NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Every parent knows just how hard it can be to find good childcare.
Now, the search for the perfect sitter is getting quite creative. But as CBS2’s Jessica Layton reports, there are new rules when it comes to who’s watching your kids.
Finding the right person to care for your child can feel a little like hitting the parenting jackpot.
“We welcomed her into our home, we loved her,” one local mother says.
She thought the feeling was mutual, but she was mistaken.
“For us, it was panic,” she says.
The woman asked CBS2 to conceal her face to help protect her privacy, which is something she says she lost after discovering what her nanny – with no social media privacy settings – was posting behind her back.
“We saw a lot of photos of our daughter and tweets about us as parents, and how we weren’t good parents,” she says. “Heart definitely sunk.”
Tweeting pictures of the toddler was a clear violation of the agreement the family had with the 20-something caretaker.
“I have that as one of the reasons – just cause for termination,” she says.
Childcare consultant Holly Flanders is constantly updating the social media section of the contract she gives to clients.
“You’re not to post any kind of pictures of the child on social media. You need to turn your location settings off if you’re going to be posting anything, even personal, on social media,” she says. “It’s kind of a learning game. As social media changes, what the rules should be for this.”
The ways to meet potential babysitters are changing, too. It’s not online, but parents and sitters are lining up for a rapid fire meet-and-greet.
“We actually coined this whole offline experience as speed dating for babysitters and parents. So that already sort of raises eyebrows,” CEO of Sitterfied James Nanscawen says.
He and his business partner started the concept as a way for busy parents to quickly connect with sitters in the New Jersey suburbs.
“On average, they will go home with four, five or six babysitters that they really like,” he says.
Whether you’re hiring a nanny or casual babysitter, remember to lay out your social media dos and don’ts up front, and make sure the rules aren’t being broken along the way.
“I think if I did it sooner, then we would have probably had her for a very short period of time,” the local mother says.
As for whether parents should be “friends” with their nanny or babysitter on social media as a way to keep tabs on what they’re posting, the childcare consultant says it’s at least worth having the conversation.