There's no one-big-all-encompassing background check that will reveal all the information you need to know to make a sound hiring decision regarding your childcare provider.
I repeat: THERE'S NO ONE-BIG-ALL-ENCOMPASSING BACKGROUND CHECK!
Criminal indexes are maintained at many different levels, and there's no search that combines all the thousands of different indexes.
You're hiring a nanny or governess to safeguard and care for your beloved child, and that's no easy task. Intuition and parental instincts are important tools to help you with the personal decision of hiring a childcare specialist.
But instincts and intuition are only one tool and background checks are another, necessary tool.
"Always trust your first gut instincts. If you genuinely feel in your heart and soul that something is wrong, it usually is." - Unknown
Why are Background Checks Important?
They provide factual, objective information that in conjunction with your own interviews and intuition, help you make the most sound hiring decision.
It's fair. It's thorough. It's revealing.
We'll help you understand what each background check provides, and what it doesn't provide.
It's important to use several different background checks to ensure that you have all the necessary, factual information you need to make your employment decision.
Be wary of instant, cheap background checks. They can be incomplete and outdated. Many come with a disclaimer that you should not assume that this is complete, accurate background check!
Types of Background Checks
Social Security Trace
This is our first step when we conduct background screenings, and it is the foundation of complete background screenings.
A SS trace is NOT a background check: It does not reveal any criminal records--it serves as a guide for your next screening steps.
It reports all the names and addresses associated with the candidate's Social Security Number, and it reveals any aliases or alternate names.
Are they who they say they are?
We recommend running criminal record searches in every county and state the candidate has lived within the past 7 years and under any aliases or alternate names used, as revealed by the SS Trace. It's important to run background checks under all names associated with the SS number (like a maiden name) to cover all bases.
The most comprehensive criminal searches include state and county checks for all addresses the candidate has lived in within the past 7 years.
County Criminal Records
These are essential for any thorough background check. A county court's records are the primary source, and most felony and misdemeanor criminal cases are filed in county courts. County checks usually reveal all charges--even if they were not convicted.
Why is this important?
Maybe your candidate has no convictions, but they were charged with a crime. As a potential employer, wouldn't you want to know this information for someone you're inviting into your home and your children's personal lives?
Statewide Criminal Records
These contain records from the state's counties and should be used as a supplementation to county court records. Statewide Criminal Records broaden your search. But, depending on the state, it may not include every county, and it may not be updated regularly. It may also not reveal any dismissed cases or minor misdemeanors, unlike a county search. This is why statewide criminal records should be used in conjunction with county criminal record searches.
Sex Offender Registries
Most people are familiar with sex offender registries and the information they reveal: felony and misdemeanor sexual crimes. Sex offender registries are maintained at the state level.
If you're hiring a childcare specialist and s/he will be transporting your child and/or you'll be supplying a car for job-related duties, obtaining DMV Records is an absolute must. Even if your childcare specialist isn't driving your children, DMV records provide insight into their driving history. This can help you gauge your provider's level of responsibility and maturity. Depending on the state, like PA, an additional release from the applicant is needed prior to obtaining an MVR report.
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