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What is a Nanny Background Check?

Many parents conduct a background check on a potential nanny.
A nanny background check might reveal a potential nanny has several speeding tickets.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2014
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A nanny background check is a type of search designed to reveal the criminal history of a nanny whom a parent may hire to provide care for his children. Often performed via an online service, a background check allows parents to make sure a potential nanny is not hiding anything they'd want to know before hiring her. For example, part of a nanny background check is a criminal record search. This type of search checks county court records for misdemeanors or felonies committed by a potential nanny. With this information easily accessible, parents can avoid hiring a nanny who has committed crimes in the past.

Another important part of a nanny background check is a child-abuse clearance. This check looks for a history of proven or suspected child abuse. This is one of the most important parts of a nanny background check, as a person who has abused a child in the past may be likely to do so once more. Nanny background checks may also include sexual predator listings. Such listings let parents discover whether a potential nanny has been convicted of a sexual crime, even if the incident did not involve a child.

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A nanny background check may also include a driving record search. This type of check allows parents to see whether or not a nanny candidate has a history of unsafe driving. For example, if a nanny has received a lot of speeding tickets, parents may not want her driving their children around town. Likewise, a driving record check gives parents the opportunity to find out whether a nanny has been convicted of driving while intoxicated and whether or not her license has been suspended. Depending on the service used for a nanny background check, other types of records may be checked as well.

A good nanny background check should search records from all the counties the nanny has lived in for the past several years. In some cases, it's a good idea to search other states as well. For example, if a nanny moved to the parents' state from another location, they'll want to check her former state of residence.

In most places, it is not legal to perform a background search on a nanny without her permission. In the United States, for example, parents have to obtain a signature giving them permission to perform a background search. They'll need the nanny's Social Security number as well. Other countries may have similar laws.

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