If you are a parent, one of the most important decisions you must make, is choosing a nanny to care for your children. Many people fear to use the internet to find a babysitter because of misleading information they hear from acquaintances or from journalists on TV. Luckily, you found this web site and I can tell you obvious and not so obvious things from my own experience. In reality, the internet is full of useful information and it is a good place where to start searching a qualified nanny for your little ones.
There are a lot of nanny web sites that shows nannies profiles or resumes online. But only the least majority of them checks out the backgrounds of their members. For your own and your children safety you should check into your potential employee's credentials. If you intend to find a nanny with a help of an agency, before you sign an agreement, please research the references of the agency.
You can do background checks on your own or through special service companies, e.g., Intelius. These searches cost some money and they should be taken into account when recruiting a nanny.
Don't hire a nanny if you do not have enough information about that person's background. Maybe you don't need a background check of your sister or grandmother if you hire them to look after your children. In order to check your potential nanny's credentials you must get a written permission from her. If she refuses to allow you to do a background check, it is a warning sign. Some web sites offer "instant" background checks of nannies for hire. Unfortunately, these services are rather unreliable than reliable. It is better to use a service that conducts searches through verfications.com database.
If the money is not an issue for you and you want to save your time as well, you can use services of screening agancies that have database of reliable nannies. These agencies have checked all candidates' background and list only those who "passed the test". When you go through babysitter profiles, pay attention to those that are quite long and include a lot of detail about its author. The more information you get about potential nanny, the better. It is easier to choose the right candidate to invite to interview if you know why they are interested in child care job, their knowledge level, experience and principles of babysitting.
One more thing you should be aware of when using online nanny agency services. All the information they provide should be current. It means, if you contact any candidate she should be available for the work. Please don't rely on agencies' opinion that all nannies in their database are already screened and are reliable. The fee for agency services is high enough and therefore entitle you to get actual background check results for each potential nanny you have chosen from their database. If they can not provide you with such information, choose another agency. Before choosing a nanny agency, it is worth to research information online about the agency itself - how many years it has been in the business, its reputation and customer testimonials.