Changes in Early Childhood Background Checks Save Time and Money
As a result of the LEARNS Act that created the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) under ADE, educators working in a school district or education service cooperative licensed by the Office of Early Childhood are no longer required to obtain two sets of background checks! This change will result in faster employment because potential employees will no longer have to travel to two different locations for fingerprinting and can receive notification about eligibility sooner. Educators will have easier access to results via the Arkansas Educator Licensure System (AELS) Portal. This will assist the OEC Child Care Licensing Unit in preparing for monitor visits as well.
This change also comes with financial savings for educators and providers. The school district or education service cooperative will only pay for one set of background checks at a cost of $17.25 per check. Previously, they paid this cost plus the cost of a second check through ADE's licensure system for a total of $36.25. Districts that had two separate background check subscriptions through the Information Network of Arkansas (INA) will only need one subscription, saving them $150 annually. The OEC Background Check Unit also now has access to the ADE Child Maltreatment portal, reducing the need for two Child Maltreatment checks. These checks cost $10.00 per person, so the cost is cut in half for providers.