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Working Your Business
Tips for Screening Staff Applicants When Opening a Daycare
By Fiona Lohrenz 
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Jan 6, 2008, 09:13

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It is vital to conduct pre-employment background screens when opening a daycare. These checks safeguard both you and the children in your care. They establish two things.
The first is to verify that the person applying for the position within your childcare center is indeed the person they claim to be. The second would be to expose any criminal history which could prove detrimental to the safety of all concerned. Pre-employment background checks can also incorporate a drugs tests. The safety of staff and children plus avoiding future legal challenges are the main reasons you should conduct said checks.

When someone applies to your new daycare business, it is imperative to have a pre-employment background screen contract available. This form should inform the potential employee that they are providing you with the permission to conduct an investigation on them. If the screening includes a drug panel, they must also have an area in which they can have the option to consent to this as well. Many companies choose to make consent necessary for employment consideration. Being that you are opening a child care service center, this is something you should definitely consider. You cannot afford to endanger the safety of the children that you will be responsible for.

When conducting pre-employment background screens, it is imperative that you find a dependable outside company to work with that will provide these services to you at a good rate. Many of these companies offer discounts to new businesses, and businesses that deal with children, such as a daycare. It is important to inquire about any special rates and/or discounts when researching various companies that provide background check services. You should also contact the insurance provider of your daycare center to determine if you can receive discounts on your insurance costs due to the fact that you require pre-employment background screening.

When conducting a pre-employment background screens, it is important to understand that there is certain information that you are not permitted, by law, to use in determining an individual to be worthy of employment for a daycare center. An example would be a disability. Other examples of items that should not be used in determining employment at your new child care center include previous debts, low credit scores, and medical conditions. However, if any of these items pose a significant danger to the overall health of the daycare establishment, you may use these things as determining factor. An example would be a severely contagious disease.

When conducting pre-employment background checks for potential employees in a new daycare business, it is important to understand that the results may take up to two weeks to return. Many companies may respond in as little as three days. However, these services will be relatively more expensive. It is important for you to place the returned screening in a file designed to track documents on that particular person in your daycare center.

Background screens should be conducted on all prospective employees including those not working directly with the children. So, you might consider your cook, administrator or janitor. Anyone that will be working in your center with access to the children, however limited. It is very important to ensure that your center has the highest rated safety so this aspect of your recruitment process is vital.


Fiona Lohrenz writes childcare articles based on the 10 years she has spent running a daycare. She also incorporates that knowledge into her 'Start a ChildCare Business' DVD Guide: www/startchildcare.com Find out more at her website: http://www.childcareonly.com


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