Opinion: Make Nannies Great Again | Avi Gutfreund

In a shocking story recently broken by TLS, a woman who was hired by a family with a newborn was allegedly caught attempting to smother the child after the baby began crying. While the specifics of the story are under investigation and the nanny should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the incident brings to light an issue which is highly concerning.

The fact is that nannies, often referred to as “nurses” (a practice which should be halted immediately), are essentially nothing more than a stranger off the street who managed to pass a background check, which generally isn’t all that great a feat. It is true that many of the nannies that are hired through agencies are incredible and provide a tremendous service to new parents, and they deserve kudos and the ability to continue earning a living for themselves.

But that doesn’t take away from the reality that a stranger is being welcomed into your home to be a caretaker for your most prized possession – your child. I think if we took a step back and thought about it all, we would be shocked at our own reckless behavior. A stranger taking care of a child with no guarantee that the nanny is safe? Might as well drop the child off in the street and hope that a kind soul will return them to his or her parents.

As a letter submitted to TLS pointed out, these nannies to whom we entrust our children are NOT registered nurses. They don’t necessarily have any medical background or even experience with children! I mean, the whole idea of handing a child to a stranger is ludicrous, and yet we so often do it without batting an eyelash. It’s time for a change before tragedy strikes.

Perhaps it would be wise to create a group of post-seminary girls who could be paid to work as nannies. This has a double benefit: it would provide income for young girls who are beginning to set out on their own paths in life, and it would also help provide peace of mind to the parents of a newborn knowing that their child is in the hands of an individual who they themselves or at least someone in their family knows and can vouch for. This suggestion doesn’t apply only to the Lakewood community – the dangers of a stranger taking care of a youngster apply universally, and it would be wise for local, community-based agencies to exist which can provide nannies that are known to the family of the child.

Post-high school and post-seminary girls are at a moment in their lives which would make it highly beneficial to them from a monetary perspective as well as a life-experience perspective to assist with caring for a young child. On top of that, they can also be taught skills which will help them throughout their lives – skills such as a first aid and CPR, how to care for a child, etc., etc.

It shouldn’t take a tragedy for change to happen. I believe my proposed solution is both practical and sensible, and of course a far safer alternative than what is currently being offered. This would quite possible be a solid business idea for an entrepreneurial spirit to grab hold of and take advantage of. Just remember to send me some commission.


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  1. youre saying that the nanny is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law that is true however in this case there wont be a court og law regarding this situation bevause the police we not called and she was gust driven to a bus station. ok yes the person got in touch with the agency so whats that going to do? the man walked into his babys room and clearly saw her putting the pillow over his babys face basicly this person got off scott free.

  2. I’ve never taken a nurse because I am paranoid and have never been in the situation that I must have one as many are. But being realistic a post high school girl is not becoming a nurse. A post high school girl is looking to train in a job that is long term. Once they get married they can longer be a nurse so it’s a waste of their time. And I don’t think they can handle being a night nurse either. There is so much going on in their lives like dating and just being young adults and socializing! We do need a solution but I personally don’t think this is it.

  3. The facts remains
    there are are probably thousands of “Baby Nurses””Nannies””Mother Helpers” whatever you like to call them.

    There are 2 unconfirmed, highly sketchy,uproven stories ovee the past 10 years.

    The woman is working in your own home under your nose.

    You can use a baby cam if your choose.

    Its an emotional topic that stirs all kinds of news but in reality it’s not the biggest deal.

    A mother can fairly easily sense if the baby nurse is a good person.

    Post seminary girls are good to go they don’t need people suggesting what they should do with their lives.

  4. How many responsible people would be willing to stay up all night taking care of a crying newborn baby?
    Very few.
    At an affordable price? Almost no one.
    This is a job only a mother can do.
    The idea of hiring such a person should only be considered under extreme circumstances.
    This should be a no brainer.
    A cottage industry has sprung in the frum community of brokers offering cheap night labor to watch infants & we have been taken for the ride.

  5. Oscar,
    Because they are peddling a harmful product to the most vulnerable population: Newborn babies.
    I have no doubt that every night a few newborn babies are being abused/neglected while the parent’s slumber on.
    I do not believe that in the general population people entrust the care of their newborn child to people they no nothing about based on a broker’s recommendation.
    I only use these agencies to find someone to clean my toilet & even then I remain alert that they don’t steal. I wouldn’t be surprised if this nanny cleans toilets by day for one agency & babysits at night for another. Ridiculous!

  6. There are a few frum older woman in Lakewood that call themselves baby nurses but they are usually booked because there are only a handful of them that I’ve heard of. Having a full time nurse is expensive and a luxury. My sister has one of the frum ladies come after every baby she has since her experience with her older child and having a guy in the house was not pleasant. In short they are guyim who you are trusting your precious child with! What’s more imprtant in life then your child?! If a mother feels she needs a helping hand her husband should step up and let her rest every so often. If she feels she needs to get away she can go to the frum aim veled that they have on Hope Chapel Rd. It’s crazy that to have a nurse these days are a normal thing. It’s even more crazy that these frum nursing agencies are actually calling them nurses and only do a basic background check! They should look into their “nurses” a lot more then that! So the blame is on those agencies!

  7. newborns should be in their mother’s room at night so the mother can feed her baby on demand. that is best for the mother and the baby. the hired help should be for housecleaning and laundry etc. older post high school girls could be hired to help during family rush hour- i.e. homework, supper, bath and bedtime. An additional value to that is that a Bais Yaakov graduate can help with all the homework and say shema with the other children. There is very little to do for a newborn except feeding, which should be only by the mother in any case. The father can change the diapers. The baby doesn’t need nor should be bathed daily.

  8. if you trust someone to be in your home 24/7 you should have a copy of their photo ID in your possession-preferably passport, but at least drivers license. If they will not provide either, then don’t trust them in your home.

  9. A few years ago I hired a “nurse” from a local agency. She was so uneducated I doubt she received proper training. I truly do not understand how the agency could have sent her. Yes she looked the baby nurse part, seemed kind and sweet… but I was totally mislead. When she arrived she bathed my newborn with just water and tried cutting her nails…I said ok maybe she didn’t know…But the worst was the first night I went to check on my three day old baby and she was sleeping with her in the bed!!! My baby was on a pillow together this stranger!! She could have fell off the bed or suffocated!! I was horrified. I put my baby back with me in my room and called the agency to tell her to leave asap. Crazy part was the nurse had my number and kept calling and texting she was mad at me cuz she felt I ruined all her future prospects to work as a baby nurse. She did not even understand that she did anything wrong.

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