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Child Care

Check Child Care References

Kathryn Patricelli, MA

hand dialing on phoneParents considering hiring a nanny will have a different experience with the child care interviewing and screening process then parents looking for in-home or center care, as the nanny screening process will necessarily focus more on the qualifications of the nanny and less on the physical environment in which the child will be cared for. A nanny screening process will generally include interviews and reference checks. If the parents work with an agency, the agency will match the family's needs and preferences against available nannies and will then provide the parents with a list or profile of several possible candidates. Parents can then conduct telephone or in-person interviews with these candidates. A first meeting and/or interview should exclude the child who will be cared for so that the parents and prospective nanny can focus on family needs and philosophies. Those hiring a nanny on their own without an agency will have to do more work locating and screening candidates, but the interview process is similar.

Check References

Once the research, screening, visiting and interviewing process has been completed, parents looking for a day care center, family care home, or nanny can then narrow their list to a few places or providers that meet all or most of their needs. At this point, parents should ask for references of families who are currently using or have used care services in the past. These reference families should be contacted and asked about their general experience with the care provider, the length of their involvement with the provider, if they have ever had any problems or concerns, and any other information that they would like to share.

Parents should also consider conducting a criminal background check when using a family care provider or nanny and those using a center should make sure that this is a part of the staff hiring process. In addition, it is wise for parents to run a sexual offender check on the neighborhood/area where the care will take place. Most states now have this service as a free part of their website whenever it is required that a sexual offender be registered under state law.

Having completed reference and background checks on all interesting candidates or facilities, parents will hopefully have all the information they require in order to make their decision. It will then remain to complete the necessary enrollment forms to secure a spot at the center or home or the employment forms necessary to hire the desired nanny.

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