This week’s parenting topic: Background checks on in-home childcare providers…Are they necessary?
What are your thoughts on background checks? Did you require your in-home childcare provider to have a background check? Did a childcare provider decline the position after you asked for a background check? Did you find that a background check was a useful tool in helping you hire (or not hire) your childcare provider?
Besides parenting questions in the form of “How do I ___?”, the next most popular questions we receive are regarding the concerns around hiring in-home childcare; from the occasional babysitter to a live-in nanny.
Based on your childcare needs, there are many options to consider. In the very beginning when you are bringing your infant home from the hospital, you might choose the assistance of a baby nurse or a post-partum doula. They can be crucial in getting you through the first few weeks of adjusting to your new life with your baby. Later, you may also consider a nanny, au pair, babysitter, mother’s helper and a neighbor, just to name a few. (For descriptions of these childcare positions, and a rough price estimate for Nassau County, click here.)
The biggest concern surrounding this issue is, “How do I know I can trust the person who will be caring for my child(ren)?” This is something that I do not take lightly. In my 14 plus years as a nanny and now as a parent, I have pretty much seen the very best and worst of in-home childcare providers.
So when a parent asks me if I think they should conduct a background check on a potential in-home childcare provider I say, “If that is something that will make you feel more secure then, yes, ask for one.” I do believe that you need to go with your gut instinct. If for any reason you are not sure then do not try to talk yourself out of your intuitive feelings.
If you are considering a background check for your potential employee, the following background check companies have high ratings according to the Better Business Bureau…People Finder, US Search and Intelius.
Next week I will have tips and suggested questions for when you are interviewing an in-home childcare provider.
Please share your opinions and personal stories regarding your experience with background checks for in-home childcare providers in the comment area below. You can also contact us at ParentsRTalking@gmail.com or visit www.ParentsRTalking.com.
(Editor's Note: The opinions in this article are those of Parents “R” Talking. The opinions are not medical advice. Always consult your pediatrician about any changes you are contemplating.)