For the past week we have been discussing misleading advertising by some nanny web sites claiming that they pre-screen caregivers posted on their web sites.
Three more nanny web sites have answered our questions about "pre-screening" which we share with you below.
Shannon Pitts, CEO of InteliMark Enterprises explains, "GreatAupair.com does pre-screen every candidate and family profile to ensure our quality standards are maintained and to be sure our terms of service are upheld which protects nannies and families alike."
Mr. Pitts continues, "We also have a proprietary 30-point fraud prevention system that helps to identify and immediately block potential scammers, helping to make GreatAupair.com one of the safest online job matching sites for nannies and families."
Perhaps "pre-screening" is defined differently by different nanny industry businesses. We liked Pat Cascio's definition of pre-screening and that is what we referred to as pre-screening. Ms. Cascio, the owner of Morningside Nannies in Houston, Texas says that pre-screening nanny candidates includes finding out all information needed to make a great placement for the family and job seeker. Pre-screening nanny candidates requires the caregiver to complete an application for employment, be personally interviewed by nanny agency staff, and have all references verified to ensure the individual has professional childcare related work experience.
Ms. Cascio says, "[To pre-screen] nanny placement agencies must assess the nanny's skills and ability to handle the job requirements before ever sending the job applicant on job interviews."
After explaining Ms. Cascio's definition of "pre-screening" to nanny web sites Mike Nagel of Care.com in Waltham, Massachusetts says that, "Safety is our top concern. Care.com has multiple review processes in place that all our care providers go through before we upload their profiles onto our web site."
Mr. Nagel says, "Each caregiver’s profile is hand-reviewed by a team of moms who work from home — our 'Mom Force.' The Mom Force reviews profiles scanning for any red flags, scams, spammers, and other safety-related concerns. They also remove contact information, last names, and children’s names from the body of each profile. This is to ensure the safety of our members. Wherever possible, we also double-check their advertised certifications."
"Our Mom Force not only reviews caregivers profiles, but they also review all job postings that appear on the web site. Job posts are, again, scanned for any red flags, fraud, scams, and so on. We do this to ensure not only the safety of our members searching for care but also those providing care, as well," explains Mr. Nagel.
He continues, "We also offer our Premium Members the opportunity to request unlimited, free background check of caregivers, as well as the ability to listen to recorded references and read reviews from other members of the Care.com community."
"While we take all of these precautions and all nanny profiles are mom-reviewed before we allow them on our site, your article has brought to our attention that some of our affiliate marketing partners are using the phrase 'Pre-screened Nannies' to describe our service. We will work with them to modify their descriptions of our service to be consistent with how we describe ourselves. Thank you for bringing this to our attention."
Mary Schwartz, Director, PR of Sittercity.com says, "We do not screen the caregivers but rather give our care seekers the tools and information to screen and find the perfect match."
Ms. Schwartz continues, "Our four-step screening process not only helps guide parents and care seekers through a thorough hiring process, it also helps our members keep safety at the forefront of each interaction."
"In order to help care seekers track their progress, we provide an interactive checklist on each caregiver profile for care seekers to mark off as they complete each step. You can read more about the process and how we walk parents through the process on our web site," says Ms. Schwartz.
Lora Brawley, nanny care consultant and nanny trainer of AllAboutNannyCare.com recommends parents always get involved in checking references of nanny job applicants even when using a nanny placement agency. "What I would say is that for families not to assume that just because they’re using a reputable placement agency that they’re getting a well screened caregiver, especially if the nanny has nanny experience. Many agencies barely scratch the surface when interviewing nannies about the type of care giving environment they provide. Most focus on what the nanny is willing to do so they can jump to the placement phase," says Ms. Brawley.