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How to Do a Background Check on a Babysitter

By Heather Montgomery ; Updated April 18, 2017
Be thorough when hiring a babysitter.

The process of choosing a babysitter to care for your child might involve a lot of unknowns; these unknowns include how well the babysitter will get along with your child and whether the sitter will provide the level of care you expect. One of the most important aspects of leaving your child in someone else’s care is knowing that the babysitter does not a criminal record, regardless of its nature. While some online babysitter and nanny services offer background check services, you might want to run a background check on a potential babysitter through a private service.

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Ask each potential babysitter for a list of professional references from families she has previously babysat for. Make sure she lists the name, address and phone number of the reference and the dates the family employed her.

Avoid asking questions about the candidate’s specific age, marital status, medical conditions, sexual orientation, race, religion or whether or not the candidate has ever been arrested. Questions of this nature might violate the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws.

Require the babysitter to sign a background check release form. As a potential employer, you are not legally able to obtain a background check, unless the potential employee consents, according to Backgroundcheck.org. If you plan to obtain a credit check, you must provide the candidate with a copy of the Fair Credit Report Act. On the form, ask the candidate to list his birth date, social security number, address, previous addresses and any aliases or names he might have previously used.

Contact your local police department to ask for recommendations on a background check firm or search the Internet for reputable background check agencies. Read reviews of the agency before hiring the agency for a background check.

Provide a copy of the release form and the personal information of the candidate to the background check agency. Depending on the extent of the background check you want to run, the results might not be available for several days.

Call the professional references your candidate provided. Ask the previous employers how the babysitter fit in with the children in her care, verify the dates of employment, ask about her reliability and any other questions you might have.

Keep a copy of the background check in a safe place to protect the candidate’s personal information. Give the candidate a copy of the background check, if the results negatively affect your decision to hire the candidate.

Tip

A clean background check does not guarantee that a babysitter will be the right fit for your family.

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About the Author

Based in Lakeland, FL., Heather Montgomery has been writing a popular celebrity parenting blog and several parenting and relationship articles since 2011. Her work also appears on eHow and Everyday Family and she focuses her writing on topics about parenting, crafts, education and family relationships. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in early education from Fort Hays State University.

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