Blue search magnifying glass iconBackground Checks for Students and Higher Ed

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. The information on this page exists to 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.

Fingerprint requirements resumed on March 15, 2021. Read complete details.


Eligibility Determinations Appeal Information

Training and Information

Rules and Regulations

Educator and Student Unique Questions

Is it possible Technical Colleges could complete fingerprint-based scans?

They can request access to the Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP) to submit a Background Check Request. Higher Education Institutes can obtain CCPP access by following these steps:
1. Submit a request for a provider number if you do not have one, or request a new location under an existing provider number by completing a Provider Number Request.
2.  Obtain a DWD login.
3.  Use the provider, location number and DWD login to complete a CCPP access request.

How do higher education institutions submit background checks for students/interns so they may be placed in a child care program?

Background check requests for students/interns must be submitted to DCF using the Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP). Higher education institutions must first be issued a Provider Number from DCF in order to gain access to the Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP).

To obtain a Provider Number  follow the instructions located on the DCF Program Provider Number Request page. The higher education institution will receive an email with a Provider Number and additional instructions on how to request access to the Child Care Provider Portal. Learn more about the Child Care Provider Portal.

Note: Some higher education institutions already have a Provider Number because they operate a licensed child care program.  You will use the same provider number, but will need a new location number to request background checks for students placed at other child care centers for their practicum. Please fill out the Provider Number Request form to obtain a new location number for your program. Do not use the licensed child care program's CCPP account information to submit background check requests for practicum students.

How do we share the background check results with the child care center or practicum placement site?

An agency or individual can provide the background check eligibility letter from The Department of Children and Families to the child care center, or practicum placement site, to keep on file. This will sufficiently meet the licensing rules.

If a student is in a practicum for less than 60 days, is a background check still required?

Students in practicum are considered caregivers by law and need a background check. Student observers who are not considered to be in practicum, a student intern, or student teacher, do not need a background check if they are solely observing and not receiving hands-on child care experience.

If a student comes into our program and has received a preliminary eligibility determination, can they be placed in their practicum?

Once an individual has received their preliminary eligibility determination, he or she can work at a child care center under periodic direct supervision while the final background check eligibility determination is pending.

After October 1, 2018, can a practicum student begin field placement hours at a child care center if the preliminary eligibility check was good, but the final eligibility check has not yet been received? The reason we are asking this is to be proactive and make it clear to students when they need to complete the new fingerprint-based process so they can stay on track for graduation. Meaning students can't get the fingerprint a week before the semester begins and be able to enroll/complete practicum field placement hours at a center without having the final eligibility determination.

Yes, but only if they are under supervision. If they do not have an approved final eligibility determination, then they may not perform unsupervised child care.


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: