New Georgia law requires fingerprinting for all day care workers - WRBL

New Georgia law requires fingerprinting for all day care workers

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

On Wednesday afternoon, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill that will require a national fingerprint-based background check for all employees at state-licensed child care centers. Some top Georgia educators are calling a new legislation a landmark child protection law for the state. The legislation is aimed at preventing convicted felons from working around children,

There are around 6,000 state-licensed day care facilities in Georgia and dozens in the Muscogee County area.

Laura Wright, a full-time mom with a full-time job, finds comfort in the new law. "I think it's great and it should've been in place a long time ago." For the first time, she is allowing her five-year-old daughter to go to daycare. "It's scary because you're entrusting perfect strangers with your child. So it is scary and in this day any time it's hard to trust even teachers."

Potential employees have only been required to get a local and state background check when applying at child care centers. Any felony convictions in a different state could go unnoticed.

Stephanie Forsberg, director of marketing and training at Childcare Network, said doing a federal background check will be one more precaution in keeping kids safe. "Teachers that we're hiring, we'll be sure that they are the right people to have in our buildings and working with the children."

Fingerprinting will ensure people aren't using fake identification to get a job and the prints will be kept on file.

Before the bill was signed, only day care directors were required to undergo the fingerprinting process.

The law will go into effect in January. Current employees will have three years to get fingerprinted.

Sydney Cameron

Sydney joined the WRBL news team in December 2011 after working as a freelance reporter in Washington, D.C. More>>

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