In the many years I’ve been in the nanny business I’ve heard so many times from families that didn’t use a nanny agency say they’ve done a nanny background check as if that means they’ve screened the nanny. I’ve felt they feel like they’ve done what was really necessary to vet their new hire. My guess is that what underlies this is the anxiety of hiring a nanny that they’re bringing into their home to care for their children without really knowing how to screen a nanny.
I’m not sure why some families don’t do everything necessary to assure themselves that they’ve really checked their new nanny out. Recently a nanny told me that she actually hands out nanny hiring materials to families that are interested in her from online nanny sites. My guess is that harried, busy families simply don’t have the time and knowledge to really screen a nanny fully, so they hang their hat on a nanny background check and call it a day.
Here’s what nanny background checks can do. They can match up the name with the SSN, they can do a nationwide background check, and they can do county criminal checks and provide you with a driving report. All together these checks are as good as it gets in an imperfect world to avoid hiring a nanny with a criminal record or DUI.
Here’s what nanny background checks can’t do. They can’t help prevent you from hiring a complete irresponsible jerk! They won’t help you hire a loving, caring engaged person to take care of your children. They can’t even prevent you from hiring someone who’s stolen from other families, but hasn’t been caught yet.