What Is TrustLine?
A family requiring child care deserves peace of mind in knowing that the adult they’re entrusting their child with is capable, experienced, and safe. There are many options when it comes to looking for child care and families consider what best fits their schedule, preferences, and finances. That can often mean choosing to hire a nanny or babysitter recommended by a third party agency, or having a child stay with a family member, friend, or neighbor. TrustLine is a state wide program that screens and records potential child care providers’ fingerprint records with the singular purpose of making sure parents have the information they need to choose the safest option.
What does TrustLine check?
TrustLine, managed by the California Department of Social Services and the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network, has access to three databases, the California Criminal History System, the Child Abuse Central Index of California and the FBI criminal History System to screen fingerprints. They check for whether or not a potential in-home provider has a criminal background or proven incidents of child abuse.
How does TrustLine work?
Individuals who wish to join the registry must first fill out an application provided to them by TrustLine. The application mandates the electronic submission of fingerprints through LiveScan. A fee is required and the amount varies according to the application type. The applications and fingerprints are to be sent to the Department of Social Services for review. When the application is approved the applicant is automatically added to the TrustLine database and can be found by parents or agencies.
Who is required to use TrustLine?
Federal law requires child care providers submit to state and federal background checks and fingerprinting. TrustLine is California’s program specifically for in-home caregivers that are not under the umbrella of regulations and standards that licensed providers, centers and state preschools are. To ensure that all types of caregivers adhere to the federal law, the following must be registered with TrustLine:
- Everyone over the age of 18 living in a license-exempt family, friend, or neighbor (FFN) home that receives subsidies
- Babysitters and nannies recommended by placement agencies
- Those who occupy positions of support like drivers, kitchen staff, janitors etc. who interact with children but are not the primary caregivers
The Benefits of Utilizing TrustLine
A database like TrustLine ensures that children are cared for in safe spaces by responsible and secure adults and helps parents make the best choices for their family. Parents and caretakers may check on the registration of a specific provider by calling 1-800-822-8490. If they want to check their provider’s status at any point, they can call back to ensure their provider maintains their registration. TrustLine is regularly updated and those who commit a disqualifying act are taken off of the registry.
How Does Quality Start Utilize the TrustLine?
QSSB is a program dedicated to raising the quality of care and education for all children ages zero to five. They are committed to supporting alternative early childhood environments like license-exempt family, friend, and neighbor providers. Enrolled participants receive:
- A custom plan to guide quality improvement efforts
- Coaching, professional development, and training opportunities
- Access to a peer support network comprised of early childhood educators with shared goals
In addition to QSSB’s offerings, our partner Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) facilitates the Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP) which helps license-exempt providers, like FFNs, navigate TrustLine and take steps to full licensure.