You must insist on background checks and reference checks if you’re considering family daycare or want to hire a nanny or another childcare service provider.

For family care, it can be a good idea to run a check on the other people living on the premises too. There are some specific types of background checks to perform during a childcare search.

Some can be conducted by a security company or a detective agency, and others can be ordered by the childcare provider themselves.

If you want the professional to provide screening-related documents, offer to pay any expenses she incurs. 

Criminal Record Check

While you can’t run a national check, it’s possible to do a state and county-based one. Not all states allow statewide searches. To process a request, fingerprints might be required by some.

In addition, some states take a very long time to process requests, so it might make no sense to proceed. She will have found another job by the time the results are ready. 

Assuming it is practical and possible to conduct a background check on the state level, you can either get a third party provider for this or ask your candidate to supply a police clearance certificate.

Your local PD will issue one for a completely affordable sum. 

Civil and Criminal Records are Public

Civil records and criminal history records are public information. If you know where the local courthouse is, it’s easy enough to access.

A service provider can make it easier, but you don’t have to resort to a private eye. If you suspect your candidate has transgressions in her past, looking for a new one will be cheaper and simpler. 

Credit Check 

At first glance, this seems irrelevant to childcare. But that’s only at first glance. A credit check will yield insight into how reliable and mature someone is.

If your candidate turns out to be financially irresponsible, with a lot of late credit card payments or loan defaults, this lack of responsibility could extend to other aspects of their life.  

To get their credit report, either ask them to provide a copy or to give you permission to order one on her behalf. 

Driving History 

You might not find the DMV check relevant, particularly if she won’t be driving your kids anywhere. However, a driving history check can reveal important information, like a series of DUIs.

Be honest with her about your plans to ask for a copy of her driving record because some states will notify people of such requests.  

The DMV in your state is your go-to destination for driving records. Fees, procedures, and policies vary depending on the state.

Ask about the rules in your state in advance. 

Social Security Number 

Most employment background checks start with this very basic kind of screening. It’s done to verify someone’s identity.

In addition to identity verification, Social Security number traces show where someone has lived in the past, which can help reveal inconsistencies in job history. 

A background check company can conduct a Social Security number trace on your behalf. This search does not require permission from the search target. 

Health Check 

It’s also smart to check a childcare provider’s health records. It’s important to be sure they are mentally and physically fit for the work. You can ask for a letter from their doctor to verify fitness.  

Workers’ Compensation 

This kind of check will show if someone has made a fraudulent comp claim in the past.

Workers compensation cases usually become public record after the Board of Appeals or the state system processes an employee’s claim.

If you find that your candidate has made a legitimate claim, you can’t hold it against them. 

Final Thoughts 

You might feel uncomfortable about asking for this information, but you have every right to. Your child or children’s safety is most important.

The number of criminal record checks requested increased sevenfold between 1973 and 2000, so you’re not alone.

Your candidate will understand why you’re asking for background details as long as they feel a real concern about your well-being. 

On the other hand, a candidate who’s unwilling to make this effort will most likely be uncooperative in other areas as well, and you could be better off looking elsewhere.