Skip to Main Content

COVID-19 INFORMATION

Background Checks for Child Care Employees

Who needs a Background Check?

The following persons are required to have a background check no more than ninety (90) days before having access to any Child Care agency:

  1. Any person who owns or operates a Child Care agency;
  2. Any person who applies to work in a Child Care agency as an employee, director or manager;
  3. Any person who will provide substitute services to a Child Care agency for more than thirty-six (36) hours in a calendar year and who is counted in the adult:child ratio; and
  4. Any person who is fifteen (15) years of age or older who will reside in a Child Care agency. (b) New background checks are required for all staff and residents when a Child Care agency moves from one class of care to another, such as when a family home becomes a group home or when a Child Care agency is sold and staff remain employed by the new owner or any time a child care agency is issued a license that is not the renewal of an existing license. This requirement does not apply to background checks completed within the last ninety (90) days. (c) Background checks are required for all staff at least every five (5) years. (d) Requirements for disclosure of criminal/juvenile and state register history and fingerprinting, are provided by T.C.A. § 71-3-507 and as required by the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. (2) Responsibility for Providing Fingerprint Sample; Prohibition of Contact with Children Prior to Completion of Criminal History Review. (a) The general requirements regarding responsibility for providing background checks and prohibition of contact with children prior to completion of criminal history review are provided at T.C.A. § 71-3-507.

Background Check Instructions for All Child Care Applicants

Fingerprint Scheduling Step-by-Step Instructions (Identogo/Idemia)


All individuals working in licensed child care in Tennessee must submit to a criminal history background check through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

  1. Each applicant must complete a Disclosure Form which is retained by the child care agency. Applicants who have lived out-of-state in the last five years no longer need to complete a separate Supplemental Disclosure Form because all the elements from that form have been included in the revised form: Child Care Criminal/Juvenile History & State Registry Review Disclosure Form   
  2. Each applicant must be fingerprinted: Instructions for Fingerprinting
  3. Each applicant must retain proof of being fingerprinted by returning the signed receipt to the child care agency to be attached to the Disclosure Form.
  4. The agency must enter the TCN number on the Disclosure Form. This number is located on the fingerprinting receipt.

Information about obtaining the Originating Agency Identifier (needed to register to be printed) can be found at: Background Check Terms & Procedures

Find a live scan fingerprinting location and schedule an appointment to be printed at Fingerprinting Enrollment Screen

The overall background check process includes a check of any applicable out of state registries if the applicant has lived in another state during the last (5) years.  Please see the instructions for completing the out of state registry check portion of the background check process at  Out of State Registry Check 

Child care agencies may receive the results of employee fingerprint background checks which do not result in an exclusion by fax or email. Agencies wishing to receive results in this manner must complete a Transmittal Authorization Form.

A criminal background check may be transferred if the employee has been fingerprinted within the last five years and the employee has worked for a Tennessee licensed child care agency without a break in employment of more than one hundred and eighty (180) days. If both these conditions apply, please complete the Criminal Background Check Transfer Form to transfer their background check clearance to your agency.

Arrow up icon for opening chat window for TNDHS virtual agent