It’s impossible to be with your kids at all times. The truth is, at some point in your child’s life you’ll probably have to hire a nanny or babysitter.
However, finding the right nanny to watch your kids can be a difficult task.
But, sites like Park Slope Parents — a parenting resource website — can make it easier for you to find the right nanny. It has sections dedicated to caretaker-finding advice, like “Hiring a Nanny/Babysitter,” which explains how to do everything from writing a good help-wanted ad to what responsibilities you should trust your caretaker with to how best to pay your employee.
On Monday, The Daily News reported that the founder of Park Slope Parents, which has over 4,000 paying members, said her site’s moderators have found that a few nannies have posed as their employers online to scam their way into getting jobs.
The News reported that there has been a couple of instances, “an extremely small percentage” of users, said founder Susan Fox, where nannies have created fake references for themselves by creating profiles using their employer’s name and e-mail address.
Nannies have also been found to round up a few interviews for themselves, get a job and then give their friends, who may not have great recommendations themselves, the interviews.
“Most recently we had an employer let a nanny go because she realized that the references she had relied on to hire her nanny were fake,” Fox told The News. “It was heartbreaking for us as well as the family.”
However, Fox wrote to Patch that people should not think her site is a landmine of fraudulent posts.
“The overwhelming majority of nannies looking are honest, as are the employers and former employers who recommend them,”
Fox wrote. “We at Park Slope Parents work diligently to avoid posting fraudulent recommendations and to educate our members on how to ensure what you’re told by prospective nannies is true.”
Fox said that Park Slope Parents has a “dedicated Nanny Moderator” who screens recommendations for nannies.
“We feel we stop the vast majority of the questionable references before they post,” she said.
Below you can find a checklist Fox put together to help parents ensure their nanny is legitimate, and so are his/her credentials and recommendations.
- Check multiple references, meeting them in person if possible. Do not rely on written generalizations. Ask detailed questions and request examples of their “glowing” abilities. If they can’t come up with specific examples you may have a ringer.
- Request an ID and documentation of potential employees to confirm identity and address. If they indicate they use multiple names (married, nickname, etc.) ask for documentation.
- Consider asking for a reference beyond the parent/employer. If they have past work experience outside of being a nanny, ask for a reference from a former boss. If they have been in school, ask to talk to a former teacher.
- Ask the references about where they had put up advertisements/recommendations for the nanny.
- Do a background check (although this has limitations).
- Double check facts given by the nanny and the reference about the working situation (e.g., names/ages of children, dates worked, employers’ job, etc.).
- Search Google, Craigslist, Facebook, LinkedIn for references to both the nanny’s identity and the reference’s identity.