Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about choosing the right child care provider.
Choosing a child care provider, whether it is a full-time nanny or a part-time babysitter, can be a stressful process. The stakes are high and the landscape utterly lacking in transparency or standards.
I don’t know about you, but the story that broke last week of a dog that alerted parents to an abusive baby sitter sent chills down my spine.
If you are unfamiliar with the story, here it is in a nutshell.
A family from South Carolina had employed a babysitter who turned out to be verbally and physically abusing her son. She had been in their employ for five months when their dog began exhibiting aggressive behavior whenever she would approach their 7-month-old son. Fearing the worst, but afraid to act on merely a hunch, they hid a camera phone between the couch. Within a day their worst fears had been confirmed.
But what if the couple had not had a dog? What if all they had to go by was her behavior in front of them? It is easier than you might think to be snowed if someone is a good pretender.
Their child could have suffered under this woman’s care for much longer — until he was able to verbalize what was going on.
As a working mom, that story made me want to pack it in at work permanently — or at least until my boys are fully grown.
But that isn’t necessarily the best or most feasible response. Working is part of the fabric of life for the majority of mothers today.
So what, beyond agitating for some clear-cut national standards, is productive? Answer: taking the time to screen well. Yes, interviewing applicants can seem exhausting. But organizing an in-depth screening process and taking your time upfront to find the right person can really pay off.