Areas of Impact
Licensing and Background Checks
Childcare across the nation in every other state is licensed by that state. Idaho is currently the only state that allows cities to offer their own license. For the most part, childcare licenses in the state of Idaho are issued by the state except in the case of a handful of cities that have decided to issue their own licenses. Currently, the City of Boise issues childcare licenses to individual employees and providers that operate within city limits, allowing the city to have more stringent requirements for teacher-to-child ratios and training hours, as well as allowing the city more control over the background checking process.
To receive a childcare license from the city, applicants must complete the following:
- A CHILD PROTECTION CENTRAL REGISTRY CHECK
Applicants need to provide Child Protection Registry checks for every state they have lived in the last five years. These checks are for complaints and violations made with child protective services and would not show up on a standardized background check. While getting the results from Idaho can be relatively quick, there is no centralized way for applicants to access data from other states. States have up to 45 days to send results to the applicant. The applicant must then communicate the results to the City.
Idaho’s checks are $20, each additional state has their own requirements.
- CPR/FIRST AID TRAINING: Typical cost is around $40
- WORKER LICENSE FEE: $37.00
- FINGERPRINTING AND BACKGROUND CHECK:
- BACKGROUND CHECK FEE FROM STATE: $38.25
- PROCESSING FEE $1.50
- FINGERPRINT ROLL FEE $5.00
Currently, the City of Boise does not allow applicants to begin working until all the requirements are met. This can mean that although the average time from new application to license in 2020 was 17 days, some applicants who have multiple state Childcare Registry Checks might wait up to 8 weeks to complete the process. The State of Idaho, as well as the other licensing cities, issues temporary licenses to childcare applicants that have completed the background check while they wait for their Child Protection Registry checks to be completed. These temporary licenses allow applicants to begin employment and work under supervision.
Because Boise is the only city that does not issue temporary licenses, childcare employers are struggling to hire staff. Applicants can begin working in neighboring cities within a week or two of starting the application process whereas Boise applicants may be waiting for several additional weeks before they can begin employment. When the average pay for childcare workers is $9.71 and the upfront cost of licensing over $100, many applicants are unwilling to wait the extra weeks unpaid.
The following table highlights some of the differences between the State of Idaho and City of Boise licensing requirements for both employees and facilities.
Note: When the city began issuing licenses, there was a bigger disparity on background checks and criminal history. The state has since updated its requirements to be closer to the city’s.