State board to consider child-care regulations

Workers would be required to undergo fingerprinting check

Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2001

FAIRBANKS - Regulations up for consideration by the state Board of Education would require that all childcare workers in licensed facilities be fingerprinted for a nationwide background check.

However, after meetings Tuesday with local child care providers in Fairbanks, Department of Education and Early Development Deputy Commissioner Yvonne Chase said she will propose amending the regulations so that the state will pay for the requirement in most cases.

"We initially have said we would pay for the first round of fingerprinting," she said, which would mean that centers that hire new employees would end up paying the $79 per person cost of the check.

That could be expensive for larger centers.

"The cost is outrageous," said Play N Learn Executive Director Gara Bridwell.

Under a proposal discussed Tuesday, the state instead would pay for any existing or new child care worker to be fingerprinted once. Chase said that's the recommendation she will make to the state Board of Education.

The state is accepting written comment on the proposed changes until May 18. The board will take up the proposals when it meets in Seward June 7.

The proposed regulations also would change several other aspects of child care licensing, including increasing the amount of training child care workers must have every year. The changes also would expand the department's review of records of prospective caregivers.

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