Controversial nanny-spying app lets ‘paranoid’ parents track their baby sitters
It’s a whole new kind of nanny cam.
A controversial new app called Stroller Patrol, launching next month by stay-at-home Manhattan mom Diana Toyberman, will enable users to track their nannies — and monitor their behavior — via their cellphones.
Here’s how it works: Parents and their childcare providers both sign up for the free app. Then, nannies and baby sitters upload pictures of themselves to the platform. Once they do, their faces will pop up in the app, which uses location-tracking technology. All Stroller Patrol users within a 300-foot radius of the nanny will be able to identify them. If the nanny’s misbehaving, bystanders can message the nanny’s boss directly.
If, for example, a nanny is spotted being neglectful or abusive in a place such as Central Park, other users in the vicinity can text the nanny’s boss, and send them photos or videos of the questionable conduct.
“It’s up to the employer what they decide to do next,” Toyberman tells The Post. She came up with the idea five years ago after seeing a nanny leave a child unattended in a stroller outside an Upper East Side store.
“If I was the parent, I’d want to know this was happening,” she says.
There has been a recent surge in so-called nanny shaming posts on popular NYC moms’ groups on Facebook. The posts, typically from concerned bystanders, highlight presumed nanny fails — such as walking several paces ahead of their charges, or ignoring the kids while they text.
“These posts often cause controversy — some members think they are valid, and others claim they’re an invasion of privacy,” says Toyberman.
She thinks Stroller Patrol is a better option since communication is confidential and kept between the concerned spotter and the child’s parents.
“The nanny has to agree to sign up for a profile on Stroller Patrol, so it’s done by mutual consent,” adds the 36-year-old mother, who has an 8-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl.
The app is in beta testing, and officially launches in January. One early adopter, speech pathologist Marina Aronin, of Woodmere, LI, thinks it’s a great idea.
“It’s a logical extension of the informal network which already exists in playgrounds and parks,” says the 37-year-old mom, who has two sons ages 5 and 10. In the past, she’s fired two nannies after hearing troubling reports from that whisper network — one was axed for “isolating” her then-toddler, the other for yelling at her kids in the street.
“You can’t be too careful,” she says. “You’re trusting the caregiver with the most important people in your life.”
Nanny Michelle Wreesmann Brown agrees.
“Bring it on,” says the 35-year-old, who’s a full-time nanny on the Upper East Side. “Track me all you want.”
Wreesmann Brown, who runs the 5,000-member Facebook group the Nannies of New York City, thinks the app is “an excellent idea.”
“New York can be a dangerous place,” she says. “If a child’s safety is not No. 1, then why are we nannies?”
But others say it’s creepy — and think it could backfire on both the parents and their childcare providers.
“Parents are being paranoid,” says Hassanatou Barry, founder of the Babysitter Guru support service. The 23-year-old thinks the app will cause “fear and mistrust” between parents and their nannies — and she thinks the photo element is just creepy.
“Instead of snapping pictures and sending them to the parents, why doesn’t the person walk up to the nanny and talk to her?” she says.
Source : Jane Ridley Link