Friday, February 17, 2012

Online Babysitting Sites-Caveat Emptor

More Negative Press for SitterCity

This article comes to us from the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA). Wee Care Nanny is a long-time member and currently serves on its board.

In the past 4 weeks, there have been two additional news stories involving the online matching service, SitterCity. In one case, a Massachusetts woman was accused of stealing $40,000 in jewelry from two families she found on the website. This individual had cleared a SitterCity "background check", which we know does little more than provide a false sense of security to vulnerable parents. Another more tragic case involves a second grade teacher who has been indicted on child pornography and abuse charges. He has also been accused of participating in a child exploitation ring. While we cannot stop these terrible events from occurring, we would like to encourage all APNA agencies to continue to educate parents about the value of proper screening, reference evaluation, and background checks; all services that are included in the APNA agency process.

We at Wee Care Nanny Agency find these two cases extremely disturbing and heartbreaking. We believe the public needs to be better educated about online listing services.

Tragically, in our opinion, the proliferation of online bulletin boards like SitterCity, Care .com, Craigslist, etc. has led to increased crimes against children by inexperienced, unstable or even criminal minded individuals masquerading as professional caregivers. These sites have no barriers to entry. Anyone can post their profile on these sites and hold himself or herself out as an experienced and qualified caregiver. No one is bothering to verify the job seeker’s information before it is posted, or in some cases at all.

In light of this, we thought this was a good time to re post the article we wrote in June 2009 titled "Greenwich Nanny's Arrest Prompts Hiring Advice". We hope this provides insight on how to properly vet and hire a professional nanny, babysitter or other type of caregiver.

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency