Nanny Background Checks

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Are Instant Background Checks Safe?

When a nanny background check is being conducted, you might find that the potential nanny job is on hold for days. A background check can take from a few days to a week to be completed, so why don't employees conduct an instant background check and therefore, expedite the process? Here's why.

It's rare that an instant background check can legally be used when screening for employment. The information that is returned is often outdated and instant background checks don't usually search enough databases for information. An employer wants to use the proper channels when completing a background check because they want the most current and detailed information about you. After all, you will be caring for their most prized possession: their children.

Civil Court Record Check

Along with a regular background check, a family might also conduct a civil court record check on you. A civil court record check will reveal if you've had any lawsuits filed against you for damages, bankruptcy or personal injury. While it may seem a bit intrusive for a family to check into your financial past, you must remember that they are trying to be as thorough as possible to ensure you are the right candidate to care for their children. If you have any lawsuits filed against you, the family might ask you for more details surrounding the situation, but it doesn't mean they won't hire you. Simply be honest about the lawsuits and explain why it happened.

Know Your Background When Becoming a Nanny

When are applying for nanny jobs, it's important to know your background. When an employer wants to hire you, they will ask you to fill out a release form in order to do a background check. It can benefit you to know what is included on your background check in case an employer asks you to further explain something.

If you have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, it is always best to be upfront with the family who is hiring you. Know your history when applying to be a nanny and keep your communication with the family open.

What Else Can Employers Find in a Background Check?

When having a nanny background search conducted on you, the family will verify past addresses and jobs to ensure you are who you say you are. However, there are other types of things an employee can check out.

Don't be surprised if your employer also checks a national criminal database, which will compare your information to any criminal records. If you will be driving children around, the family will likely conduct a motor vehicle search. It is important for most parents to see that you have a safe driving history. You can also expect to have your name searched against the National Sex Offender Registry.

What is a Nanny Background Check?

If you are hired as a nanny by a family or through an agency, they will run a background check on you. A nanny background check will provide a variety of information to the family and it will be used to verify your address and social security number. By running your social security number, the agency or family will see all of your addresses in the last seven years and whether any other names or aliases were connected to that number.

Nanny background check information will also reveal any in-court records. If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the last seven years, it will show up on the nanny background check.

These checks on your background are typically conducted before you are officially hired as a nanny.

What is a Release Form?

When becoming a nanny, you should be prepared to have a nanny background search run on you. When this happens, you will be asked to sign a release form. Employers are required to have you sign this form because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), which says you are giving permission to release this information about yourself. When you sign this nanny background check, it is very important that you understand what the release form says. If you are unclear on something or don't understand what you are signing, ask questions. It is your right to do so.

Who Pays for the Nanny Background Check?

As a nanny, it is usually not your responsibility to pay for the background check that will be conducted on you.

If you are working with a nanny agency, they may pay for this service. In many cases, the nanny agency adds on an additional charge to the family paying them to find a nanny. So, ultimately, it is coming out of the family's pocket. If you are hired independently, the employer will pay a third party to conduct the background check and report the results back to them.

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 you can further check in your nanny background search.

1 - 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.

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

3 - 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.

4 - 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.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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