Articles

Update on Nanny Posts to the Classifieds (September 2012)

September 8, 2012:

Hey All,

This summer has been busy for the Park Slope Parents Nanny moderators.  We've had a number of fraudulent recommendations to the PSP Classifieds (and many more that didn't make it to the list). We've been on the phone with recommenders, shaking the trees for "the real story."  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. It was heartbreaking for us as well as the family.

Because of this we are revamping the requirements for posting recommendations to the Park Slope Parents Classifieds list.  We'll post those shortly, but we need your help. As far as we can tell we've done a pretty good job of spotting and stopping fake recommendations, but with a little help from you we could avoid these even more. If you want to inform us of things that `just don't seem right,' email .

Here's what we've seen:

1. Nannies are signing up as their employers. Unbeknownst to the employers, nannies are using the employer's identity to join PSP and then post a recommendation purportedly coming from the employer. In some cases the nanny will create an email account in their employer's name ( ) without their employers' knowledge. We then talk to the employer who says, "That's not my email. I didn't post a recommendation to the PSP list!" In some cases they will post actual phone numbers of the references (since employers are willing to act as the reference) but the whole situation is done in a backhanded, less than honest way.

What you can do:  If your nanny is trying to find a job and you haven't done anything about it (like join PSP and post), ask potential employers who contact you how they heard about your nanny. Also ask potential employers to send you copies of the emails that have been posted.

2. Employers are giving their nannies permission to join Park Slope Parents under their name. This has led to nannies lying to get on the list ("we're moving to the area in 2 months") as well as posting references as the employer that are inaccurate (and in some cases grammatically humiliating to the employer).

What you can do: Don't give permission to your nanny to pretend to be you. It's against our joining agreement and has backfired more times than we wish to count.

3. Employers are giving their nannies access to their existing account to search for jobs. This has led to things such as the nannies directly contacting the ISO poster or desperate nannies posting fake references without their employers' knowledge (well, until we call them and inform them and they say, "My husband gave her access to our account but she wasn't supposed to post anything!")

What you can do: That's easy-- don't give your nanny access to your account. Take 15 minutes every few days and send ISO folks your recommendation of your nanny. Parent to parent connections are the most successful at finding your nanny a job and the majority of people who are posting ISO nanny posts want to hear from employers, not nannies.  That's why they are posting on PSP.  Most prospective employers don't even respond if a nanny calls or emails them rather than the employer.

4. Nannies are joining and then replying to the ISO posts. Anyone who lives in Brooklyn and is a parent can join our list, including nannies.  But no one is allowed to troll the list to look for jobs.  Nannies are not allowed to join to search for and respond to job offers.

What you can do:  If you get an "I'm a Nanny, I saw that you were looking for a job" email, forward it on to us at  and we can see if it's someone who has misrepresented themselves on the list.

5. Nannies are joining because people tell them, "Oh join PSP and find a job! You can join as a nanny."  PSP is open to parents (expectant included), including nannies who have kids. However, we rely on parent-to-parent connections for nanny recommendations.  This is not a venue that allows trolling for jobs. Anyone found to be trolling will be removed.

What you can do:  Remind people that nannies can't join to look for jobs.  If they want PSP to be a resource for job hunting they should ask their current or former employers to join and post a recommendation.

6. Nannies are giving their friends the interview slots they were supposed to go on.  If a nanny finds a job but has other interviews lined up some will give the interview slot to their friends looking for a job. They might say, "My given name is Betty but my nickname is Sandra," so it's a smooth transition that can seem seamless.

What you can do:  Check the first and last name on the recommendation and see if they match. Email the recommender and ask if there were multiple names you heard of.

We want to remind folks that the overwhelming majority of nannies (and employers for that matter) are wonderful and do NOT do these things to find jobs. However, August and September are tough months and desperate nannies (and employers) will bend the rules to find jobs. We've been dismayed at employers' tolerance to breaches in integrity by their nannies. We understand that it's tough for nannies to find a job, but we at Park Slope Parents cannot condone behavior from nannies (or employers for that matter) that misrepresents employers or nannies. It is disingenuous and not fair to potential employers.

If an employer finds out that his/her nanny lied to get the job, how can the employer believe what the nanny says about anything else?  These are people we entrust with our children's care and whom we let into our homes.  We need to feel they are trustworthy.  It's a lot easier to destroy trust than to rebuild it.  Please, please don't condone or contribute to deceptive practices to get your current or former nanny a new job.

We cannot stress enough how important it is for people looking for a nanny to get more than one reference for a nanny and to meet references in person whenever possible. Take them out for coffee/tea. Search Google and Craigslist to verify a nanny's identity as well as try to confirm the recommender's identity (LinkedIn and FaceBook can help as well). Get a copy of an ID when you have a nanny come to interview (and if not then, definitely if she starts working for you).  If something is not right, email us at .

It's important that we help great nannies find great families. We will continue to work to making nanny/employer relationships strong and inform you of how you can pay your nanny fairly (and legally). We will continue to work with organizations like the Domestic Workers United and HomeWork Solutions to help us in the process.

If you have a great nanny and are helping her to find a new job, check out the TIPS we have on the PSP Website on Helping Your Nanny Find a NEW Job.

Thanks for listening and helping to make Park Slope Parents stronger.

Becca, Dale and Susan

Park Slope Parents Nanny Moderator Team

Susan Fox

Founder, Park Slope Parents

http://www.parkslopeparents.com/