How to Choose a Qualified Babysitter or Nanny

September 23, 2013 Editorial Staff
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(StatePoint) Choosing a qualified, responsible, smart and kind babysitter or nanny can seem daunting. While all parents dream of a Mary Poppins falling into their laps, finding the perfect childcare provider usually requires a bit more legwork.

“Ensuring your child is in the right hands is something you should do well before a nanny cam gets a chance to reveal something is amiss. Unfortunately, many parents don’t do their due diligence when it comes to vetting babysitters and nannies,” says Darren Dupriest, President and CEO of Validity Screening Solutions, a leading provider of background checks for employers and parents hiring childcare providers.

Here are some ways you can be more proactive and thorough in your hiring search:


A face-to-face interview is the time to get to know the candidate. Prepare a list of questions to ask, but be open to letting the conversation flow naturally. Remember, not all sitters and nannies will “click” with all children. So if possible, include your child in the interview process to get a better sense of how he or she interacts with the potential caretaker.


If you had the family car or leaky faucet fixed, you likely asked neighbors for references for top mechanics and plumbers. Don’t neglect this important, personal outlet in the search for great childcare providers. A tried and true candidate often beats a total shot in the dark

Background Checks

Even with stellar praise from references, a background check is a crucial step in the search. But not all background screening searches are the same. While information from Internet databases can be acquired cheaply and quickly, such websites can leave trusting parents with a false sense of security, as secondhand information can become outdated in as little as five days.

A good caregiver screening will search criminal records to identify any felony or misdemeanor, criminal convictions or pending cases involving the candidate, as well as sex offender registries and driving records. It will also provide verifications of claimed past employment, education and certifications. For accurate, current information, opt for a comprehensive background screening service, such as Validity Screening Solutions, which conducts a live records search, going directly to the source of information.

More information about what a comprehensive background search entails can be found at

The importance of quality childcare cannot be overstated. Through references, an employment screening and a comprehensive interview, you can be more confident in your selection.


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