For Families
For Caregivers
Whether you're gathering candidates, narrowing your list, interviewing top choices or making your final decision, the information below can help.

General Safety FAQs
One precaution we take is to check certain information some members provide us against various databases and other sources for criminal or other inappropriate activity. In addition, our dedicated safety team reviews profiles for suspicious and inappropriate content and investigates job posts, profiles and messages that are flagged by our members as objectionable. While we view these as important initial steps, they are only preliminary checks and do not catch everything; the best safety precautions are the ones you take. Please visit our Safety Guide page to learn more about the steps we recommend you take to help make good hiring decisions.
Generally, we do not verify the accuracy of the information members post in their profiles, in job postings or in other areas of the site. See below for information regarding phone and email verifications caregivers may choose to perform. Please be sure to verify the information that is important to you before hiring a caregiver.
Generally, we do not verify the accuracy of the information businesses provide in their profiles. Please be sure to verify the information that is important to you before choosing a care-related business.
We built a monitored messaging system that enables you to communicate through Care.com instead of your personal email. That way, you only share your contact information if and when you feel comfortable. We also set up industry-recognized safeguards to help protect your information from unauthorized access, including:
  • Using SSL (Secure Socket Layer), the industry standard method for computers to communicate securely. We utilize SSL in the online registration process, in the login process and in the account management section of the site.
  • Using strong encryption technology to protect sensitive information.
  • Employing firewalls and system monitoring to protect against unauthorized access of our systems.
Your user accounts are also protected by the password you use to access your online account with Care.com, and we urge you to take steps to keep your password safe. If you feel your password has been compromised, you should change it immediately by logging into your account and visiting the "My Profile & Settings" section. And after each visit, you should log out of your Care.com account and exit your browser.
If Care.com learns a member may be unsafe or has acted inappropriately, we immediately remove the member from Care.com.
Ultimately, all hiring decisions are up to you. Please make sure you have done your research and feel comfortable with the company or individual before hiring. Visit our Safety Guide page to learn more about certain steps you can take to help make good hiring decisions.
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Safety Resources
The Safety & Verification Dashboard is part of every caregiver's profile. It allows you to easily view the status of safety verifications and whether or not a caregiver is verified, in one centralized location. Read below to learn more about each verification.
A caregiver's Safety & Verification Dashboard includes:
  • Background Check Status (Motor Vehicle Record and Criminal Check)
  • Phone Number Verification
  • Email Verification
  • Facebook Connect
To help build their reputation and validate their identity, caregivers have the option to verify the phone number they've registered with Care.com. In order to verify their phone number, a caregiver enters his or her phone number and cell phone carrier. The caregiver then receives a text message containing a confirmation code, and has to enter the confirmation code correctly into their Care.com account to verify his or her phone number.
To help build their reputation and validate their identity, caregivers have the option to verify the email address they've registered with Care.com. In order to verify their email address, a caregiver clicks the Verify Email link. This triggers an email to the email address the caregiver registered with Care.com. The caregiver opens the email from Care.com, clicks the confirmation link and is prompted to log into their Care.com account to verify their email address.
Currently, there is no automated way to request that a caregiver verifies phone number and/or email address. You can however, message the caregiver to request verification.
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Third-Party Checks
It's important to perform your own independent search on your candidates. Search the web for their name to see if there are any news articles about them. Contact your state or local municipalities to obtain public information. You should also try to locate them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks.
Please contact our Member Care team if you uncover any suspicious or inappropriate information, so we can take the necessary actions
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Background Checks

To request a Background Check on a caregiver, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Search for a caregiver by using the search box that appears across the top of each page on the site.
  3. From a search results page, click on a caregiver's name to view his or her profile.
  4. Click the Request Background Check link in the right navigation.
  5. If the caregiver already has a background check on file, you will be able to request access to the results. If there is no background check on file, you can request that the caregiver run a background check.
  6. Follow the steps to verify your identity through our background check vendor.
  7. Accept the End User Certification.
  8. You'll receive a confirmation that your background check request has been submitted.
In order to gain access to the sensitive personal information that may be contained in a caregiver's background check, Sterling has to verify who you are. To ensure they are verifying your most up-to-date accurate information we ask for you to re-enter your, full first, middle and last names, address, city, state, zip, and date of birth. This verification step is required in order for you to access a caregiver's criminal records. You will only need to complete the process once, however. Once Sterling has verified who you are, in the future, you will skip this step when ordering background checks on caregivers.

Verifying your identity is a required step in order to gain access to the sensitive personal information that may be contained in a caregiver's background check. If you have tried to verify your information and received an error message, there is some additional information you will need to provide for our background check provider, Sterling Talent Solutions, to verify your identity and move forward with requesting a background check.

Please contact our Member Care Team at 855-781-1303. Our Member Care Team will email you with a ticket number, credentialing questionnaire, and Sterling's fax number so you can send the following documents. Make sure to include the ticket number with your documents.

  1. Completed credentialing questionnaire
  2. Proof of Identification (i.e. passport, driver's license, state ID)
  3. Any two of the following (only one item per category)
    1. Current rental/mortgage contract or deed of property (cancelled checks not accepted)
    2. Current paycheck/check stub, work ID or badge (if current address is listed)
    3. Bank Statement - Copy of a bank statement in the requestor's name and current address (account number is NOT required)
    4. Utility Bill
      1. Copy of a utility bill in the requestor's name (i.e. phone and or internet, gas, electric)
      2. Copy must include name and current address

Sterling will review and verify the documentation you provided. You will receive an email from Care.com once your identity has been verified and you are able to request background checks.

As a potential employer relying on a third party to run background checks as part of your process for evaluating caregivers before hiring, you must follow the responsibilities outlined by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). You can find more details about your responsibilities by reviewing the Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of Users under the FCRA.

One of your obligations is to agree to the End User Certification, which describes the responsibilities associated with requesting a background check. These responsibilities include:

  1. Your use of the background check is only for employment purposes.
  2. You will not use the report to violate any federal or state equal opportunity laws.
  3. If you decide not to hire the caregiver based on the results of her background check you will follow adverse actions procedures (Don't worry! Sterling can help handle most of this process for you as long as you indicate you are unlikely to hire caregiver based on her background check report).

Background checks can be an important part of the hiring process and help reveal a person's criminal history. However, while background checks can be helpful and uncover potential red flags, they are not always accurate and no background check should be relied upon to determine a member's complete criminal history or suitability as a caregiver. We strongly recommend that a background check only be used as one part of a candidate selection and hiring process. A background check is not a substitute for conducting thorough in-person interviews, reference checks, online and social media searches, obtaining copies of the candidate's identification documents, and conducting ongoing monitoring of any individual you hire. For more information on limitations, click here.
Although our vendors make takes steps to ensure that background check results are correct, it is possible that the records used to compile the background check are not 100% accurate or complete.
Care.com offers three levels of background checks, performed by third party background check vendors; Criminal Records Check, Criminal + MVR Record Check, and Investigative Criminal Plus Check. Click here for more detailed information about each check.
First, the caregiver will receive a message notifying them of your request. If the caregiver accepts your request, you'll receive a message when results are ready so you can view the results. Although caregivers will typically respond to messages promptly, there may occasionally be delays. If you don't hear back within a few days, send a follow up message. If you still don't receive permission to view results, you may wish to move on to another candidate.
If you requested a Criminal Records Check or a Criminal + MVR Records Check you will only be charged when you are sent the results of the check. If a caregiver does not accept your request for access within 7 days, the request will expire and you won't be charged. If you purchased an Investigative Criminal Plus Check you will be charged once the caregiver accepts your request.
Background check results are broken out into several sections to make it easy for you to digest the information. First, review the Report Summary. This section outlines each component of the check, the result, and the status. Any components marketed with an Alert, indicated by an orange triangle, have some type of record that has been returned. Scroll down to those corresponding sections of the report to view the details of any offenses. The sections will include a description of the office, date of the offense, disposition, and sentence (if applicable). It's important to review each section in detail to ensure you have the most complete accurate information to help you in making your hiring decision. Only you know what is most important to you and your family when it comes to the background of a caregiver.

There are a number of reasons why a caregiver's Social Security Number may not be verified.

  1. They were recently married and changed their last name
  2. They mistakenly entered the wrong number
  3. They made a typo when entering their name
  4. They do not have any established credit

Because their SSN was not verified, our vendor Sterling does not proceed with the rest of the background check and you will not be charged. The caregiver has also been notified that her SSN has not been verified and given instructions on how to fix the issue. You can submit a new request for a background check on the caregiver and provide them an opportunity to address the problem. If the caregiver's SSN continues to come back as unverified you may want to consider moving on to another candidate.

If you have concerns about hiring the caregiver based on the results of her background check, you are required by federal law to notify her and give her 10 days to dispute the accuracy before you make a final decision. If you check the “I have concerns about the caregiver because of this report and want her to be notified,” our background check vendor, Sterling Talent Solutions, will notified the caregiver and handle any disputes. You will be kept informed of any changes to the report.
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Investigative Criminal Plus Checks

The Investigative Criminal Plus check is performed by PFC Information Services, Inc. PFC's team of investigative professionals are involved in each step of the process, from data entry to analysis to report preparation. PFC also has their own network of professional court researchers that are dispatched to courthouses throughout the U.S. In addition, PFC subscribes directly to many state databases, and utilizes premium commercial databases. Click here for more detailed information about the differences between these checks and what is included in each.

While no background check is 100% complete, the Investigative Criminal Plus Check is prepared by investigative professionals and provides some of the most in-depth data available. The Investigative Criminal Plus can uncover information you might not learn from a Criminal Records or Criminal+ MVR Check, in-person interview or reference check.

To request a background check, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Search for a caregiver by using the search box that appears across the top of the site
  3. From a search results page, click a caregiver's name to view his or her profile
  4. Click the Request Background Check link in the right navigation
  5. Choose the Investigative Criminal Plus option and submit your request

Once the caregiver has accepted your request, a member of our team will email you with simple instructions and links to complete the necessary forms online.

A member of our team will contact you to provide the links to the online forms. There are two forms that must be completed (one completed by you and one completed by the caregiver). Once the forms have been submitted by both you and caregiver, PFC Information Services will begin working on your request. If anything comes up or PFC has any questions they may reach out to you directly. You may also reach out to PFC if you have any questions regarding the background check. Once the background check has been completed, PFC will email you a copy of the results to the email address you provided.
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Interviews
It's a good idea to conduct your first in-person meeting at a public location, such as a coffee shop.
Request to see a photo ID of the potential caregiver to confirm she is who she claims to be. Also, request documentation to verify any other information that is important to you.
Have your top choices individually meet your family after the initial meeting, so it's not awkward for her or overwhelming for your kids. Bonus: this practice run might actually give you the best insight into which applicant will be the best fit.
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Help protect yourself and show employers that safety is a priority. The information below can help.

General Safety FAQs
One precaution we take is to check certain information some members provide us against various databases and other sources for criminal or other inappropriate activity. In addition, our dedicated safety team reviews profiles for suspicious and inappropriate content and investigates job posts, profiles and messages that are flagged by our members as objectionable. While we view these as important initial steps, they are only preliminary checks and do not catch everything; the best safety precautions are the ones you take. Please visit our Safety Guide page to learn more about the steps we recommend you take to help make good hiring decisions.
Generally, we do not verify the accuracy of the information members post in their profiles, in job postings or in other areas of the site. See below for information regarding phone and email verifications caregivers may choose to perform. Please be sure to verify the information that is important to you before hiring a caregiver.
Generally, we do not verify the accuracy of the information businesses provide in their profiles. Please be sure to verify the information that is important to you before choosing a care-related business.

We built a monitored messaging system that enables you to communicate through Care.com instead of your personal email. That way, you only share your contact information if and when you feel comfortable.

We also set up industry-recognized safeguards to help protect your information from unauthorized access, including:

  • Using SSL (Secure Socket Layer), the industry standard method for computers to communicate securely. We utilize SSL in the online registration process, in the login process and in the account management section of the site.
  • Using strong encryption technology to protect sensitive information.
  • Employing firewalls and system monitoring to protect against unauthorized access of our systems.

Your user accounts are also protected by the password you use to access your online account with Care.com, and we urge you to take steps to keep your password safe. If you feel your password has been compromised, you should change it immediately by logging into your account and visiting the "My Profile & Settings" section. And after each visit, you should log out of your Care.com account and exit your browser.

If Care.com learns a member may be unsafe or has acted inappropriately, we immediately remove the member from Care.com.
Ultimately, all hiring decisions are up to you. Please make sure you have done your research and feel comfortable with the company or individual before hiring. Visit our Safety Guide page to learn more about certain steps you can take to help make good hiring decisions.
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Safety Resources
In order to verify your phone number log into your Care.com account, go to your Profiles & Settings and scroll down to Test Message Alerts. Enter your phone number and carrier and click submit. You will receive a text message containing a confirmation code. Enter the confirmation code into the appropriate field, and click confirm.
In order to verify your email address, log into your Care.com account, go to your Profiles & Settings and click the Verify Now link next to your email address. This will trigger an email to your personal email address. Log into your personal email account, open the email from Care.com and click the confirmation link.
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Third-Party Checks
It is important to perform your own independent search to ensure you are being hired by someone you would be comfortable working for. Search the web to see if there are any news articles about them. Contact your state or local municipalities to obtain public information. You should also try to locate them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks.
Please contact our Member Care team if you uncover any suspicious or inappropriate information, so we can take the necessary actions.
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Background Checks

We make it easy to add a background check to your account. All you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Click on the "My Background Check" link in the left navigation.
  3. Follow the instructions on the next page.
At present, we do not offer the ability to run a background check on a potential employer.
No. When you accept a family's request to run a background check on you and authorize it, when the results are returned you will receive a copy but so will the requesting family. A copy of the background check results will also be sent to Care.com.
If you choose to run a background check on yourself the results of this check are sent to you and Care.com. You then have the ability, to share it with prospective employers of your choosing.
Background check results are broken out into several sections to make it easy for you to digest the information. First review the Report Summary. This section outlines each component of the check, the result, and the status. Any components marketed with an Alert, indicated by an orange triangle, have some type of record that has been returned. Scroll down to those corresponding sections of the report to view the details of any offenses. The sections will include a description of the office, date of the offense, disposition, and sentence (if applicable). If you have additional questions please contact Sterling Talent Solutions, 877-982-9888.

In order for a background check to be executed, Sterling has to be able to verify the provided Social Security number. If your SSN is not verified. The remaining portions of the background check will not be run. There are a number of reasons why your Social Security Number may come back as unverified, these include:

  • The use of or absence of a hyphen or apostrophe
  • The use of or absence of a middle name
  • A recent change in name (due to marriage or divorce)
  • A new SSN (i.e., the SSN was recently issued)
  • No established credit

Before you resubmit your background check request, make sure you are entering your name exactly as it appears on your Social Security Card. If you are still having trouble, you can contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to confirm your information is up-to-date and accurate. For additional information on the status of your SSN Verification contact Sterling Talent Solutions, 877-982-9888.

Care.com may conduct limited periodic screenings of our member community. In addition to things like criminal records, driving records, and address history, we may review a variety of public online content including, but not limited to, media, blog posts, news articles, etc. In order to become a member of Care.com you must agree to our Membership Disclosure and Authorization during enrollment, which describes these screenings. If you do not agree to the terms outlined in this disclosure, you can choose to exit our enrollment flow and any information you have entered into our system, prior to that point, will be removed.
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Investigative Criminal Plus Check

The Investigative Criminal Plus Check is the most comprehensive background check offering available through Care.com. This check is performed by PFC Information Services ("PFC"). Unlike the Criminal Records and the Criminal+ MVR Records Checks, which are largely automated database searches, the Investigative Criminal Plus Check is conducted by PFC's highly trained researchers, including licensed private investigators. In performing these searches, the researchers utilize premium data sources from county courts, state law enforcement agencies and statewide administrative offices of the courts. They also work with a network of experienced courthouse research specialists who in some instances manually search the court records. PFC's reports are hand prepared and include explicit information regarding where information was searched, what period of time was covered, and what information was found. Subject to state law restrictions on what a consumer reporting agency can report, PFC reports all criminal activity it uncovers in its search.

The Investigative Criminal Plus Check also includes searches not included in the Criminal Records Checks, including -

  • More thorough search of County Criminal Records Search
  • State Criminal Records Search (34 states plus the District of Columbia)
  • Motor Vehicle Records Check
  • National Bankruptcy Records Search
  • National Wants & Warrants Search
  • Civil Restraining Orders Search

The Premier Background Check includes the following services:

Social Security Number Trace - The Investigative Criminal Plus Check includes the same Social Security Number Trace as the Criminal Background Check. However, if a Social Security Number Trace comes back as unverified, PFC will inform the family and request the family examine the social security card for the date of issue. (The Social Security Administration changed the manner with which SSN's are issued in July 2011. Therefore, the validity of new Social Security numbers issued after July 2011 cannot be verified.) If a social security number issued before July 2011 comes back as unverified, additional steps may need to be taken to insure that the background check is being conducted using the correct identifying information. In addition, PFC includes in the Investigative Criminal Plus Check report the names and locations lived in during the past 7 years as determined from the Social Security Number Trace; this information is not included in the Criminal or Criminal + MVR Background Check. If this information is inconsistent with information the candidate has told the family, the candidate should be asked to explain the discrepancy as this may be a red flag.

Multi-Jurisdictional Database Search - The Multi-Jurisdictional Database Search (sometimes referred to as a "National Criminal Database Search" or a "National Criminal File") is an automated search of a commercial database that consists of certain publicly available and purchased criminal records compiled from a variety of state, county and other proprietary sources. For many jurisdictions, no information is included in this database. For jurisdictions in which some criminal data is included, it's typically limited to a subset of criminal convictions (i.e., not arrest information and not all types of convictions). Due to the way this database is compiled and maintained, there are significant gaps in the coverage provided by this search. In addition, the online databases that are used to perform these checks are only updated periodically. While any hits on this database are verified at the source before reporting, the results of these background checks sometimes do not include recent criminal record information.

Sex Offender Registry Search - The Sex Offender Registry Search is a search of the US Department of Justice Sex Offender Registry, covering all states except Nevada and may reveal information relative to people with histories of sexual crimes, the severity of those offenses, personal defendant identifiers and arrest dates. The level of sex offender information varies from state to state. Therefore, a search of the Sex Offender Registry may not return all sex offender information that exists for a particular individual.

County Criminal Records Search - The County Criminal Records search is a more thorough search of county criminal records than the Criminal Records search or the Criminal Records + MVR search. This search includes a search of the criminal records pertaining to each court for the county or counties the candidate is believed to have resided over the last seven years and often includes both online and manual courthouse research.

State Criminal Records Search - For 34 states plus the District of Columbia, Investigative Criminal Plus Check includes searches of premium online state criminal repositories and statewide court records provided by state law enforcement agencies and/or state administrative offices of the courts. If a candidate is believed to have lived in one of these states in the last seven years, this search can reveal criminal conduct in counties outside the counties the candidate is believed to have lived during that time. The states in which PFC conducts statewide criminal checks include Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. With the exception of New York State, this search is not included in the Criminal Records search or the Criminal Records + MVR search.

Motor Vehicle Records Check - The MVR check will typically report the following information, for the state where the license being checked was issued: status of the operator's driving privileges, restrictions, expiration date, license type and class, endorsements, suspensions or revocations, violations, accidents, and DUI's. Typically, violations remain on the MVR report for three years, although convictions for serious offenses may be reported for five years or more, depending on the state. If a candidate has had an incident while being licensed by another state, it will not appear in the report unless the state where the license was issued has a reciprocity agreement with the other state for that type of motor vehicle citation.

National Bankruptcy Records Search - A National Bankruptcy Records search seeks to uncover if the candidate has filed for bankruptcy and, if so, whether the bankruptcy was classified as a Chapter 7 or 13. Additional debtors, assets, liabilities, and filing discharge dates are included in this search.

National Wants & Warrants Search - The National Wants and Warrants search searches for any open, extraditable warrants pertaining to the candidate. This is a nationwide search based upon name, date of birth, and Social Security number. This search may reveal the existence of open warrants in locations where the subject has never lived. Therefore, active warrants may be uncovered that would not have been found otherwise.

Civil Restraining Orders Search - The Civil Restraining Order search checks for civil restraining orders filed against the candidate or filed by the candidate against another individual. Restraining orders are frequently filed in the context of domestic disputes. Civil restraining orders will be searched in the current address and the permanent address of the candidate. However, restraining orders may be filed against the subject by other parties, such as former employers. Note: it is not always possible to determine the relevance of a restraining order, particularly when the name is common.

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Interviews
It's a good idea to have your first in-person meeting at a public location, such as a coffee shop.
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Messaging
Our monitored messaging system looks for offensive words and signs of spam, scams or other inappropriate content.

Privacy. We suggest you send all of your initial messages through Care.com instead of using your personal email. That way, you only share your contact information if and when you feel comfortable enough. So instead of sharing your contact information every time you apply for a job, you only share it with a select few potential employers.

Convenience. All of your messages, such as replies to job posts, are in one central place. No searching through hundreds of emails in your inbox, no hunting for a sticky note that's wandered off. Simple and fast, just the way you want it.

Our monitored messaging system looks for offensive words and signs of spam, scams or other inappropriate content. In the rare cases where something does slip through, you can report the message and our safety team will look into it and take appropriate action.
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Awareness
Please report any inappropriate activity, whether it's spam, a scam, or suggestive.
If you experience any type of inappropriate interactions with another member or see anything inappropriate on the site, click the Report to Care.com flag in the upper right corner of all messages, job posts and profiles. Provide any additional details, and click submit.
We have a dedicated Safety team that investigates all content flagged by our members. Once a flag is received the Safety team investigates on a case-by-case basis. If the content violates our terms, we will immediately close the user's account.
If a job offer seems "too good to be true", then it probably is. You should be extra cautious if you receive a message offering employment and advance payment by check without an interview with the family or even a phone call.

You should be extra cautious if you receive messages offering employment and advance payment by check without an interview with the family or even a phone call. This is a common internet job scam, which occasionally targets sites offering babysitters, nannies and other caregivers. Never accept payment without having first met the employer and gone through an interview process. Never accept payment by check for an amount which is greater that what you agreed upon. Never wire money back to someone who pays you by check.

Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns, or with reports of any suspicious activity within the Care.com community. You can find out more about internet job scams at Fraud.org.

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