Nanny Background Checks

Here’s a summary of the main options for running background checks on a prospective nanny:

Top Nanny Background Check Services

Trustline [] – offers a database of nannies and baby-sitters that have cleared criminal background checks in California. It’s the only authorized screening program of in-home caregivers in the state with access to fingerprint records at the California Department of Justice and the FBI.

Instant Checkmate [] – this is a public records search engine that gives you the power to perform online background checks instantly. Their service is easy to use and searches a wide variety of databases including state and federal.


Completing your own nanny background check?

Check Personal References

. Call your nanny’s past references
. Write down all your questions ahead of time, so that nothing is missed
. Ask for a full employment history and an explanation of gaps
. Hot tip: Call past employers who were not on the reference list

Confirm the Nanny’s Identity

. Ask for your nanny’s full name, social security number, and driver’s license
. For non-US citizens, ask for their passport number and work permit
. You and your nanny can fill out the I-9 form to determine work eligibility
. Use the US Citizenship and Immigration Services E-Verify to confirm the information your nanny gave on the I-9 form
. Tip: Gather all the items needed to register before beginning the I-9 and E-Verify process, including an employer identification number

Check Criminal Records

. Ask your nanny for a seven year address history
. Note: San Francisco recently passed a special ordinance on background checks. (most checks will not return information from over 7 years ago)
. Determine if you need to run a criminal background check at a country, state, or national level
. Note: SSN is not mandatory for criminal back ground checks since criminal records are public information. Background checks can be run based on name, date of birth, and possibly address history. Other forms of ID include passport, I-94 form, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, Permanent Resident (Green) Card, Employment Authorization Card, or Temporary Resident Card.
. Tip: Be sure to check records from other countries where your nanny has lived

Check Driving Records

. For each state your nanny has held a driver’s license, ask the DMV offices for driving records (many states allow you to do this online)
. For an international driver’s license or a license in another country, try contacting that country’s DMV, or equivalent, to see if you can obtain driving records
. Tip: You can also contact that country’s US embassy to find the best way to get your nanny’s driving records.

Search the Sex Offender Registry

. All US states are required to maintain a sex offender registry, which is public information
. Note: CriminalWatchDog [] also maintains a free national registry you can check
. Many other countries keep public databases of sex offenders
. If your nanny lived in another country, see if that country has a database you can check

Check Child Abuse and Neglect Records

. All states keep records of child abuse and neglect, which are maintained by the state’s child protective services
. Each state has different laws about what can be disclosed and to whom
. Note: About 30 states allow employers to check their registries if their employee is applying for a child care position
. Tip: Check each state’s laws about whether or not you can screen your nanny for past child abuse


Startups that offer additional services

Onfido [] – is geared towards providing a service for companies, but they offer several unique services that may be useful for household employers too. They have created a platform that automates the collection of data, which can speed up hiring and on-boarding.
Checkr [] – wants to overhaul what has been a time-consuming process by delivering reports as a service that automatically runs checks and connects to companies’ hiring systems.

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