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ARTICLE 2 - Administration of Child Day Care Licensing | Califonrnia Health and Safety Code - HSC | Section 1596.871.

1596.871. The Legislature recognizes the need to generate timely and accurate positive fingerprint identification of applicants as a condition of issuing licenses, permits, or certificates of approval for persons to operate or provide direct care services in a child care center or family child care home. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to require the fingerprints of those individuals whose contact with child day care facility clients may pose a risk to the children s health and safety. An individual shall be required to obtain either a criminal record clearance or a criminal record exemption from the State Department of Social Services before his or her initial presence in a child day care facility.

(a) (1) Before and, as applicable, subsequent to issuing a license or special permit to any person to operate or manage a day care facility, the department shall secure from an appropriate law enforcement agency a criminal record to determine whether the applicant or any other person specified in subdivision (b) has ever been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation or arrested for any crime specified in subdivision (c) of Section 290 of the Penal Code, or for violating Section 245, 273ab, or 273.5, subdivision (b) of Section 273a, or, prior to January 1, 1994, paragraph (2) of Section 273a, of the Penal Code, or for any crime for which the department is prohibited from granting a criminal record exemption pursuant to subdivision (f).

(2) The criminal history information shall include the full criminal record, if any, of those persons, and subsequent arrest information pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code.

(3) Except during the 2003 04 to the 2016 17 fiscal years, inclusive, neither the Department of Justice nor the department may charge a fee for the fingerprinting of an applicant who will serve six or fewer children or any family day care applicant for a license, or for obtaining a criminal record of an applicant pursuant to this section.

(4) The following shall apply to the criminal record information:

(A) If the State Department of Social Services finds that the applicant or any other person specified in subdivision (b) has been convicted of a crime, other than a minor traffic violation, the application shall be denied, unless the director grants an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f).

(B) If the State Department of Social Services finds that the applicant, or any other person specified in subdivision (b), is awaiting trial for a crime other than a minor traffic violation, the State Department of Social Services may cease processing the criminal record information until the conclusion of the trial.

(C) If no criminal record information has been recorded, the Department of Justice shall provide the applicant and the State Department of Social Services with a statement of that fact.

(D) If the State Department of Social Services finds after licensure that the licensee, or any other person specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation, the license may be revoked, unless the director grants an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f).

(E) An applicant and any other person specified in subdivision (b) shall submit fingerprint images and related information to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, through the Department of Justice, for a state and federal level criminal offender record information search, in addition to the search required by subdivision (a). If an applicant meets all other conditions for licensure, except receipt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation s criminal history information for the applicant and persons listed in subdivision (b), the department may issue a license if the applicant and each person described by subdivision (b) has signed and submitted a statement that he or she has never been convicted of a crime in the United States, other than a traffic infraction as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 42001 of the Vehicle Code. If, after licensure, the department determines that the licensee or person specified in subdivision (b) has a criminal record, the license may be revoked pursuant to Section 1596.885. The department may also suspend the license pending an administrative hearing pursuant to Section 1596.886.

(b) (1) In addition to the applicant, this section shall be applicable to criminal record clearances and exemptions for the following persons:

(A) Adults responsible for administration or direct supervision of staff.

(B) Any person, other than a child, residing in the facility.

(C) Any person who provides care and supervision to the children.

(D) Any staff person, volunteer, or employee who has contact with the children.

(i) A volunteer providing time-limited specialized services shall be exempt from the requirements of this subdivision if this person is directly supervised by the licensee or a facility employee with a criminal record clearance or exemption, the volunteer spends no more than 16 hours per week at the facility, and the volunteer is not left alone with children in care.

(ii) A student enrolled or participating at an accredited educational institution shall be exempt from the requirements of this subdivision if the student is directly supervised by the licensee or a facility employee with a criminal record clearance or exemption, the facility has an agreement with the educational institution concerning the placement of the student, the student spends no more than 16 hours per week at the facility, and the student is not left alone with children in care.

(iii) A volunteer who is a relative, legal guardian, or foster parent of a client in the facility shall be exempt from the requirements of this subdivision.

(iv) A contracted repair person retained by the facility, if not left alone with children in care, shall be exempt from the requirements of this subdivision.

(v) Any person similar to those described in this subdivision, as defined by the department in regulations.

(E) If the applicant is a firm, partnership, association, or corporation, the chief executive officer, other person serving in like capacity, or a person designated by the chief executive officer as responsible for the operation of the facility, as designated by the applicant agency.

(F) If the applicant is a local educational agency, the president of the governing board, the school district superintendent, or a person designated to administer the operation of the facility, as designated by the local educational agency.

(G) Additional officers of the governing body of the applicant, or other persons with a financial interest in the applicant, as determined necessary by the department by regulation. The criteria used in the development of these regulations shall be based on the person s capability to exercise substantial influence over the operation of the facility.

(H) This section does not apply to employees of child care and development programs under contract with the State Department of Education who have completed a criminal record clearance as part of an application to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and who possess a current credential or permit issued by the commission, including employees of child care and development programs that serve both children subsidized under, and children not subsidized under, a State Department of Education contract. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing shall notify the department upon revocation of a current credential or permit issued to an employee of a child care and development program under contract with the State Department of Education.

(I) This section does not apply to employees of a child care and development program operated by a school district, county office of education, or community college district under contract with the State Department of Education who have completed a criminal record clearance as a condition of employment. The school district, county office of education, or community college district upon receiving information that the status of an employee s criminal record clearance has changed shall submit that information to the department.

(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall prevent a licensee from requiring a criminal record clearance of any individuals exempt from the requirements under this subdivision.

(c) (1) (A) Subsequent to initial licensure, a person specified in subdivision (b) who is not exempt from fingerprinting shall obtain either a criminal record clearance or an exemption from disqualification, pursuant to subdivision (f), from the State Department of Social Services prior to employment, residence, or initial presence in the facility. A person specified in subdivision (b) who is not exempt from fingerprinting shall be fingerprinted and shall sign a declaration under penalty of perjury regarding any prior criminal convictions. The licensee shall submit fingerprint images and related information to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, through the Department of Justice, or comply with paragraph (1) of subdivision (h), prior to the person s employment, residence, or initial presence in the child day care facility.

(B) These fingerprint images and related information shall be electronically submitted to the Department of Justice in a manner approved by the State Department of Social Services and the Department of Justice for the purpose of obtaining a permanent set of fingerprints. A licensee s failure to submit fingerprint images and related information to the Department of Justice or to comply with paragraph (1) of subdivision (h), as required in this section, shall result in the citation of a deficiency, and an immediate assessment of civil penalties in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation per day for a maximum of five days, unless the violation is a second or subsequent violation within a 12-month period in which case the civil penalties shall be in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation for a maximum of 30 days, and shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1596.885 or 1596.886. The State Department of Social Services may assess civil penalties for repeated or continued violations permitted by Sections 1596.99 and 1597.58. The fingerprint images and related information shall then be submitted to the department for processing. Within 14 calendar days of the receipt of the fingerprint images, the Department of Justice shall notify the State Department of Social Services of the criminal record information, as provided in this subdivision. If no criminal record information has been recorded, the Department of Justice shall provide the licensee and the State Department of Social Services with a statement of that fact within 14 calendar days of receipt of the fingerprint images. If new fingerprint images are required for processing, the Department of Justice shall, within 14 calendar days from the date of receipt of the fingerprint images, notify the licensee that the fingerprints were illegible.

(C) Documentation of the individual s clearance or exemption shall be maintained by the licensee, and shall be available for inspection. When live-scan technology is operational, as defined in Section 1522.04, the Department of Justice shall notify the department, as required by that section, and notify the licensee by mail within 14 days of electronic transmission of the fingerprints to the Department of Justice, if the person has no criminal record. Any violation of the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 1522.04 shall result in the citation of a deficiency and an immediate assessment of civil penalties in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation per day for a maximum of five days, unless the violation is a second or subsequent violation within a 12-month period in which case the civil penalties shall be in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation for a maximum of 30 days, and shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1596.885 or 1596.886. The department may assess civil penalties for repeated or continued violations, as permitted by Sections 1596.99 and 1597.58.

(2) Except for persons specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), the licensee shall endeavor to ascertain the previous employment history of persons required to be fingerprinted under this subdivision. If it is determined by the department, on the basis of fingerprints submitted to the Department of Justice, that the person has been convicted of a sex offense against a minor, an offense specified in Section 243.4, 273a, 273ab, 273d, 273g, or 368 of the Penal Code, or a felony, the State Department of Social Services shall notify the licensee to act immediately to terminate the person s employment, remove the person from the child day care facility, or bar the person from entering the child day care facility. The department may subsequently grant an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f). If the conviction was for another crime except a minor traffic violation, the licensee shall, upon notification by the State Department of Social Services, act immediately to either (1) terminate the person s employment, remove the person from the child day care facility, or bar the person from entering the child day care facility; or (2) seek an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f). The department shall determine if the person shall be allowed to remain in the facility until a decision on the exemption is rendered. A licensee s failure to comply with the department s prohibition of employment, contact with clients, or presence in the facility as required by this paragraph shall result in a citation of deficiency and an immediate assessment of civil penalties by the department against the licensee, in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation per day for a maximum of five days, unless the violation is a second or subsequent violation within a 12-month period in which case the civil penalties shall be in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation for a maximum of 30 days, and shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1596.885 or 1596.886.

(3) The department may issue an exemption on its own motion pursuant to subdivision (f) if the person s criminal history indicates that the person is of good character based on the age, seriousness, and frequency of the conviction or convictions. The department, in consultation with interested parties, shall develop regulations to establish the criteria to grant an exemption pursuant to this paragraph.

(4) Concurrently with notifying the licensee pursuant to paragraph (3), the department shall notify the affected individual of his or her right to seek an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f). The individual may seek an exemption only if the licensee terminates the person s employment or removes the person from the facility after receiving notice from the department pursuant to paragraph (3).

(d) (1) For purposes of this section or any other provision of this chapter, a conviction means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere. Any action that the department is permitted to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken when the time for appeal has elapsed, when the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, notwithstanding a subsequent order pursuant to Sections 1203.4 and 1203.4a of the Penal Code permitting the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment. For purposes of this section or any other provision of this chapter, the record of a conviction, or a copy thereof certified by the clerk of the court or by a judge of the court in which the conviction occurred, shall be conclusive evidence of the conviction. For purposes of this section or any other provision of this chapter, the arrest disposition report certified by the Department of Justice, or documents admissible in a criminal action pursuant to Section 969b of the Penal Code, shall be prima facie evidence of conviction, notwithstanding any other law prohibiting the admission of these documents in a civil or administrative action.

(2) For purposes of this section or any other provision of this chapter, the department shall consider criminal convictions from another state or federal court as if the criminal offense was committed in this state.

(e) (1) The State Department of Social Services shall not use a record of arrest to deny, revoke, or terminate any application, license, employment, or residence unless the department investigates the incident and secures evidence, whether or not related to the incident of arrest, that is admissible in an administrative hearing to establish conduct by the person that may pose a risk to the health and safety of any person who is or may become a client.

(2) The department shall not issue a criminal record clearance to a person who has been arrested for any crime specified in Section 290 of the Penal Code, or for violating Section 245, 273ab, or 273.5, or subdivision (b) of Section 273a of the Penal Code, or, prior to January 1, 1994, paragraph (2) of Section 273a of the Penal Code, or for any crime for which the department is prohibited from granting a criminal record exemption pursuant to subdivision (f), prior to the department s completion of an investigation pursuant to paragraph (1).

(3) The State Department of Social Services is authorized to obtain any arrest or conviction records or reports from any law enforcement agency as necessary to the performance of its duties to inspect, license, and investigate community care facilities and individuals associated with a community care facility.

(f) (1) After review of the record, the director may grant an exemption from disqualification for a license or special permit as specified in paragraphs (1) and (4) of subdivision (a), or for employment, residence, or presence in a child day care facility as specified in paragraphs (3), (4), and (5) of subdivision (c) if the director has substantial and convincing evidence to support a reasonable belief that the applicant and the person convicted of the crime, if other than the applicant, are of good character so as to justify issuance of the license or special permit or granting an exemption for purposes of subdivision (c). However, an exemption shall not be granted pursuant to this subdivision if the conviction was for any of the following offenses:

(A) An offense specified in Section 220, 243.4, or 264.1, subdivision (a) of Section 273a, or, prior to January 1, 1994, paragraph (1) of Section 273a, Section 273ab, 273d, 288, or 289, subdivision (c) of Section 290, or Section 368, of the Penal Code, or was a conviction of another crime against an individual specified in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.

(B) A felony offense specified in Section 729 of the Business and Professions Code or Section 206 or 215, subdivision (a) of Section 347, subdivision (b) of Section 417, or subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 451 of the Penal Code.

(2) The department shall not prohibit a person from being employed or having contact with clients in a facility on the basis of a denied criminal record exemption request or arrest information unless the department complies with the requirements of Section 1596.8897.

(g) Upon request of the licensee, who shall enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard for this purpose, the Department of Justice shall verify receipt of the fingerprint images.

(h) (1) For the purposes of compliance with this section, the department may permit an individual to transfer a current criminal record clearance, as defined in subdivision (a), from one facility to another, as long as the criminal record clearance has been processed through a state licensing district office, and is being transferred to another facility licensed by a state licensing district office. The request shall be in writing to the department, and shall include a copy of the person s driver s license or valid identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a valid photo identification issued by another state or the United States government if the person is not a California resident. Upon request of the licensee, who shall enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for this purpose, the department shall verify whether the individual has a clearance that can be transferred.

(2) The State Department of Social Services shall hold criminal record clearances in its active files for a minimum of two years after an employee is no longer employed at a licensed facility in order for the criminal record clearances to be transferred.

(3) The following shall apply to a criminal record clearance or exemption from the department or a county office with department-delegated licensing authority:

(A) A county office with department-delegated licensing authority may accept a clearance or exemption from the department.

(B) The department may accept a clearance or exemption from any county office with department-delegated licensing authority.

(C) A county office with department-delegated licensing authority may accept a clearance or exemption from any other county office with department-delegated licensing authority.

(4) With respect to notifications issued by the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code concerning an individual whose criminal record clearance was originally processed by the department or a county office with department-delegated licensing authority, all of the following shall apply:

(A) The Department of Justice shall process a request from the department or a county office with department-delegated licensing authority to receive the notice, only if all of the following conditions are met:

(i) The request shall be submitted to the Department of Justice by the agency to be substituted to receive the notification.

(ii) The request shall be for the same applicant type as the type for which the original clearance was obtained.

(iii) The request shall contain all prescribed data elements and format protocols pursuant to a written agreement between the department and the Department of Justice.

(B) (i) On or before January 7, 2005, the department shall notify the Department of Justice of all county offices that have department-delegated licensing authority.

(ii) The department shall notify the Department of Justice within 15 calendar days of the date on which a new county office receives department-delegated licensing authority or a county s delegated licensing authority is rescinded.

(C) The Department of Justice shall charge the department or a county office with department-delegated licensing authority a fee for each time a request to substitute the recipient agency is received for purposes of this paragraph. This fee shall not exceed the cost of providing the service.

(i) Notwithstanding any other law, the department may provide an individual with a copy of his or her state or federal level criminal offender record information search response as provided to that department by the Department of Justice if the department has denied a criminal background clearance based on this information and the individual makes a written request to the department for a copy specifying an address to which it is to be sent. The state or federal level criminal offender record information search response shall not be modified or altered from its form or content as provided by the Department of Justice and shall be provided to the address specified by the individual in his or her written request. The department shall retain a copy of the individual s written request and the response and date provided.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 20, Sec. 8. Effective June 24, 2015.)

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Last modified: July 19, 2016