Odd News

Latest way to spy on nannies

Updated: 2006-10-20 15:52
Large Medium Small

NEW YORK - Just as trucking companies put signs on their vehicles asking the public to report unsafe drivers, parents can now put license plates on their baby strollers to get feedback on the behavior of their nannies.

Jill Starishevsky, a mother of two and a New York prosecutor, launched HowsMyNanny.com on Thursday, which sells stroller license plates that have a unique number and include the Web site address so the public can anonymously report good or bad nanny behavior.

The parents, who pay $50 for a plate, receive an e-mail alerting them to the report, which they access on the Web site (http://howsmynanny.com//default.aspx) using a password.

"It's a tool to empower the parents and to protect the parents and the children, it's not a tool to work against nannies. It's just a tool to give parents peace of mind," said Starishevsky, a lawyer who prosecutes child abuse and sex crimes.

Starishevsky said she came up with the idea after she saw a nanny in a New York city park who for at least an hour ignored the two young girls she was looking after.

"I was so frustrated," said Starishevsky. "How do I tell the mother that these kids could have run into the street, they could have been taken away at the hand of a stranger."

The most recent data from the US Department of Labor shows that in 2004 there were about 1.3 million childcare workers across the United States, of which about 21 percent worked in private households.

"People keep asking me if this is because I am a mom do I want to do this or is it because I am a prosecutor? My answer is I think it's both," Starishevsky said.