Screening, Interviewing and Nanny Background Checks

Nanny Background Checks: All you need to know guide to nanny background checking


Why do a nanny criminal background check?

Before hiring a nanny, most families carefully search through dozens or more nanny profiles, carefully interview several candidates and then call references. The decision to hire a nanny can be an agonizing one. Bringing someone you barely know into your home to care for your children is always a bit scary. The more information you can gather about a potential nanny, the more informed and educated your hiring decision will be. The final screening step, the background check, shouldn't be skipped. The peace of mind it will bring you is more than worth the cost.

I'm running a background check on my nanny, but what do I check?

It's hard to imagine that in this era of the Internet there is no reliable national criminal database for nanny background checks that is accessible by the public. Therefore the "gold standard" for nanny background checks involves several specific checks.

The first check is to verify a candidate's identity and address history through a Social Security Number check. The Social Security Number check will ensure that the name and Social Security Number match and will provide a list of current and past addresses for the nanny. This important check is done so that a decision can be made on which county court records should be searched.

The next step is to run a national database check. The national database we use has over 300,000,000 records in it from all states. While this check should not be used as a standalone tool, because the databases can be outdated and the type of information held can vary from state to state, it is a good tool to use in combination with other checks.

After these first two checks are complete, a county search is conducted. County checks should be conducted in counties where the nanny has lived over a reasonable period of time, generally seven years.

What other types of checks can be performed on nannies?

In addition to national and county criminal records searches, there are other background screening tools employers can use to gather information about the nanny they wish to hire. These include:
  • Credit Report
  • Civil Records Search
  • Driving Records
  • Sexual Offender list (This can be searched free of charge at
  • Drug Testing

What are the legal requirements for criminal background checking?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (which applies to more than just credit checks) requires that when employment is involved, a written release from the employee is required to perform a background check. eNannySource has a state-of-the-art electronic signature system that spares nannies from revealing their confidential information to parents prior to hiring and saves the family lots of time securing the nanny's signature. Link to FTC users of background checks

What are the limitations of the nanny background checks?

When it comes to nanny background checks, there are no guarantees that the information is current, up to date or completely accurate. This is because there can be lag time in the recording of data and updating of systems, because different states handle data differently and because people are involved, mistakes can be made.

Also, since there is a charge for each type of check that you order, your budget may also limit the results. Running many county searches can get costly, for example, which is why our Nanny Assured Silver and our Nanny Assured Ultimate are wise buys. For more information on nanny background checks, including for part time nannies and summer nannies, click on these links.

Background checks are just one of the important tools that should be used in the nanny screening process. It is the parents' obligation to learn as much information about their potential hire as possible so that they can make an informed and educated hiring decision.

For more information on nanny background checks, including for part time nannies and summer nannies, click on these links.


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