Let’s be honest, finding a high-quality, vetted babysitter who’s available when you need them can be daunting. Not only does your babysitter need to have a good personality and solid qualifications, but they should also have chemistry with you and your kids. And, very importantly, you need to be able to rest assured that your children will be in the hands of a safe and responsible adult. To find a babysitter that can strike the balance between these factors, you will need to go the extra mile in your hiring process.
Luckily, you can lessen the legwork in the process by signing up for an all-in-one babysitting platform like Nanno.
Nanno meticulously evaluates all babysitters registered on our platform through a four-step babysitter vetting process. This way, whether your child care needs are immediate or ongoing, you can ensure that you are always leaving your kids in good hands.
In this article, we will tackle the steps of this process, so you’ll know how babysitters are evaluated even before choosing one that best fits your family’s needs.
1. Collect Detailed Candidate Information
The first step to finding a babysitter is to scan candidate applications. Once a nanny or babysitter expresses an intent to register with the platform, they will need to submit an online application containing their short bio and photo.
At this stage, a candidate review team will review a babysitter’s background to determine whether they can meet the basic requirements for the job. The information they look at includes:
- Educational background. Ideally, professional babysitters should have a high school diploma, general education diploma (GED), or a degree in child care management or a related program. This ensures that a babysitter is not only knowledgeable about the basics of child care but also has the ability to support a child’s intellectual development.
- Employment history. An overview of a babysitter’s career helps gauge their experience. For example, a babysitter who has worked with an agency previously probably has professional child care training. Meanwhile, if they work independently, having recurring clients may be a good indicator of their work ethic and performance.
- Professional skills. Babysitters should know the fundamentals of child care from changing their diapers to coming up with enriching activities for them. However, it is a huge plus if they have professional babysitting qualifications such as knowledge of first aid and CPR, and familiarity with SIDS-safe practices. It is also a plus to have a basic understanding of the different stages of child development and child nutrition.
- Accomplishments and certifications. Having awards or certifications relevant to babysitting are not requirements but they do have a bearing in the assessment process. These will serve as proof of an applicant’s experience and industry knowledge.
2. Perform an Extensive Background Check
1,362 child fatalities were reported in the United States between 1985 and 2003 according to a study by Child Care Aware of America. Of which, 1,030 incidents happened during home-based care. Even more alarming, 4.2% of crimes against children 6 years and below were perpetrated by babysitters.
With these facts in mind, one can never be too careful when working to find a babysitter or nanny. This is where babysitter background checks come in handy.
Nanno verifies the identity and criminal records of every babysitter on the app, ensuring that they did not hide any critical information about themselves. Our background checking process is the most thorough check possible, checking every county where the candidate has ever lived and reviewing all felonies, misdemeanors, or lawsuits, looking for anything that would indicate that a sitter is unfit to care for a child or to be left alone in your home. Taking this extra step can be instrumental in preventing negative experiences with your babysitter.
Our criminal background checks include the following separate searches:
Social Security Number Trace
A social security number (SSN) trace is a database search that helps confirm that the candidate is who they say they are. With this, one can verify a person’s identity, revealing any name changes as well as their residence history. It is also crucial in figuring out whether a person is using a fake SSN, an SSN that belongs to a deceased individual, or an SSN that has been used by more than one person.
National Criminal Search
This is the most basic type of background check, and covers all criminal records in states and counties that digitize their criminal records and report them to a national record aggregator. On one hand, it’s very through in that it picks up records all over the U.S., even in places the babysitter candidate has never lived. On the other hand, it is severely limited, because it only includes records from states and counties that participate in digitized records and send them to a national registry. Doing a national criminal search alone would not give us access to a thorough criminal history (though many babysitter apps and websites do stop here!). That’s why we follow up the national criminal search with a county-level criminal search.
County-Level Criminal Search
Most criminal records are stored at the county level. Our county-level criminal search includes ALL counties where a candidate has lived, even those counties that do not report to a national criminal database (and therefore would not be captured by that check). With this type of background check, details such as the charge type, the sentencing, as well as the details of the defendant are uncovered.
50-State Sex Offender Search
No parent would want to unwittingly leave their children with a sexual predator. To prevent this, applicants undergo a 50-state sex offender search. In this process, an extensive checking of the national sex offender registry will be done. This way, one can determine whether an applicant has been convicted of any sex crime ranging from harassment and assault to child pornography and child sexual abuse.
Global Watchlist Search
Last but not least, a global watchlist records check is conducted. This allows us to verify a candidate’s records beyond what is documented within the United States. It often includes searching through international and regulatory databases such as the European Union Consolidated List, the U.S. Terrorist List, and the Drug Enforcement Agency Fugitives, among others.
Nanno’s Review of Criminal Background Records
If these background checks reveal any criminal record at all -- even something as small as a speeding ticket -- the Nanno team manually reviews the candidate’s record, to determine whether the charges against them make them unfit to care for children. As a rule, we reject any candidate who has been convicted of a crime involving violence, sexual misconduct, substance abuse or theft of any kind. For less severe infractions, such as traffic issues, we look for a pattern of behavior that suggests irresponsibility, especially if the issues were close together and recent. For any issues that don’t fall within our clear guidelines, we have a review committee that looks at the issues and the candidate as a whole, and makes a determination as to whether they should be accepted onto the platform. In most cases, the presence of any significant criminal record will lead us to reject the candidate.
3. Conduct Child Care Skills Assessment
Once a babysitter has been cleared in the first two steps, they will be assessed on their knowledge of child care. Our skills test consists of technical questions as well as situational questions to determine whether a babysitter understands the protocols associated with taking care of someone’s child.
4. Behavioral Profiling
Sometimes, a candidate’s attitude weighs more than their experience and skills. After all, what is an impressive employment history if an applicant has a terrible attitude or is unreliable?
This is where a behavioral profiling test serves an important purpose. Our test uses applied psychology to better understand a candidate’s personality and to help pinpoint whether an applicant’s personality makes them a safe and responsible babysitter.
Among the many factors that our test measures are the:
- Ability to get along with other people, especially kids
- A tendency toward untrustworthy behavior
- Capacity to make important split-second decisions
- Tendency to resort to aggression when frustrated
- Emotional intelligence and empathy
- Level-headedness and ability to cope with stress
- Moral values and ability to make ethical decisions
By evaluating the factors mentioned above as well as other behaviors of a candidate, Nanno is able to find babysitters with can-do attitudes. As such, you can be sure that they will go the extra mile for your child.
Putting It All Together
Finding a great babysitter is not easy -- especially when you’re short on time (as we all are!). It can be hard to go through the extensive checking that is needed to make sure that your sitter is safe and qualified. Not only is it time-consuming, but it can also be awkward. You know you should do it, but on a personal level, it can feel like you’re questioning a person’s authenticity or even their character by asking them to go through a lengthy vetting process so you can feel safe leaving your children with them.
At Nanno, we’ve designed our sitter vetting process to provide candidates who have already been vetted before you even meet them. We have done the hard work of researching and background checking each candidate, so that when you need a babysitter, that work has already been done.
If you have any questions about our process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected]