A Rule Change Involving New Hampshire Child Care Laws May Affect Employer Hiring Processes

The state is revoking current allowances permitting an individual to work under supervised conditions in a child care setting prior to receiving the results of a background check.

Federal regulations long required the results of a background check for child care positions prior to starting work. However, New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has afforded waivers to child care employers which permits new staff to start immediately provided they are always accompanied by a vetted employee when in the presence of a child.

Last week, DHHS issued letters stating it will no longer accept or approve waivers starting December 15, 2022. DHHS has indicated that federal regulators are prepared to impose a penalty of $700,000 if the state does not come into compliance with the federal rule prohibiting an individual from working in a child care setting prior to their background check clearing.

Acknowledging that the delay in processing background checks was predominantly the result of a highly manual process, DHHS has updated to a web-based portal.

Despite a modernized workflow and the Department of Public Safety (DPS)'s claims of reduced turnaround times, employers indicate that some are still waiting weeks to receive results. In response, DHHS is reaching out to help providers navigate the new portal and directing them to ask local police about providing another option for fingerprinting.

Employers operating in the child care space in New Hampshire are encouraged to seek support from DHHS on utilizing the new portal. Certiphi clients should contact their account management teams if you have any concerns about the rule revocation in New Hampshire.

Posted: November 18, 2022

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