How to do a Background Check on your Babysitter?

Hiring a new babysitter for your child sometimes is not such an easy task to do. You cannot allow for your child to be left with someone you absolutely know nothing about, simply because it’s too great of a risk. This is why it’s highly beneficial to do a quality background check on your potential candidate (or candidates). This way, you will make sure you hire a trustworthy person and you will be relieved of unnecessary stress of over-worrying. Here are the necessary steps of a quality background check on a babysitter:

1. Decide how the check will be conducted – Personal vs. Agency Check
Before starting out, you should make sure that you know exactly how your check will be done. You have two options: conducting the check by yourself or committing to a specialized agency in the field.

There are good sides to both of these approaches. By doing it yourself, you will be able to make sure firsthand that everything is according to your requirements. However, the whole background-check process can oftentimes be pretty complicated, as a lot of red tape may be involved. Therefore, it may be easier if you hire an agency to do the check for you. You may have to pay a fee for their services, but it may well be worth it. It all comes down to your free time and other commitments. If you are way too busy with your housework, your work at the office, or something else, hiring an agency is definitely a good thing to do.

All in all, a good background check should include the following:

  • Arrest records check
  • Driving violations check
  • Sex offender check
  • Child abuse / child neglect check
  • Other Criminal records check

These records should help you know of any of the candidates has been involved in any criminal or offensive activity in their past.

2. Pay attention to candidates’ references
In the world of babysitting, references are very important. They really separate the great candidates from average or bad ones. Although doing a background check is highly beneficial, you shouldn’t rely solely on those. Make sure that you really like, or even admire your potential candidates’ references. When you take a look at the reference list, and see something that grabs your interest.

Be sure to contact past clients, and ask them questions about your potential candidate. This way, you will get firsthand insight into their past accomplishments and track record. Some of the questions you can ask your candidate’s previous clients:

  • What did you like the most about the babysitter?
  • How was your communication conducted?
  • Were all of the situations handled well?
  • Why did you end the contract with the babysitter?
  • Would you hire the babysitter again, if needed?

Most likely, this will give you enough information to know whom you’re checking, and you will be able to continue with more confidence.

3. Interview the potential candidates in full detail
When the first part of the background check is offer, and hopefully the potential candidates come out clean, you can move on to step number two – the actual interview. You are well-advised not to conduct the interview yourself, as you know your child’s needs best and you would know what kind of person you want as a babysitter.

When conducting the interview, pay attention to the following:

  • How the candidate is dressed – it should be professional, neutral, non-offensive.
  • How they conduct themselves during conversation – there should be no swearwords, bad language or traces of racism.
  • How they talk about themselves – they shouldn’t simply brag about their past accomplishments, but give solid proof of their past work record.

When interviewing the candidate, you can also ask them a couple of open-ended questions. These types of questions are highly beneficial, as they enable the candidate to talk about their past accomplishments and personality traits in a direct manner. Some good open-ended questions can be :

  • Why did you decide to become a babysitter?
  • What do you do when a child is hyper-active?
  • What would you do if the child gets a bad injury?
  • Why do you enjoy working with children?
  • What makes you better than other babysitters?

These questions will reveal your potential candidates’ personality, work ethic and professional conduct efficiently, and making the final choice will be a lot easier for you.