Frederick Douglass Homes playground at Amsterdam Ave and 100th St. - NY

Received Tuesday, November 30, 2010
nanny sighting 7 UPPER WEST SIDE NYC BAD NANNY. Abusive nanny seen September-October 2010 in the children's play area of the Frederick Douglass Homes playground at Amsterdam Ave and 100th St.

CHILD was a white male infant with dark hair, in a carriage, probably under a year old. He appeared hopeless and distressed.

NANNY is a very obese, dark-skinned black woman with an unusually protruding forehead over very deep-set eyes--similar to the forehead of an Australian aboriginal. I believe she had an accent of some kind. She had the expression of a mentally ill, angry person. Hair was short. I HAVE A PHOTO of this nanny.

Nanny's behaviors: Imitating the baby's crying in an angry jeering tone instead of comforting baby. Running her fingers up the inside of his leg inside his clothing all the way to his crotch (as a supposed way of playing with him). There was something else horrible she was doing too, I think it was something about not giving him the bottle he wanted. All the while she was talking to him in a jeering, angry tone. Other nannies had infants his age in the infant swing seats, enjoying the day. She sat on a bench eating in front of him while he cried for food. When she saw me watching she moved opposite me and was talking angrily to herself in a threatening way while trying to determine if I was continuing to pay attention to her.

This is a very sick woman. I wish I had reported her then and there and had her questioned. I will provide a photo if you can provide one indicating that this is the same nanny.
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women like this get hired, why? said...

It is difficult for energetic, 20-something, college educated nannies like myself to get jobs because people are hiring women like this to watch their children. Lovely to know that these people are getting jobs (because they are cheaper to hire) over people who would actually be a better fit for the family.

MissDee said...

Women: I experienced the same thing when I applied for nanny jobs. I have been in childcare for 26 years: I babysat for relatives, worked in day for 12 years, many classes, certifications and credentials. My portfolio had parents glancing at the pages, passing the folder between each other. One would ask general questions, and then ask their spouse if they had more questions. Not one question was asked about the courses I took, what I learned, and how I planned on applying what I learned to the job. The art projects I have in my portfolio don't even get noticed; not even a question as to what age I did the project with, what materials I used, etc. No response to the portfolio is given, not so much as a compliement. I feel as though my portfolio is a reflection of myself, my experience in and dedication to the childcare profession, through coursework, and credentials. The lesson plans and art projects are provided so that parents may have some peace of mind that I am not a texting park bench nanny with the TV on all day.

Apparently parents want a qualifed, experienced caregiver, yet when they have one, they choose to hire the opposite. How sad.

bostonnanny said...

Miss Dee,

When I show my portfolio, I get the same thing. No one wants to take the time and look through it. Most of the time when I interview I'm the one asking questions, parents have no idea what they want or what to ask. I usually email my set of questions before i arrive, so they know what to expect and be prepared to have an actual interview not just sit and stare at me.

It's just completely awkward most of the time. They don't want to know know anything about you personally or even career wise, they just want to know what your price is. So basically if your priced right they will hire you and ask questions later. And parents wonder why they have such problems with nannies.

I'm so lucky my family asked me to stay another year last week, I couldn't stand interviewing again.

MissDee said...

Boston: My thoughts exactly! I have Breedlove tax information along with current background check and driving record in my porfolio. In addition, I am the one explaining what I learned in each course and how I plan to implement that knowledge on the job. To ensure that we are a match, I ask the family how they would feel about "trial days". They are open to the idea, my references are great and somehow someone else gets hired. I am starting to think that parents are intimidated by portfolios, organized nannies who know what they want in a family and a position. IMO, trial days give the nanny a chance to demonstrate their childcare style, ability to do the job, and for both parties to see if there is a match. Do families not understand that?

bostonnanny said...

Miss Dee, I have the same things in mine and I offer a trial period as well. I also print a profession resume on resume paper to give to them during the interview since most don't even think to print out the emailed copy i sent them (i'm starting to think i'm wasting paper). Not only that but the families I've worked for never did a background check or driving history. Never had me do a trial or do a test drive with me, and most didn't even call all my references.
Its like here's my kid have fun. I could be convicted felon and they would never know.

Main topics for parents are:
Do i need to pay you for vacations or holidays?
What housework and errands do you do?
Do you have your own car?

some might even mention taxes but rarely.

I hope you find a job soon. If you move to Boston I'm sure you could find something :)

Ohio Nanny said...

Price and on demand availability.

Yep. That seems to be the most important thing to most I interviewed with as well. But not all. Some parents are thankful when a competent nanny is sitting across from them! The family I am with now is terrified of having to go through the process again because of what they came across in interviews. The father told me this the other day, while re-iterating their goal is to make sure I am happy so I stay!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I agree, there are many good nannies out there, many of them out of work and this woman is out there with a job that she clearly has no business doing. Sheesh.
She probably was hired because she worked for cheap. (Just a guess on my part.) I hope this poor little boy's parents or someone who knows them reads this and that nanny is fired on the spot. Poor little boy, to be spoken to in such a harsh manner!
Miss Dee & BostonNanny, I agree that parents need to be more thorough in their selection process. If I was a parent hiring a nanny, I would check out everything and be grateful for a portfolio, etc. However, I think BostonNanny is right, parents are usually 100% focused on price and that usually is the deciding factor on whether they hire you or not. Sadly. :(
Also, even though you have a lot of certifications/credentials..all that can mean nothing if a parent does not have instant chemistry with you during the interview. Chemistry plays a HUGE factor in the interviewing process, so as a parent, no matter how educated, experienced, credentialed a nanny may be..unless I feel she is genuine, warm, loving, patient and outgoing..she would not even be considered in my book. Chemistry speaks volumes over anything else. This may be what sets the nanny profession apart from other jobs. In most other jobs, chemistry may not be so important, but since nanny work is one-on-one with a child or children, the nanny MUST have a great personality.

bostonnanny said...

what you trying to say...I don't have a great personality and lack chemistry? geesh and here i thought i was to expensive lol.

I think when I start my search again i'm gonna try being unprepared and have less questions. Maybe only tell them what hours and pay i want and see how it goes.

TC said...

I lucked out with my job, I was not looking for a nanny job whatsoever but this one and my previous one fell into my lap

The first nanny job happened to be for a family who's oldest son was in my daycare class. When the baby came along they wanted a nanny instead of putting him in daycare so they called and hired me. 9 months later they moved away thanks to a job transfer and I was jobless.

I went back to the daycare scene and hated it, after almost 6 months I quit but I was still babysitting for all the kids in my old nanny job neighborhood. One of the familys I happened to be babysitting for was upset with the daycare that they had their child in and out of frustration one night after they had come home they asked me to be their nanny. I had just quit my job 2 days before and needed the job so I of course said yes. I've been with them now for 3 yrs and I couldn't ask for a better job.

I am dreading the day that they no longer need me because I do not want to try to compete with all the illegals in the area, I know I can't win

Women like this get hired, why?? said...

Come to think of it, I frequently come across sittercity nanny position ads that specify no recent college grads. the reason for that is probably because they want someone with years (decades?) of experience. But, maybe they also think that the young, educated type will cost a pretty penny, since we wont accept getting paid next to nothing. I have always been a firm believer of, "you get what you pay for." I charge a decent amount for my nanny services, so I am always prepared at an interview to remind the parents that this is their children we are talking about. and their care should be the last thing that you should skimp on.

Tired of it! said...

AMEN!! You are all right on about this! This makes me so angry!! I every single day see nannies that could care less about the well being of their charge(s) and I know the parents are getting the deal of a lifetime. You are all right. When I interview with families the first things are:

1.) Money (I have to clarify if I am contracted for 5 days 10 hours a day, then I WILL be salary. Families usually don't like this because they don't like paying me for time that I am not there, i.e. if they give me the day off. Sorry I am not working full time because I am bored people! I need a guarentee income every week like everyone else out there!)
2.) If I will work overtime weekdays so they can "get out together."
3.) Babysit weekends
4.) Will I clean/run errands
5.) Will I expect paid holidays, sick days & vacations

My vast experience, being american born, portfolio, mission statement, stellar letters of reference, spotless background check, patients, a sample copy of a contract stating my duties, and certifications are usually what they ask me in the 3rd interview. So weird because I email them all the information they could possibly need before we even meet so they can be prepared yet that is not what matters up front! If it where me finding a nanny, those are the exact points that weed out the bad eggs, the finacials and hours can be last. But common sense seems to be hard to come by in this profession. It seems families want to have their cake and eat it too...even if it means cutting corners. Sad.

I hope this little baby's family gets wind of this nanny they hired. No child deserves to be treated like garbage, ever!


mabie you should contact Ringling Brothers, about this nanny!

FranzenFreedom said...

I would always ask an interviewee about hours and availability up front, because if it is not a match for what I need, there is no point in continuing the interview. I would also mention the salary range and benefits fairly early on. I would be wary of a recent college graduate as I would expect they would be using the nanny job as a stop-gap until a job in their field opens up.

Although it is good to be prepared for an interview, I would be put off by some of the things mentioned such as a Mission Statement, art projects (just don't care and have never understood the preoccupation with doing crafts as a sign of a good caretaker)or by a prospective nanny bringing a contract. In almost any field, an employer provides a contract, although the terms could be negotiated.

My husband and I still laugh over the girl we were connected with through a nanny agency years ago. I spoke with her on the phone to see if our hours and salary range expectations matched and agreed to set up an in-person interview. (The salary I mentioned was actually above what she had specified to the agency.) Fifteen minutes later, she called back and said her BOYFRIEND thought she should be payed more much than that so she wanted AT LEAST X amount of dollars as a raise! And this was before we had even met. I passed on her and ended up with a wonderful nanny who was with us for years.

MissMannah said...

Franzen: You don't care about what the nanny plans to actually do with your children on a daily basis? So, as long as their basic needs are met, you're happy? This pretty much means you don't want a professional nanny. You want someone who will fit with your priority of being cheap enough.

On a side note: I never bring a portfolio to the initial interview. Just copies of my resume, reference letters and background check. I've figured out that if the parents are going to actually show enough interest in me to warrant a second interview, then they'll be more interested in learning about what sort of activities I provide.

Bostonnanny said...


I like having your input on the subject. I have sample art projects and local activities in my portfolio to show that I am creative and proactive. I also have a little bio about myself and job experience. The reason I have a sample contract is because most families I've come across (especially new parents) don't have any idea about employing a nanny or they are just trying to keep it commitment free, so they can change their minds about vacations, pay etc. My sample contract is not filled out but highlights the information that should be addressed in one. I am comfortable with parents stating the price and hours up front but what worries me is that during these interviews they don't ask me questions about my experience or education.

I have been with my current family for almost 2years and they were impressed with my portfolio and was main reason I was hired. They didn't do any background checks on me which worried me but I realize that most families don't. They say they will because they believe that will weed out the "bad ones" but never follow through.
Of course this is from my experience and I know of some
families who have done the proper research but many don't.
Now regarding hiring a recent grad or young nanny, their can be drawbacks but you understand that their are few career nannies now a days. Most nannies are not gonna be nannies for more then 10/20 years max. I started when I was 20 and my goal is to be done with nannying by 30. That doesn't mean I will break my contract. I'd be more worried about hiring an out of work teacher or nurse who are just waiting for a job to open up in their field. They seem likelier to quit on the spot when their actual career opens up.

Bostonnanny said...

Miss mannah,

Bringing my portfolio to a second interview sounds like a great idea, except I've never had a second I interview. I've always been hired after the first. I've even gone on an interview where they gave me a tour of the house and kids schedules because they were gonna hire me on the spot. I turned them down because it didn't feel right.

MissDee said...

Freedom: I have the art projects and a lesson plan in my portfolio so the parents can see that I plan on doing something with their child. I guess you would be happy with someone who had no activities planned for your child and let them watch TV all day?

Boston: I have a job in daycare for now and I am happy. I am considering applying to UIC (University of Illinois-Chicago). I wonder what the nanny market is like down there?

nycmom said...

From an employer perspective, I agree with much of what FranzenFreedom has to say. I think this is a very interesting thread to see the difference btw employer's actual concerns vs what a nanny perceives an employer would be impressed by.

I also would have little interest in a nanny's portfolio, art projects, or even her formal education. It's not because I don't care about how she will spend the day with my kids, but rather because I don't think art projects in a portfolio correspond to later job performance.

I am not particulary fond of hiring new college grads either. I have a couple of very young date night sitters I use, but would never hire one as a ft nanny. As my 2 older kids get older (8 and 10yo now), I do think they much prefer younger nannies. But for infants-5yoish, I prefer older nannies. I have many reasons for this, though the biggest one is simply my own experience employing a variety of caregivers. The new college grads are often the most entitled and routinely ask for a pay rate that is 30%+ higher than average. I have tried this, thinking it would correspond to amaizng job performance. Nope. Actually in nannying, I truly do NOT think you get what you pay for. The people who have asked me for the most money have been the least impressive.

Also, very young women tend to: talk on the phone more, text more, play on the computer, have limited patience for long days, and are MUCH less likely to clean up after themselves. I don't expect my nanny to do heavy housekeeping, but I do expect the place to be as clean as I left it. If the dishwasher needs to be emptied or run, I expect that. I expect db's room & toys to be clean and organized. Young college grads often feel they are "above" even basic organizing. When I worked as a sitter or pt nanny, I *always* cleaned up after myself, the kids, and did a little extra if I had time. I also agree with FF that younger nannies often do not offer the same long-term committment that established, professional nannies do. Finally, I prefer nannies who are mothers themselves. I just don't think any amount of babysitting or care of siblings prepares one for the tedious, long hours involved in true ft nannying.

I also always mention the salary, hours, ages of my dc in the initial phone screening. If we aren't in the same range there, no point in going further. Period. So, yes, in many ways hours and cost ARE the most important factor because they are the two areas that are generally non-negotiable for either side.

JMTTC makes a great point about chemistry. I would also add in work ethic. I don't believe education or a portfolio in any way = good nanny. So in many ways they are irrelevant to me. I want a person I like, who likes us. Someone who I think is a kind, honest, warm person with a great work ethic and a genuine affection for kids. Most moms don't start with a degree in Child Development and I just don't value it in hiring myself. Though I absolutely do check references and consider this one of the most important parts of hiring. I also definitely do trial weeks, the other most important part of hiring!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

To Bostonnanny: Where in my post did I say you had no personality and that you lacked chemistry? I was just stressing the point that chemistry plays a huge factor in the hiring process and no matter how educated, experienced or credentialed you may be, w/out mutual chemistry, you will not get hired.
It is standard in this profession that chemistry either makes or breaks your chances for a job. Since this type of work includes non stop interaction with people in their home environment, chemistry matters more than anything else. A nanny can be educated with a Ph.D, have 20 + yrs of experience as both a professional nanny and a parent and have all her CPR/First Aid/AED certifications and vaccinations up to date, but if I don't see any integrity, warmth, patience and/or an outgoing manner about her, then she won't even be considered. I would hire an uneducated, less experienced person if that person could demonstrate to me that they truly loved being around children all day and actively engaged my child during the interview. Again, this is what sets the Nanny profession from so many other types of jobs. It's so chemistry based initially.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

NYC Mom..I agree. I think that there are many advantages of hiring an older nanny. Truthfully, when I was in my late teens/early twenties, I didn't possess even an ounce of the maturity, life experience or common sense that I do now and do not think that I would have been as competent a nanny as I am now. + Now I have raised my own children which gives me a leg up I think.
A common complaint I have had from some families that have hired me is that they didn't like the attitude of the younger girls they interviewed. They complained the younger girls only wanted to discuss money and when they did,the demanded at least a certain amount per hour and stated they would not accept less. Such self-entitlement issues do not exist among us older folks who have had more of a reality check in life..those of us who have graduated from the school of hard knocks and are more grateful for what we have.
I do think hiring an older nanny may work well for younger children, but as they get older possibly a younger nanny may work better as she can play a mentor type role as well.

world's best nanny said...

In my profile I have pics of me and the kids at story times, messy parties, hay rides etc. I have pics of Lego mountain and Playdoh monsters. A copy of an example day where we are concentrating on one letter or one color for the week.

I am paid $1,500 weekly. I am 45, overweight with deep set eyes and a prominent forehead. I am not cheaper to hire. I am an excellent nanny. How come no one ever describes the "mean old nanny" as tall, slender, with an angelic face? I may not be Tinkerbell but I get my job done and my families and kids love me for it.

Bostonnanny said...

Jmtc, I was joking! You missed the lol at the end

Amon, I didn't mean to come off that way, I guess I was trying to say they either like you on the first interview or they don't. I had to go to many interviews before I found my jobs and it was ridiculous all the work and time I spent doing so. But that's what you got to do.

Nycmom, I like seeing it from the parents point of view. I'm young but very mature for my age and my constant struggle is to show that at interviews. Not only that i look younger then i am, so parents see a teenager instead of an adult who has supported herself and brothers since age 16. Im a private person and keep my issues at home. If your not like the college grads that you encountered and actually are mature, clean and responsible how do you show that if parents only see your age?
I've never gone into an interview asking for a set pay and tons of benefits, I state my expected range before we meet in person. The thing is I struggle with parents lowering the price and benefits when I get there to see if I'm desperate enough to take anything. It's just annoying.

women like this get hired, why? said...

In response to parents not wanting to hire a recent college grad, i suppose there is a stereotype for "recent college grad." although i certainly do not fit that stereotype. Throughout my four years of college I worked as a part time nanny (30 hours/week), I never went to a "college party", i literally worked and studied and became an excellent nanny, and a great multi-tasker. obviously an employer doesnt assume a recent college grad worked as a nanny for four years while in college, which is understandable. But i still want to send my resume to the ads that state, "no recent college grads", and add in "no, i swear, im not like the others!" lol

nycmom, i do think that an education makes a huge difference in the kind of person that they become as a result of 4+ years in college. Maturity, life experience, intelligence, etc that they gain while getting a proper education, (i believe) makes them more cut out to take on a job that involves being responsible. Obviously that is not the Only factor that makes a person a good nanny, and there are certainly many other things that make a great nanny that cannot be learned at an institution.

i suppose my main point im trying to make is....World's Best Nanny, what city do you work in, and how can i get a job that pays as well as yours! lol :)

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

World's Best Nanny...wow you take in $6,000 per month as a Nanny! You must work for a Hollywood couple..tell us, tell us is it Brangelina??? I would NEVER ask for that much per week, I would love to make that in a month! LOL.

bostonnanny said...

I know $1,500 is quite a lot for a nanny position but its not impossible to get. If you work for a family with 3-4 children, 50 hours a week at $25 per hour thats $1,250. In MA thats not unheard of, I just saw an ad for a nanny share that was offering $24 an hour for two children in Cambridge.

I bet she works in NYC, where the pay is higher.

educated employer said...

I am a childcare provider and have been for my entire life. Last year I was in the new position of having to hire a nanny.

Being a childcare provider, I hired someone who was a recent college grad and was skilled and educated regarding child development.

The nanny I hired is wonderful.

To nyc mom: of course you agreed with fanz: that is no surprise.

To fanz: I'm glad you got a nanny that you are happy with.

To nannies with an education and an amazing portfolio: there are EDUCATORS out there who will always prefer you over other cheaper, less skilled, less educated nannies. And there will always be people out there who know NOTHING about early childhood education and want a nanny who is easier on their designer wallets.

;) Go educated nannies!

Bostonnanny said...

Worlds best nanny let's meet!!! I work in South Boston with an 18 month old and can take him anywhere anytime. His father works at MGH and his mother at Boston medical.
I'm also glad to know their are nannies in the Boston area making that much nowadays. The standard pay has dropped a few dollars since I started.

bostonnanny said...

World's best nanny,

Awesome! We have a membership and he lives within walking distance. I can also drive him anywhere. He goes on vacation this Saturday until Dec 12th, so how about the following week? He naps at noon so we wouldn't be able to stay long either.

nanny2 said...

What I see in NY is that most of the parents (in the nanny world, that is) are sending their kids to preschool at the age of 2, so the nanny is providing wrap-around care in the early morning, afternoon (naptime) and then early evening. So since they are already paying so much (it's a LOT) for preschool, they are not going to pay top dollar to get a highly educated nanny whom they mostly need (as they see it) to get child ready for school and supervise nap and a trip to the park.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

World's Best Nanny/bostonnanny, how cool you guys are both in the same area and are both working nannies watching little ones. I wish I could meet too, but I am on the West Coast. Have fun at the Children's Museum. Awesome.............
Yes, bostonnanny, it does depend on number of kids and area you live in. I would LOVE to make that much cash money however. I have head that Boston rates are MUCH higher than CA rates are (I reside in Laguna Beach, Orange County..as they call if on Mtv..the Real O.C.)

Nanny Authority said...

When you're hiring a nanny, you should do a lot of research on the person who is guarding your child's life. I feel like half of this situation is the parent's fault because they were too lazy to get a background check or references on their nanny.

The sad thing is the one who is suffering as a result is the child.

Marypoppin'pills said...

There is no way for me to Edit your comments. However, I removed 2 of them for you so if you would like to re-post please do! ;-)

worlds best nanny said...

We are still getting together on Wednesday. I just has MMP remove my posts because I mentioned the city and the name of the school my charges go to. Not too bright on my part this is public forum.

Marypoppin'pills said...

At least it was easily remedied, don't fault yourself too much. ;-)

Lisa Marie said...

I'm a couple weeks late on this, but this is a really interesting conversation and one I think rarely occurs- parents and nannies talking so openly about this sort of thing.
I am a recent college grad- guilty as charged- and although I do not intend on being a nanny for the rest of my life, i certainly do not think of it as just a "stop-gap" job that I'm going to leave as soon as a "real" position opens up for me. I don't really understand the issue here, though, because no matter how old your nanny or whether she has a HS diploma, a bachelor's, or 2 Ph.D's, you're going to set a contracted time that she will work with your family, aren't you? And you're going to hire someone that you trust to keep that contract. So i don't see why only recent college grads pose such a threat here.
Things may be different in your area and in your experience, but I have to say that most of the time the biggest issue I see is not recent college grads asking for too much money, but parents offering unbelievably low pay rates for nannies. Nannies should be paid a living wage and treated like an employee at any regular job. I'm not saying you have to give four weeks paid vacation and provide awesome health benefits, but pay them enough so they can live, buy food, and enjoy life a little bit. Many of the parents I have encountered think they can pay below minimum wage, because it's "just babysitting."