Resources for Child Care Providers
The Mississippi Department of Human Services is here to help you with everything you need to establish and run a successful licensed child care center.
Visit the Business Resources page to learn more about how to establish a licensed care center, including assessing need, finding a location, licensing, lending and financing, business planning and budgeting, insurance, marketing, tax laws, equipment, safety, and staffing.
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program to support child care providers in covering the cost of purchasing, preparing, and providing nutritious foods in child care settings. Visit the CACFP at the Mississippi Department of Education.
Employee Management: Employee Screenings and Criminal Background Checks
Criminal Background Checks for employment in child care are overseen by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). In order to complete in-state and national background checks, providers scan fingerprints or send in fingerprint cards for new employee/applicants and include the Child Abuse Registry form. The fingerprints will be submitted to the MS Department of Public Safety where they go through the MS Criminal Information Center and the FBI to complete the national checks. Results are sent back to MSDH. Child Protective Services does the Child Abuse Registry check. If the applicant has a clear background check, a letter is sent to the facility and the applicant/employee.
If the quality of the fingerprints is poor, another fingerprint card will be requested. If the quality of the fingerprints is rejected by the FBI two times, a name-based search is initiated through the FBI. If there is something on the applicant/employee’s background checks that appears as a result of the check, legal counsel reviews that information and makes a determination of suitability, non-suitability or asks for more information. The applicant/employee’s criminal information is mailed to them directly with information on how to dispute any information. In addition, a letter is sent to the provider saying there may be a possible disqualifying event-no details of the information are shared with the provider. If the applicant/employee sends in the requested information for a dispute, legal counsel will again make a determination of suitability or non-suitability and the appropriate letter will be mailed. If the applicant/employee does not send in the requested information within 60 days, a final disposition letter will be sent out.
If an applicant has lived in another state within the past five years, the above required checks must be performed in that state as well.
Visit the Mississippi Department of Health for more information on conducting criminal background checks and screening the employees of your care business.