How to know if something is wrong

Having a trusted care provider mistreat your child is a parent’s worst nightmare. Thank goodness, it doesn’t happen often, but unfortunately, it does happen.

Here are some signs that things may not be going well between your child and his childcare provider:

  • Your child becomes distraught when it’s time to be left with his caregiver. A little separation anxiety is normal, but if it’s extreme and ongoing, you may want to figure out what’s going on and look for a new provider.
  • Your child becomes increasingly moody or withdrawn or stops eating or sleeping. This could be a sign that something is bothering him, but he doesn’t know how (or is unable) to tell you.
  • You notice that the caregiver does not respond appropriately to your child — or does not respond at all.
  • Your caregiver won’t answer questions about the day’s activities or her interaction with your child while you are away — or her answers are inconsistent.
  • Your caregiver has lied to you, stolen from you or otherwise betrayed your trust.
  • You come home to find your child has not been adequately supervised or cared for – changed, fed, clothed, held.
  • Someone — a neighbor, another parent at the playground — has reported that your nanny has not been treating your child well or properly caring for him.
  • You just have a bad feeling.


In these situations, what should you do?

You can try to talk to your caregiver. You can ask other parents or neighbors to let you know what they see. If you do see signs of criminal behavior, you should go to the police. But bottom line: If there’s any doubt in your mind that your child is being well cared for, it’s probably best just to let this caregiver go and move on.

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