Babysitter Background Checks: Extra Steps to Help Keep Your Child Safe
As a parent, you want your child to receive the best care – especially when you are away from him or her. Thanks to a babysitter background check, you can hire a responsible babysitter who will provide your child with the care that he or she deserves.
How Does a Babysitter Background Check Work?
A babysitter background check is more than a traditional credit or employment background check. In fact, a babysitter background check provides access to the following babysitter information:
- Identity Verification: To run a babysitter background check, you’ll first need a babysitter’s full name, social security number and driver’s license number to confirm his or her identity. Or, if a babysitter is not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need his or her passport number and work permit for identity verification.
- Criminal Records: With a criminal records check, you can review a babysitter’s history of arrests, misdemeanor and felony convictions and incarcerations. CriminalWatchDog recommends requesting a babysitter’s address history for the past seven years; this information will help you determine if a state or national criminal records check is necessary.
- Driving Records: Your babysitter will likely need to drive your child to and from school, extracurricular activities and various appointments. If a babysitter has a driver’s license, your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can provide you with a copy of his or her driving records; these records will show a babysitter’s history of traffic and speeding tickets and other driving violations.
- Sex Offender Registry: The U.S. Department of Justice maintains The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website, which provides public access to sex offender data nationwide. Here, you can find out if a babysitter has a history of sexual abuse or crimes.
- Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Each state keeps records of child abuse and neglect, but state laws vary relative to child abuse and neglect records disclosure. Contact your local child protective services department to find out if you are eligible to screen a babysitter for past child abuse and neglect.
A babysitter background check often requires a parent to contact a babysitter’s professional references, too. It is generally a good idea to ask a babysitter for at least three references and to contact each one. Sittercity also provides a list of questions you can use when you contact a babysitter’s references so you can gain the insights you need to make an informed hiring decision.
Babysitter Hiring Tips
In addition to performing a babysitter background check, there are lots of things you can do to hire the right babysitter for your son or daughter, such as:
- Contact a local moms’ group
Local moms’ groups are available in cities and towns nationwide, and they are usually easy to find on Facebook and other social networks. A local moms’ group likely includes moms who have previously hired babysitters and can put you in touch with some of the best local babysitters.
- Use a babysitter service
Care.com, UrbanSitter and other online services can help you quickly evaluate local babysitters. They also perform babysitter background checks and give you the chance to meet with a babysitter before you finalize your hiring decision. To determine if an online babysitter search service is right for you, find out how the service works and read client reviews.
- Perform an initial babysitter interview
If you believe a babysitter is a good candidate, a face-to-face meeting is a must. This meeting allows you to speak directly to a babysitter, learn about his or her background and expertise and receive firsthand responses to any concerns or questions. It also gives a babysitter a chance to ask you questions and determine if there is a good fit for both parties.
- Learn about a babysitter’s basic first aid and CPR expertise
A good babysitter is prepared for any situation – even a cardiac emergency. Ask a babysitter if he or she has received basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Then, find out how he or she may respond to pediatric cardiac emergencies.
- Schedule a “working” babysitter interview
If a babysitter passes the first interview, you can next set up a “working” interview to see him or her in action with your child. A working interview provides a valuable learning opportunity because it enables you to see how a babysitter interacts with your child. If a working interview goes well, you may have found your babysitter.
The Bottom Line on Babysitter Background Checks
Why settle for an ordinary babysitter when you can hire one who has a history of excellent work? By performing an extensive babysitter background check, you can hire the babysitter that your child deserves.
Babysitter background checks frequently help a parent differentiate an ordinary babysitter from an exceptional one. If you conduct a comprehensive babysitter background check, you can receive insights into a babysitter’s background that you are unlikely to obtain elsewhere. Best of all, a babysitter background check can help you make an informed babysitter hiring decision that both you and your child can enjoy for years to come.