Child Care Background Check Process

Effective August 28, 2021, the MACHS registration code for fingerprinting will change for licensed and registered child care providers. The Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Social Services will combine their background screening units under the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the newly formed Office of Childhood. The new MACHS registration code will be 8897. Questions or concerns can be sent to OCBackgroundChecks@dese.mo.gov.

Steps for Completing a Comprehensive Criminal Background Check

This process is for licensed, regulated, and registered child care providers; which includes the following: 

  • Licensed Family Child Care Homes
  • Licensed Group Child Care Homes
  • Licensed Child Care Centers
  • Licensed Exempt Nursery Schools
  • Registered Six or Fewer Providers
  • Registered License Exempt Subsidy Child Care Providers
  • Registered Exempt Subsidy Child Care Providers

  1. All individuals required to have a background screening must register through the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS) by following the instructions on the Missouri State Highway Patrol Applicant Fingerprint Services form.
    • Make sure you are using the MACHS registration number found on our Applicant Fingerprint Services Form. If you have been fingerprinted for a different agency, you will have to be fingerprinted again.
    • After you have registered with MACHS, you will be re-routed to IdentoGo’s website. IdentoGo is the state contractor for fingerprinting services. There you will be provided with a list of available locations and appointments.
  2. Once the individual has been fingerprinted, they must provide their receipt to the child care provider. The receipt will be accepted as verification or proof that the individual has been fingerprinted.
  3. The provider must complete and submit the Employer Criminal Background Check Notification form.
    • If a staff member has lived in any other state besides Missouri within the past 5 years, DESE may contact the provider and/or staff member to provide contact information for that state so the staff member can request a Child Abuse/Neglect registry screening and a criminal history check if that state is a non national fingerprint file state.
  4. All individuals required to have a background screening must register (if not already registered) with the Family Care Safety Registry and the provider must request a background screening. Please visit https://health.mo.gov/safety/fcsr/index.php for instructions. Family Care Safety Registry screenings should be run close to the date the individuals were fingerprinted.
  5. The background screening unit will notify the provider and the child care staff member of the results determining if they are eligible or ineligible to work in a licensed, regulated, or registered child care facility. The child care staff member needs to keep a copy of their letter for any future child care employers.
Who is required to have a background check?
  • a child care provider
  • persons employed by the child care provider for compensation, including contract employees or self-employed individuals
  • individuals or volunteers whose activities involve the care or supervision of children for a child care provider or unsupervised access to children who are cared for or supervised by a child care provider
  • individuals residing in a family child care home who are eighteen years of age and older
What does the Criminal Background Check include?
  • A Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint check;
  • A search of the National Crime Information Center's National Sex Offender Registry; and
  • A search of the following registries, repositories, or databases in Missouri, the state where the child care staff member resides, and each state where such staff member resided during the preceding five years:
    • The state criminal registry or repository, with the use of fingerprints being required in the state where the staff member resides and optional in other states;
    • The state sex offender registry or repository; and
    • The state-based child abuse and neglect registry and database.
What does the FCSR Background screening include?

Those wishing to hire a child care, elder care or personal care worker may contact the Registry via the toll-free call center, by submission of a signed form, or by approved Internet access, to obtain background screening information about a caregiver, which includes:

  • State criminal history records maintained by the Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • Sex Offender Registry maintained by the Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • Child abuse/neglect records maintained by the Missouri Department of Social Services
  • The employee disqualification list maintained by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
  • The employee disqualification registry maintained by the Missouri Department of Mental Health
  • Child-care facility licensure records maintained by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Foster parent licensure records maintained by the Missouri Department of Social Services
When can an individual start working or be present at my facility?

Prior to the employment or presence of a child care staff member, a comprehensive criminal background check must be completed and their eligible letter must be on file at the facility. 

When are background checks required?

A comprehensive criminal background check must be completed on all child care staff members of licensed, regulated, and registered child care facilities at initial licensure/contract agreement and every 5 years.

A FCSR background screening must be performed on all child care staff members every time a comprehensive background check is completed, 30 days prior to the licensee’s anniversary date, and as a part of the annual registration renewal for registered child care providers.

When is a Criminal Background Check not required?

A child care provider shall not be required to submit a request for a criminal background check for a child care staff member if:

The staff member received a criminal background check and an eligible determination within the past five years. The staff member has not been separated from employment from any child care providers within Missouri for more than 180 days.

Who is responsible for the cost of the background check?

The costs of the criminal background check shall be the responsibility of the child care staff member but may be paid or reimbursed by the child care provider at the provider's discretion.  The fees charged for the criminal background check shall not exceed the actual cost of processing and administration.

Are you a representative from another state needing to run a Child Abuse/Neglect Screening?

If you need to request a criminal background screening, send your request to:
Missouri State Highway Patrol
Criminal Justice Information Services Division
P.O. Box 9500 Jefferson City, MO 65102
http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/PatrolDivisions/CRID/crimRecChk.html

If you need to request a Child Abuse and Neglect report, review the below website for additional instructions:
http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/PatrolDivisions/CRID/crimRecChk.html#outstate

More in depth details of the comprehensive criminal background check requirements can be found in Missouri Revised Statute 210.1080. For questions about the background screening process, please email ocbackgroundchecks@dese.mo.gov.