Nebraska Lawmakers Look for Solutions to Childcare Background Check Delays

October 18, 2023

Currently, Nebraska has struggled with a severe labor shortage across the state. However, the childcare industry has suffered the most, partly due to background check process delays. These struggles led to lawmakers attempting to reduce the delays and timelines for completing the background checks. 

They hope to cut down the weeks, sometimes months, it takes to complete the processes. The Nebraska Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee recently held a public hearing for Legislative Resolution 191. It calls for an interim study concerning fingerprint-based background checks. 

However, it would primarily focus on the law requiring this process for childcare workers. This requirement stems from a 2019 and 2020 bill. These bills allowed the state to achieve compliance with the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act and receive federal funds.

Resolution’s Effects

Since these requirements took effect, some childcare providers have complained about delays in the background check process. They claimed the delays cost them qualified candidates and held others up from beginning work. Providers argue that the risk of losing candidates to other industries due to delays is unacceptable-especially in one already struggling with labor shortages.

The current process has applicants submit fingerprints at Nebraska State Patrol offices. However, this step already proves challenging for some due to the potential long-distance they must travel. A more significant issue many have faced is obtaining an appointment. Though it should take only seven to ten days, appointments averaged 25 days in 2022. In some cases, processing these fingerprints took much longer.


Despite this, the State Patrol has reported taking only five business days to complete its part of the process. This claim includes submitting the results to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This claim had the committee express uncertainty about where the issue lies. Earlier this year, the legislature passed a measure to increase the patrol staff processing fingerprints. Following this, the DHHS nearly doubled its staff processing applications.

Despite the State Patrol’s claims, Nebraska’s childcare workers continue facing significant struggles with hiring workers. This ongoing complication is why legislation will still consider a study to reduce delays in the fingerprint background process. The future of background checks for the childcare industry rests on the study’s outcome, as it could lead to considerable changes in future legislation.

As these delays illustrate, the background check process is a crucial step, and delays can significantly harm the hiring process. One way to avoid such delays is by working with a trusted employment screening provider. The right partner provides fast and accurate background checks, stays updated with related regulations, and ensures your company complies.

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