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How to Run a Background Check on your Nanny

For so many of us, it is an unfortunate reality that we cannot be with our children as much as we might wish.  Life demands so much of us and the need to keep our children safe and cared for often forces us to trust others with that care.  I am intimately aware of the worry that constantly eats away at you when someone else is caring for your child… especially when that child is too young to tell you about how things are with their caretaker.  You do all you can to ensure that you hire someone who will be kind and caring.  But how can you truly know who that person is?  What do they act like when you are away?  Is there anything in their past that, if you were to know about it, would keep you from hiring them?

Fortunately, I found a way to dramatically decrease my risk level while increasing my peace of mind.  It is by using online background check services.  You may be tempted to stop reading at this point… you may think that it is too expensive or too hard to figure out… do yourself a favor and read on.  You will be surprised at how easy this has become!  When I first considered utilizing online background check services to ensure the safety of my daughter, I felt a little nervous… Was this an invasion of that person’s privacy?  After much thought, I came to the conclusion that my daughter’s safety is more important than anything and outweighs all other factors.  Plus, all a background check service does is search databases full of public record information… stuff we have a legal right to know!  It’s not like you are hiring a private investigator to take pictures of them or dig through their trash (both of those are legal but start to cross my personal boundary into creepiness).

The background check services I use are extremely user friendly… you don’t need any technical ability at all!  And it is completely anonymous.  The person you conduct a background check on will never know the information was accessed.  The best part is that you get to do it in your own home (assuming you have a computer with internet access) so nothing even passes through the mail… you can save or print the report yourself.

I believe this is a service that every parent should use regularly.  If my child’s potential nanny has a felony record I want to know about it… even if it was dismissed.  If they are being sued in court by some other parents, I want to know about it.  All of this and more will be included on the background check report (if you use a valid service that is).  First I will walk you through how to run the report and then I can offer some recommendations from my personal experience as to which services I think are the best.

How To Run the Background Check?

This is so simple it is almost not worth it for me to add steps but I will just so you see how easy it truly is…

  1. Gather some basic data on the person such as first, middle (if possible) and last name, home and/or cell phone number, address, where they lived before, approximate age (you can just guess on this) and anything else you might be able to learn.  Much of this could even be gathered through an application or the interview itself.
  2. Login to your service (to be chosen later).
  3. You will be presented with many different search fields.  The more information you fill in, the easier it will be to narrow things down until you find the right Jane Doe.
  4. Once you are certain you have found the correct person, you just click a button to run the report (this is where you generally are charged the fee which we will discuss later).
  5. The report will be on your screen in moments with an option to print it out at your convenience.

How To Find A Reliable Service?

There are so many good and bad options out there.  I have spent the last 7 months researching and testing background check services for a consumer review site (  I tell you this so you know that I have personally tested every product recommended by!  The best place to start is probably to just read the reviews on the top ranked background check products.  Those reviews are available by clicking here.  These services are the best you can find!  Each company has access to over 3 billion records.  And one really important point is that the report you run will be nationwide.  That way you don’t have to be concerned with not finding someone’s record if they just moved in from out of state.  Once you find them in the system you will have their entire address history, court records (marriage, bankruptcy, law suits, etc), criminal record in any state (even juvenile offenses can be listed), and most important, nationwide sex offender registry search!

In the end, it is all about the safety of our children.  Making sure your child’s nanny (or any in-home worker) is not a predator in disguise is your responsibility as a parent!  We must take it upon ourselves to ensure that our children are completely safe!  We have the tools at our fingertips to ensure that no predators slip through the system where they can have contact with our kids!

If you have any comments, questions or concerns about this article, please feel free to email me at

July 6, 2009 - Posted by | Background Checks, Children, Criminal Records, Investigative Parenting, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , ,

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