Nikki Thomas

How to Perform a Nanny Background Check

A step-by-step guide to help in selecting the right caregiver for your children.

How to Perform a Nanny Background Check
Questions you should ask a potential nanny and past employers, plus online resources to help screen nannies. | PeopleWhiz

Are you planning to hire a child caretaker but don't know how to perform a nanny background check? You've come to the right place.

With misdemeanors concerning babysitters reported annually, entrusting a nanny with the safety and wellbeing of your children is a momentous decision. Since the caretaker will be spending several hours alone in the sanctum of your home each week, you must do all you can to select an individual who personifies mental and physical stability, coupled with a wealth of experience and expertise, to deliver reliable care to your little one in your absence.

Here is a step-by-step guide to conduct a nanny background check like a pro.

A web search is the easiest way to run a nanny background check. Simply type the nanny's name in the search box. For more specific results, try adding nanny and the city/area in the search field.

When hiring a nanny, you should choose a loving and caring person with good morals. Looking for a nanny on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram) could help you get to know them better personally.

Step 3: Identity Verification

Ask them for ID, such as a passport or driver's license. Ensure that it isn't flimsy or altered. Next, verify their date of birth, name, ZIP code, address, contact details, appearance, and height.

Step 4: Schedule an Interview

Arrange an initial interview with the candidate. Families can interview at their residence, enabling the nanny to meet the children, or they may choose a public venue like a coffee shop. We encourage you to select the setting that makes you feel most at ease. Here are some questions to ask the nanny.

  • How much experience do you have?
  • What kind of environments or settings have you worked in?
  • Why would you be the best candidate for the job?
  • What are your values in terms of child development?
  • Do you have a family? Are you close with them?
  • Where were you born?
  • What would you say are your best qualities?
  • What ages of children have you cared for?
  • Do you have a degree? What is it?
  • Are you professionally qualified to take care of my child?
  • Do you know how to give first aid and CPR?
  • Can you provide us with professional and personal references?
  • Do you have pet allergies or any medical conditions we should know about?

Note that every child is unique. Thus, ask the nanny questions specific to your child's age. For instance, are they comfortable babysitting a toddler?

Step 5: Set Up a Trial Interview

Once you are satisfied with the nanny's answers, schedule an interview/meet-up with your child. Plan it after school or on the weekend to see if your child gets along with the caretaker.

Step 6: Talk to Past Employers

Ask the nanny to provide the names and contact info of previous employers. Reach out to them. Some questions that you should ask previous employers include:

  • How punctual was the nanny?
  • Why did the nanny leave the job?
  • How long did the nanny work for you?
  • Were you satisfied with their work ethics?
  • Anything else I should know about the nanny?

Step 7: Talk to Friends and Family

For personal references, ask the nanny to give you contact details of their family members or friends. Even though these people may be biased, talking to them will give you a better idea of the nanny's character and personality.

Step 8: Verify the Nanny's Education Records

Question the nanny about their educational background and ask them to provide details of their school, college, or university and the program in which they studied or got a degree. Reach out to the educational institute or use a third-party tool to verify the information.

Step 9: Check Criminal Records, Sex Offender Registry, and Driver's License

Request the local DMV to provide you with the candidate's driving record. For this, you must supply the nanny's name, birthday, driver's license number, and an authorization form. Look for the childcare provider's name in the national sex offender registry and state criminal records. The leading online background search service PeopleWhiz is extremely useful in researching a nanny's history.

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Step 10: Utilize Online Nanny Background Check Platforms

In addition to PeopleWhiz, you can use any of the below-mentioned FCRA (Fair Credit Report Act–compliant nanny background check websites to learn more about the childcare provider.


eNannySource is a reliable platform that offers multiple packages for detailed nanny background checks. The site acquires and verifies information from over 650 million national criminal records, sex offender registries, Social Security Number traces, county court records from recent and prior counties, driving records, and national alias searches.

Connecting you with reputable child and adult caregivers, is a digital platform designed to simplify finding and hiring a nanny. The screening process includes a Social Security Number trace, a search on the national sex offender registry, and multijurisdictional (federal and county) criminal records checks. You can also request additional background checks on caregivers.

Essential Components of a Nanny Background Check

To conduct a comprehensive background search on a prospective nanny, you should scrutinize their records from multiple angles. You will need the following information to perform an exhaustive examination of the caretaker's professional and personal background.

Identity confirmation.

Public records are predominantly organized and indexed by name, allowing criminal offenders or sexual predators to elude detection by assuming an alias. Nevertheless, search tools are capable of using a person's Social Security Number (SSN) to authenticate their identity. A detailed SSN check can ascertain the names or aliases linked to the provided SSN, encompassing maiden names, previous names prior to a legal name change, and assumed identities.

Driving records.

Nannies often bear the responsibility of transporting children to and from school, sports practices, and other engagements, so be sure they're a good driver. The presence of concerning entries on a motor vehicle record could influence a family's decision to employ a caregiver, or alternatively, it may impact the responsibilities assigned to that individual.

Criminal records.

Parents should always prioritize examining criminal records when performing a nanny background check. It is crucial for individuals to be aware of any prior instances of drug offenses, violence, reckless behavior, embezzlement, theft, or other convictions that may pose a potential risk to a child or family. You can easily obtain this information from the local, regional, or state police departments.

Social Security Number.

Searching on the nanny's Social Security Number can turn up past names or aliases. Additionally, SSN tracing will provide you with address histories that you can use to conduct geographical inquiries encompassing examinations of a nanny's driving history, criminal records, and court archives.

Furthermore, running complementary searches, such as finding out any civil or court cases, can provide information about child custody disputes, lawsuits, child support disagreements, and related concerns that bear relevance to the candidate's capacity to undertake essential childcare responsibilities.

Reference check.

No one can understand, know, and judge a nanny's ability to connect with children, their personality, their work style, and other caretaking attributes better than the people who used to employ that nanny. Therefore, it is customary for parents to request multiple references. Look for past employers who can vouch for the nanny's overall suitability.

Drug test.

The use of illicit drugs poses a significant risk to children, either through direct exposure to harmful substances or by entrusting their care to individuals impaired in alertness, response times, judgment, or motor functions as a result of drug influence. To screen for these potential dangers, drug testing may be incorporated as a vital component of the nanny background check to mitigate these risks.

Sex offender registry.

Search for the potential nanny's name in the national sex offender registry. This will help you that ensure you aren't leaving your child with a creep.

Child neglect and abuse records.

Similarly, you should check child neglect and abuse registries, which maintain records of individuals convicted of mistreating children. These registries are an important resources to help safeguard children.

Nanny Background Check Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you still have questions? In this section, we address some of the most commonly asked questions about conducting a nanny background check.

Q: What Is the Right Time to Carry Out a Nanny Background Check?

Parents should perform a background check during the nanny screening process. Once you have found a nanny that you are willing to hire, make the job offer in conjunction with telling them about your intent to perform a background check. Ask them to wait for three or four days so that you have sufficient time to run a background check. The nanny must be informed that the job offer depends on the outcome of a comprehensive background screening.

Q: Should Your Nanny Know That You Are Conducting a Background Check?

Yes, it is your responsibility to tell the nanny that you will be performing a background check and get consent before starting. Some steps, like DMV records, require written permission from the nanny.

Q: What Kind of Personal Information Is Required to Perform a Nanny Background Check?

Information needed to conduct a comprehensive nanny background check includes the candidate's Social Security Number (SSN), address, date of birth, and full name.

Q: Is It Possible to Run a Nanny Background Check Without a Social Security Number?

Yes, you can easily run a nanny background check without a social security number, since a person's name is the primary search term. However, having the nanny's SSN will make obtaining essential information easier. For example, it may find that the person worked under a different name.

Final Words: Your Child's Safety Depends on a Nanny Background Check

In conclusion, conducting a nanny background check is an indispensable step in selecting the right caregiver for your children. It offers valuable insights into a potential nanny's past and helps identify any red flags that may affect their suitability for the role. However, a background check is just one piece of the puzzle. To make an informed decision, parents should consider a holistic approach, combining the background check results with other screening options. Evaluating a candidate's education, experience, and, most importantly, their connection with your children is crucial to ensure a harmonious and secure environment. Trust your instincts and rely on all available tools to ensure that you find a nanny who not only meets the necessary criteria but also fosters a loving and nurturing environment for your child's wellbeing.

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