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Nanny crisis - please help (very long)!!!!!!!!

(106 Posts)
NannyNightmare Mon 23-Feb-09 17:30:23

Namechanged but am a very regular poster on both this board and others amongst the Mumsnet winds.

I have 3 DC's and we have had our current nanny for 4 months. Children are aged 8, 2.5, and not quite 1. Nanny has generally been great, I come home to find a spotless house, nanny diary with balanced meals listed and all children eating well, happy, and normally reading books together.

I came home today from work about 2 hours early (which I never do) to hear my 8-year-old crying in his room with the door locked (his room is on ground floor). We have a very old house whereby doors can only be locked with big rusty keys hung above fireplace that we NEVER use. I walked into kitchen where nanny was force-feeding my 2.5-year-old a massive plate of mashed potato and nothing else. When I say force-feeding, I mean by daughter was strapped into her high chair, nanny had one hand opening her mouth, other hand with spoon shoving it in. sad

I promptly said, "Nanny, what on EARTH are you doing? Why is DS locked in his room and STOP doing that with DD1" whereby she looked horrified, stood up, went to lounge and got her bag, and left WITHOUT SAYING A WORD. angry sad

I took DD1 out of chair, cleaned her up and calmed her down, let out DS who said Nanny had her boyfriend over that day and the children were supposed to play in DS's room quietly. He said DD2 was crying, he went to get Nanny, Nanny locked him in the room, shouted and swore, dropped 2 DD's in their rooms, and he hadn't seen her since then. sad

On the kitchen side was the nanny diary where I saw she had already listed DD as having eaten 'Mashed potato - all, Chicken - all, Green beans - all'.

DS is generally a shy boy but he doesn't make up many tales and the fact she just left with absolutely no conversation whatsoever has me believing him. Where do I go to report this, I have called/texted/emailed nanny and had no reply (naturally). I have canceled our direct debit into her account, we found her privately and not through an agency. I am very tempted to contact her previous references and inform them of this to warn potential other employers.

Who do I ring? Police? sad

Page62 Mon 23-Feb-09 17:38:28

How so so awful for you.
I don't think you should ring the police as that seems a bit OTT. But i would text/leave her a voicemail to say you would like your house keys back immediately and that she is fired for gross misconduct (i am assuming she has a nanny contract). Double check your contract but i hope that you don't have to pay her anything for notice if it is due to gross misconduct.
I am soooooo livid for you to be honest. I would definitely call her previous employers as she would obviously not list you as a reference -- chances are, previous families did not know about this.
Are you able to find emergency cover this week? make sure she doesn't come back. I am assuming she did not tell you about the boyfriend coming?

oh my god, i am so angry for you.

LynetteScavo Mon 23-Feb-09 17:42:31

Ditto Page62.

foxinsocks Mon 23-Feb-09 17:43:41

I would ring the police and I think you should. That's child cruelty imo.

NannyNightmare Mon 23-Feb-09 17:46:17

Lynette Thanks for your advice. Wasn't sure if police was over the top - as a Mum coming home to find who you thought was a lovely qualified, happy person looking after your children doing such things......has made me extremely angry as you can imagine. Thanks for helping put it back in perspective.

Apparently, DS says boyfriend has come round before 'a long time ago' (but I'm wondering if she brings him round during the day as DS is normally at school?) angry No I knew nothing of him being there.

I have taken the week off to mollycoddle my kids a bit...I'm sure I'll take the cotton wool off soon, but I suppose I'll have to find a nanny agency for a temp for 4 weeks or so until we can find a permanent replacement.

Yes she does have a contract, and there is a bit in there about gross misconduct so I'll leave a voicemail on her phone if she (still) doesn't pick up.

poshtottie Mon 23-Feb-09 17:46:48

That sounds awful!! Its a good job you came home early. Has your 8 year old not mentioned anything before about her behaviour?

Am not sure the police will do anything but I would make sure she never works with children again. Could you ring NSPCC for advice?

foxinsocks Mon 23-Feb-09 17:46:49

thing is, they may not do something the police, but they might note down her name and just check there is no history of anything horrid. I think it is worth doing even if it amounts to nothing.

NannyNightmare Mon 23-Feb-09 17:47:07

Sorry I meant to say *Lynette and Page* Thanks for that. Fox, I thought it was police worthy in the beginning - especially as she is a qualified nanny, surely parents need to know this??!!!

BradfordMum Mon 23-Feb-09 17:48:36

Ring the police and ask advice.
If they ask you to take it further, then I feel you MUST.

I am so sorry this has happened to your children.

Sally x

NannyNightmare Mon 23-Feb-09 17:48:57

DS has said normally she is very funny and bakes good cakes hmm, this is the first time she's had all 3 of them full-time due to half term though, so first time she's had DS for more than a couple of hours a day.

deepinlaundry Mon 23-Feb-09 17:49:19

I would speak to police, but also social services, I know they have people on their 'radar' that have an eye kept on them. Tell them what happened and they can decide- if you don't then this could happen to other children. How awful for you all.

Nabster Mon 23-Feb-09 17:50:42

She locked your son in a room.angry shock sad I would be phoning the police for advice tbh.

I feel so sorry for you,

Thak God you came home early.

foxinsocks Mon 23-Feb-09 17:51:44

yes nanny exactly

and I should have said, how truly awful for you. Dreadful to see your children in that situation.

The police will advise you I think. Not sure what they can do but I think always better to involve in case there's a history but also in case there are any future problems.

Ebb Mon 23-Feb-09 17:52:01

OMG! That's shocking! Definately ring previous employers and warn them as they may just have been 'lucky' ( or maybe that should be unlucky ) not to have discovered her behaviour.

I would actually ring the police as this behaviour is completely unacceptable and should be flagged up on her CRB check. Hopefully that would stop anyone else employing her.

CottageChicken Mon 23-Feb-09 18:00:28

Ring previous employers. DEFINITELY. Maybe the NSPCC? Do you know if she was registered with any agencies even though you were looking privately? If so, contact them as well. Maybe even ring some random agencies who may have had experience with disgruntled employers in the past. They might have an idea about how to handle it.

CottageChicken Mon 23-Feb-09 18:01:36

Sorry forgot to say as well how horrible for your poor children sad and you as well.

2pt4kids Mon 23-Feb-09 18:01:55

How awful for you.
Good idea to call the police for advice on what to do next.
It sounds very very odd. If she has always been ok in your sons view and today she just flipped. How on earth did she think she could keep him from telling you what she did? She could even be having some sort of mental problems if she has been ok in the past and like this today.

NannyNightmare Mon 23-Feb-09 18:05:51

2pt4 It does sound odd - but I sort of interpreted it as a couple of things. One, DS is a shy, quiet boy who normally doesn't like to stew up trouble or tell on anyone. One scenario is that she's done it before and told him to be quiet about it, he would probably listen sad or she could have had him so engaged in TV/board games/books by the time I got back he forgot about it or it was at least far back in his mind.

Or, she did sort of flip since she normally just has the 2 little ones and they obviously take naps, DS doesn't, maybe she found it hard to deal with all of them? She has only ever worked with little ones before and is a relatively newly qualified nanny (4 years).

NannyNightmare Mon 23-Feb-09 18:10:36

DH is home so I'm off to have a chat with him, will be back on in a few hours after DC's are in bed but thank you all for responses so far.

Millarkie Mon 23-Feb-09 18:14:09

I'm not sure the police will do anything - your word (and ds) against hers. I hope it was a one-off incident (?maybe boyfriend came over and told her bad news which pushed her over the edge?). I had a pretty abysmal nanny once but even she drew the line at force feeding/locking up scared children.

Good idea to ring her referees.

bigcometobedeyes Mon 23-Feb-09 18:16:39

I am very sorry for you Nannynightmare and your children.

I dont know anyhing about nanny hiring and things but I do hope you take this further, even emailing agencies to prevent her from getting work again.

Big hugs for your DC's

Purplemoon Mon 23-Feb-09 18:23:49

V sad and shockfor you and your DC Nannynightmare.
Definitely think you should contact her previous referees.

nannyL Mon 23-Feb-09 18:24:49

OMG shock that is horrific angry

what a nightmare

you can obviously not trust this person to look after your DC anymore...

not sure the police could actually do anything, could they?

cant imagine why anyone would lock an 8 year old in their bedroom angry

how long has she been working for you?...

is there a reason why your 2.5 year old was eating without the other siblings? I cant see why a 1, 2.5 and 8 year old couldnt eat chicken mash and veg together at the table hmm
(It wouldnt even occur to me not to feed my charges the same meal at the same time, together at the table)

feeling sick for you.

Do you honestly think it was a one off (not acceptable either even as a one off of course) OR has she done anything like this before? Maybe your 8 year old could enlighten you on this?

I think you should call all your local nanny agencies as she will probabaly be using them to look for new work, and you want to be quite sure that she doesnt get the oppertunity to do this to any other familes...

was she ofstead registered? if so you could call them though not sure there is much they could do either sad

2pt4kids Mon 23-Feb-09 18:30:02

How do your younger children eat at weekends with you?
If they eat well and happily then it would point to it being a one off for whatever reason.
If not, then worst case scenario could be that she is ok once your eldest is home from school but has been not great with the younger two all along sad

I think its good for all of you that you've taken the week off to be with them. I'd probbaly do the same.

Do let us know what happens if you get in touch with the police or previous referees wont you?

iheartdusty Mon 23-Feb-09 18:42:38

Might it be worth also informing the college where she qualified? As you said she is 4 years qualified I thought she might still be quoting them as a reference.

what an awful experience. Hopefully you and the DCs will be able to put it behind you soon and settle down with someone lovely to take care of them.

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