A bill that would make it easier for parents to check the criminal backgrounds of their children's unlicensed baby-sitters was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Pete Wilson, after his office was deluged by calls from supporters.
The program, Trustline, is a voluntary registry that will cost about $85 per background check. Fingerprints of would-be baby-sitters will be checked against the state's criminal and child abuse indexes.
The bill, AB 2053, was sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gotch (D-San Diego). One of its prime movers is Mary Beth Phillips, whose 10-year-old daughter was permanently blinded as an infant after a nanny violently shook her.
The bill also mandates background checks on most unlicensed providers of government-subsidized child care. Nearly one-third of all child care is provided in unlicensed settings, child advocates say.
Starting in January, Trustline applications will be administered by local child-care resource and referral agencies. For information on the agency serving your county, call (800) 822-8490.