Minnesota kids in child care homes to be fingerprinted

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Some Minnesota lawmakers and daycare providers say a new law goes too far in requiring fingerprints from older children living in homes where child care is provided.

The law requires that children ages 13 through 17 be fingerprinted and photographed if they live in such a home, the Pioneer Press reported . The requirement, which could begin next summer, is part of an effort to improve background checks on people who are around vulnerable populations.

Fingerprints are a more accurate source of identification and allow the government to better track future criminal activity, said Reggie Wagner, the Department of Human Services’ deputy inspector general in charge of licensing care providers.

Republican Sen. Jim Abeler of Anoka wants the law repealed, saying it seems over the top. Abeler chairs the Senate’s human services committee and has called for a Nov. 1 hearing regarding the policy.

Julie Seydel, a licensed child care provider in Andover, said she doesn’t want to make her daughter go through the fingerprinting process.

“For kids, when you get your fingers printed and your mug shot, you’re a criminal. That can be really traumatic to some kids,” Seydel said.

Children won’t be required to go to a police station to meet the requirement. She said certain nursing homes and child care centers provide fingerprinting and photographing services, as do UPS and FedEx stores.

“It’s a little bit like going to the DMV and getting your driver’s license,” Wagner said.

The requirement will affect about 120,000 child care providers, employees and family members once it’s implemented, she said.

Photos of minors wouldn’t be sent to the FBI or state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, though their fingerprints would be sent to the BCA. The fingerprints would go to the FBI if the teenager has a criminal record.

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This story has been corrected to show that fingerprints would be sent to the BCA, and in some cases the FBI.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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