When Samantha Amato needed a nanny to look after her 8-month-old twins, she hired a nanny placement agency, which recommended several candidates after checking their criminal and employment backgrounds. Amato was not satisfied. She called one candidate’s references herself. She interviewed the woman’s former co-workers at a nearby day care, as well as mothers who had known her work at the center.
In the end, she hired the woman — a mother in her 40s with whom she found an enduring comfort level. She still feels confident about her choice, but Tuesday’s news of a nanny charged with assaulting a Cambridge girl who subsequently died brings back the uncertainty she felt at the prospect of leaving her child in the care of a stranger.