What is a Nanny Background Check?
Most families insist that a nanny's background be verified before extending a firm offer of employment. Families (or agencies) will generally call all personal references and employment references to verify the information you supplied on your application. They will often do some of this before even interviewing you in person, or it may follow the personal interview. When they decide that you are the candidate they are looking for, they will generally make a 'contingent' offer of employment. This means they are offering you a specific job, and you discuss responsibilities, start date, and compensation contingent on your background check coming back clean. If you accept the job, they (or the agency) will order and pay for a background check. Items checked may include your driving record (DUIs and speeding violations are not good), your criminal record, your credit record (bankruptcy or how responsibly you handle credit are looked at), and sometimes even drug/infectious disease screening will be done (at the family's or agency's expense). If there are not skeletons in your closet, the employment offer will be binding.
Knowing that your background will be scrutinized, you should fully disclose any potential problems in your application or in your interview. It is better to explain that you got a speeding ticket two years ago and have learned your lesson before the family finds out about it themselves.