and the confirmation screen from the DCFS database will be returned to the employee. Individuals who need to be fingerprinted must follow the instructions below:

  • Take the completed Authorization for Background Check form, DCFS confirmation screen, and a valid government issued ID (driver's license or ID card) to the fingerprint facility. Employees must be fingerprinted within 21 business days.
  • For a list of fingerprint facilities in your area and their schedules, please call 1-866-361-9944 or go to the following web site:
  • After the employee is fingerprinted, he/she will be provided with a receipt. The employee must keep this receipt for his/her records! Duplicate receipts will not be provided.

The failure of any employee who is required to be fingerprinted by (21 business days from the date of issue) will result in the State denying you as a DHS-approved child care provider and no longer being able to pay you for providing child care services.

Please note the following procedures for challenges to the background check process results. 

Challenges to CANTS findings must be made in writing to:

Department of Children & Family Services
State Central Register
406 East Monroe, Station #30
Springfield, IL 62701

Challenges to criminal history findings must be made in writing to: your nearest Illinois State Police or FBI office.  Check your local phone book or on-line to find your closest office.

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 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  NOTE: this team can only answer Sex Offender Registry questions - no others.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact the CCR&R listed below.

City, State, Zip
Phone Number