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My wife and I were faced with the daunting task of looking for a nanny before I went back to work. We were referred to you by my mother-in-law who I believe saw you on Dr. Phil. After just a few interviews, we found the perfect nanny! Thank you so much!!

Dave,Sausalito, CA

Nanny Background Checks

Being Thorough In Your Nanny Background Search

If you want to be thorough in your nanny background search, there are some areas you can check beyond the basics. Here are some areas of further research you can check in your nanny background search.

Character reference – Find out some personality traits about the applicant such as whether she’s warm and loving around children and whether she’s organized and punctual.

Drug testing – Drug testing is a way to make sure that an applicant is free from the use of illegal substances in her system.

Higher education verification – If you’re looking for a nanny with college credentials, you can check to see whether the information she’s given you is accurate.

Sex offender/child abuse registry – You can verify whether an applicant has a criminal record involving children.

Illegal Questions You Can’t Ask A Nanny

When conducting an interview, make sure you don’t venture into the realm of asking illegal questions to a nanny. It’s always best to keep the questions focused on items that relate to the candidate’s role as a nanny and how she will perform her job duties. The following is a list of illegal questions you don’t want to ask a nanny during an interview.

  • Don’t ask your nanny what her maiden name is.
  • Don’t ask your nanny if she has ever been arrested. However, you can ask if she has been convicted of a crime or has felony charges pending against her.
  • Don’t ask your nanny what year she was born.
  • Don’t ask your nanny what country she has citizenship with. However, you can ask if she is a U.S. citizen.

Questions You Should Ask During A Reference Check

During a nanny reference check, plan ahead with a short list of questions you want to ask previous employers so you can get a good idea of whether an applicant would make a good childcare provider for your family. Here’s a rundown of the basic questions you should cover.

  • During the reference check, ask if your nanny’s previous employer would hire her again and then find out why or why not.
  • Ask what specific things the nanny was skilled at versus areas that weren’t her strong points.
  • Find out why she no longer works for her previous employer.
  • Ask her previous employer to describe her relationship with the children.
  • Verify what dates she actually worked with her previous employer.

Six Legal Questions You Can Ask A Nanny Candidate

When you’re interviewing a nanny candidate, you should be aware that some questions are legal and some are not. It’s always important to maintain a level of professionalism as you’re interviewing candidates. Read on to find out what legal questions you can ask a nanny candidate.

  1. You can ask what a nanny’s full name is.
  2. You can ask if she has any criminal convictions.
  3. You can ask if she has any felony charges pending against her.
  4. You can ask if a nanny is over the age of 18.
  5. You can ask how long she has been a resident of the United States.
  6. You can ask if the nanny candidate is a U.S. citizen.

What You Can Get From A Nanny Background Check

When you decide to do a nanny background check, you can learn a great deal of information about a candidate. If you’re not sure what you should bother checking or what you’ll learn with nanny background checks, this guide will fill you in on the basics.

Credit History – The credit history determines how responsible a nanny has been in handling her finances. It’s more common these days than it used to be to check a nanny’s credit history.

Criminal Record- You’ll want to make sure your nanny doesn’t have any offenses on her criminal record that would make you uneasy about having her watching your children.

Driving Record – The driving record will fill you in on a nanny’s level of responsibility. You’ll learn things like whether there have been any alcohol or drug-related incidences, as well as a nanny’s driving history.

Employment – During the nanny background check, you will want to verify your nanny’s previous employment. This will verify the amount of experience that she has as well as how accurate the dates are that she’s given you.

Social Security – Checking your nanny’s social security information verifies that the number belongs to her and where she is living now or where she has lived previously.

Why It’s Important To Do The Background Check

Although it can be tempting to immediately hire the first nanny you come across who meets all the qualifications you’re looking for, it is definitely a smart decision to do a background check. Though in many cases, you won’t find anything that should deter you from hiring a nanny candidate, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. The nanny background check can reveal information you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to.

For example, take this case of a California nanny who drove her car into two children in a hit and run accident in 2003. Both children, ages 7 and 10, were killed. (The children were not under the nanny’s care.) A family hired her from an advertisement and neglected to do a background check. Had they done a background check of the nanny’s driving record, they would have found that the woman had her driver’s license suspended twice for a high blood-alcohol level. Such a marked driving record would be an instant red flag against hiring a nanny.