nannies.jpgNannies tattling on the foibles of their well-to-do employers are very last year. The Internet has spawned a forum that makes hidden cameras and GPS tracking seem like child's play when monitoring the people monitoring one's children.

ISawYourNanny is a site where people can post incidents that they found suspect, and some of the descriptions of the people and places are meant to be specific enough that parents can figure out if it's their child or nanny that's being talked about. Camera phone pictures often accompany the posts, but the site manager, who remains anonymous herself, blurs out recognizable faces. The majority of posts now originate from New York due to the high concentration of nannies in the city.

While the purpose of the site is to record and report incidences of child neglect or mistreatment, if not outright abuse by nannies, The New York Times reports that about half of the posts on ISawYourNanny are from childcare workers themselves, who complain about mistreatment by employers. There is, unsurprisingly, often social friction when employees are coming from different racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds than their usually white affluent employers. But even in a post about a nanny who was neglecting a child at a bookstore, the comments quickly stray onto a debate among mothers themselves over the merits of staying at home to raise children versus continuing to work.

While a site devoted to informing on people may seem like a crass invasion of privacy, we talked to one nanny who had heard of ISawYourNanny and thought it was an excellent idea. She applauded the concept of being able to report poor nanny behavior: "The things i have seen over the last 6 years have been disgraceful and I wouldn't leave [my dog] with half the people working as caregivers in the city."

Earlier this year, city officials discussed allowing New Yorkers to send cell phone pictures to 911 and 311 to report criminal acts or quality of life infractions.

(black_nannies_white_babies, by potterbrain66 at flickr)