babysitter

Child Care Nightmare: the 4 truths that could save your child’s life




The most precious thing there is

It has never been my intention to alarm or scare anyone into paranoia with my blog.

If I’m doing this right, the opposite effect and result should occur.

By educating you on the pitfalls and dangers of the criminal element, your paranoia should be replaced with confidence and self-awareness. Like you have been here before kind of knowing.

This is what I tell all of my brand new officers who are getting released on their own from field training. I tell them over time and with experience they will get through almost any scenario they encounter on the streets.

We have all seen the gut-wrenching videos of parents who suspect something amiss with their new child care giver. Even a salty cop like me recoils in disgust every time I see one.

I have worked several cases in my career involving babysitters/nanny’s committing violence and other criminal acts towards the children they were entrusted to care for.

This article will break down the key things to consider when first choosing a care giver. I will also discuss some of the warning signs you should look out for if abuse is occurring with your child.

Note: this post contains affiliate links.

1. Lets talk money

This is the dirty little secret that new parents find out the hard way. 

Kids are expensive.

And paying for child care is no joke. Ask any working parent and you will immediately get the rundown, to the penny, how much they spend each month on their little bundles of joy.

Some parents, especially single mothers, try to take shortcuts because of the heavy financial burden that child care brings.

Sadly, in some circumstances, this usually ends up having terrible consequences.

The typical shortcut goes something like this;

You’re a new mom who has finally gotten a decent job and your own place. To avoid spending even more time away from your child working extra shifts, you convince your new BF to watch him.

This is not a bad alternative but it is a recipe for disaster unless you really know this person and his (or her) history. I have worked several cases where this exact scenario set in motion a criminal case.



2. Do you really know the person caring for your child?

I know that some of you will come back with a rhetorical response like does anyone really know anyone?

When it comes to your child just leave that non sense where you found it.

When my wife returned to work after having our 11 year old son some years ago, we honestly did not know the person that we chose to watch him.

When I say we what I really mean is my wife.

Like most men and new dads, we just assume that moms will take care of all the little details like finding daycare, buying the right sized diapers, paying the bills etc.

Looking back I can say without hesitation that I was a complete idiot.

I should have been more involved with finding a sitter for our boy. This truth smacked me square in the jaw the first time I had to pick him up from the “sitter”.

The sitters house was a mess.

Multiple kids could be heard screaming from inside as I parked on the street. When I was let inside, all I could focus on was my little boy in a play pen in the corner of the living room. He looked disheveled and disoriented.

And this wasn’t even the worst part.

The sitter that my wife had chosen lived in “the hood”.

None of this can be blamed on my wife. When she went to meet the sitter for the first time I’m sure everything was tight. And my wife, bless her privileged private school upbringing heart,  had no real sense of what a “hood” looked like.

Being a cop and growing up in Richmond Va, back before people started calling it RVA, made me sensitive to these areas.

It wasn’t long before we had found another child care provider. We tried to cut corners by getting the cheapest sitter we could find.

It was a mistake that we both learned from.

3. Red flags and warning bells for a child care nightmare

98 percent of child care givers are genuinely good people who want to do right by you and your child.

It’s not an easy job watching someone else’s kid for 8-12 hours.

Sitters/nanny’s are people just like you and me. They have good days and bad days.

Some have no business being around children and certainly not caring for them for an extended time. This will become self evident early on if you know what to look for.

These are just a few of the warning signs that every parent should be mindful of if they suspect inappropriate or criminal behavior by their child care provider.

  • Your child has become overly anxious or withdrawn
  • Has trouble sleeping through the night and having nightmares or night terrors
  • Their appetite has suddenly changed
  • They are persistent and vocal about not wanting to go or be watched by care giver
  • Verbalize inappropriate touching by care giver
  • Marks or bruises that are not consistent accidents or playing mishaps





If you suspect that the care giver may be involved or be the cause of these warning signs, you have two choices. You can either believe them and hope that abuse is not occurring. Or you can directly confront them and see how they respond.

There is also a third option to consider.

Video surveillance. (If you plan on using this tactic, I highly recommend Blink Home Video Security which allows real time video surveillance from your smartphone).

This has been used in the past with damaging results. Like I said in the beginning, we have all seen the videos of babysitter’s and nanny’s losing control and assaulting defenseless children.


4. You really are the captain of this ship

At the end of the day, your child’s safety falls squarely on your shoulders.

I’m thinking that most of you, after reading this article, are like the rest of us and have to work to help support the family. Because of this, little Johnny or Mary will need someone dependable and trustworthy to watch after them while you and the hubs are out grinding.

Also, if you are like me, you need time away from the kids to go out and enjoy yourself.

The only way to do that is to know that you have done everything within your power to pick the best.

That’s where Sittercity comes in.

They are a babysitting/nanny locator company that alleviates the burden from you trying to find just the right sitter for you. Heck, they can even find someone to come and care for your dog while you’re away!

Some of the benefits offered by Sittercity  include the following:

  • A vast array of profiles for baby sitters and child care givers.
  • The ability for parents to video interview potential sitters.
  • Reviews from parents who have used the service.
  • Free background checks for child care givers.
  • User friendly website.
  • Ability to search hundreds of profiles by zip code.

One of the best aspects about using Sittercity is that they have been featured on a number of television programs as well as in the Wall Street Journal and are very well known in the industry. As a result, they have a large database of babysitters.

Also, if you have a teen or college student, they can register with Sittercity for babysitting or nanny jobs in their area. This is a great side hustle for them to make extra money for when they return to school.


Some of you have reached out and want to share your story with others. A blog like this one is a great way to reach those who could benefit from your experience and interests. Blogging has changed my perspective and my life.

It could do the same for you.

I highly recommend HostGatorwhich in my opinion is the simplest and fastest way to get you started on your blogging journey. If you have any questions about starting a blog or a website, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me directly at bart@familysafefirst.com.

A 23-year veteran police officer, Bart spent time as a patrolmen and a violent crimes detective (specialized in strategic intelligence and research analysis). Aside from this experience in high profile case investigations, he has received training from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in Advanced Intelligence Analysis. Bart also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Strategic Intelligence (Magna Cum Laude) from Liberty University. As a father of four, husband and law enforcement officer, he wants to share his knowledge on safety with you. Bart is also a contributing writer for Law Enforcement Today.

2 Comments

  • Hailey April 30, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Thanks for this post! Your perspective as a police officer is really insightful in this area.

    Reply
  • Bart Proctor April 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you. I know that this type of stuff is hard to talk about but unfortunately it has to. Take care and have a great weekend!

    Reply

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