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Checking Out Your Childminder?

(37 Posts)
MustangSally1983 Thu 12-Feb-15 10:13:43

I have had some bad experiences when hiring childcare's over the last 12 months, some have been unreliable and others even worse. This has happened both when hiring through agency and private, my BIL suggested that I should start doing background checks on them with someone like before they start. He's a developer and does it with all his contractors, AIBU background checking?

I am not looking to find out anything overly private, just set my mind at rest that they are who they say they are and don't have any huge financial warning signs. smile

HSMMaCM Thu 12-Feb-15 10:32:58

Wouldn't worry me if you checked up on me, but references from other parents or watching me at toddler groups might be more useful.

Tanith Thu 12-Feb-15 10:34:02

If you are looking for a childminder, OFSTED have already done these checks. You need to ring them and they'll confirm the childminder's registration.

Do you mean a childminder, though? Sounds like it's a nanny or au pair you're trying to find. Some nannies are OFSTED registered so you may still be able to check through them.

LetticeKnollys Thu 12-Feb-15 10:49:49

What Tanith said, check them with OFSTED, they should be able to provide you with more relevant information such as any complaints that have been made.

I am currently setting up as a childminder, I think it's a really good thing that OFSTED holds child carers accountable and parents can check them out. As for this site, I don't have anything to hide but I'd find someone looking at information about my family living with me, property etc. intrusive, although I know I wouldn't be able to stop you and you'd probably never tell me you had done it.

Cindy34 Thu 12-Feb-15 11:22:55

Not unreasonable to use public access databases to confirm details, though I would not overly pay for that info, it can be costly.

When visiting childminders, check their registration document. Ask to see some ID - you could do a swap... You show me your driving license photocard and I will show you mine so we are both confident in whom we are. The childminder does not know anything about you, so they take a risk taking you on as a client - what if you don't pay? Make it a two way deal, so you both know a bit more about each other.

I would not do financial checks, doubt you could run those without consent. You are not lending them money.

Thurlow Thu 12-Feb-15 11:36:17

192 is a public access database and will do nothing more than confirm whether the individual is on the electoral roll and lives at that address. Many people ask for their information not be to made available, so it's likely you might not find them on there. It is easy to assume that if they aren't on then something weird must be up, but that's not true at all.

Any kind of financial or credit history can only be access, by law, with the express consent of the individual. There are ways and means around this - technically you could find a way to run a credit check on an individual without their consent - but this is a) breaking the law, and b) could be traced as any credit check on an individual leaves a record on their history, so they would be able to see that someone has searched them.

I can understand why you want to do this, but there is no free (and legal) information out there than you can just easily check to confirm someone's identity.

OFSTED do this and, if you have had an issue with previous OFSTED registered childcare, you need to bring it up with them.

MustangSally1983 Thu 12-Feb-15 12:42:51

Thank you all so much for your help, unfortunately I haven't been in a position to always use OFSTED registered and have been using private nannies some registered and some not. But OFSTED doesn't take into account financial solvency, does it? My BIL recommended doing a background report just to be sure, the one does tell me if they have any CCJ's or anything else I should look out for, and I am sure it is legal.

I guess I could be being a bit paranoid but I guess it's best to put my mind at rest, and I wouldn't have a problem if they wanted to run a check on me so I don't really see an issue.

Eminado Thu 12-Feb-15 12:44:58

Genuine question: why do you care if your childminder has CCJ's?

I am just curious btw.

Frusso Thu 12-Feb-15 12:50:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thurlow Thu 12-Feb-15 12:56:04

I can understand to a degree why you are saying you want to do this, but like others, I don't see what CCJs and financial history have to do with someone's reliability?

Also, having a credit check run on someone leaves a trace which can affect your credit score.

The only thing about the 192 search (and I work in this area) is it relies on freely available public information. It is easy to make the wrong assumption if you can't find someone on there.

Jinxxx Thu 12-Feb-15 13:04:26

I would think the nanny would be more legitimately interested in whether you have a good credit history or any history of not paying what you owe. Why are you so interested in their financial situation? If it is so important, maybe you should ask to see bank statements rather than going about it in an underhand way.

Cindy34 Thu 12-Feb-15 13:19:54

Quite agree Jinxxx. Clients or employers who do not pay on time are a real pain. Chasing bad debts is a time consuming business and even if small claims court agrees the payment is owed, getting pay from some people is easier said than done.

Would you really not use a childminder or nanny who had a CCJ which may have been due to problems in a previous relationship they had? It may not be representative of their current situation, just gives an insight into the past.

Frusso Thu 12-Feb-15 13:34:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HSMMaCM Thu 12-Feb-15 13:37:24

Not a childminder then. I agree I'd be more interested in the parents credit history, identity, etc, but I've never checked.

LuckyLopez Thu 12-Feb-15 14:06:09

Actually the more you have explained, the more uncomfortable I'd feel and if I found out any of my parents had done this I would give them immediate termination of contract. My financial situation, bad or otherwise, has absolutely nothing to do with my ability to care for your child and bog all of your business.

MustangSally1983 Thu 12-Feb-15 14:27:11

I had a nanny who had previous debts and it resulted in people chasing her for money at my address, not saying it was entirely her fault it was a underhand tactic by the debt collection agency. I just want to avoid getting myself into a similar situation, and if there are tools to help prevent it why not use them. I think it would be a good idea for nannies to check to see that their employers don't have credit problems too. I have to agree with my BIL that if you are doing anything that involves a business transaction or a financial one it's better to be safe than sorry. Especially if involves someone who will be around my children.

LuckyLopez Thu 12-Feb-15 14:33:01

Mustang Sally do you even know the difference between a nanny and a childminder?

Thurlow Thu 12-Feb-15 14:33:34

Surely if you like a nanny, it's better to ask them than to snoop around?

192 isn't going to give you their debt information.

MustangSally1983 Thu 12-Feb-15 14:46:23

I would imagine most wouldn't willingly tell me if they had CCJ's, and if I like the nanny I am not saying even after finding they did have CCJ's I wouldn't not employ them. I would just rather know, in the same way I wouldn't hire someone without a CRB check. I think you'll find you can get debt information from 192 it looks like they have something set up for situations like this.

earplugsahoy Thu 12-Feb-15 14:57:17

192 is a phone directory isn't it?

There are several different ississues with your post which might explain why you are unsuccessful with childcare..

childminder is a self employed person working from their own home, Ofsted regulate them and carry out DBS, health and inspections. You are NOT their employer.

nanny can either be ofsted registered or not.

crb is now called DBS

None of the above give you the right to go checking up on their financial history, it's intrusive and extremely rude.

MustangSally1983 Thu 12-Feb-15 15:14:05

I think it's rude to be put in a position where you have debt collectors banging on your door to try and track down someone who owes them money, whilst they are minding children. The background check I am talking about is I don't think it is intrusive, I am just trying to cover my back. I would do the same if I was employing a kitchen fitter or builder.

WannaBe Thu 12-Feb-15 15:20:45

it wouldn't occur to me to run a background credit check on a childminder but I would probably google them and check them out on fb etc because what's on there is probably a more accurate view of who they are.

Thurlow Thu 12-Feb-15 15:24:11

Surely if you hire a nanny through an agency all these checks would be done? Or many nannies sign up voluntarily for Ofsted?

Thurlow Thu 12-Feb-15 15:26:20

What I'm trying to say is - sure, I get the point about running checks if you are hiring a random kitchen fitter or builder.

But for childcare, if you are worried about the quality or issues relating to a nanny, then surely the best thing is to go via an agency that guarantees the quality of their staff and has run all the background checks?

LuckyLopez Thu 12-Feb-15 15:38:59

But CMs work in their own homes - it wouldn't be your door they are knocking on. Even if they don't have ccjs, there could be other unsavoury people knocking. It's not your business!!! And you're way above yourself if you think it is!

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