Child Care Background Check Requirements

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Child Care Background Check Law, Wisconsin Statute § 48.686 requires that all child-care workers complete a fingerprint-based background check initially and every five (5) years.

Fingerprint-based background checks must be completed using Fieldprint.  Check the Fieldprint Wisconsin website for  Fieldprint locations near you and to schedule an appointment.

Follow the instructions in the fingerprint instruction letter found in your Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP) and see the Fieldprint Scheduling desk aid.

DCF sends quarterly notices to providers for individuals who are due for a fingerprint background check and the deadline to complete them. Providers can also check an individual’s background check status in the Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP). If you do not have access to CCPP, visit the CCPP access webpage for instructions.

If you have questions regarding background check requirements, please contact the Child Care Background Unit by calling 608-422-7400 or emailing

Additional Background Check Information and Resources

Recent Announcements 

No current announcements available. 

Background Check Presentation

This PowerPoint presentation provides details on the Background Check process. View the PowerPoint presentation.Accordion content.

Who Needs a DCF Background Check?

This is a classification tool that will help you decide if a fingerprint is necessary for the child care provider to continue working at the facility.

Note: this tool may not include the specific job classification, and the Child Care Background Unit or your licensor may need to be contacted for further clarification.

View the Who Needs a Background Check? tool.

Child Care Certified and Licensed Background Check Requirements

Under new federal and state requirements, all caregivers and noncaregiver employees and residents age 10 or older in certified and licensed child care centers now require DCF-run background checks to determine their eligibility to reside or work in a child care setting. 

Background Checks for Students and Higher Education

While DCF does not regulate institutes of higher education, the new background check policy impacts students who are placed in a child care program for fulfilling a practicum, internship, or student-teaching requirement. This information will help institutes of higher education and their students be prepared for working with regulated child care providers.

Note: Some higher education institutes will need to obtain a provider number before access can be given to the Child Care Provider Portal. See the Provider Number Request page for details.

Background Checks for Contracting and Professional Services in Child Care

While DCF does not regulate businesses that are not directly related to child care, the new background check requirements do impact contracting and professional services that have child care providers as customers. The background check information and tools will assist contracting and professional services when working with child care providers.

Note: Some contracting and professional services will need to obtain a provider number before access can be given to the Child Care Provider Portal. See the Provider Number Request page for details.

Licensed Exempt Public School Program Background Checks

Under federal and state requirements, all caregivers and non-caregiver employees and residents age 10 or older in regulated child care centers require DCF-run background checks to determine their eligibility to reside or work in a child care setting.

Some child care programs are not licensed, and instead are run by a public school or Head Start program. These programs are still required to be monitored by DCF and comply with the new DCF background check requirement if:

  • They are registered in YoungStar


  • They are eligible to receive Wisconsin Shares subsidy

The resources below will guide licensed exempt public school programs and Head Start programs through the process of maintaining compliance with DCF background check requirements.

Child Care Background Check Requests by State Agencies for Individuals Who Have Previously Lived in Wisconsin

This section guides non-Wisconsin state agencies in obtaining background check results for individuals who have previously resided in Wisconsin. See background check webpage for providers who have lived out-of-state.  

iChildCare Portal and Child Care Provider Portal Information

The iChildCare Portal is a secure website, available 24/7, where individuals active in Wisconsin child care can manage their individual eligibility status to reside and work in a child care setting.

See the iChildCare Portal information page for more details.

The Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP) is a secure website, available 24/7, where regulated Wisconsin Child Care Providers can manage their child care business using any computer, tablet, or smartphone with an Internet connection.

See the Provider Portal information page for more details.

Reference Guides

Special Dispositions: Expungements and Pardons
  • A judge may order that court records relating to a person’s conviction be expunged, or removed, if the person meets certain eligibility requirements and successfully completes his or her sentence. An expungement does not reverse or set aside the conviction; it merely removes all records relating to the conviction from records maintained by the court system. Therefore, you may still be found ineligible for a conviction that was expunged from court record. More information on Court Level Expungements
  • A pardon is an official act of forgiveness for a criminal offense. A pardon relieves an offender of many lasting legal consequences of conviction by restoring the individual’s civil rights. More information on Governors Pardons
Eligibility Determinations Appeal Information 

Appeals Process for Background Check Decisions - Individuals who are found ineligible have the right to appeal DCF’s background check decision under Wisconsin Statute §48.686 (4s) if they feel the determination was incorrect.

Training and Information
Rehabilitation Reviews 

In order to begin the rehabilitation review process, the applicant must submit a Rehabilitation Review Application. Applications can be found on the Rehabilitation Review Forms page. Applicants may also request an application by contacting the Rehabilitation Review Coordinator at 608-422-7041 or

Please submit an application to the proper entity:

  • Submit the DCF application only if interested in working with children. The application may be emailed to or mailed to the address on page 9 of the application.
  • If the applicant is interested in working with adults, they will need to contact the Department of Health Services (DHS) to learn more about their rehabilitation review process. This information is available on the DHS website.

DCF will appoint a rehabilitation review panel once the application and all the requested documents are received. The application will be denied if all requested documents are not provided within 90 days. The panel may also request information from other agencies or people who are familiar with the applicant.

A rehabilitation review meeting will be scheduled after the panel receives all requested information. The applicant will receive notice of the date, time, and location of the meeting by email or mail.

The applicant is not required to appear at the rehabilitation review meeting, but it is recommended that the applicant attends. At this meeting, the applicant will have the opportunity to answer questions from the panel. The applicant must provide evidence to convince the panel that the applicant has been rehabilitated.

The panel will make a decision whether the applicant is present at the meeting or not. If the panel decides it does not have enough information to make a decision, it may defer a final decision for up to six months. The applicant will receive the panel's decision in the mail. The panel's decision may be a rehabilitation approval, denial or deferral.


The rehabilitation review panel may approve the rehabilitation review in whole or with limitations/conditions.

Approval applies only to the specific program(s) the panel indicates in its decision. An approval does not ensure that the applicant will be hired by, receive permission to live at, or be licensed or certified by an entity. If a person fails to meet any of the conditions/limitations of the person’s approval, the approval may be withdrawn.


If the panel does not find enough evidence of rehabilitation, it will deny the applicant's request. The panel will provide its reasons for denial in writing and inform the applicant of the right to appeal the decision.

If the applicant wants to appeal the panel’s denial, the applicant must submit an appeal request in writing within 10 days of the decision. A person who appeals will bear the burden of proving that the agency abused its discretion in the decision making process.

The applicant is not allowed to apply again for the same or similar reason for one year from the date of denial. This one year period applies even if the denial was for failure to submit all documentation.


A decision may be deferred up to six months. This is to allow the applicant time to gather more information, complete training/counseling or for other reasons requested by the panel.

Frequently Asked Questions

See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more details related to background check requirements.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:   
DCF Child Care Background Unit   
PO Box 8916   
201 W. Washington Ave.   
Madison, WI 53708-8916

Phone number: 608-422-7400   
Fax number: 608-422-7155   
Email address: