It seems to have become a theme for nannies to reveal their true selves while watching the children they are hired to watch. Unfortunately, these abusive nannies are becoming more and more common, and thanks to the infamous “nanny cams,” that parents have started to plant in their homes, these so-called caretakers are being caught.
When Springdale, Arkansas resident, Whitney Matney decided to go to law school, she knew that she would need help with her one-year-old daughter Raylee. After investigating options, Matney hired an old classmate from high school who came with good references as a well-liked nanny. In addition, she ran background checks that all turned out to prove that the woman, named Melissa, was a positive role model and caretaker. One reference had even raved about her, saying that her child clung to her from the moment they met.
Unfortunately, Matney learned the hard way that Melissa wasn’t as nice as her references claimed. Raylee instantly started acting strange every time the woman showed up at their door. “She would cling to me or my husband,” said Matney. When the changes in Raylee’s behavior started, Matney and her husband Chris didn’t waste any time and decided to set up a nanny cam to see if anything was going on behind the scenes when they were away from home. And they soon discovered that they had hired a monster…
When Matney noticed that the camera had been turned to face the wall when she came home on that first day when the camera had been set up, she knew something was wrong. While reviewing the footage that was captured on film, she witnessed Melissa spanking and violently shaking her daughter. After Melissa displayed these acts of abuse, she walked up to the camera and made direct eye contact with it, making for a chilling scene. She then turned the camera around.
“I was filled with rage and fury like I’ve never been before,” said Matney, who immediately called the police and took Raylee to the emergency room. The police officer assigned to the investigation admitted that if she hadn’t caught the incident when she did, there was a good chance that the injuries would’ve been far worse.
Luckily Raylee wasn’t physically harmed, but the downfall to that is the fact that Melissa was able to plead endangering the welfare of a minor, which is the lowest felony charge. With this plead, she could have her record cleared after three years of probation. Doesn’t seem like a fitting punishment for someone who abused a child, right?
One of the problems with hiring a nanny is that there is no national registry for child abusers, like their is for sexual predators. But, Matney is a “mom on a mission” and she has made it her priority to pass a bill that requires anyone who has been convicted to be listed for everyone to see.
One in-home child care expert says that you really can’t do too much to ensure that you’re hiring the right person to care for your child. She says that a parent needs to be diligent about background checks and digital digging. She also says that even though today’s technology allows us to have nanny cams, dropping in unannounced every now and then is a great idea.