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New Background Check Requirements for Child Care Providers


Child care providers are now subject to a comprehensive criminal background check every five years that includes both in-state and national fingerprint-based criminal history, child abuse and neglect registry and sex offender registry checks. The same checks will be conducted in any state a child care provider resided in within the last five years. South Carolina, like most other states across the country, had to make changes to the state law in order to meet the new federal requirements. The changes to South Carolina state law made during the 2018-19 legislative session directly reflect what the federal law now requires. 

What has changed?

In addition to the expanded scope of background checks and the requirement to have one completed every five years, the new federal law resulted in the following changes to South Carolina’s child care background check process:

  • New exclusionary crimes have been added.
  • Background checks are required for licensed or regulated child care providers, as well as those who may be exempt from licensure under state law but are eligible to receive federal funding.
  • Group child care homes must now have full background checks completed on all household members age 15 and older.
  • Child care providers must have a new background check completed after a six-month break in service, instead of the previous requirement of 12 months.
  • Individuals may not be considered provisionally employed until either the in-state or national fingerprint-based check has been completed.

View more detail on these updates in FAQs

When do I have to get a new background check? 

DSS began requiring background checks for all new applicants effective August 5, 2019. For existing child care providers, we are rolling the new process out by DSS Region. Providers are being asked to have all fingerprints completed and DSS Form 1706 Questionnaires submitted within 45 days following the roll-out date for their region. The roll-out dates are as follows:

DSS Region Roll-Out Date

45-Day Submission

Upstate Region
Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville,
Greenwood, Laurens, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg Counties.

August 12, 2019 September 27, 2019

Midlands Region
Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell, Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield,
Kershaw, Lancaster, Lexington, McCormick, Richland, Saluda, Union, and York Counties.

November 15, 2019 January 1, 2020

Lowcountry Region
Allendale, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston,
Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton, Jasper, and Orangeburg Counties.

March 1, 2020 April 15, 2020

Pee Dee Region
Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence,
Georgetown, Horry, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter, and Williamsburg Counties.

May 1, 2020 June 15, 2020


If you have any questions or concerns about the background check process, please access our FAQs or contact DSS directly.