Getting a Nanny Background Investigation is Essential Before Hiring
Nannies and babysitters can be found in a variety of ways. Typically, you can find someone to watch your child long or short-term through online websites where young women and men can advertise their expertise. Often, such as in the case of my younger brother and his beloved nanny, word of mouth and recommendations from others whose children have outgrown their nanny are commonplace in close-knit communities. Of course there is also the traditional method of using a nanny placement agency who choose a nanny based on yours and your child’s needs.
While all of these hiring methods do play a large role in nanny and babysitter selection, it is ultimately you, the parent(s), who are the deciding factor in whether or not you can trust the person you are putting your child in the care of. The first impression and in-person interview with your potential “employee” can make or break your decision to hire them. However, it is best to gather as much information about your child’s caretaker as possible, regardless of your personal impression, to guarantee that who you are hiring is the person they claim to be and to ensure that your child is in the best possible care. In one of our previous blogs we discussed what to look for when interviewing/screening a potential nanny, below is an extensive list of the standard that we hold ourselves to when doing nanny background screenings to ensure you and your child’s safety.
Confirming Their Identity
The most important factor in a nanny background investigation is, of course, ensuring that the person you are considering is actually who they say they are. Through cross-reference of the potential hire’s name, DOB, SSN, and other factors, it can be confirmed whether or not the name and information given matches the facts. If it does not match up, there may be a reason they are withholding information which calls for a deeper investigation. No one wants to hire someone, let alone trust them with their child, if they are deemed as untrustworthy from the get-go. Verification of identity is critical in a nanny-background investigation.
Verifying Their Social Security Number
The Social Security Number verification, which falls under “Confirming Their Identity”, is really the key factor in criminal background checks, included with nanny background investigations. In the process of verifying an individual’s SSN, information is received from credit reporting bureaus, which gather personalized information related to an individual’s application for credit, open utility accounts, etc. By verifying someone’s Social Security Number, names, addresses and phone numbers that are related to the individual are also uncovered, which can further expose any nefarious activity that they may be trying to hide.
Checking Criminal Record
Criminal records can range anywhere from traffic violations to past jail time. Checking a potential nanny’s criminal background is also one of the key elements of a nanny background investigation, as some records may not be available publically and require a deeper investigation. While many online sites advertise a free background check, they are typically referring to conducting a national registry search, which is an electronic database search. The national search should be used in conjunction, NOT in place of county court records checks because they are often outdated and do not house all records for all states. When requesting a criminal background check on your potential babysitter or nanny, you want to make sure that all negative information is exposed, not just some, to once again full reassure yourself that the person you are hiring has a squeaky clean record.
Sex Offender Registry
Every person who receives a background investigation from Striker Pierce is run through the national sex offender registry, and this is especially important when hiring nannies. Sometimes overlooked, checking if someone has been accused as a sex offender is obviously a deal-breaker in the hiring process.
Search of Civil Records
A civil records search is also imperative to a nanny background investigation just as anything else. By running a civil records search, information regarding liens and/or judgments made against the nanny are exposed. While this is not so much of a safety hazard as others, it can reveal crucial information about your potential hire that should be known.
Review of their Motor Vehicle Record
It is important for nannies who are transporting children to do so safely and responsibly. Striker Pierce can confirm that the nanny has a clean driving records, free from DUIs, OUIs and tickets for reckless or irresponsible driving. In some states, employers can request a copy of an individual’s driving record, but in other states, the individual must request the copy and present it to the employer for review.
While many nannies feel that a credit check is too intrusive and has nothing to do with the quality of care that they will provide the children, it can provide insight into a someone’s credit history. While this is not of the utmost importance, it could reveal financial troubles, which could be a source of significant stress for the nanny candidate and reveal if they will be handling their earnings responsibly.
License and Training Verification
Striker Pierce can confirm that the information a nanny candidate has presented about her educational background, training and licensing is not falsified. This is done by requesting copies of transcripts and diplomas and contact schools, colleges and licensing boards to verify the information provided. This can further include any other certificates or licenses that the nanny claims to have.
Social Media “Index” Search
Because social media is not an “official” record, searching and analyzing personal social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, MySpace (referred to as an “Index Search”) and others is often overlooked. Through these sites, the lifestyle of the potential nanny is revealed which can expose early indicators of inappropriateness, substance abuse, and other issues that may affect your child. By being aware of the characteristics of the nanny’s social life, interests, and associates it can be better understood what the potential hire is like when you are not around.
While no background check can offer a guarantee that a candidate is free and clear or wrongful doing or will be in the future, thorough background checks can certainly reveal information about a candidate that can help parents make informed and educated hiring decisions. At Striker Pierce LLC, we are here to help in maintaining the safety of your home and your family. Our extensive nanny background checks go beyond simply checking records, and are designed to make sure your potential hire is a perfect for your family.
If you have any further questions regarding a nanny background check, feel free to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to one of our Investigators directly at (571)-451-4833. Because you deserve to know.
citation: Erin (4nannies.com), June 2012