From showing toddlers some of dad’s adult movies to tattooing the letter ‘A’ onto a child’s bottom, all sorts of can go awry when leaving your kids in the care of a complete stranger. Hiring a nanny or babysitter is a risky business because you never know whether it’ll be Mary Poppins or Freddy Krueger that appears on your doorstep.
Parents have come home to see the kid’s supervisor smoking a joint – in one occasion the girl even flashed a young boy in an attempt to bribe him – or find signs of abuse. The bottom line is that the credibility and criminal history of a nanny needs to be checked, whether by asking for their credentials or by conducting a background search.
Professional Agencies Aren’t Always the Solution
When someone shares a story about the careless behavior of a babysitter – such as letting the kids taste alcohol or serving them spoiled food – the common response is to cite the trustworthiness of nanny agencies because they screen each of their employees beforehand. However, contacting an agency isn’t necessarily a viable option for everyone. Some families cannot consider paying the higher fees of such a service, while others are desperately looking for a last-minute substitute because the regular babysitter has called in sick.
When the unexpected happens, parents tend to ask around in their friends circle for a nanny who is always available and affordable. Even if they come recommended, this is how you end up with someone with a questionable background. Just because another couple from down the street is satisfied with the nanny’s performance, it doesn’t mean they won’t cause a ruckus in your home. Luckily there is a quick and cheap way to do a screening for yourself in five minutes.
Swift Results With Public Data Search Engines
Background check sites scour the internet in a flash and look up all the available public records about a target subject. They include everything from genealogy, arrest records, address history, social media accounts, and even driving records. If the data is digitalized, then the search engines will surely find it. Looking up info on your nanny is surprisingly easy, as most sites only require the target’s full name and current state, although similar results can be gained by entering the phone number or address.
The actual difficulty lies in finding a fitting screening site. There are free people search engines that return with basic background check information – full name, family tree, social network etc. – but these leave out criminal records, which is the most important aspect when it comes to finding someone to protect your children. You’ll also come across search sites dedicated to screening nannies but don’t let yourself be fooled; they use the same kind of technology as any screening service, but charge twice as much. The prudent option is to look for a background check site that finds arrest records but that also lets you purchase individual reports instead of asking for a subscription.
What Are the Most Important Credentials?
When hiring a new nanny, be sure to gather as much information about them as possible to cross-check later. This includes references from previous families, certifications, and even their driving license. If the person is uncomfortable about this, then it’s a good indication – though not necessarily proof – that they might have something to hide. However, any nanny that has a good reputation and a flawless track record will likely understand your apprehension and should be more than happy to satisfy your curiosity.
While doing a background check on the babysitter – which is absolutely legal, since the results are pulled from public records – be sure to thoroughly peruse the arrest records and see whether they have a history of being violent or abusive. Going through their Facebook and Twitter posts is also a good idea, considering that young people often show their true colors on their favorite social media site. Nevertheless, don’t feel bad hunting for such knowledge to find the perfect nanny, ultimately it’s the physical and mental well-being of your children on the line here.