Don’t skimp on background checks when it comes to your children’s safety, urges Thomas Ruskin, President of CMP protective and investigative group.
Ruskin’s firm specializes in investigating new employees — including nannies.His tips:
1. Hire a professional private investigator
Skip Internet deals boasting $99 background checks. “What they do is check databases and not actually criminal histories,” Ruskin said. Use a firm that can look up criminal records, DMV records, verify someone’s social security number and check out immigration history if they’re from outside the country.
2. Don’t rely on references
Nannies won’t give you the number of someone they don’t want you to call. “You have to be sort of moronic to give a reference that’s going to [be negative],” Ruskin said.
3. Consider a Nanny Cam
The hidden cameras are becoming more common for parents who want to keep an eye on their kids — and their nannies — from their work computers.
4. Tell your nanny you’re running a background check
Oftentimes, potential nannies back out before they’re hired when they learn you’re running a check — consider this a red flag, Ruskin said.
5. Consider a quality control check
It’s extreme, but a private investigator will follow your nanny or potential nanny to see exactly what he or she is doing with your children. Keep in mind, while a routine criminal background check costs about $100 and takes less than a day, this type of investigation can run up to $2500 and requires more time.
6. Work with a nanny agency
Agencies usually run their own background checks, but be sure to get an actual copy of the report. Nannies with something to hide typically avoid agencies.