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New Law Allows for Faster Receipt of Childcare Background Clearances

Does your organization work with children?  There's good news! Pennsylvanians applying for childcare clearances can now receive most results electronically, instead of through the U.S. mail, thanks to a new law passed earlier this session.

Act 12 of 2022 allows certain employers to conditionally hire an individual for up to 45 days before all required childcare clearances are obtained. The goal is to address the delay that employees who required childcare clearances were experiencing in receiving their paperwork via the U.S. mail. Because this process often took weeks, this prevented the timely hiring of employees and caused businesses and nonprofits to limit work and programs due to the inability to staff them.

However, in addition to this legislation, businesses also asked for help in obtaining FBI clearances electronically to reduce another logjam in the hiring process.

Legislators from both sides of the aisle worked for 18 months with state agencies and the Pennsylvania State Police to work this option out with the FBI.

As a result, FBI background checks can now be applied for online and an electronic result received in as quickly as one day. Prior to this fix, it could take anywhere from 3-13 weeks for an applicant to receive FBI results. The shortened time to receive results will further safeguard children, aid applicants in obtaining positions of employment, and will aid employers in filling vacancies of positions that serve children. In addition to any email notification, all applicants will still receive results transmitted by U.S. mail.

Here’s an overview of how to obtain childcare clearances online:

Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification – apply online at Pennsylvania Child Welfare Information Solution.

Criminal background check performed by the Pennsylvania State Police – apply online at the ePATCH website.

FBI fingerprint background check – register online for fingerprint submission at

At this time, the National Sex Offender background check is not available to complete online.