Nannies are “help” that probably usually only occupy the homes of the wealthy. One can imagine the difficulty that a mother has in placing her children in someone else’s care; or perhaps it is not so difficult for some. Either way, parents want their children to be in good hands, no matter if it’s daycare or high school. If you stop to think about it, it is amazing the amount of time that children actually spend away from their primary caregivers, their parents.
I think it’s safe to say there is probably a general consensus that those who work in child care-schools, daycare, afterschool programs and other places-should undergo rigorous background checks, in the very least, before they can work with children. When you’re hiring a nanny to take care of your children, it is up to you to decide who you will trust to take care of them. There are no protocols and procedures in place like there are in hiring in a public school, for example. However, this decision should clearly be based on some sort of background check process, interviews, references and possibly observing the potential nanny together with your children. It is not sufficient to hire a nanny as Mr. Sheffield did in the TV show “The Nanny” (one of my favorite shows, although a little dated), based on a resume written in lipstick.
I will say, albeit carefully, that sometimes the whole background check process cannot anticipate what, if anything might occur in the future. Nevertheless, they are a vital part of any hiring process, even hiring yourself a nanny, and there is no excuse not to conduct some sort of background check.
In New York city late last month, a mother came home from taking one of her daughters to a swimming lesson to find two of her other children, a six year old and a toddler who had been left with the nanny, murdered in the bathtub. Allegedly, the nanny began stabbing herself in front of the mother and had to be hospitalized. The nanny has now been arrested and charged with “two counts of first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder over the killings.”
The name of the nanny is Yoselyn Ortega, currently 50 years old. She has reportedly been a “naturalized citizen for a decade” and had worked for the family of the children for two years. She was also apparently referred to the family by another.
This is a horrible tragedy; something that nobody should have to live through. I don’t know what measures were taken in the hiring process of the nanny. I don’t want to speculate what was or wasn’t done for a background check process but without a doubt, a background check, including references and interviews, are vital to making an informed decision when hiring someone who will be spending that much time with your children. Needless to say, in this day and age, a referral should not be the only part of the hiring process.
Categories: Screening Nannies and Caregivers