Hiring Employees

Thinking about hiring a new nanny or child care teacher for your centre? Then most likely you're also thinking about how to verify a caregiver's background and references. Fortunately, it's a lot easier to conduct a background check on potential employees today than it used to be. With some basic information on hand like a person's name, birth date, social insurance or security number and address history, employers can quickly find out whether a potential employee has a police record.

Conduct A Background Check

So just how do you get the proper information you need to conduct a background check? One way is to use a Nanny Application, a Nanny Employment Reference Sheet, and an authorization for a Background Check form like the ones available exclusively on childcare.net (click here for details). Another way is to ensure you get all the information you need during the interview meeting. You'll need the potential employee's:

Full name
Birth date
Social Insurance/Security number
Driver's license and vehicle registration
All addresses lived at for the last 5 years.

Luckily, most of the information involved in background searches is a matter of public record. Courthouse checks performed in the county where the applicant lives allow you to read a potential employee's arrest record if one exists. Much of your background search can even be accessed through the Internet by private Web sites conduct background searches at the state and federal levels.

What You'll Need

Of course you can do the work yourself. It is your right to request information from someone prior to hiring. Here's some things you'll need to do:

Visit the courthouse in the county where the person lives. Criminal records can be searched there for a modest fee. Or, visit your local Police Dept. or the RCMP. The in-court criminal records search is used to determine if the individual has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in a given jurisdiction within the past 7 years. While you're conducting a criminal record check, investigate state/provincial sexual offender/child molester registries if they are available where you live. Keep in mind that the criminal record information has to relate to the job if you are going to disqualify someone on the basis of it.

Search online for criminal records at the state level and beyond. Ten states provide background checks through their own Web sites. These include:

     * Colorado            * Florida             * Illinois
     * Indiana               * Oregon            * South Carolina
     * Texas                 * Virginia            * Washington
     * Wisconsin

Who To Contact

Contact the Dept. of Motor Vehicles in the county where the person lives and request a copy of the person's driving record. Information obtained from this source exposes important character issues such as suspended licenses, driving under the influence, possession of drugs, failures to appear in court, and arrest warrants, and so on.

Credit Information (PEER Report). This credit summary file includes public records (i.e., liens, judgments, etc.), collection accounts, current or previous delinquent accounts, types of credit, and total indebtedness. It also displays a profile, i.e., account charged off, repossessed, etc., and alerts any confirmed or suspected fraud activity. This credit report is designed for employment purposes, so it does not place an inquiry on applicants' reports.

Conduct a Social Security/Insurance trace. This is a report that will return all current and reported addresses for the last 7 to 10 years on a specific individual based on his or her social security/insurance number. By conducting a trace history it is much more difficult for a candidate to hide their identity and possible criminal history.

Hire a private investigator. A basic search including a criminal record check, DMV check, credit history check, and social security check is typically about $75.
Because background checks are a very serious matter, there are some other considerations to keep in mind:

No matter how thorough you or anyone you hire to conduct a background search are in the investigation process, none of these methods is 100% reliable. Further, only convictions show up on a person's criminal record, not charges.

In order to protect and individual’s rights and to ensure that anyone requesting information on an individual's background is legitimate, the government requires the employer to secure the candidate’s written permission before conducting a background check. For more information on the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), visit the Federal Trade Commission's.

If you turn someone down for a job based on a criminal records search, federal law requires you to tell them why. Individuals have a right to dispute anything they feel is inaccurate.

Shop carefully when hiring an investigation service or a private investigator. Know what you are paying for.