North Carolina-- Sixteen new laws take effect on Jan. 1, 2013. One law makes it mandatory for all child care workers to get a background check.
This law caught our attention because it has to do with the safety of our children. It came as a surprise to us that only now are all child care employees subject to a criminal background check, not just a certain group.
It seemed obvious, so we had to ask: Why is this just happening now?
NC House Representative, Alma Adams said, "I think it's something we should have been doing a long long time ago and particularly when you look at the kinds of things that are going on today that you probably never thought you'd ever see in your lifetime."
The old law only required background checks for some daycare employees. The new law requires background checks for everyone including volunteers, temporary workers, and people who watch children out of their homes. Then they'll be checked every three years after that.
A person can't watch your child if they've been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime involving child abuse or neglect.
The state can prevent someone from providing care because of alcohol or drug use, or because of mental or emotional impairment.
Rep. Adams added, "Children spend more time away from home in daycares and in school environments than they do at home, and you got to think about that and be very serious about wanting to know what's really happening with my child. Who's caring for my child?"
News 2 also spoke with Rep. Samuelson who sponsored the bill. She said the bill was triggered to save money for the Department of Health and Human Services, by tweaking the type of background checks that are required.
To view all the new laws that took effect on Jan.1, click here
WFMY News 2