Alert: Beginning July 1, 2018, the Department of Early Learning will become the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). After June 30, 2018, this website will no longer be updated. For the latest information on early learning, visit the DCYF website at

State laws regarding background checks


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Parents and families deserve to know that a Washington state license to provide child care means their children will be in a safe, healthy environment.

Washington law requires the Department of Early Learning (DEL) to determine if a person seeking a license to provide child care has the character, suitability, and competence to provide care.  In addition, state law directs DEL to conduct background checks on anyone authorized to care for or have unsupervised access to children in licensed child care.

These laws are located in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW):
Chapter 43.215 RCW,
RCW 43.43.830, and
RCW 43.43.832.