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Background Checks for Child Care Employees

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.

Child care agencies may transfer the background check clearance for employees that have been fingerprinted within the last ninety (90) days to another child care agency by using the Criminal Background Check Transfer Form

How long does it take to get the results of a background check? Normally, the process only takes a few days. If you have not received your results within five days, please contact your Licensing Program Evaluator. Do not send applicants to be reprinted at this point.

When is a reprint necessary? A reprint is required only when the original prints have been rejected. The Department will notify the agency and the applicant in writing if the prints have been rejected. If you receive a letter from the Department notifying you that your original prints have been rejected, you may get a free reprint by following the: Instructions for Scheduling a Reprint

How do I get a duplicate “clear to work” letter? If you need a duplicate “clear to work” letter for a current employee, please email your request to the following address:

CC-Criminal-Background-Inquiries.DHS@tn.gov

What offenses exclude a person from a child care agency?

Criminal offenses for which a person must be excluded from a child care agency include physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect of a child, crimes of violence, any offences that present a threat to the health, safety or welfare of children, and drug related offenses.  Specific examples of excludable criminal offenses include aggravated assault, arson, child abuse, cruelty to animals, domestic assault, indecent exposure, reckless endangerment, robbery, stalking, vehicular assault, voluntary manslaughter, and weapons offenses.  An expanded list of excludable offenses can be found in the Licensure Rules for Child Care Agencies 1240-04-01-.07 at:  https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/rules/1240/1240-04/1240-04-01.20190103.pdf

Reporting Issues or Concerns with the Background Check Process
If you encounter an issue with the background check process, please report the problem by calling the Child Care Complaint Hotline:

Nashville – (615) 313-4820 or 1 (800) 462-8261 (Tennessee Only).