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DHHS will continue to cover the cost of background checks for child care providers

Days after coverage was set to end, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it will continue to cover the cost of mandatory fingerprinting required by all child care providers for the next five years.

The department began paying the $45.25 fee for Nebraska State Patrol background checks in March 2020 through the federal Child Care and Development Fund Program. Tits coverage was originally scheduled to end in September 2023; however, funding was extended until April 30 this year.

It now runs until April 30, 2029.

All child care providers are required to be fingerprinted for background checks when hired at a center. In the past, new employees were often hired had to pay the compensation themselves in advance or have it deducted from their wages. Other times the childcare center would cover these costs for them.

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In a news release, Shannon Grotrian, director of the department’s economic assistance office, said covering this fee is one way the state can support child care providers.

“Extending this coverage for another five years is an extraordinary step to ensure our childcare workforce is supported,” she said. “The services they provide to the children of this state are immeasurable.”

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Reach Jenna Ebbers at 402-473-2657 or [email protected].