Hiring someone to watch your children is one of the most important decisions you will make. This person will not only be responsible for the in-home, round the clock care of your child but you also will be opening your home to them.

Making sure that you have as much information about this person is crucial. It's also critical you ask all of the questions that you can think of during the job interview, including questions that may seem slightly invasive. This is, after all, more than a job interview. It's bringing a trusted person into your home and expecting them to treat your home as their own. In reality there are no questions relating to the care of your child that are off-limits.

We all know to ask for a resume and references but those things will only tell you so much about a person. Below are a list of 17 real world questions that you might consider asking, along with a few helpful tips on researching someone online to gain as much information about them as possible.

  1. How would you handle a crisis — like a broken bone or a bad fall — involving small children?
  2. How would handle it when kids fight over a toy?
  3. How would you soothe a child who is fighting sleep?
  4. How would you handle a child who refuses to stay in their room for naptime or bedtime?
  5. Describe your meal and snack choices for children?
  6. What would you do with a child who is restless and bored?
  7. How would you spend down time while the children are napping?
  8. How would you discipline young children?
  9. If these three things happened at about the same time — kids fighting, a juice or food spill on the carpet and a dirty diaper — how would handle it?
  10. How would you help kids learn?
  11. How would you respond if a child refused to listen to you and ignored what you told them?
  12. How much time do you spend on your smartphone or tablet?
  13. What are your potty training strategies?
  14. Have you been arrested?
  15. Do you have children? Describe your relationship with them?
  16. What is your relationship like with your parents/siblings?
  17. Do you post pictures of other children that you care for on social media?

Once the interview with a prospective nanny is concluded, the real work begins. There is a multitude of information about people online and if you don't use it to assist you in this situation, you might regret it.

First, type the person's name into Google. You might find a trove of background information about them that will give you an idea of the type of person they are and decisions they make.

Second, hit up all social media networks. Facebook and Twitter may show you how this person thinks and what types of pictures and details they are sharing with the world. LinkedIn will give you an idea about the person's work history and how they present themselves in a professional environment. If you can find them on Instagram, that will also show you how this person presents themselves to the community.

Third, in most cities and states you can check to see if a person has ever been arrested, has served time in prison, owns property or has any liens against them. None of this information may determine whether you hire them, but it will give you a stronger foundation on which to decide whether to entrust the care of your children to them.

Finally, there are companies that you can hire to do background checks on an individual if you have their name, date of birth and social security number. There is a fee, but it might be well worth it.

Ultimately, we can never be too careful when it comes to who is watching and caring for our kids in our absence. It may be uncomfortable to ask some of the aforementioned questions or to dig up information on someone. But not knowing the answers to these questions or failing to do the research ahead of time may prove even worse.