Everything you need to know about DBS checks when becoming a nanny

When you become a nanny your employer will naturally want to be sure that you are a suitable person to care for children, so you will need a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.

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According to the government website, you will not be able to apply for anything other than a basic check for yourself unless you apply for a check via an organisation. Alternatively, your employer or the organisation you will be working for can sometimes apply for a DBS check for you, but not if it is a parent who is employing you to care for their child.

Getting a check through Ofsted

Ofsted’s system is partly online in England and in its system a nanny is referred to as a Home Childcarer. There are slight differences in Wales and Scotland. When you log on you will get a reference which should be written on the Identity Checking form that you download. Payment for the check will be taken at this stage.

The application process

You will need confirmation of your identity by someone who has known you for a minimum of twelve months and whose occupation is listed on the Identity Checking form you have downloaded from Ofsted. If for any reason you are unable to find a suitable person, you can have your documents checked at a Post Office. Then complete the online form. This will include details of the addresses you have lived in the past five years. If these are outside the UK you will need additional documentation from the other country.

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You will need an Enhanced DBS check in order to work with children, so select this option. The employment option you need to select is “Home Childcarer”.

When asked for a code, you should enter OFSTEDP unless you are already registered with Ofsted.

Your completed Identity Checking form should be returned via email or post and when this has been processed you will be able to track how your check is progressing by using the tracking reference that will be emailed to you. As soon as you receive this, you will need to apply for DBS updates.

Your certificate may arrive after a few days but may take over a month. It should be kept safely so that you can show it to a prospective employer.