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Criminal checks for babysitters
Wouldn't it be nice if life was like The Baby-sitters Club?
Wouldn't it be easy if you could just ring a group of 13-year-olds during their club meeting and then trust one of them to watch your kids while you and the husband hit the Stoneybrook social scene.
Unfortunately life isn't like the Ann M. Martin novels that adorned my bookshelf bedhead. This isn't Stoneybrook, Connecticut. I don't know any 13-year-olds and, even if I did, would I leave The Toddler in their constantly texting hands? This is probably the reason I haven't seen a movie or eaten out past 6.30pm since January 2009.
There is a way around this though. Parents who require the service of sitters, who aren't immediate family members or close friends can check their suitability with a National Crime Check (NCC) - a fully accredited service, which produces valid criminal history checks within 48 hours, using the same database that the Federal Police use.
All that parents need to do is get their babysitter to fill in a simple online form and once the process is completed, the certificate can be viewed online or printed.
National Crime Check general manager Martin Lazarevic says it is common for busy parents to entrust neighbours or friends-of-friends with babysitting their children, without the checks that formal childcare workers are required to have.
"Unfortunately people with previous convictions have been known to target these more casual employment roles, given the lack of official security measures in place," he says.
"New online, fully approved services have made it fast, effective and cheap for parents to request that babysitters, nannies or sport coaches obtain a national criminal history check before being hired.
"Unlike checks conducted through police stations, National Crime Check offers reports for as little as $44, delivered in just 48 hours in most cases. The usual waiting period for a police station check is 6-weeks. The ease and efficiency which online checks now afford means there is no excuse for parents not to have peace of mind."
Not that you'd need one for Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Stacey or Dawn of course ...