How to Conduct a Reference Check

References for Caregivers

Congratulations! You’ve found a caregiver you would love to work with and you’re ready to check references. We know how challenging it can be to find the right caregiving fit, and recognize the importance of this last step before an offer is extended. Checking references can seem a little daunting, but we’re here to help break down the next steps for you!

Why References?

If you’ve found someone you really connect with, it may be tempting to skip this step, but talking with references is critical in determining whether this person will ultimately be the right fit for your family. Be sure to ask for professional references (people who have hired or worked with this caregiver in the past, who can vouch for their character and work ethic).

Questions to Ask

When talking with their reference, here are some key questions to ask about the caregiver. Be sure to take notes during the call!

1) How long did [caregiver] work with your family?

2) Can you share some of their responsibilities while they were working with you?

3) How old was the child or children they were caring for?

4) What was it like to work with [caregiver]?

5) If you were to look for a caregiver again, would you hire them or recommend them to a friend?

6) Can you highlight their biggest accomplishment while working with your family?

7) Can you share an example of how they’ve grown since they first started working with you?

8) Is there anything else you can think of that would be helpful for me to know about this person?

At the end of the call, you will have your notes to review as you consider this candidate. Be sure to consider your opinions from meeting or interviewing the candidate, as well as the thoughts of their references! A few factors to contemplate after the call(s):

1) Did the answers to the reference questions line up with what the caregiver shared during the interview?

2) Did the person providing the reference seem excited to recommend the caregiver?

3) Were there any red flags, or other items that need follow up with the caregiver (ie did the reference seem legitimate, like a professional reference vs a friend or family member )?

Background checks

If you’re ready to move forward, there is one last step we recommend. In addition to calling references, we highly recommend conducting a thorough background check on a caregiver before extending an offer. If you’re going through Otter for childcare services, we’ll take care of that for you - our background checks includes county, state, and national records, as well as child abuse and sex offender registries.

No matter what route you choose, we hope this helps as you navigate the journey in finding the perfect caregiver for your family!

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