Fingerprint background checks for day cares could be coming

Posted at 6:14 PM, Feb 25, 2013

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL)--Proposed legislation in Georgia is aimed at keeping kids safe while you're at work.

Next year employees at day cares across the peach state could be required to complete more thorough background checks.

As parents you can't always be with your young children but new legislation could give you a peace of mind when it comes to leaving them in the care of others.

"I raised three kids in day care they came through daycare with me and I always wanted them to be safe," said Bebe Thedford, the executive director of the Butler Mason YMCA in Thomasville. "I would just die if something happened to them. I have two granddaughters three and four years old and they both come here."

Bebe Thedford is in charge of the daycare. She says she and her staff take good care of the children here each and everyday.

She's all for fingerprint background checks for employees at day cares, but says the costs could add up. She has 25 employees.

"The one thing I don't like about it is the cost," said Thedford. "It's 55 dollars per person. The Y pays for ours if we get it done. We might pay for it and three months later that person leaves us and they're not here anymore."

Thedford says luckily her current employees would be grandfathered in and not have to be fingerprinted until 2017 but she agrees it's worth it.

A security step Thomas County sheriff's deputy Steve Jones says isn't the only tool needed to screen employees.

"There is no substitution for a good reference check, a good background check done by the employee not just through the computer system," said Jones.

Right now potential daycare workers are screened statewide using their names but if passed, house bill 350 will collect their criminal history from all 50 states.