What’s in a Name? For a Professional Nanny- Everything
On March 3, 2016 the NY Daily News ran with the headline, “Monster California nanny, 20, caught trying to suffocate crying baby on hidden camera.”
The article stated, “A demonic California nanny was busted after she was caught trying to suffocate a crying baby on a hidden camera, according to cops. Moriah Gonzales, 20, was collared for felony child abuse after a nannycam caught her bad baby-sitting behavior at a Bay Area home in February…A couple identified only as Amanda and Nicole hired Gonzales through the popular nanny-finding website Care.com.”
We find it very frustrating and misleading when alleged crimes like this occur and the local, national and international media inaccurately (both traditional and online) labels the sitter, au pair, Craigslist or Care. com job seeker or even a family member (like the aunt or cousin) as “the nanny”.
For clarity, a professional nanny is someone who is or has been working 40 to 60 plus hours per week, year in and out, caring for someone else’s children in a private home. Most nannies are certified in CPR and qualified in First Aid, and have broad training in childhood development or a related degree. The fact that an individual raised his or her own children, babysat for friends or family occasionally or did after school babysitting does not make them a nanny.
A responsible and objective media has a moral obligation to stop using the general “nanny” label to sensationalize a story every time someone in charge of a child commits a crime against that child. It is entirely unjust to the countless professional nannies out there that work long hours, provide exceptional childcare for many years, love their charges and has earned the right to call herself a Nanny.