Nanny Background Check: List of Tips for Screening Caregivers

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Nanny Background Checks

If you are considering hiring a nanny, babysitter or other type of caregiver to provide support for your children, there are a number of important things to consider. The process of hiring a nanny should consist of at least two parts. First, you should conduct a thorough interview with those who apply for the position. Second, you should conduct a nanny background check to gather additional data and information on the person.

List of Questions for Applicants

Following is a list of questions to ask potential candidates during the initial interview. During the interview, pay attention to the applicant’s demeanor, comfort level and knowledge of their craft.

First, start with some icebreaker questions. Examples include: Tell me about yourself? How long have you worked in child care? What do you like most about caring for others? Other general questions might be: What are your strongest qualities? Are you willing to drive the children?  How is your driving record? Any arrests? Where have you lived the past ten years and for how long? Do you have references?

Then, ask a few questions about their academic / educational background. Ask questions such as: What high school did you attend? Where did you go to college? What did you major in? What was your favorite subject and why? What types of childcare classes did you take?

Next, ask questions about their personal life. For example: Where did you grow up? How would you describe your childhood? Tell me about your family.

Other things to discuss include:

  • Safety questions – Do you have certifications in CPR, first responder training, and first aid? Have you ever had a child that was injured? What would you do if a child bumped their head?
  • Age specific – What do you do to quiet a baby? What activities stimulate a child’s mind? Have you ever potty trained a child? How would you teach a toddler good eating habits?

What’s Included in a Nanny Background Check?

Quite often, online profiles and resumes don’t reflect the actual truth. In addition, people stretch the truth in interviews because they want to present themselves in the best light. If you want to know more about an applicant, consider doing a nanny background check. A nanny background check is not any different from those done on prospective employees, loan applicants, or gun buyers. Although, you may interpret the information differently because you’re hiring someone to care for your child.

A background investigation for a caregiver my include some combination of the following:

  • Verify residential history. This type of check looks at where the person lives or used to live. Don’t discount the importance of this basic information. Does the applicant have ANY residential history? Does the person move around a lot? Were the residences in their name? Do they have a residence in your local area? Is the history consistent with what you discussed in the interview?
  • Verify employment history. The types of jobs the applicant held in the past will give an indication of their ability to be a good caregiver. Look for experience working with people, especially with children.
  • Verify academic credentials. Did the applicant attend school? If so, where? Is this information consistent with what they have on their resume?
  • Criminal History Search. Does the applicant have a criminal record? Generally, any type of criminal record should be viewed as a deal breaker. If the applicant is willing to break the law, they should generally not be trusted with your children. This is not a hard and fast rule.
  • Sex offender registry check. This is a critical step in the investigation process. Learn how to find out if a sex offender lives in your area.
  • Driving History. A driving history check will tell you if you can trust the applicant to drive with your child. This looks for traffic tickets and citations and automobile accidents.
  • Professional License Check. Looks to see if the individual has any professional licenses, include those related to child care.
  • Liens and Judgments. Outstanding liens and judgments can provide a snapshot of a person’s accountability. Also, a person in a bad financial situation may be motivated to steal from you and your home.

How to Run a Nanny Background Check?

When it comes to ordering the actual background check, you generally have two choices. The first option: hire someone to do it for you. There are a number of reputable background investigation services that will do all of the leg work for a fee. Learn more about background checks and get a list of companies that do background checks.

The other option is to do the work yourself. If you prefer this option, we recommend BeenVerified’s Background Check. BeenVerified allows you to search billions of public records online in just a few seconds. Search for criminal records, arrest records, bankruptcies and more. In addition, you can find people using address, phone number and email lookups. BeenVerified offers an easy and affordable way to run a background check. Visit BeenVerified’s Background Check search to get started.

After Hiring a Nanny

Once you’ve made a hiring decision and the nanny, babysitter or caregiver is working in your home, what’s next? You may want to keep an eye on them using cameras. In most cases, you are better off making everyone aware that the cameras exist. Recording someone with a hidden camera is illegal in most states. If you still want to do it covertly, take a look at the latest Hidden Cameras.

In addition, a parent should continue to monitor the safety of the child. The following is a list of signs of a good caregiver:

  • Your child appears to be happy when they are with the nanny
  • Your child says nice things about the caregiver
  • The caregiver arrives on time, stays the required amount of time, and stays with you until the job is finished
  • The caregiver is proactive, makes suggestions, and calls problems (or potential problems) to your attention
  • Your child’s behavior is consistent when the caregiver isn’t around

If you have any questions about conducting a nanny background check, please leave a comment below.

 

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