If you are a parent contemplating hiring a nanny or child care provider, this article is intended to help protect you and your child from the unspeakable horrors of nanny child abuse. As the founder of one of America’s preeminent nanny agencies forty-eight years ago, I will explain how we successfully prevented nanny child abuse from ever occurring.
To fully appreciate the importance of this article and the seriousness of how pervasive nanny child abuse is nearly two million people subscribed to this videos depicting nanny child abuse.
We learned from our own personal and professional experience that parents often have severe anxiety about permitting a stranger to take care of their child. Many lay awake at night, wondering if they can trust leaving their baby with a nanny or child care provider.
Their mind wanders into a “what if the nanny hurts my child or leaves him alone for hours at a time.” If you are struggling with these concerns you are not alone and this article will help you significantly.
When our children were toddlers thirteen months apart, we were having a difficult time finding babysitters. Several of my wife’s friends told her that they resolved their babysitting problem by hiring a full-time Latin American live in nanny also willing to do light housekeeping.
Forty-eight years ago wages for Hispanic live in nannies was reasonable which also included room and board. The idea sounded financially sound and encouraging. Off I went to a nanny agency in downtown Los Angeles to interview prospective nannies.
I invited a friend who was fluent in Spanish to accompany me. I interviewed several candidates and found a very nice lady who seemed ideal for our family. Her name was Myra, and she became a surrogate mother and fabulous housekeeper who stayed with our family until she married twelve years later.
It is amazing how good news travels fast. Soon our phone was ringing off the hook non-stop from our friends and friends of theirs asking where we found Myra.
That was when I had an epiphany.
If all those people were in dire need of a nanny, maybe I should look into opening a nanny placement agency in a more convenient location than downtown Los Angeles and in a neighborhood known to employ nannies and all other categories of household help.
I found a small boutique store for lease surrounded by floor to ceiling windows in the heart of Beverly Hills that gave a ringside view of everything going on inside.
WE WERE THE BUSIEST STORE IN BEVERLY HILLS
(Other than those selling fine jewelry and clothing)
After a few years, we were interviewing about eight hundred applicants a month coming from all over the world. Bear in mind that there was no Internet when we first opened. Applicants found our ads in the Los Angeles Times classified section which was distributed all over the world or in the “La Opinion” Spanish-language newspaper in Los Angeles.
After a few years, we no longer advertised in the La Opinion because we had established a fantastic reputation in the Latin American communities for being kind and considerate to our Hispanic applicants and for placing them in the best-paying jobs in Los Angeles County.
Our clients found us by seeing our store front or came to us from referrals or reading about us in dozens of articles written in Vogue, House & Garden, Los Angeles Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Society Section of the Los Angeles Times and scores of other magazines. TV News featured us often in various segments about nannies.
VETTING NANNIES IS AN ACUTE RESPONSIBILITY
Our unique screening process was unlike any other nanny agency; our staff thoroughly vetted every applicant. No applicant was considered for placement unless we were 100% satisfied they had legitimate, verifiable childcare references.
References were scrutinized utilizing one crucial caveat; it was incumbent upon us to make certain a reference was authentic and not concocted by and between the applicant’s friends or relatives.
We became quite accomplished in identifying an illegitimate reference. It was also imperative all the candidates considered for placement met our criteria for having a neat appearance and a pleasant attitude. Of the approximate ninety-five hundred people who applied each year, eighty percent were deemed unqualified.
Unfortunately, we had to prevent some of those individuals from continually trying to be placed by us as a live-in nanny. Their objective was to get into a beautiful home, eat the finest food and do absolutely nothing but steal.
We regularly updated our secure record keeping system on those people who never got passed our screening process. We never had a single incident of child abuse or theft reported to us in forty-eight years.
NANNY INTERVIEWING TIPS & HIRING ADVICE
Below you will find some valuable tips that could prevent nanny/child care abuse.
- Retaining a Private Investigation company to delve into your nanny candidate’s background is your best option. An ethical private investigator will vet your candidate’s credit history, social media sites, and research criminal and civil court records and speak with former employers. They will conduct an intensive Internet search and run a driving record report regardless if the nanny will be driving your child or children around. The purpose being, you do not want anyone working for you who had a DUI or multiple accidents indicating possible drug abuse. The private investigator will also check to make sure the nanny’s automobile insurance is valid. By law, the nanny will be asked to sign an authorization form permitting the private investigator to conduct the background investigation. The private investigative firm should provide you with the form for the nanny to sign.
- As the potential employer, it would be prudent not to accept everything a nanny or their agent tells you until you verify all of it. “Trust But Verify” I am not implying that all nannies or their agents are dishonest. Our experience taught us when a parent is desperate and at their wits end trying to find a nanny or child care provider; they may lose sight of checking out everything listed here before allowing someone to care for his or her child or children. As an example; they might trust a relative, a friend who may have heard about a nanny but never personally employed the nanny.
- Before calling a reference write down the ages of the children the nanny told you she looked after. When speaking with the reference ask them how the nanny was with their children whose ages are; (deliberately change the ages of the children either upward or downward two to three years.) If the reference is legitimate, they will correct you and tell you the right ages. If they fail to correct the ages of the children, you will know the reference were concocted between the nanny and a friend or relative and that they are going along with the lie thinking the nanny changed the ages to suit their prospective employer.
- Ask the prior employer (s) how the nanny interacted with their child or children and pets if applicable. Plus ask if the nanny was creative with planning activities and projects for their kids.
- Ask if the nanny was dependable and reliable and punctual when returning to work from her days off.
- Did the child or children like the nanny? Were there any children who were unhappy with the nanny and if so; question why the child was unhappy.
- It is imperative to ask the nanny why she left her job(s) and then confirm her answers with her previous employers and see if they match.
- When calling a reference, it is a good idea to speak with both the mother and father of the children if possible.
- If the nanny is live-in, ask her if she expects to have a certain number of evenings off other than her days off. Young nannies aka “au pairs” usually have an active social life that may not correspond with your lifestyle. You do not want to tell the nanny you are going out for the evening, only to hear her say, “Oh I am sorry, I have plans for tonight.”
- Query what the nanny’s social media interests are. Ask what social media she is into such as; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat and etc. A nanny might be paying more attention to her social media rather than attending to your child’s needs when you are not around. To be fair and upfront with your nanny you need to establish a rule; that while the child or children are awake and in the nanny’s care, there is to be no texting or any social media activity.
- It is advisable to tell the nanny under no circumstance will you permit any photos of your child or children uploaded to a social media site. Failing to establish this rule could create an interest in your child or children by a perverted individual. Some of you may think this is a little overboard but it is not. The world is full of deranged people who have kidnapped children never seen again.
- Give serious consideration to installing video cameras in all the rooms where your baby/children will be, such as the children’s rooms, the kitchen, living room, den and play areas. Install cameras facing your yard and pool if applicable. Cameras are now reasonably priced and can be viewed on your remote devices or office computer whenever you log in. You should disclose to the nanny that you have video cameras in all the rooms where the child or children frequent. Cameras will be a deterrent to child abuse in most instances.
- It is important to ask the nanny about her interests; such as what books she enjoys reading. What TV shows she likes. Ask if she likes working on puzzles? Is she into sports and which one’s does she like? What teaching tools does she use? Have a rule that no violent games are to be played on the TV.
We hope this article was helpful and we wish you the very best with your nanny.