Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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Background Checks

South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) requires background checks be completed for registered child care providers, household members over the age of 18, and their helpers; staff members employed in licensed centers and in-home and informal providers. This includes providers, staff and household members who supervise children in care or who have unsupervised access to children in care.  The following type of background checks are required by law:

  • A search of the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • A search of the Sex Offender Registry
  • A South Dakota criminal record fingerprint check
  • A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal record fingerprint check
  • A National Crime Information Center (NCIC) sex offender registry check.

A provider or staff person is to submit the request for a background check to the Department prior to being employed or being registered.  The Central Registry for Child Abuse & Neglect check is required to be completed and the results on file prior to the provider having contact with children in a center or in-home, or prior to a registration certificate being issued to a registered provider. The provider or staff may become employed prior to the program obtaining the remaining check results as long as that employee is supervised by someone in the center who has already completed the full background check and the results are on file.  When all of the checks are completed, Child Care Services sends a letter to the program indicating if the employee is eligible or ineligible for to be a provider.

If the results of any background check include offenses outlined below, Child Care Services will send a letter to the program indicating the employee is ineligible to be a provider. 

Offenses That Prohibit Individuals from Working in a Child Care Setting

South Dakota Codified Laws (SDCL) and Administrative Rules of South Dakota (ARSD) prohibit certain persons from becoming a licensed or registered child care provider if they have a conviction for the following offenses:

  • a crime that would indicate harmful behavior toward children;
  • a crime of violence as defined by SDCL 22-1-2;
  • child abuse pursuant to chapter 26-10;
  • a sex offense pursuant to chapter 22-22, 22-24A, or 22-22A-3;
  • felony spousal abuse; felony physical assault or battery;
  • within the preceding five years, and any other felony; or
  • any person whose name appears on the central registry for child abuse and neglect. This includes similar statutes from other states.

No person whose name appears on the sex offender registry and no person whose name appears on the Central Registry for Child Abuse & Neglect may do care as a registered or unregistered family day care provider, or work in a licensed child care program.

A person is ineligible to work in a program if they:

1. refuse to consent to a background check;
2. knowingly make false statements in connection with the background check; or
3. are registered, or required to be registered on a State sex offender registry.

Background Check Requests From Other States

Out-of-State Requests for a South Dakota Criminal Background Check  
The process for SD state only criminal background checks can be found here.  This includes submitting a fingerprint card, the Authorization form, and payment for each fingerprint card submitted. 

Out-of-state applicants, or their employers, can call the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to request a state only fingerprint kit to be mailed to them directly at 605.773.3331.  Or use a fingerprint card provided by the local law enforcement agency and print out and complete the DCI Authorization and Release form to be included with the fingerprint card and payment.

Out-of-State Requests for a South Dakota Sex Offender Registry Check  
A South Dakota Sex Offender Registry check can be found here.