This week the Office of Head Start (OHS) announced that the compliance date for background check procedures, which appears in the new Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), has been delayed until September 30, 2017. In the communication that OHS released to the field it states that they received feedback from grantees as well as states that programs may have difficulty with the original compliance date of August 1, 2017.
The following selection from the December 6, 2016 notice in the Federal Register describes why the compliance date was delayed.
We believe programs will need more time to implement systems to complete the backgrounds checks process listed at sections 1302.90(b)(2), (4), and (5) in our final rule. Also, we recognize most states will have systems that can accommodate our programs’ background checks requests by September 30, 2017. The reason being, Congress requires states that receive CCDBG funds to use the same set of comprehensive background checks for all child care teachers and staff. These states must have requirements as well as policies and procedures to enforce and conduct criminal background checks for existing and prospective child care providers by September 30, 2017.
If your state has already processes established for background check requirements, or establishes those processes in the near future, you may come into compliance sooner than the September 30, 2017 compliance date. We know many of you have been wondering how OHS would handle the feedback they received about the background check requirements, and hopefully this week’s announcement will ease some concerns.
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