Letter from a nanny..............

Received Saturday, September 23, 2006
I am a professional nanny and I was absolutely shocked by what I read on this blog. Incompetent nannies are more prevalent than I even imagined. Are the parents of the children screening applicants to make sure they are competent. These women give a bad name to the legitimate nannies trying to make a living.

Mothers - Do your due diligence and check out your applicants before hiring them. Nothing is more precious than your child - no amount of money could ever replace them. Wake up and take action.

Tustin, California


Anonymous said...

Is it any wonder that there are so many nannies like this, when parents don't want to pay the good nannies who cost more? I'm not shocked at all because this is the quality of a cheap nanny. You get what you pay for!

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny in NYC and I agree. The many wonderful nannies I meet work for moms who were very selective when hiring, and treat their nannies well. Unfortunately, some moms want to find someone quickly, who will do a lot of non nanny work, (family laundry, cleaning etc.) and brag about how little they pay. Their nannies hate their jobs, and sit talking on their phones in the playground ignoring their charges. Wake up employers! There is a difference between a cleaning lady who baby sits and a real nanny.

Anonymous said...

As a mom who has just hired her second nanny, I can tell you first hand how difficult it is to do sufficient background screening. Given how hard it is, it’s upsetting to me that people always seem to blame the parents (and usually just the mom) when something goes wrong. With both nannies, we worked with established agencies who checked references, conducted criminal background checks, and ensured that the nannies had cpr, first aid and clean drivers records. Beyond that, I’d love to be able to just interview the nanny, talk with previous employers, look for the skills I need, figure out who feels like a good match personality and style wise, and make her a fair offer. Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy.

• With the first agency we found that they disregarded (and did not disclose to us) things in the Nanny’s background that we would not have been comfortable with. They were also sloppy with checking her history. We learned to ask for copies of all the documentation so that we could review it ourselves.
• Depending on the agency, the criminal check may miss things that happened in another state. We learned that the agency needs to run a check for any state the Nanny has lived in. It’s also good to do an internet search on the Nanny’s name to turn up information on behavior or history that was negative, but not criminal. It’s surprising how much information is out there if you look.
• Many people pay nannies under the table, so no official record of their job is created. The nanny may claim to have been traveling or in school rather than list a reference who will have negative things to say on her resume. This is a tough one to combat, but we learned to be extra cautious about any gaps in the work history.
• It’s easy for a nanny to misrepresent their level of experience with different issues, especially if they’ve worked in homes where the mother was available during the day when the going got rough. We learned to ask very specific questions about how different situations might be handled and where the nanny gets information when they run into an unexpected childcare situation
• Nanny agencies don’t share information, and it is difficult for parents to share information, so even when someone finds out about inappropriate behavior it often doesn’t stop the Nanny from getting other jobs
• And of course, a previous employer might give a glowing reference for their nanny, not being aware of issues with the way their children were treated

Nothing was more painful than finding out that our first nanny wasn’t consistently treating our son the way we would have wanted. I have never felt more betrayed. There are lots of wonderful nannies out there who care very deeply for the children in their care, and provide loving consistent care while the parents are at work… but it’s not always immediately obvious when someone doesn’t meet that bar.

Anonymous said...

Im not a professional nanny(I have had many yrs experience taking care of my sisters children and other family members children and friends kids, babies) but was thinking of maybe being a nanny professionally since I do love children and they love me, maybe because Im tiny and not very tall and because of my personality, Im a kid magnet.
I do love kids and know how to be with them, bad kids don't get away with bad behavior around me, I know how to handle them, I've learned over the yrs. what to do and what not do. Most of the time it's just attention they want and believe me when I tell u this they do need and want to be disciplined, although they may not know it yet.

What do u do if the child you're taking care of is just a bad, unrully, terrible, spoiled brat child who doesn't listen and hits u and kicks u when u try to get them to behave by talking to them.
I have seen very bad kids do this to their nannies and parents in parks and I tell u I feel sorry for the nannies(not the parents) cause u really can't do anything, u spank the child and go to jail.

I have heard one child tell her nanny that she can do anything and that if the nanny spanks her she will call the cops and have her arrested. Gee, I wonder where the child learned this behavior? The parents of course, so yes I blame all the bad behavior in kids on the parents.
Parents these days are either too busy or just don't know what to do so they let the kids do whatever they want and then they dump their brat, the brat they created on a nanny or on a teacher in school.

So with all the unfair nanny bashing, (and don't get me wrong some of them Im sure deserve it) ask yourself why some of the nannies are that way, they may have to deal with awful children with parents who spoil them and don't believe in spanking or disciplining their kids so the kids learn real fast that they can just do what they want and get away with it.
It's not easy to care for a child and thats why so many peole get nannies so they don't have to deal with their brat, the brat they created but then they have the nerve to tell the nanny that she has to put up with that brat and be the perfect nanny and then pay her a cheap wage.
So of curse u get what u pay for, all u cheap Moms and Dads who trully have bad nannies, u deserve it. You get what u pay for. Don't have kids if u can't take care of them or can't afford to pay the nanny a fare wage, don't expect a nanny u pay cheaply to care and miraculously change your bad kids when u created them by not disciplining them.

I realized a long time ago that way too many people out there should just not be having kids. This is a great site but most of the blogs are just stupid and baseless and probably posted by people that have way too much time on their hands. Stop posting frivulous garbage and stick to serious bad nanny behavior.

There is no such thing as the perfect nanny, u don't have the perfect child(as much as youd like to believe you do) nor are u the perfect Mom(or Dad)so don't expect perfection in your nanny. But do make sure u get the perfect nanny for you and do pay her a fair wage.

And those of you who have babies who are looking for a nanny, for goodness sakes, do an extensive background check, do all u can to KNOW who youre hiring to care for your baby.
I don't want to hear any excuses that you're too busy, then you should have waited to have a baby if you're too busy. You need to choose, what's more important here, your job or your baby? Never ever compromise or settle when it comes to your baby or child.

And when u do finally find who u believe is the perfect nanny to care for your baby make sure that she understands exactly what u expect of her, pay her a fare wage and for goodness sakes make sure she understands English and speaks English. The rest is just common sense.

I am not Star Jones said...

Why do only the mothers have to do due diligence?

Anonymous said...

To the parent who posted the long post about background checks, work history, etc. I have something to say:
Some people may not list a family as a reference not because they did a bad job but because the family was not a good family and would give them a bad reference unfairly.
If someone has a gap in their work history because of a bad experience, it doesn't neccesarily mean it is her fault.
I myself have a family that I worked for that I will not list because they were crazy! They don't seem it when you meet them but after you get to know them and see their house you see that they are disgusting people.
I won't use them as a reference, and I was very proud of the excellent job I did for them. It is unfair to me that I can't but I simply don't trust them.
To the mom who posted: if there were aspects of the nanny's background that the agency did not disclose, it is probably because it was none of your business and didn't have any bearing on what kind of nanny she was. You are so typical of a parent who thinks they are above nannies in general and should be privy to every aspect of their history. A criminal background check, a credit check, driving record check and a check of several references should be enough: you do not need to know anything beyond that, and you should be prudent when listening to gossip about the nanny on the internet as well: it could be a crackpot parent complaining, much like yourself.
No offense...

Nicole said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nicole said...

a reply to the 'prospective nanny' - I am from Essex which is near London, England. I am taking a level 3 Diploma in Childcare & Education, & whole heartedly am opposed to smacking children. a tap on the hand may be different if the child is about to endanger themselves or need to have a quick response to undesired behaviour. However, there are PLENTY of other ways of disciplining a child without them becoming 'children with parents who spoil them and don't believe in spanking or disciplining their kids so the kids learn real fast that they can just do what they want and get away with it.' & maybe if you did try to take some education in childcare (I'm not saying that education is by anyway better than experience, but usually the two together work best)then you may be able to understand these ways of bringing up a well behaved & well mannered child without the need of what in England, would be classed as abuse (over here any hit hard enough to leave a mark is classed as abuse)

N.L., Completing Education, Essex, England

Suzie said...

I never realized how ineffective a nanny agency could be. From now on I will always request copies of the employee background check.