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National background checks coming for child care workers

9:55 AM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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(Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

ATLANTA -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will travel to Macon on Wednesday to sign into law House Bill 350, which will require national fingerprint-based background checks for child care workers.

Officials with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning said they've had concerns for awhile that state name checks just aren't thorough enough.

But a case last year in Macon involving Progressive Christian Academy put this issue on the front burner. 

State investigators determined that the owner, Christina Hawkins, had a criminal record in Florida under a different name. In fact, she was on probation for a check fraud conviction involving child care centers there.

Yet when she took over operations at Progressive, a name search of Georgia records did not turn up her criminal background in Florida.

Under the new law, if workers have had trouble in other states, they won't be able to hide it.

The law will cover employees of 6,000 child care centers in Georgia.

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