We know how stressful it can be to leave your child in the care of someone you don’t know. Understandably, you would like to make sure your kids are in safe hands and that the professional you hire to babysit is trustworthy.

While looking for a babysitter, you may feel anxious, knowing that a complete stranger will be responsible for the health and safety of your little gems. Lots of parents in this position are probably wondering if it is legally possible to require certain documents from the babysitter, such as a DBS check.

Let’s start by clarifying what a DBS check is.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), provide information about a person’s criminal convictions. They are likely required when working with vulnerable groups, including childcare and healthcare.

DBS checks are split up into 3 different categories: basic, standard, and enhanced checks. Learn the difference to ensure that your future employee goes through proper screening.

  • A basic check is available to all individuals and employers. It will give information about a person’s criminal history, convictions, and cautions.
  • A standard check will show in-depth criminal information involving all cautions, warnings, and reprimands a person has had. It should be required from lawyers, accountants, and other positions of high responsibility.
  • An enhanced check – it shows a criminal record as well as if the candidate is, for example, on the children’s barred list. This ensures that the person is not barred from working with children. Most work positions in education and health care will require the Enhanced DBS Check.
Employers or people in a specific licensed position can apply for standard and enhanced DBS checks on behalf of their potential employees. On another note, individuals who work independently and do not have a formal contract are not eligible to apply for standard or enhanced DBS checks. They can only apply for a basic DBC check.

How much does it cost?

The price of the basic and standard DBC checks is £23, while the enhanced DBS will cost you £40. However, if you apply for a volunteer position and this document is required, there is a way to get it free of charge.

How long will it take to get the DBS check?

The process usually takes about a month for a standard and enhanced DBS. The basic check will be ready in 14 days.

When will the DBS check expire?

There is no expiration date, but the recommendation is to renew it every 3 years.

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Can you require a DBS check from your babysitter?

This document might help you make a safer choice. However, not everyone can request it, as we already said. Depending on the job a person is applying for, only employers or someone in specific licensed positions can ask for a standard or enhanced DBS check.

As you are not legally classed as an employer of the babysitter, you are not in a position to ask for a DBS check. The only thing you can do is to consider an arrangement with the candidate to provide you with a basic DBS check.

Your concerns are understandable, and there are a few more things you can do to make sure the person who is safeguarding your children is reliable. You can look only for candidates who have already been working in childcare.

They should have the DBS check from their previous job. As an example, childminders in the UK are required to have a DBS check by Ofstead.

Your best option is to hire through an agency. They have the right to ask for standard and enhanced DBS checks. Moreover, most of the childcare providers from their lists have already been working in the field.

They have documentation to prove not only their clear past but also their experience. You will feel more safe knowing you are employing a professional service.

Besides all the checks and certificates, the agencies do their own research on the candidate, ensuring they recommend only reliable adults. They organise interviews and include a lot of specific questions.

The agency would not advise you on someone unless they are 100% sure this person how to look after, educate and act while taking care of toddlers. As the agency puts their own reputation on the line, they get to know every detail about the candidate.

Although you can’t require a DBS check on your babysitter, you have good options to secure your peace and, more importantly, the wellbeing of your kids. Do not worry anymore. Take our advice and enjoy the help of your trustworthy babysitter!