Individual States' Child Care Licensure Regulations
The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care provides this handy reference - just click on the appropriate state. You will see what, if any, background checks are required by the licensing agency. If you are unclear about anything, it is always best to telephone the agency and ask.
Nat'l Child Care Info. Center State Child Care Profiles
Just select the appropriate state, and you will be directed to information for that state, which includes the appropriate Child Care Licensing Agency and their site address. Some states have a databases of licensed child care providers online. For those that don't, you can call the agency and verify a license.
Child Care Aware Child Care Locator
You may do a search for child care by either zip code or county and state here. There is also lots of helpful information about choosing a child care provider.
International Nanny Association (INA)
How serious is someone about being a nanny? You can check to see if someone is a member of the International Nanny Association here. The INA also offers a credential exam, which measures a nanny's working knowledge of child development, family/provider communication, child guidance, multicultural and diversity awareness, learning environment, personal qualities of a nanny, safety, management skills, health, nutrition and professionalism. Obviously, passing this test is just one indicator of a reputable nanny; many other areas can and should be checked.
Consent For Drug/Alcohol Testing
Here you will find a sample consent form that gets a job applicant's permission to run a urine test for drug/alcohol use. This may be a wise test to run on a potential nanny. Be sure to check the laws for your state with an attorney.
Authorization For Criminal Records
Here is a free consent form provided by Christian Nanny that a nanny candidate can sign that authorizes the release of her criminal records. It is used to acquire criminal records from local police departments. A fee of up to maybe $20.00 will be requested from the police department for this service.
Request For Medical Records
Here is a free consent form provided by Christian Nanny that a nanny candidate can sign that authorizes the release of her medical records. The nanny could optionally make a phone call to her physician to simply request a letter of good health.
Nanny Employment Agreement
Here is a free nanny employment agreement provided by Christian Nanny that can be filled out and used to specify all of the details (household employment and length of agreed stay, hours and salary, overtime, privileges, responsibilities) of the nanny's employment which should be signed by both parties and dated.
Find A Private Investigator
Many people feel more comfortable engaging an experienced private investigator to check out potential nannies. Of course, hiring a private investigator to check out someone's background is no guarantee that there will be no problems. Everyone who is going to be around the child needs to be checked.
If you must leave your child at home with a nanny, it is prudent to install a nanny cam. There are all sorts available, many of which will allow you to take a peek at any room in your home at any time right from the your PC in your office. Not sure you can install a nanny cam? Many private investigators also do nanny cam installation. It's a small price to pay for piece of mind.
Mothers (or fathers) who can competently take care of their own children, especially between birth and age six, should do so. Others will have the problem of finding quality child care. States have licensing requirements for daycare centers and daycare homes; however, there generally are no regulations for nannies. There usually are licensing requirements for agencies that place nannies, and you can check out an agency with the Better Business Bureau.
If you choose to conduct your own search and background investigation on a nanny, there are some resources and legal forms available above that may help you. In addition to asking to see a potential nanny's driver's license and social security card, you may wish to ask to see educational documents and certificates in CPR and first aid. Please remember, however, that, for the purposes of conducting an employment-related investigation, it is generally illegal in most places to use a person's social security number to obtain personal background information without that individual's knowledge and written consent. It is recommended that you check everything you do out with an attorney. There are even some places where you can get free legal advice online.
Know of a site that belongs on this list? Contact Spies Online.