Protect your child with the right checks

In Western Australia people who engage in child-related work are required to have a WWC Check and there are penalties for not obtaining one. This includes babysitting and child minding services, including nannies, au pairs and demi pairs. As a parent it is important that you protect your child’s safety, by ensuring any tuition services you engage have the rights checks, which includes a WWC Check.

WWC Check advert image of carer with child

So, what is a WWC Check and why is it important?

A WWC Check is a child safety strategy which provides ongoing screening of people who engage in child-related work. The Check aims to improve children’s safety, by helping to prevent people who have charges, convictions and other relevant behaviours that indicate they may harm a child, from working with children in certain paid and volunteer work.

Why should I ask to see the WWC Check?

Asking to see a WWC Check is similar to checking a person’s credentials, such as a current First Aid Certificate, Drivers Licence or any industry accreditation. By sighting the Check, you ensure that the person you are entrusting your child to, has the appropriate compulsory criminal record screening.

After viewing a WWC Card, you can validate it on our Check WWC Card Validity page which will confirm that the Card is valid (and not just current). A person may also show you their WWC Check application receipt. Using our WWC Application Status page, you can confirm that their application is pending. In most cases a pending application allows the person to engage in child-related work.

Do they have to show me their WWC Check?

If an individual is self-employed, that is, they work for themselves then yes, they should show you their Check to demonstrate they are compliant with their WWC Check requirements and have a current Check. Lots of self-employed individuals include information about their WWC Card in their adverts and will gladly show you their Card.  

If the individual providing the service, works for an organisation such as a babysitting company, then they are not obliged to show you their Check. In this case you can ask the service to confirm that the person in question does in fact have a current WWC Check.

What do I do if they refuse to show me their WWC Check or their employer will not confirm that they have one?

If you are unable to confirm that an individual or organisation hold WWC Checks, you can email monitorwwc@communities.wa.gov.au with their name, contact details and organisation details (if applicable) and we will follow this up. We will be unable to provide you with the results of any investigation. However, if you have any concerns about the individual’s suitability, accreditation or conduct, it would be best to reconsider use of their services. 

What if I asked my neighbour to babysit my child as a favour – do they still need a WWC Check?

A WWC Check is not required when there has been a private informal arrangement. This would include situations where you have asked a neighbour to help as a favour (and they do not engage in other child-related work.

However, if your neighbour advertises her services as a babysitter and has a number of clients, of which you will become a paying client, then this would be considered a formal arrangement and a WWC Check would be required.

What else can I do to keep my child safe apart from asking to see the Check?

When deciding to engage a babysitter or child minder for your child, it is beneficial to talk to the person about their qualifications and experience and ask them to provide referees. This will give you some insight into the person’s character and capabilities. Remember to take your time and don’t rush into a decision if you are unsure. 

It’s also very important that you regularly talk to your child about their experience and listen to any concerns that they have.

For further information on what you can do to create a safer environment for children, visit our Parents and Community page.

Page last updated09 November 2021