Move over Mary Poppins, G.I. Jane may be taking over. A new New York childcare agency is specializing in matching up families in search of nannies with military veterans. Talk about a match made in protective parenting heaven.
After the horrific slaying of Kevin and Marina Krim's children by their nanny last year in New York, former Navy SEAL Jonathan Gilliam decided to start his company, Tactical Nanny. He told the New York Post,
"That family even went down to the Dominican Republic thinking they
were screening the nanny, but they didn’t really know who she was.”
Unfortunately, that's true for many of us who invite virtual strangers into our homes to care for our children. We can check references and do background checks, but still our methods are limited. To have someone that's already been screened by the U.S. government and has been deemed fit and trained to serve and protect our country definitely bumps up that security a notch or two.
Gilliam told the paper: "We’re not just offering another nanny service. These women have a proven track record. They’re veterans protecting the future of the USA."
rather brilliant really. Who wouldn't want someone who has been trained
to serve and protect, protecting their kids on a daily basis? Oh, and
they'll come armed if you like.
Of course such stellar care isn't cheap. These veteran nannies will run you more than $30 per hour. But if you have the funds, then it may well be worth it. One of the nannies working for the service, 23-year-old Army Reservist Melissa Fraga, explained her strengths to the paper:
Let’s say a nanny would freak out if she hears sounds around her. I’d be able to see the situation, figure out where the noise is coming from, check around the house and then do whatever other steps I need.
As for the one downside I immediately thought of when I heard of this idea -- post-traumatic stress syndrome -- Gilliam says the nannies' military records are screened and he's working with a psychologist to provide the best matches.
So really, besides the cost, it sounds like a win-win for everyone. It provides well-trained veterans with jobs, and it provides families with high-quality, trusted childcare. Of course, as with anything, it all comes down to the individuals and the fit with a particular family, but this certainly would be a pretty prime pool in which to start your childcare search.
Would you hire an ex-Navy Seal or other military veteran as your nanny/childcare provider?