DO YOU NEED TO INVESTIGATE YOUR NANNY?
Not everyone is Mary Poppins, and not everyone has the good fortune to hire Mary Poppins. When you’re considering a caregiver for your children, you can’t be too careful. You’ve no doubt heard horror stories of nannies abducting kids, or worse. Where your kids are involved, the best defense is a good offense, so please don’t even think of hiring anyone who hasn’t been fully screened.
How Can I Make Sure My Nanny is OK?
You’re going to have to do your homework. Don’t rely on your first impression. Have your potential nanny fill out a complete job application. You can find forms online. Have him or her give details on their employment history, background, interests, and please. Please. We can’t say please often enough. Ask for references. But don’t stop there – ask the references for references. If you go through “someone who knows someone who knows someone,” sooner or later, if there’s anything unsavory to be found, that’s how you’ll find it. Just checking the three references the nanny provided will get you exactly nowhere – how many people do you suppose think to themselves, “Okay, I have to give job references, so I’ll tell them about Joe who liked me, and Sarah who liked me, and Nora who wanted me either dead or out of the country?”
If you follow this method, this will also help you to eliminate the possibility that your nanny is just offering up relatives who actually have no idea of her employment history.
Also, when you’re interviewing your nanny, don’t just follow a list of questions – back up over them. Like, “So when you were with the Joneses in Crystal Lake,” can be followed with, “So the Smiths in Crystal Lake…” – and if he or she doesn’t follow up with “No, that was the Joneses,” you’ve got a red flag. Something’s definitely off. Either your nanny is fudging her employment history, or there’s something even worse in the background. This could be the time to call in a professional investigator.
Make Sure It’s REALLY Mary Poppins
Anyone at all can say they’re Insert Name of Nanny Here. Ask for ID – a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, etc. Photocopies are no good – anyone with a computer and Photoshop can create a fake ID, and some are actually pretty good. Look for holograms and actual signatures, and make sure the name is exactly the same on all pieces of ID – Mary B. Poppins is not necessarily YOUR Mary Poppins.
Interview Like Crazy
Ask tons of questions. If there’s anything at all that you want to know, ask. Watch for evasiveness and bad body language. Keep a close eye out – on his or her eyes. Usually, if you sense deception, looking at the movement of a person’s eyes is a tip-off. No one really knows why, but people who are remembering something that actually happened will move their eyes to the right. If they’re fabricating a response, the eyes move to the left. Remember: right is right; left is lie. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but if you suspect deception in other areas, this could be the deciding factor.
Don’t Take Chances
This is your kids we’re talking about. If you have the least bit of doubt as to your potential nanny’s background, perhaps you should consider having him or her investigated. Tom Martin Investigative Services has been in business since you were a kid. Call us at 800-577-1080 for a free consultation.
If you feel the least bit uncomfortable about the person you’re interviewing for the nanny position, thank them for their time and show them the door. If it feels wrong, it probably IS wrong.
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