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How and Why to Perform a Background Check on Your Child Care Provider

If you’re a working parent, you’re far from alone. In today’s world, most parents don’t have the financial means to stay at home all day and take care of the children. Even if they do, it’s natural to want a break from time to time. Hiring a nanny or babysitter is a common way to ensure your children are taken care of when you’re away from the house.

Why Background Checks are Necessary

Do you really know your nanny? Many parents simply hire somebody they find on listings such as Craigslist, or based on a recommendation from a friend. Some go through a nanny agency. However, some agencies do not perform background checks on their employees, and somebody you find on the internet or through a friend may not be being entirely truthful about his or her history.

It may seem silly and overly paranoid to perform a background check on your nanny. After all, most people out there are not going to hurt your children and are perfectly capable of taking care of them properly. However, there is always the risk of hiring the one person out there who isn’t. A nanny may not have bad intentions, but if you don’t perform a background check, you may not find out until too late that he or she is not suited to take care of your children. In more sinister cases, you may find yourself sending your child to stay with somebody convicted of violent assault.

Particularly if you’re sending your child to a family day care, you must perform background checks on every adult in the home. It may seem embarrassing to request this information, especially if you learned about this person or service from a mutual friend. However, you are doing your job as a parent and there is no need to be embarrassed about prioritizing your child’s safety.

You’re not alone in your decision to background check your child care provider. Background checks on nannies and child care workers have gone up significantly over recent decades. Parents are more careful now than they used to be, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

A provider who objects to you checking up on him or her is likely not somebody you want taking care of your children. If he or she doesn’t understand the value you place on your child’s safety, he or she may not understand how to properly care for your child.

How To Perform a Background Check

Some background checks cost money. It’s good practice to offer to pay for these expenses yourself. Many would say that asking somebody you haven’t even hired yet to pay for these fees out of pocket isn’t ethical.

You can perform a criminal record check by asking the child care provider to obtain a copy from the local police department. Alternatively, you can hire a private investigator or security firm to do it for you.

Court records are public domain. You can access information about your candidate’s court history by going to the courthouse and looking it up yourself. A private detective can help, but isn’t necessary.

Another good place to look is the local department of motor vehicles. Rules vary by state, but typically for a small fee you can look up your candidate’s driving record. Finding out DUI’s and similar violations is extremely important for your child’s safety.

One of the most comprehensive checks you can do is a Social Security Number trace. You don’t need a candidate’s permission to conduct this search, and you can hire a detective or security firm to do it for you. This will reveal to you where the candidate has lived for the past seven years, indicating if he or she is withholding information from you.

To learn more about how to contact a thorough background check, contact Grey Law today.

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