Electronic Background Check
*NOTICE* The Request for Criminal Background Check form has been updated, please see the steps below.
The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) offers all licensed programs including child care centers, family child care homes, and residential facilities in Arkansas an online option for requesting a State and Federal criminal background check for employees, which includes the national sex offender registry check. You must submit an Online Criminal Background Check request and a separate Child Maltreatment Registry Check Request. Starting October 1, 2020, all providers must submit background checks online instead of by mail.
Steps Required to Submit an Online Criminal Background Check Include:
- Provider creates Online Account
- Provider or applicant fills out background check request forms. Please use the correct applicant and facility email address.
- Applicant will receive an email to digitally sign the request form.
- Once the forms are digitally signed, the applicant and provider will receive a completed PDF attachment via email.
- The provider starts the background check process using online account. The provider must upload the completed request forms to submit the request.
- Provider gives applicant Transaction ID from submitted request
- The provider or applicant schedules applicant fingerprint scan
- After fingerprint scan, the status should update to “Provisional” in provider account
- The provider will be emailed when the status of the background check changes
- If applicant disagrees with results of background check, he or she can challenge the results
Starting the Background Check Process
- To use the online background check option, you will need to create a subscriber account here. The account has an annual subscription cost of $150. A provider may choose not to renew their subscription if it is no longer needed. Instructions for setting up a subscriber account can be found here.
- Providers will be invoiced at the end of each month for the costs of each background check requested. The fees are listed on the provider account website.
- Once a provider has created an online account and has a new employee to hire, the provider or applicant should fill out the State and Federal Criminal Background Check form. The applicant will receive a link to digitally sign the form. Once this is completed, the provider and applicant will receive a PDF attachment of the complete form. Please save this somewhere that is easily accessible.
- Once the State and Federal Criminal Background Check form has been returned, the provider will upload the form with the background check request via the online background check system.
Requesting the Background Check Online
- Log into the provider account and click “Search.” This is how you initiate a background check.
- Fill in the information about the applicant and upload completed State and Federal Criminal Background Check form. Double-check that the documents uploaded correctly before clicking “Submit FBI and State.”
- Complete each step. Review and confirm search information entered. No refunds will be provided for incorrect data entry or incorrect selection of data submitted. Click “Submit Search.”
- After submitting the information and documents, a pop-up screen will give providers a Search ID and a Transaction number.
- The provider must give the Transaction number to the applicant so that the fingerprint scan can be scheduled.
- Use the Search ID to look up the status of the background check.
Scheduling a Fingerprint Scan
- The applicant, or the provider on behalf of the applicant, must schedule an appointment for a live fingerprint scan at this website.
- The applicant can choose the date, time, and location that works best for them. See a list of available locations here.
- It usually takes less than 20 minutes for fingerprints to be scanned during the appointment.
- Scanning machines will be sanitized regularly for the safety of the applicant.
Out-of-State Background Checks (Inter-state Background Checks)
- Prospective employees who have not lived in the state of Arkansas during the preceding five (5) years will be subject to current federal guidelines regarding conducting a child maltreatment and a criminal background check in any states where they resided during the past five (5) years.
- The applicant/provider is responsible for initiating the out-of-state process prior to employment regardless if the Arkansas State Police criminal record check result has been returned as satisfactory.
- Click here for the Interstate Child Care Background Check Contact List guide.
- The applicant shall remain on a provisional status until all out-of-state background checks have been returned as satisfactory. Out-of-state results should be mailed or emailed.
Getting the Results
- The fingerprints will be sent electronically to Arkansas State Police, and the applicant cannot start working until the Arkansas State Police criminal background check has been cleared.
- Results are normally back in five to ten business days, and an email is sent to the provider to check the status of the new hire in the provider account.
- The provider account will describe the status of the applicant’s background check as:
- Pending – the check has been submitted and is being processed
- Provisional – some steps in the review process are complete and the applicant can work under direct supervision, pending further checks.
- Approved – all steps in review are complete, and the applicant is eligible to work without direct supervision
- Not Approved – the review is complete, and the applicant is not eligible to be hired for the position.
The provider should share the results with the applicant. If an applicant is considered “not approved” he or she will get more specific information about the results. If the applicant disagrees with the background check results, he or she can challenge them as discussed here.
If you have questions, concerns, or need more information, please contact the OEC Licensing Unit at (501) 682-8590.
The online criminal background check does not include the Child Maltreatment Registry Check.
To complete the Central Registry Check Process – please go to: