Effective Date: 02/01/11
Revised: 5/26/11, 7/5/12, 2/19/13, 7/01/15, 11/09/15, 07/01/16, 07/01/2017
Reference: 89 Ill. Adm. Code, Chapter IV, §50.430, Title 45, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 98.43
- 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]. Federal Regulations require the search of the State child abuse and neglect registries in the State where the individual lives and the States where the individual has resided for the past five years.
- Providers subject to the CANTS check include:
- Child care centers exempt from licensing;
- Child care homes exempt from licensing;
- Relative child care in the home of the relative;
- Non-relative child care in the home of the child; and
- Relative child care in the home of the child.
- 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.
- Anyone completing and submitting the current version of Form IL444-4194 (R-6-15) that responds yes to the question: "Have you lived outside of Illinois in the past 3 years?
- Must list any former/maiden names:
- A response is required and cannot be left blank - the submitter must provide:
- Their former or maiden name, or
- N/A, Does Not Apply, or None
- Must now list all previous addresses (complete Street Address and Zip Code) outside of Illinois for the past five (5) years
- The addresses can be listed where space allows in Section 2, or on separate sheet if necessary.
- 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.
- Out-of-State agencies seeking a background check of Illinois' Child Abuse and Neglect System, from the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System(SACWIS) must complete a CFS689 form. The website link for this form is:
- The form must have all sections completed, with a handwritten signature (electronic signatures are not accepted).
- The completed form may be emailed, faxed, or mailed to the address on the form.
- The easiest method of submitting the form is to email to:
- Please note in the subject line "Out-of-State" for expedited processing.
- 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.
- Criminal History
- 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. Provider types subject to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check include:
- Child care centers exempt from licensing
- Child care homes exempt from licensing;
- Non-relative care in the home of the child.
- Persons subject to a background check include:
- 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.
- All persons age 18 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.
- 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.
- Fingerprints for the following persons shall be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a search of its records:
- Persons who have resided outside the State of Illinois for any part of the preceding five years; and
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A copy of the criminal history record check shall be provided to the subject of the criminal history record.
- 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.
- There is no charge to any person subject to background checks required by this part.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
CCR&R staff shall take the following actions whenever a child care application, redetermination, or provider change/add form is received:
- CCMS 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.
- If so, approve or deny the provider, as appropriate.
- If the provider is already listed in the CCMS 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 CCMS to the non-relative type of care code and proceed to step II to obtain the required background checks as indicated on the matrix.
- If the provider and/or household member(s) is not listed in the CCMS, or is in the CCMS but has not completed all of the required background check elements for the provider type, proceed to Step II.
- 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.
- Effective November 9, 2015, providers who are related to all child(ren) in care are not required to be fingerprinted (765, and 767)
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 18 and older when care is provided in the provider's home.
- Name Found on DCFS Database (fingerprint records exists)
- Print the confirmation screen for your records.
- Send the relative or non-relative Provider Letter, as appropriate 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.
- 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 Request for Provider Change Form (COP) IL444-3455G.
- 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.
- Name NOT found (needs fingerprint)
If a name is not found in the DCFS Database, that person must be fingerprinted.
- Print two (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.
- Send either the relative (765, 767) or non-relative (764, 766) provider letters, the Authorization form, and the confirmation screen to the provider and/or household member for completion. Both the relative and non-relative provider letters contains fingerprint instructions. Individuals have 21 business days to be fingerprinted.
- 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.
- License Exempt Center
- The center should submit all employee and volunteer Authorization for Background Check forms at the same time. Centers may submit random forms as new staff and volunteers are periodically hired or assigned, respectively.
- CCR&R shall make a copy of or preferably scan into CCMS Provider Documentation all background check forms for their records. Effectively, this will serve as a manual system or means for ensuring that that all employees and volunteers of a license-exempt center have completed all components of required background checks.
- Look up all employee names in DCFS database (https://fingerprintsearch.dcfs.illinois.gov/) and print the screen.
- 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. All license-exempt center profiles should include current contact information for the center director.
- 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 License-Exempt Center Authorization For Background Check Routing Document.
- 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.
- The Department cannot continue to pay a license-exempt center if their employees or volunteers refuse to consent to or comply with the background check process. It is the responsibility of a license-exempt center to make known to its staff and volunteers the requirements for completing background checks.
- The license-exempt center must obtain authorization from each applicant, employee, or volunteer. Authorization must be obtained on DHS Authorization For Background Check Form IL444-4194 (CFS718LE)
- If is determined that an employee or volunteer has not completed required background check, Specialist will either:
- Request Additional Information from the license-exempt center's Director that the employee or volunteer has been terminated;
- If the Request for Additional Information is ignored, deny an initial application using reason code #14, or cancel a case being redetermined using reason code #64; or
- Close out the license-exempt center as a 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 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.")
- Please note that the Department of Human Services does not have the authority to make hiring or termination decisions for any entity. However, for centers that choose to hire or retain an employee or volunteer that does not comply with the required background process, the center no longer meets basic safety standards designed to protect children and will be closed out.
- Batch Process All Authorization For Background Check forms (IL444-4194 (CFS718LE)) must be batched using the License-Exempt Center Background Check Batch Routing Document (Revised 06-2016) as a cover sheet in the following manner:
- Provider Type 761 - Child care centers exempt from licensing:
- All forms must be grouped by center, and
- Alphabetized by employee and volunteer last name, first name, middle initial.
- No more than 20 forms shall be included in a single batch
- Provider Types 764 - 767:
- 764 - Child care homes exempt from licensing;
- 765 - Relative child care in the home of the relative;
- 766 - Non-relative child care in the home of the child; and
- 767 - Relative child care in the home of the child.
- No more than 20 forms shall be included in a single batch.
- Alphabetized by provider last name, first name, middle initial.
- Submit the forms of the provider and their respective household members in the same batch. If all of the forms are not returned, deny the provider and send the parent a Request for Child Care Provider Change form IL444-3455G.
- Complete a License Exempt Authorization Routing Document for each batch of 20 Authorization for Background Check form
- All names on the ABC Routing Document must be in alphabetical order. (Please utilize the automated sort feature after completing the ABC Routing Document).
- CCR&R Agencies must use the DCFS Fingerprint Search Provider Identification Code (9998+SDA Number) to identify the CCR&R submitting the ABC forms. Staple the ABC Routing Document and the Authorization forms together with the ABC Routing Document on top. Please do not use paper clips or rubber bands.
- Send the original forms to:
Illinois Dept. of Children & Family Services
Background Check Unit
1911-21 S. Indiana, 7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60616
- DCFS will not return the Authorization for Background Check forms directly to the CCR&R Agency. However any Authorization forms maintained by the CCR&R agency should only be associated with the provider's file or some other file specifically designated for Background Check Authorization forms where it can be used to verify the entries on the CCMS in the case of an audit or as a quality control check. DO NOT FILE OR ASSOCIATE THE IL444-4194 (CFS 718LE) IN OR TO A CLIENT'S CASE RECORD OR DOCUMENTATION.
- Fingerprint Process
- The fingerprint vendor will:
- 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 (CFS718LE)
- Verify the CCR&Rs approval/authorization number for the individual to be fingerprinted on the IL444-4194 (CFS718LE).
- Obtain fingerprints of the provider, and
- send fingerprints to Illinois State Police, or
- Send fingerprints to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) if:
- 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
- The person has resided outside the State of Illinois for any part of the preceding five (5) years.
- Forward the IL444-4194 (CFS718LE) to DCFS Background Check Unit and indicate on the IL444-4194 (CFS718LE) the date the fingerprints were taken.
- The DCFS Background Check Unit will:
- 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;
- 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;
- For relative and non-relative providers, and members of the provider's household age 18 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;
- Record the result of CLEAR or FAILED for each type of check on the IL444-4194 (CFS718LE), and
- Highlight and return any incomplete IL444-4194 (CFS718LE) forms to the appropriate CCR&R for correction.
V. Sex Offender Registry Address Match
- 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).
- 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 Management Systems (CCMS) on the Provider screens and notifies the CCR&R agencies of the results of the address match by sending the report to them.
- 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.
- 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 CCMS, notify the CCAP Help Desk email to update the provider household member as "Not Clear/Fail" in CCMS, and follow the procedures in Section VI, Results Process.
- Providers shaded and coded as "Provider Closed Out" on the report are providers that were already closed out in CCMS. No action needs to be taken for these providers.
- Providers shaded and coded as "Provider at New Address" on the report are providers whose addresses in 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.
- 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.
- Results Process
- License-Exempt Home Provider Types 764-767
An electronic systems exchange will pre-populate the fields on the CCMS Provider Household Member page with the results of CLEAR or FAILED and the date for each component of the background check. If the provider, or any member of the provider's household fails any one of the components of a background check, 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 IL444-3455G. Do NOT issue an overpayment due to a failed background check.
- License-Exempt Centers Provider Type 761
Please Note: Procedures are being developed for automating as much of this process as possible. Until finalized, the CCR&R Agencies will be responsible for manually communicating background check results to license-exempt center Directors. The DCFS Background Check Unit will notify CCR&R agencies of the results in the following manner:
- Cleared Results - DCFS shall provide the requesting CCR&R with the results of cleared background checks for any License-exempt center that requests confirmation in writing from the CCR&R.
- CCR&R Agencies will need to indicate which month the batched ABC IL444-4194 (CFS 718LE) Forms for an employee(s) or volunteer(s) of the center was submitted to DCFS. The DCFS Background Check Unit will scan and return the License Exempt Center ABC Batch Routing Document to each respective CCR&R complete with Background Check Results column updated to indicate "Cleared".
- Failed Results - The DCFS Background Check Unit will scan and return the License Exempt Center ABC Batch Routing Document to each respective CCR&R for any employee or volunteer with failed background check results updated to indicate "Failed" by the close of business on the date of the failed result. If the license-exempt center has any failed results:
- Send a Request Additional Information to the license-exempt center's Director to obtain written verification that the employee or volunteer has been terminated.
- If you have not received verification within ten (10) business days - please close the provider out using Reason Code #84
- If you receive an initial Application assigning the provider, deny the Application using reason code #14 or; if you are redetermining eligibility with the provider assigned, cancel a case being redetermined using reason code #64.
- Send the parent a Request for Child Care Provider Change Form IL444-3455G.
- CCR&Rs should make every effort to assist families in finding a new provider that is qualified to participate in the CCAP.
- CCR&R Agencies must notify the License-Exempt Center's Director of the results. Refer the license-exempt center Director to the instructions given in the original letter that is also found in this policy's Section VII., Challenges to Background. If the center's, employee, or volunteers fails any one of the background check components, send a Request for Additional Information to the license-exempt center's Director to confirm that the employee or volunteer has been terminated. If you do not receive a response, 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.
- Challenges to Background Checks
- 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
- Challenges to criminal history findings must be made in writing to:
Illinois State Police Division of Administration
Bureau of Identification
260 North Chicago Street
Joliet, Illinois 60432
- Challenges to sex offender registry information must be made in writing to:
Illinois State Police Division of Administration
Bureau of Identification
260 North Chicago Street
Joliet, Illinois 60432
Note: The Illinois State Police will inform you of the "Access and Review or Record Challenge" procedures that outlines the steps you will need to follow to challenge your criminal record.
- Frequency of Background Checks
The Department must ensure that all the components of a comprehensive background check is completed at least once every five years.
- Automatic Updates
- 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 complete CCMS Task or Work Items and close out a provider with the required 10-day notice when their CANTS status is updated to "FAILED".
- DCFS shall provide IDHS periodic electronic updates of new ISP findings of criminal convictions on persons previously cleared. CCR&Rs are required to complete CCMS TASK or Work Items and close out a provider with the required 10-day notice when their criminal conviction status is updated to "FAILED".
- No subsequent updates will be provided for persons having an indicated report of abuse/neglect or a criminal conviction.
- 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.
- 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]