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What is a Nanny Background Check?

Nicole Madison
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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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.

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.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
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Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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