Who's Really Watching Your Child? Part 2

Posted at 5:22 PM, Nov 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-13 16:52:05-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Child abuse...It's every parents worst nightmare. And more and more cases of it are showing up on the internet. So are there more bad babysitters these days, or are more of them just being caught on camera?

According to Jeanne Martin, the Regional Safety Program Manager for the Childcare Regulation Program for the Florida Department of Children and Families, "I think today's parents have more tools available to them that were not available in years past, like a lot of them are very social media conscious, very in tune with cameras being involved in everyday life and the word spreads."

Martin says in Florida, there is no agency that regulates babysitters. Its up to the parents to do their research.

"Parents are giving up their most precious child to another person and you really need to know who you're buying," said Martin. "What you're getting. Is this a person who's appropriate and safe to be around children? Has there been any background screening done? Have you gone and checked references."

One local company is doing a lot of that work for parents. Mary Mangan founded Seminole Sitters in Tallahassee, which offers open access to the information of her sitters.

"I take a lot of the legwork out of what parents have to do," says Mangan. "I interview sitters multiple times. I start off with a questionnaire to make sure they meet basic standards and qualifications. I interview them on the phone, speak to them personally and spend about 2 hours training them. I do background checks, make sure they are CPR and First Aid certified."

But just because someone checks out on paper doesn't mean parents shouldn't trust their gut.

Mangan advises, "Just because someone says they're a babysitter, says they've cared for kids doesn't mean they're actually experienced or know what they're doing or that they're really going to understand what a parents needs are. Trust your parent instinct."

So who's really watching your child is really up to you., a babysitter finder website, offers tips on how to interview a babysitter at

Video coming soon.