Early Childhood Education Fingerprinting and Background Screening

It is a NWFSC policy that all Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education (BS ECE) students complete a background and fingerprint screening process before any placement in an ECE setting can occur. Students are required to submit verification of screening to the Teacher Education Office prior to beginning the field placement. Students residing in Florida should follow the Fingerprinting Procedures for Okaloosa and Walton Country Students. Students residing outside of Florida should follow the Fingerprinting Procedures for Students Outside of Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

Fingerprinting Procedures for Okaloosa and Walton County Students

Students currently employed in a Florida Department of Families and Children (DCF) licensed facility or a military childcare facility may submit their current background clearance to the Teacher Education Office. Students who do not have a copy of this document, should request a copy from their employer.

Non DCF employed students should go through the Child Development Education Center, on the Niceville campus, to begin the process of obtaining their DCF screening. The process is as follows:


  1. Call Ms. Rouse, Staff Assistant for Child Development Education Center (CDEC) at (850) 729-5386 to schedule an appointment to complete the required information online to apply to be fingerprinted. Required information will include name, social security number, date of birth, race, and sex.

  2. Student must take the DCF Live Scan Background Screening Submission Form along with a photo id to the live scan company to be fingerprinted.

    123 Truxton Avenue
    Fort Walton Beach, FL
    M-F 8:30 am-12:30 pm, 2:00 pm-5:00 pm

  3. Notify Ms. Dawn Kneeland by Email (kneeland@nwfsc.edu) when you have received notification of your fingerprint and background screening.
  4. Once the background clearance letter has been returned to Ms. Kneeland, the student will be eligible to begin a field experience. A copy of the clearance letter will be given to the student for the student's personal records. A copy will be maintained in the student's file in the teacher education department


***Florida students who have resided in a state other than Florida within the past five years of attempting to obtain a screening should call Ms. Dawn Kneeland in the Teacher Education Office (850-729-6440) for instructions on obtaining a fingerprint and background clearance.

Fingerprinting Procedures for Students Outside of Okaloosa and Walton Counties

Students residing outside of Okaloosa or Walton county, and the state of Florida are required to follow the fingerprint and background clearance procedures of the center where they are employed or completing the field placement. Students should submit a copy of their fingerprint and background clearance to Ms. Dawn Kneeland in the Teacher Education Office. Documents may be scanned and emailed to kneeland@nwfsc.edu. Students may not begin the field placement until these documents have been received.