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10 Common Issues Found in Nanny Background Checks

November 2, 2011

When an agency or employer runs a background check on a nanny candidate, there are several things they can check for. They can check criminal history, driving history and falsification of identity. Some agencies or employers also run credit checks on potential employees.

The majority of background checks on potential nannies don’t bring up any concerns, which is exactly what you want to happen. On the background checks that do uncover issues, there are several that are the most common to be found.

  1. No Driver’s License – For some families this would not be an issue, but for many it would be. It limits the nanny to public transportation, a cab or another driver to get her and the children to any location.
  2. Suspended Driver’s License – This could certainly be a concern for parents who were expecting the nanny to provide transportation for the children at different times. The reason for the suspension could be a cause for concern also, especially if it was alcohol related.
  3. Poor Driving Record – A background check will provide the full driving record of the individual during the previous years. A long history of traffic violations for speed, careless driving or driving under the influence would be a big red flag on a background check for a nanny.
  4. Convictions for Theft – Previous convictions for theft or shoplifting are a serious issue for any employee that you would be allowing to enter your home, and especially one that would be on the premises unsupervised.
  5. Illegal Drug Use – A history of illegal drug use can become evident through the criminal history check. Another issue that employers are not likely to overlook in a nanny candidate.
  6. Active warrants – If the individual has active warrants issued against them by law enforcement agencies, these may show up on a background check. It is important to remember that a warrant is not a conviction of a crime, but it is still is reason for concern if the nanny did not reveal the information herself.
  7. Name- ID number mismatch – Running a background check can identify a mismatched name and social security number or drivers license number. This can be an innocent mistake in writing down a number, but it could also be an indication of a person attempting to falsify their identity or hide some sort of information in their background.
  8. Name DOB mismatch – A background check can also show up a date of birth that doesn’t match with a name. Another possible identity flag.
  9. Workers Compensation Claims – Many people don’t realize that workers compensation claims can show up on a background check.
  10. False work history – False reporting of work history can be exposed from a background check by crosschecking facts on the background check with the dates and places listed for past employment.

All these items show how important it is to run a background check on every nanny applicant.


6 Responses to 10 Common Issues Found in Nanny Background Checks

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brad says:

the no driver’s license/suspended driver’s license is crucial for me – we rely on our nanny to transport our kids around, so a nanny with no license just wouldn’t work for us. thanks for the info.

Kori Kline says:

Running a background check is so, so important! We thought we had found THE nanny, only to later run a check and discover that she had a warrant out and several tickets/misdemeanors on her record. Things aren’t always what they seem and it definitely pays to do your homework prior to hiring!

John Pukallus says:

I run my own security and investigations business and I believe that you should really adopt the suggestions in this article. I have an e-book due out soon titled ‘Background Check Guide(U.S. Edition)”. It will be released for free and is designed to give people an idea on how to thoroughly screen someone whether it be your neighbor, nanny or new boyfriend/girlfriend. The principles for background screening are Identity, Integrity and Credentials. You can use an online background check database to conduct some of the checks combined with your own inquiries. If you follow these principles you will have peace of mind in that you have made an truly informed decision with regards to selecting that nanny. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I have also reviewed and posted links to the top online background check companies on my website. This will save you sifting through all of the below avergage products around. Thanks and good luck.

admin says:

Thanks for commenting – we’ll keep an eye out for your e-book!!

Daria says:

While I definitely understand the concern that families face when they run a background check and find mishaps in a nanny’s past, I also hope they don’t solely judge her character on a piece of paper. I’ve made mistakes in the past and learned from them, and I would never, ever do anything to jeopardize my job or my charges, no matter what bad decisions I previously made.

admin says:

Thanks for the input and for shedding light on the other side of background checks! It’s always great to have a good dialogue going, and you’re right – not everyone is going to be a bad choice simply because they previously made mistakes.