Horrible! We hate these stories. But let’s look a little closer.
Cops: Nanny Captured On Video Hitting, Kicking 6-Month-Old In Hoboken Condo Complex
Police Said They Are Now Looking For 22-Year-Old Dechen Kyiden Of Queens
August 4, 2011 8:02 PM
The couple used a website — SitterCity.com — to find the nanny, identified as 22-year-old Dechen Kyiden. Police said she’s from the People’s Republic of China.
What they saw, detectives said, made them sick.
“The child started to cry and got struck a few times on the arm by the nanny. It continued to cry and the nanny struck the rear area where the diaper was and kicked the infant,” Hoboken Police Detective Sgt. Anthony Falco said.
And that’s not all. Investigators said before kicking the baby, the nanny dropped the infant on a blanket.
There are so many things wrong with this story. The only good and certainly most important piece of information here is that the baby is fine. But why did these parents who live in what’s described as an upscale condo decide to hire such a low rent caregiver for their baby? Where was their judgment? They used a list serve—SitterCity. Don’t confuse list serves with agencies. Sittercity users post names and brief descriptions. There is no vetting . Whatever is said has not been verified by anyone. People buying used cars are more careful in checking them out (VIN numbers) than the people using sites like these. But they are cheap. Hiring unvetted and often untruthful people to take care of non verbal children makes us shudder. There has to be a better way.
That brings me to a recent NPR series on childcare. One question that was posed to the participants was : Did they think childcare workers were paid enough? The answer was no. Then when these same people were asked if childcare cost too much, they answered yes. And there is the conundrum. We all want great childcare for our kids but can’t figure out how to have great and affordable at the same time.
We haven’t come up with any good answers in the 25 years I’ve been in the business. We now have a proliferation of on line sites. Situations like the one in Hoboken are unfortunately destined to be repeated. Technology has given parents easier access to job seekers/ potential caregivers. What it hasn’t done is given them a pool of highly skilled, qualified and affordable childcare providers. How do we solve this problem?