|Action||Amend Standards for Licensed Child Day Centers to Address Federal Health and Safety Requirements|
|Comment Period||Ends 5/12/2021|
The requirement for TB testing in addition to the background checks contributes to hiring challenges for many child care programs throughout our State. Hring pre-pandemic was already a challenge with many programs limiting enrollment due to staffing shortages. This means less spaces for Virginia's children, although I'm not sure that this type of information is collected from providers for data review.
The challenges of hiring include a limited talent pool with several providers not able to get candidates to even apply to work for their programs (even when using multiple sources including the local Virginia workforce center) and the other challenge that programs face include 'new hire ghosting'. This means a program can hire an employee and the new employee will complete the entire background check process including fingerprints and now ever show up for their first day of work.
Our program now hires in groups with the expectation that if we hire 4 new employees, 2 may not show on their first day. I am concerned though that many centers, especially those in rural Virginia do not have the budget to hire in groups to combat this challenge. Tracking the data for us has shown that many applicants are not showing up because of the pre-first day barriers. For example, an applicant from DC (which is where most of our candidates in Northern Virginia live due to the cost of housing in Northern Virginia) has to travel to the local police department for their out of State criminial record check, travel to FieldPrint for fingerprints, travel to the bank for the local notary, and now travel to the doctor for the TB test (twice - once to get the test done and again for reading). Having to make 5 trips to these various places makes child care a far less attractive option. A virginia resident would only have to make 4 trips pre-first day but again, this is a huge barrier based on feedback that we've received from candidates.
Please consider leaving the 21 day period for the TB screening requirement. It's just one way that we can work together to combat the huge hiring challenge both now and post-pandemic.