A Seattle nanny was caught abusing a child on a nanny cam. (Pexels)
Local nanny administrators on social media sites were key in catching a child abuser recently, after she attempted to violate a court order.
It’s not easy to get child care in King County. In fact, child care is so competitive, that many have to get on lists before they are even pregnant to reserve a spot.
That’s why local groups like Seattle’s Mom Group and Nanny Parent Connection help connect nannies with parents. But these sites do more than provide a platform for nannies and parents to connect: They are also watchdogs when it comes to keeping children safe.
Last year, nanny administrators got feedback from members to watch out for a particular nanny who was said to not be all she seemed.
Sean Whitcomb with the Seattle Police Department said those administrators acted on those tips, warning the parents of a 22-month old under her care.
“But because of the concerns that had been shared by the nanny organization, they were wise enough to put up a nanny cam to keep an eye on this nanny,” Whitcomb told KIRO Radio. “The appropriate titled, nanny cam caught this nanny acting in a way the she shouldn’t.”
According to court documents, the camera captured the nanny striking a 22-month old repeatedly for doing what little ones often do — poop in their diapers.
She knocked the child to the floor where she hit her head, and slapped the child across the face multiple times, yelling, “No pooping!” After a diaper change, the nanny struck the child so hard, it knocked her to her knees.
The nanny was charged with assault, and received a suspended sentence with probation. Part of that court order stated she could not work as a nanny, or be around children other than her own.
The Nanny Parent Connection group has roughly 20,000 members, and is the largest childcare community in Washington state. As a place for members to connect and talk, it was integral in getting the word out when the nanny resurfaced.
“Somebody said, ‘Oh, I heard about this nanny who had abused somebody’s child recently and here’s her name and does anybody know anything about her, is she a member of the community,’” said Nanny Parent Connection COO Colby Underwood.
The group ultimately banned the former nanny from their site, but went on high alert when they were contacted by SPD.
“We had heard she’s out there trying to find parents to work for as a nanny in other communities and that obviously got us very nervous and very concerned,” said Underwood.
So, for the second time, the administrators from multiple parenting groups banded together and warned parents.
According to Underwood, the former nanny was using “four or five different names.” That had the groups coordinating with SPD, before she was eventually removed from “almost all of the communities.”
They sent evidence of the former nanny looking for work to SPD. As a result of that evidence, the nanny was re-arrested for violating parole and sent to jail for 90 days.
Oddly enough, that wasn’t the end of the long saga.
“She put up a post a couple weeks ago saying that they got a new bouncy house and her son needs a playmate, and to come on over and ‘play in our bouncy house,’” said Underwood. “When we heard that … I mean that’s horrible.”
Underwood said they’ve reached out to the SPD. Another administrator talked to a detective as well. She took it another step further, laying it all out there in a post on Facebook.
I’m not that person. I don’t make scenes in groups. I’m diplomatic and easy going. I’m an admin in a nanny group. I don’t fuel fires, I put them out. However, I cannot turn my back on this. I’m making an exception for the kids.
The administrator went on to outline the history with the nanny, including court documents, police report, aliases, the latest post with the bouncy house request for play dates, and threats from the administrator received from the nanny after she made the post. The admin has since removed the post after being threatened by the nanny with a lawsuit, although she doesn’t deny the charges.
“Who knows that she didn’t abuse any other children after she got out? How is our society stopping this person? That’s definitely what haunts me right now,” said Underwood.
Meantime, Whitcomb noted that he’s been impressed with our local nanny community, calling its response “heartening.”
“What this story really tells us is that when community members share information, share suspicions, communicate with each other, and communicate with the police, we can all have a safer community,” he said.
SPD says they are looking into the nanny again.
“If there’s anything for us to follow up on, understand that we will,” said Whitcomb.
If you’re looking for childcare always get a criminal background check, Underwood recommends asking around the social media sites to see if they have any information on the prospective nanny, and to always use a nanny cam.