Many of you have heard about the local nanny, Jeanne Quigley that has been arrested and charged with stealing from the couple she worked for in Scarsdale.
The family suspected that the nanny/housekeeper was stealing from them, so they installed “nanny cams,” and sadly enough, caught her on video going through their belongings.
What is perhaps most interesting about this case is that Jeanne Quigley had a prior conviction for grand larceny and was on five years’ probation when hired for the job.
So, how did a nanny with a prior conviction, and obviously at least one bad reference, secure a nanny position?
While I can’t directly answer this question, as I don’t know the details of the case, I can advise employers on what they can do to minimize their family’s risk when hiring a nanny or housekeeper to work in their home.
The following are tips on how to identify quality childcare providers:
- Run a quality pre-employment background check. All background checks are not created equally! Employers who run criminal checks themselves through a National Criminal File (NCF) are only seeing a percentage of convictions and probably aren’t obtaining any information on misdemeanors. The background information you obtain will be much more accurate if you use an agency that physically checks county court documents.
- Pay attention to gaps in employment history. Candidates should be able to explain how their time was spent between jobs.
- Be leery of references that can’t answer specific questions, pause too long before answering a question, give inconsistent answers or just don’t sound legitimate. Read between the lines and listen to what references don’t say, as much as what they do disclose.
- Use social networking to gather additional information about a potential candidate. Conduct a Google search on the candidate and utilize sites like Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn to gather additional information about prospective candidates.
- Utilize a reputable placement agency to assist you in finding a quality childcare provider. The International Nanny Association and the Association of Premiere Nanny Agencies have directories of members who agree to conduct business according to the association standard. Reputable agencies have trained staff who are experienced in taking references and researching candidates’ backgrounds.
- Follow your gut during the interview and when speaking with references.
A childcare provider is caring for both your children and your home. So, although the vetting process is time consuming, it is extremely important that it is done and that it is done correctly.
Susan Tokayer is the owner of Family Helpers, Inc. in Dobbs Ferry, NY and the co-president of the International Nanny Association. Susan may be contacted at 914 674-8535 or Susan@Familyhelpers.com.