Running a Babysitter Background Check

It is important that the person you are going to hire to look after your children is reliable and trustworthy. That is why many parents prefer to run a babysitter background check before leaving their children with someone new. These are some of the suggestions that might benefit you when it comes to hiring qualified babysitters.

Make sure that you check the references

If you are interviewing someone, you expect them to provide you with references. Make sure that you do not simply take them on their word, but call these references yourself. Make sure to ask for previous employers instead of family or friends. It is all right to ask the references if they are aware of other employers that your prospective hire has not mentioned yet. Make sure to rely on the questions we have mentioned in a previous article to get a picture of the babysitter’s history, level of responsibility, and work ethic.

Get permission in writing

You have to ask for written permission before you are able to perform a background check legally. Do not merely accept a “sure, no problem” verbally, but get it in writing. Keep it somewhere secure in the event that you need it again in the future.

Get relevant information

In order to have a proper babysitter background check, you need to have specific information about the person. This includes previous addresses, current address, social security number, and date of birth.

Decide what information you are looking for

Now you have to decide how thorough you want this search to be. Remember that a babysitter background check can be as simple as doing a criminal record search or might even involve a complete investigation. Because privacy laws vary from state to state, it is important to limit yourself to relevant information. A brief list of possible options includes:

  • Character and professional references – These references rate the dependability, warmth, kindness, experience, and level of professionalism of your potential babysitter.
  • Criminal background checks – Is there a record of criminal offenses that would make you think twice about this person watching your children?
  • Driver's records checks – Before you ever entrust a babysitter to transport your children, it is important to know if they have a good driving record.

Hire professionals to do it for you

One of the best ways to save some time and avoid any legal issues is by hiring professionals to help you with the background check.

Information that you CANNOT ask for

If you are conducting a babysitter interview and are trying to find more information to fill in some of the blanks during your babysitter background check, you have to keep in mind that there are some questions that you cannot ask your prospective hire. These include:

  • “When were you born – how old are you?” (You CAN ask if they are old enough to work)
  • “Where were you born?” (You CAN ask if they are able to work in the United States)
  • “What is your religion?”
  • “What is your race or ethnicity?”
  • “Are you currently married?”
  • “Are you disabled in any way?”
  • “Are you or do you intend to become pregnant soon?”

Why it matters

If you meet a babysitter who interviews well, it is tempting to forego the babysitter background check and simply hire them straight away. Remember that in most cases, you are not going to come across anything that is going to stop you from hiring your first choice anyway. However, as with most other things, it is better to err on the side of caution.

Doing a babysitter background check can reveal information that you might otherwise have never had. For example, would you feel comfortable letting someone into your home who has been convicted of theft? Especially if you are leaving them unattended near your belongings? There might be a number of factors that any prospective candidate is not going to tell you about. However, it is still important to know. It is good to know that you can find out this information by having a thorough background check done.

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