Childcare Fingerprint Background Checks Coming in November

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- A new background check system for child care providers could help keep your family safe.

One local woman made it her mission after a tragedy to help others find day care centers they can trust.

"Luckily the other two children are fine, but Camden isn't here," said Elly Lafkin. It has been two years since her daughter, Cami, passed away after neglect at a local day care center.

During that time, she's worked to implement a mandatory finger print background check system for child care providers. In November, the Department of Social Services will now develop a plan to implement the system.

"Just another safety check that make sure that our children are safely cared for by people that truly care about children and are in it for the right reasons," said Lafkin.

It's a move one local daycare provider agrees with.

"You can change your name easily, but you cannot change fingerprints, so if you could be fingerprinted and have that to fall back on that would be wonderful," said Natasha Keplinger, who works at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Child Day Care Center. She said kids where she works have teachers who have been checked, "Criminal history, background check, and a CPS check to see if they're could have been any kind of case founded against them in the past."

Day care centers are doing what they can to keep kids safe. Some of those things involve blocking off certain areas and also making sure all gates are locked.

With a new system and a six-month-old daughter, Lafkin is hopeful parents will have to worry less about leaving their little one in someone else's care.

Social services in Virginia will report to the governor and the General Assembly by November 1 with a plan to implement the fingerprint system.


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