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Local Experts Tell Parents To Do Homework Before Hiring A Nanny

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Quincy woman accused of fatally beating a Camrbridge baby claims she’s been a nanny for 13 years.

In court Tuesday, Aisling McCarthy Brady’s attorney said the Irish nanny never had any prior incidents.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

So how can parents find reliable and safe nannies?

Jen Russo with the Boston Nanny Centre says cases like the latest one are rare.

But finding the right nanny, she says, will require a lot of background checks.

“Be as thorough as you can times 10,” Russo said. “There aren’t too many reference calls  you can make, there aren’t too many checks you can do on someone if you’re entrusting them with your child.”

And whether parents use a nanny agency or a website, she says it’s important for parents to closely verify a nanny’s employment history and ask probing questions.

Betty Davis is the president and founder of In Search of Nanny, Inc., a Beverly-based agency that specializes in placing nannies with families.

Her best advice to parents looking to hire an at-home caregiver: “You have to take the time. This is not something you do in one meeting.”

Davis has been doing this work for more than two decades. She says background checks that look into a potential nanny’s criminal, personal, and even credit histories can reveal information useful to parents.

“Of the people that I’ve interviewed and screened for parents who just have me do that,” she says, “probably 40% something happens, or something comes up because of background problems,” and the pairing does not work out.

“Parents need to understand this is the most important decision they can make,” she explains.

At this point in the investigation, we have not learned what this baby’s family did or did not do in their search for a nanny. But it’s likely that had they done a background check, they might have learned about some of the legal and personal troubles Brady had in recent years.

“It just sounds to me like this person wasn’t screened because supposedly there were some background [troubles] there,” Davis says, “and perhaps if they had done a background check it might have certainly shown up.”

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong contributed to this report.

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