Hewett & Associates is an invaluable tool in our attempts to prevent these tragedies. Many of us seek a local teenager, contact a posting on a bulletin board or newspaper in an attempt to find “affordable” child care. Sometimes for just a few hours in the evening. But think of it, you wouldn’t hire a stranger to guard your wallet, house or other valuables yet many take this route to care for their most prized possession…..Their Child. Why?  Families across America have done it for years, our parents probably did it! Then again, they probably didn’t wear seatbelts years ago. Sadly, society is changing while population grows. Years ago we never heard of child predators, shaken baby syndrome, nanny cams and the like. Today they’re in the news on a regular basis.

To fight back, know who your childcare provider is. Treat them like many employers treat and new employee. Get references, previous employer referrals, and most of all identify any past behavior that may display undesired tendencies. The most efficient way is to conduct a criminal and civil background checks. Most of this information is available to the public under the various Freedom Of Information Acts. Some may only be available through a source bureau that many may not have access to. Although an employment check is a permissible purpose for obtained a credit history, finding an agency to obtain the information in a reasonable time is not easy. The problem is getting fast and efficient access. A credit check, or SS# trace, may help identify what jurisdictions the applicant may have lived in for later research.  If they lived in an adjoining County or State and you didn’t know this, information may exist that may not be found in a local search. Most courts may not be local. You must search the jurisdiction where they most frequent. State Courts are generally set up on a County level.  For instance, your “Nanny” applicant lives in Bethesda, Md. You’ll need to go to Rockville, the county seat. Once there you may find a helpful clerk or they may be busy. You may be able to use the computer there, conduct a hand search of the files or worse…have to submit a written request. If so, you may see the results in 30 days or so. Meanwhile you’ve already hired them or missed the opportunity.  So….we’ve explained that what we do is not magic nor do we have secret sources or contacts. What we do provide is an efficient way of gathering information due to our expertise and licensing within this field.

What minimum level should we check and why?

We recommend at least :

  1. Social Security Number trace.  $20.00
    This will confirm the identity of the applicant and identify the various jurisdictions where records may exist. This does not mean records may exist outside of these areas but it may not be economically feasible to check everywhere.
  2. Driving Record Check.  $25.00
    Especially if they will be driving your children to sports practice and other appointments.
  3. Criminal and Civil Checks.
    Dependant upon Jurisdiction/s/  (Starting @ $30.00)
  4. Criminal is common sense but many courts file retraining orders and domestic violence cases in the Civil court.
  5. Sex Offender Registry.  FREE
    Enough said on why.