When choosing a childcare provider, safety is the #1 concern for parents, as well as us at Educated Nannies. It is California law that all childcare providers placed by nanny agencies must be registered with TrustLine upon hire. On our application, we ask if nannies are registered with TrustLine. Many nannies have never heard of TrustLine, so we use this as a tool to help educate our nannies and families. We have compiled our most frequently asked questions, answers, information and tips for families and nannies regarding TrustLine and background screening.


What is TrustLine? TrustLine is the state of California’s registry for in-home childcare providers, which includes all nannies, babysitters, in-home tutors, homeschool teachers and in-home counselors or specialists. It is an effective tool for parents to check the backgrounds of childcare providers, to determine if an applicant has criminal convictions or substantiated child abuse reports in California.


What does TrustLine check? TrustLine is the only background check authorized by state law of California to use three databases that the general public, including private investigators and private background check companies, cannot access. These databases include the fingerprint records from the California Department of Justice’s California Criminal History System; the Child Abuse Central Index of California; and fingerprint records of the FBI Criminal History System.


How does a childcare provider get added to the registry? TrustLine applicants complete fingerprinting and submit a one-page form, and a one-time fee to the Department of Social Services. Once a childcare provider is registered, they are in the system for life. It can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks for an applicant to be registered. Upon registration, both the referral agency and applicant receive a letter in the mail stating acceptance or rejection.


Why is TrustLine important? TrustLine is California state law. All employment agencies (nanny and babysitter placement agencies) are required by law to register their caregivers with TrustLine upon placement. This applies to all childcare providers who are placed in a home, including one-time babysitters, temporary nannies, part-time and full-time nannies.


If a nanny has been placed in a home through a California based agency in the past, should we assume they are already registered with TrustLine? Not necessarily. Unfortunately, not all agencies in California follow this law. When choosing an agency, be sure to ask if TrustLine is a requirement for all candidates. If you find that your nanny has not been fingerprinted or registered with Trustline, you are encouraged to call law enforcement. If an agency does not register their nannies upon hire, this is considered a misdemeanor.


What separates Educated Nannies from other agencies? TrustLine registration is a requirement for all of our Educated Nannies upon hire. In addition to this background check, we also conduct in-person interviews, call and verify five references, and conduct criminal background checks by a private investigator. TrustLine does not provide a motor vehicle report, nor does it provide personalized answers as to why a candidate is denied registration. TrustLine provides a letter that states either the candidate is accepted or rejected. Therefore, we use our own private investigator to supplement for the information that is not received via TrustLine to make sure all the bases are covered.


How do we find out if a nanny is registered? Ask your agency! They should be able to provide documentation of their nannies’ registration. Families can also call 1-800-822-8490 to check if a provider is listed in the TrustLine Registry or if the application is being processed.


Will a background check guarantee that a nanny is safe? We cannot predict the decisions a nanny will make in the future. However, a background check can shed some light on the decision-making abilities of the nanny and their previous personal history. We recommend that all parents speak to references, ask open-ended questions during the interview process, and conduct a trial period where you view the nanny interacting with your children.


If you have hired a nanny on your own or through an online service, please feel free to call us anytime at 323-309-4394 to help you conduct a background check on your nanny.


*Information source – http://trustline.org