Babysitter Still In Jail On Battery Charge

The Best Defense for Parents: How to Safely Hire a Nanny

A nanny contacted Be the Best Nanny Newsletter on facebook last week concerned about recent reports of an in-home childcare provider who committed crimes against a child. The babysitter is seen hitting a child on a nanny cam.
Here is a link to the video of the news story and of the nanny hitting a child:

A concerned nanny on facebook wrote to us: “This sad situation happened in my town, and is disturbing on many levels. I am sharing with you as I feel this needs to be addressed, although I am aware that similar situations have happened in years past. Parents need to know how to hire safe and professional nannies. Nannies need to understand basic child development and know how to deal with discipline issues. It just amazes me that these things happen.”
1. Conduct Comprehensive Interviews
Although parents can start interviewing nanny candidates by exchanging emails or by speaking on the phone, parents should have an in-person interview before hiring a nanny. Find interview questions at:

2. Diligent Background Checks
Ask to see originals of the caregiver’s driver’s license, social security card, CPR/First Aid certificates, and diplomas. If the parents are hiring a caregiver without the assistance of a nanny referral agency they ought to perform inexpensive background checks themselves.

3. Criminal Checks
One of the advantages of using a reputable nanny placement agency is they know how to perform background checks and criminal checks. But parents can perform a criminal check on a nanny candidate themselves for about $50.

4. Call Reference Checks Personally
Even when parents hire a reputable nanny placement agency to help hire a caregiver, they should call the job seekers references themselves to ensure the references are valid and to ask the specific questions important to the parents.

1. Introduce their employers to their friends and family.
2. Show accountability.
3. Listen to the parents and honor the parents’ concerns.
4. Be open about anything concerning the children.
5. Do not gossip about the family.
6. Keep a daily log to communicate about the children.
7. Have informal weekly meetings to maintain open communication with parents about the children and the job.


  1. I had worked in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago shortly after Laurie Dann went on her rampage. With some of the agencies at that time we weren't just screened for previous employment history, DMV, health, etc. but a few agencies asked a lot of behavioral and mental health type questions too.Then, I worked in Boston at the time of Louise Woodward. The agencies there would send out advice about how to avoid shaken baby syndrome, and elivating stress.(It's wasn't fun or easy to say you were a nanny and then have some people wonder about your character.) But a larger side of me really does understand the level of trust required to have a nanny for a preverbal child.I guess my suggestion for us as an industry is to create a series of mental health and wellbeing types questions that we should be asked on interviews in additional to those behavior interview what if scenario questions.

  2. You can't ask about mental health Lisa it's against the law. What if your mother dies and you get depressed and take anti-depressants, will that make you a bad nanny? Of course not. That's why there are criminal checks. As a nanny I welcome nanny cams. Everyone gets so defensive about them. This nanny proves why parents should definitely use them. I think it's the worse case scenario what happened here and all these tips on the blog are 100% correct. But also use a nanny cam. Can you imagine had they not had a nanny cam? At least now there is proof and they can prosecute her. The real crime will be if she finds work caring for children again!

  3. Behavorial interview type questions can be asked on interviews. (I will acknowledge it was wrong to use the words mental health)For the record too, I don't oppose nanny cams.There is a difference between dealing with the stress of a parent dying while being a nanny, I know. My dad died from cancer.

  4. I saw this was posted last night on your blog on another topic and I am copying it and putting it here because it makes sense for this topic as well. The topic being hiring household caregivers safely. Well this tells nannies how to be safe."The internet can be an effective venue to match families looking for childcare and nannies looking for work. Most families are honest and fair and are looking for the best care for their families. However, it is important to learn safe internet job search skills to protect yourself against possible dangers and scams.It is important to make sure you do not provide the following information on an online application.• Social Insurance Number or Social Security Number (this should only be provided to your employer once you have been offered a job)• Date of birth• Names and phone numbers of References• Copies of birth certificates or other identity documents• Bank account information This type of scam may promise you salaries and working conditions that are too good to be true. They sometimes offer to hire you without even talking to you directly. They may offer you a salary advance and ask for banking information to deposit the cheque.When you speak to a potential employer on the phone it is important to get a sense of how comfortable they are with your desire to remain cautious and careful during the interview process. If fact, they should see this as an indicator of your professionalism.If you have any hesitation about going to the family home for an interview it is a good ideas to conduct your first meeting with the family in a public place. If you do go to the family home make sure you leave the name, address and phone number with someone as a precaution. Ask if you can speak to their former nanny or childcare provider. The family will want to do reference checks on you so they should not object to this.A nanny is wise to think through safety issues before accepting a job offer. We hear so much about families being concerned about leaving their children in the care of a relative stranger. Nannies considering relocating and living with their employer need to be just as cautious. For more information please

  5. Women like this in the story ruin the image of the other 99.999% of nannies. Parents should not use online web sites that claim they prescreen nannies. No web site prescreens nannies. The advice from the newsletter is correct. Never invite strangers into your home without following the advice given here.

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