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Take precautions before letting your nanny drive your kids

If you're hiring a nanny, you may need her (or him, but we'll assume it's a woman for purposes of this discussion) to drive the kids to and from school, extracurricular activities and/or play dates. It's essential to do a little research and see firsthand how safely she drives -- particularly with little ones in the car.

You can get a copy of her driving record as part of the background check process. If you're hiring through an agency, they should provide you with that information. If you use a site like Care.com to find a nanny, you can request a Motor Vehicle Records Check in most states, including Florida. It's up to you to determine how many past infractions, if any, and what kind are acceptable to you. If you interview former employers, ask them if she drove their kids and their opinion of her driving.

If your nanny will be using her car, check it out. Make sure it gets regular maintenance. You may offer to help cover the cost of this maintenance and things like new tires. If your kids are still young enough to require car seats, make sure that they fit in the car and that she know how to put them in and secure your children properly. Be sure that she has insurance for the car.

Whether your nanny will be driving your kids in her car or yours, it's important to set rules regarding distractions, having others in the car and taking your kids on trips that don't involve them or errands for the family. If she'll be using your vehicle, be sure your insurance policy covers her.

Before you let your nanny drive your kids alone, go on a test drive with her at the wheel and the kids in the back. It's one thing to be a safe driver when your only distraction is your favorite music or podcast. It's another thing entirely to have young children in the back seat.

No matter how many precautions you take, you can't guarantee that your kids won't be injured in an accident caused by the person who's driving them, whether it's a nanny or another parent driving a carpool. However, if that happens, it's wise to find out what your options are for seeking the compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses and damages.

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