Any parent hiring a caregiver for their child– or elderly parent for that matter– needs to have the information I am sharing here. It is imperative to have a background check on anyone working in your home with your children—or parents. Those cheapie checks ($9.95) you can get online are simply not good enough. That adage that you get what you pay for applies here. There have been too many sad stories in the news about caregivers hired online who have criminal histories missed by inadequate background checks. There is no excuse for a lack of due diligence. Unfortunately, parents who thought they were doing just that have been duped.
Here are the facts: The National Criminal Check sounds impressive and comprehensive, but unfortunately it is neither. It is not a thorough check. It covers felonies but not most misdemeanors. And most convictions are for misdemeanor offenses. Its data base is often outdated and incomplete . This check is not to be confused with an FBI check. Neither you nor I have access to that.
The following are the checks you do want done:
Social security number verification. This check will provide address history and former names used. If a caregiver lived in another state or part of the country, you want to know there is no bad history there.
Felony and misdemeanor checks in all locations where the candidate has lived during the past 7 years. At White House Nannies, we check all three jurisdictions in our area, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Driving record. If this person is going to be driving your children around, you need to know whether she’s had 4 speeding tickets, or is driving on a suspended license, or has no license.
National Sex Offender Registry. Clearly, anyone appearing on this list should be disqualified for working with any children.