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Would You Review a Bad Nanny Online?

Would You Review a Bad Nanny Online?

By Jessica Ashley

A few days before Christmas, we had to fire our nanny suddenly.

The timing wasn’t great, but when would it ever be? Between us, my boyfriend and I have two businesses, one of which is a demanding new restaurant, and two kids, one of which is a very active one-year old.

We’d had suspicions that our nanny wasn’t being honest with us, and one day while my son was home for winter break and we had plans for lots of holiday family happenings, we confirmed that nagging feeling: She was lying to us several times a day, and in doing so, putting our toddler in harm’s way repeatedly. Our baby was physically fine, but there’s no way the damage of lying could ever repair the relationship. She had to be let go. Immediately.

You don’t need the details to understand the pit-in-the-belly feeling of realizing the person you’ve entrusted with your child has blatantly disregarded the code of care between a family and their babysitter, nanny or teacher. I felt it well up so much that I ached at the core. How dare she put the most vulnerable member of our family at risk? I was upset and nervous to confront her the next morning when she came into our home as if all was well.

My boyfriend was blunt: “This is what you did and why we are letting you go today.” And she responded with candor, admitting what she’d done. In the pause, I exhaled. Then she began rattling off excuses and threatening she wanted to be paid for hours we’d already compensated her for. She stiffened defensively as she spoke. It all sounded so prepared. And that’s when I got mad — composed but enraged. I was having none of it.

Finally, in the middle of a sentence, I told her we were done and it was time to leave.

We collected our keys and saw her out. She lives only six blocks from us, but we have not seen or heard from her since. I launched back into the holidays and recruiting college students to babysit over their break while I worked from home, and we pieced together a safe, happy transition for our children and for us. By some grace, a happy, structured, reputable daycare opened a new center a few blocks from our home (at nearly half the cost of the in-home nanny), and our daughter got the last available spot. We were moving on, and I decided to accept the gift of more time with my kids over the hectic holidays, working late on client needs if I had to, and trying to trust that it would all work out.

And it has. So why go back and rehash? Why wake the churning in my stomach? Why bring up the awful nanny experience we had when my family is thriving in our new normal?

Several days ago, I got an email from the childcare site where we’d found that nanny, informing me that I no longer had access to her background check. I don’t need it, of course, but it reminded me that she’d had stellar references, whom I’d called diligently before we offered her the job. She had no arrests or DMV issues, was CPR-certified, showed no red flags of the problems we encountered.

That thought was then replaced by an overwhelming need to inform other parents — mothers or fathers who might be in a scramble to find someone wonderful to care for their young child, or who are fed up with being stood up by nanny candidates or receiving dozens of emails from highly unqualified parties — of what happened when I hired this great-on-paper caregiver. I returned to the site to report her or review her, whichever would carry the most weight with potential employer-parents and the site itself.

As I waited on hold to speak to a guest services agent for the site, I posted on Facebook. Would you?, I asked, write up a bad nanny?

The comments poured in, and overwhelmingly, the answer was “YES” and “PLEASE.” The responses came primarily from parents who’d been there, either seeking information about someone they are considering hiring for childcare, or those who’d had their own horrible endings to a caregiver relationship.

“I’d want to know,” I read over and over. Of course, there were clarifications — advice to keep it brief, stick to the facts, use professional language, be sure not to slam her character.

I got all of this. I knew better than to let the fear or rage take over as I typed. But then I also was advised by a couple of friends to just move on rather than risk her fighting back in any way.

I heard all of it, and held it close as I soothed the sadness and (still) disbelief that this all went down the way it did. There’s not a right answer to how to react when someone has betrayed your parent-trust so flagrantly. But I wonder, what would you do? What’s the right answer for your family?

Would you take the time (and energy and gut-punch emotion) to give a poor rating or honest review to a babysitter or nanny?

Have you been in a similar position? Did you file a report or warn other parents in some way?

Would you? Should you? Is it fair to report a nanny you’ve fired?

Photo credit: Death to Stock Photos

Jessica Ashley
About the Author

Jessica Ashley

Jessica Ashley is a content strategist, editor and writer. She’s the founder of Single Mom Nation and author of the aw...

Jessica Ashley is a content strategist, editor and writer. She’s the founder of Single Mom Nation and author of the award-winning Sassafrass blog. Jessica is one half of the podcast Write-At-Home Moms, is a former founding senior editor at Yahoo! Shine and has contributed to Huffington Post, Huffington Post Live, Martha Stewart Radio, Disney’s, The Bump, and more. Jessica wears inappropriately high heels to the playground and is mom to a stand-up comic, awkward breakdancing, Tae Kwon Do-ing son and a drooly-kissing, delicious-thighed baby girl.

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  • Myriam

    February 18, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I would and do review bad services from plumbers, general contractors, hairdressers, etc. Why not a nanny? I usually don’t comment on “subjective” sunjects, like “I dodn’t like the color pallet proposed”, but I would if the serivce was unprofessionnal or if the person did not listen to our requests, for example…

  • Emily

    February 18, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I would. If people only left good reviews, what value can we place on the review system? Stick to the facts, keep it brief. Ask yourself, would you ‘let it go’ if whatever incident happened at a daycare center vs. in your home?

  • MR

    February 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Yes, I absolutely would review her! I would absolutely want to know, ESPECIALLY since it was something that was putting your child in harms way. And because it was an online site, they have an interest in only having people on there who have good references, so it may very well help get her off that site and not be available to too many people. You know those cases you hear about in the media – where something awful happened to the children in care of a nanny/teacher/daycare? Almost all of those were cases that started like this – where people knew this was happening, and pulled their kids from their care, but most never reported. EVERYBODY should report – good and bad, about nannies. It is the job of EVERY adult to protect ALL kids. Your review might just save another child from harm. PLEASE complete the review. And, after you have been with this daycare for a while, and find you like them, please review them too, to let them know they are doing a great job. Because the good places need to hear that too. I was at my daughter’s daycare/pre-school last week preparing to do a little presentation for her class, and saw a couple on a tour of the school. Even though I knew I was technically interrupting, I didn’t hesitate to go over to them and gush about the school. My daughter has gone there for 3 years, and the teachers and staff are AMAZING. They deserve to hear parents say that, and other parents deserve to know that it is true. Childcare is one of the most difficult and important choices parents can make. And they deserve to have good information by which to make that choice.

  • April

    February 18, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I agree 100% with what MR said. Please review her so that other parents who may be looking into her will know.

  • Jennifer B

    February 18, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Would I leave a review? Yes. I would be vague however.

    “while my child seemed happy and well adjusted while in X’s care, we unfortunately found out that there were some inconsistencies in following our requests that resulted in safety and trust issues that we could not overlook. We have therefore chosen to move in a different direction for the care of our child”.

  • Rebecca

    February 18, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    For endangering a kid? Hells yeah. That’s the freakin job-if you mess that up nannying is not for you.

  • Caroline

    February 19, 2016 at 1:56 am

    I would, if asked. I’d be specific about factual stuff. I’d give a true and honest reference, but would be certain to say one or two positive things. After all, this person might be better, say, with older kids, or whatever. I’d insist my name be added to a list of referees on the site, and leave it at that. Then if parents are doing their due diligence and want to speak with me – NEVER write anything down EVER – I’d have an honest chat.