Children are very innocent and harmless. As a result, people tend to take advantage of this innocence to satisfy their pervasive ways. In recent times, the society has witnessed the number of child abuse caused by babysitters increase. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the percentage of crimes committed against children under the age of six by babysitters is 4.2 percent. These results also show that babysitters are less likely to commit murder, but they are prone to sexually harassing the child.
Female babysitters are more likely to cause physical harm to a child. However, their male counterparts are more likely to commit sexual assault. Fortunately, your child is expected to be safe with a sitter than a relative or a friend. Reports show that parents may sometimes have unfounded fears when it comes to the sitter. However, to be on the safe side, as a parent, you can do a background check on your babysitter.
How to Run a Background Check
Your child is your responsibility and keeping them safe should be your number one priority. Therefore, it does not matter the amount of resource you have to use to find the right sitter. You will need the assurance that you have left your child in safe hands when you are away. So what should you do?
• Find a reputable babysitting service. Do not go for just any babysitting service provider. Do thorough research and find one that has a high review rate. Once you make your job post, you will receive many replies from potential sitters. It is important to note that, a lot of these sitter service providers have run nanny background check on their sitters. Once you have the resumes, you should slowly go through them to remove any doubt from your mind.
• Ensure that you confirm whether their references are genuine. People tend to make up fake references to decorate their resumes and many employers never follow up on them. But in this case, you need to make the calls because this is your child’s life at stake.
• Get the relevant information. If you are planning to do the background check personally, you need to get information such as social security number, address, date of birth and full legal name or use this service discreetly with merely a name.
• Spend a few bucks on a professional investigator. An investigator is bound to dig up more information on an individual. The licensed investigator can update you on the sitter’s character, criminal history and any other skeleton they might find in the sitter’s background. You do not want a sitter with multiple felony convictions near your child.
Things to watch out for
As you conduct the interview, it is important to be observant and keep some things in mind. Being on the lookout for red flags can help you avoid future problems. Some of the things to watch out for include:
1. Does the candidate dodge your questions?
2. Does he or she seem disinterested in your child? A sitter is supposed to connect with a child. Therefore they should be showcasing an interest in your child.
3. Is the potential sitter bad-mouthing the previous family that had employed them?
4. Is he or she a timekeeper? Being on time is a sign of professionalism.
Parents are advised not to pick their nannies from craigslist. Instead, they should deal with professional agencies that specialize with babysitting services. You also have the option of hiring a sitter recommended to you by a relative or friend. Some parents opt to employ young sitters they are familiar with, who are in high school and are looking to make extra bucks.
Reports show that, in most cases, when parents are comfortable with a particular sitter, they tend to forego the background check. However, this might be a mistake because you can never know a person well enough to entrust them with your child. Ensure that you check a person’s driving record before you make the final decision to hire them.
Once you settle on a nanny, give them a trial period to see how they perform. Sometimes, nannies do not click well with the children and the trial period offers you the chance to observe whether the nanny is best for the long-term position. Coming up with a work contract is also helpful. The contract should contain your expectations, payment rate, work hours and any other agreement you may have.
A parent should be actively involved and observant when it comes to the relationship between their child and the nanny. Children who are extremely young and cannot express themselves may suffer in the hands of a nanny without the parent recognizing it. That is why parents are asked to pay close attention to their child and observe whether the child develops any signs of withdrawal.