Nanny Background Report FAQ
P.I. Answers FAQ
To help families learn more about nanny background reports, I reached out to a trusted private investigator to share why it is crucial to choose a credible service. Since our founding, Starling Agency has proudly partnered with a professional research agency. We wouldn’t have it any other way!
What do I need to know about background reports?
Background reports can be used to find court records that not only reflect a possible court presence involving arrests and convictions but also records that may shine a light on character. There is not a single source available for researchers to check for records. It’s important that both a national and local research scope is used. Cross-referencing information is helpful. What one source may report on another may not. Background reports can come in various shapes and sizes. Some can include records, education and employment verification, reference checks, internet presence, training verification, etc. Others may only look at the publicly available records. Make sure you ask about the scope before you sign up and pay.
What should I look for in terms of a quality report?
It’s important to know who the source is for your research. Are they a licensed investigator or are you utilizing a data service that pulls information from various public sources? Is your researcher checking more than one source for records? Is your researcher listing the date the information was pulled and the source they used? A quality report should not give hiring recommendations, rather be used as a tool for the hiring family to assess as they make their own decisions. A quality report should be easy to read and make sense. If an area on the report is questionable the researcher that created it should be willing and available to discuss content and recheck the data. Is the researcher willing to answer questions and customize the scope as needed for the family?
With so many services offering background checks, how do I know that I am choosing one I can trust? Are there any red flags to be aware of?
Are they licensed and insured? Will the information be verified or just located? How long has the researcher been specialized and what type of training did they receive? Which professional organizations does the background company belong to? Will they provide the client with a copy of the FCRA notice to users of background screens? If research results are questionable will the researcher be willing to recheck?
*It is of utmost importance to use a business that complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This affects the trustworthiness and integrity of the report and research process.
How do online services differ from a private investigator?
A private investigator is licensed and needs to adhere by the Fair Credit Reporting Act for investigation activities to verify their sources, receive signed consent from the subject, etc. Sort of like comparing a blogger to a journalist. The private investigator will also usually have varied investigative training and research techniques under their belt. A private investigator can customize their work to the client vs. having an auto-pilot focus on printing out a report. Think dossier vs. data table.
What is the take-away message that parents need to know when choosing a nanny background report service?
A background screen is not a guarantee of safety. It’s a supplementary assessment tool for them to use to make their own hiring decision. A nanny background report should be used in conjunction with a thorough interview and reference checks. A quality nanny background report will take time and an experienced researcher – you get what you pay for.
More from Starling…
Starling is a stellar nanny placement agency proudly serving Greater Seattle and the Eastside. Starling nannies are passionate about education and child development! We represent professional nannies, private teachers, newborn care specialists, household managers, family assistants, personal assistants, and more. Learn more about Starling’s core values.