Are you looking to hire a nanny? This is arguably one of the biggest and most important decisions that you will make as a parent. Narrowing down your candidates can be hard, but once you have done that, you’ll need to spend some time getting to know the person and doing an in-depth check of their references. This nanny reference check is a necessary step in the process of hiring a new nanny for your family.
Going Beyond the Basics: Nancy Reference Questions
Not sure what questions to ask when you call up a nanny’s reference? Travis Fink of National Crime Search recommends some basic questions:
- Why did the nanny leave?
- What are her strengths and what about her do you most respect?
- How would your children describe her?
- Other than caregiving, what other duties did she have and was she open to other responsibilities?
- How comfortable did you feel about her ability to handle an emergency?
- What was she like as a person? Was she warm, strict, upbeat, energetic?
- Did she get along well with all members of your family?
Michael Girard, Executive Director for Cleveland OH based Childcare Solutions suggests that if your conversation/interview with a reference feels incomplete, it could be worse than not having a conversation at all, simply because it can leave the prospective employer with an incomplete view of the candidate. He suggests that while you are talking to a reference that you cover everything in detail including skill-set, reliability, length of employment, punctuality, ability to take direction and communicate with both children and parents, driving safety history, and more.
If you’re afraid that you’ll forget to ask something important, Girard suggests, “It’s best to conduct the telephone nanny reference check interview from a pre-written questionnaire…one that can be used consistently so the questions posed to past employers are the same from reference to reference.”
Going The Extra Mile: Nanny Background Checks
Girard and Fink recommend high-level background checks with a professional investigator before a new nanny begins work with your children. The information that should be included in this investigation include:
- Verification of all job references with employment dates
- Verification of legal status to work in the United States
- Verification of Social Security number
- Verification of past address history
- State and federal level criminal records search
- County level criminal records search (in each county that the candidate has lived in since age 18)
- Driving records search
- State and national sex offender list search
Getting Personal: Reference Checking with a Nanny's Past Employers
When you’re talking to a candidate’s past employer, don’t be afraid to share a few personal details about yourself and what your specific nanny situation will look like. If you are open and share some of the duties that your position entails, the reference will be more likely to respond with their opinion of how well-suited the nanny might be for your family.
Fingerprint checks and even credit checks can be helpful and necessary in certain situations. The main goal during this part of the hiring process is to be sure that you’re comfortable with the candidate as a whole – that includes their past work history, present qualifications, and their personality. Checking references should put you at ease – you should be assured that the person watching your children is the best fit to love and take care of them in the same way that you would.
Families interested in obtaining a professional nanny pre-employment background check are referred to NannyVerify.com, with services provided by Mr. Fink's National Crime Search.