36919395_sMost parents think that their children are a precious treasure worth protecting. That is why it is important to do a criminal background check on current or potential babysitters (if you don’t hire a referral company to do it for you.) There may be reasons why a person wouldn’t fit your childcare needs. A background check can help you determine how safe it is to leave your child with a babysitter.

There are parents who find themselves satisfied with selecting a babysitter referred by friends and/or family. That may not be enough for many parents. It is a big risk to trust that a person sent to you by Aunt Jo has a clean record and will not cause harm or grief to your family. In recent years, the news has been increasingly filled with stories of authority figures who broke trust with everyone because they harmed or could not behave properly with the children in their care. Just because you have already hired a sitter doesn’t mean that you cannot do a check of their records. In fact, it may be something you should do immediately for peace of mind.

A referral service will offer support before, during, and after the process of selecting the right babysitter. They usually do background checks, may provide training, and they can help if you have conflict and need to let your new employee go. There are fees associated with using a service. These fees can go quite high, especially if you decide to go with a nanny service. This option may not be for you if your plan is to be involved in every facet of the hiring process. If you are traveling and need a babysitter, referral services can be invaluable. Some services even have a staff of professional investigators to do thorough background checks on potential sitters.

The kind of information included in a background check:

• military service
• education
• previous employers
• driving records
• credit

With an in-depth check, you can eliminate people who have a criminal activity history. Who would want to let someone in their home and around the children who had theft, sexual offenses, financial crimes, or violent crime records? Perhaps there may have been something in the records of the English au pair who murdered an 8 month old baby or the part time who stabbed a 2 and a 6 year old child that could have helped the parents of the victims if they had done a background check. It could take you hours or days to perform the kind of research that a reputable company is set up to do in minutes. A good background check is thorough and includes local, state, and national information given to you for a reasonable fee.

Most states require background checks of those who will work with children. You shouldn’t have to justify to anyone why you want to run a background check on a babysitter, but pointing this out to objecting friends or family members should help them realize how reasonable it is to want to protect your children.

If you don’t want to use a babysitting referral service, you should choose a company that will do an in depth background check on your potential sitter. A good place to go is the website of QuickBackgroundChecks. They provide quick service on background checks and you only pay per report. It takes about five to fifteen seconds to get state and nationwide records, and one to three days for on-site records (due to a court researcher needing the time to look up records at the courthouse.)