Georgia child care workers will have to undergo national fingerprint and background checks in order to take care of children under a new law signed May 1.
All current employees of day-care facilities will have to submit to such screenings by 2017 while those who apply for new jobs will have to do so after Jan. 1, 2014, according to the office of Gov. Nathan Deal. Previously, only local and state background checks were required.
The modification was prompted by a scenario in which a private school in Macon hired a couple who both had felony records in the state of Florida, reports The Telegraph, a Macon newspaper.
“Georgia children are our most precious assets,” Deal, a Republican, said in a press release. “This legislation puts criminal checks in the hands of law enforcement agencies rather than private companies, ensuring that those processing the checks actually have the information and tools needed to protect our children.”
Currently, Georgia has 6,000 child-care centers serving 300,000 children.
To see the announcement from the governor’s office, click here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.