Why You Should Do a Background Check on Nanny
I try not to worry about my kids. However, as a mother who is a bit of a new-junkie, I am inexplicably drawn to every tragedy like a moth to a flame. Any story that makes me take a deep breath to quell my fear or that makes me reach for a tissue to dry my tears will make its mark on my psyche. The scope of my tragedy-meter is not limited geographically.
Through the power of the internet, I am transported to news sites that fuel my primal fears as a parent. No matter that an abduction may have occurred as far away as Calgary or Ottawa or Toronto. The stories make me clutch my little ones a bit tighter as we cuddle on our couch in Halifax.
Yes, I do take solace that Canada has an admirably low crime rate compared to the country south of our border (Edmonton and Vancouver, for example, ranked as two of the top five most “violent” cities in Canada have a relatively low crime rate of 95 per 100,000 people -about 1/15 of their counterparts in the United States). Nonetheless, I still import fear by watching shows like CSI: Criminal Scene Investigation and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. I gravitate toward gruesome mysteries like Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones. My commitment to this genre has not done wonders for making me view the world as a Utopian paradise filled with sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops.
Given my morbid fascination with the criminal world, it should come as no surprise to you that I will only use an agency for a babysitter or nanny services that completes full background checks.
I want someone to partner with me to screen any applicant who will have any potential interaction with my children. My agency also checks on the validity of a nanny’s references on our behalf. Most importantly, they provide copies to me of all background checks of our final applicant(s).
Do I insist upon background checks because of the stories that I have read? Maybe. But, if you prefer to romances to true crime novels, you should still have run background checks on your nanny. If you would rather read the comics than the police blotter, you should still make sure your nanny has a background check. If you would rather watch a darling cat video than the evening news, you should still have a background check on your babysitter. It’s not paranoia, friends. It’s just good parenting.