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Background checks: How to handle them if you're a caregiver

You know that honesty is the best policy, but do you really need to tell prospective employers about those unpaid parking tickets from college?

You bet you do.

For parents, there's no greater peace of mind than knowing that they've done everything possible to keep their families safe. That's why more and more parents are doing their research and running background checks on any potential tutors, nannies, babysitters, housekeepers, etc. And, thanks to the Internet, they don't have to look that hard.

Since the nitty-gritty of your past and present is fair game, it's best to be upfront with prospective employers early on. The easiest way to do this is by running a background check that you can share with them. This helps demonstrate that you're honest and trustworthy.

And here's a nice little added bonus: Caregivers with background checks are five times more likely to be contacted by families.

What's involved in getting a background check?

A background check will look for criminal records (felonies, misdemeanors or sex offender listings), in various places where you are believed to have lived. A more expensive check can provide them with information on your driving records, civil restraining orders, bankruptcy records and warrants.

To run a background check, a potential employer needs only your name, birthday and Social Security number to get results.

What kinds of background checks are available?

As with all background checks, the background checks offered through Care.com vary in comprehensiveness. As a caregiver, you have the ability to proactively run a background check on yourself. If there are errors, you can fix them. If mistakes from your past show up -- from speeding tickets to minor brushes with the law -- you'll be prepared to discuss them when families ask.

You can choose from three different levels:

  • Motor Vehicle Records Check
  • Criminal Records Check
    • Choose a Criminal Records Check so you can appear higher in search results with enhanced verifications.
  • Criminal+ MVR Check
    • Choose a Criminal+ MVR Check and stand out with a clean driving record when families request transportation.

How can I request a check on myself?

It's easy! 

Click here to access your background check page. (If you're not already logged in, you'll be prompted to.) Choose the option with which you're most comfortable, and within 3-5 days your background check will be posted to your profile. Don't worry! You have complete control over who has access to your background check results.

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