KSTP reported that prosecutors in central Wisconsin say they have videotaped evidence of a babysitter beating a 4-month-old boy. The infant's father installed a secret video camera because he was concerned that Cronin wasn't carefully watching his children after the baby's 2-year-old brother fell down some steps according to a criminal complaint filed in Marathon County. "Child Abuse Sourcebook" (Matthews, 2004) thoroughly examines child abuse by babysitters and caregivers.
Both parents and policymakers have become increasingly concerned with ensuring the safety of children when they are in the care of babysitters and other caregivers. Some parents have chosen to purchase nanny-cams and other surveillance devices in order to monitor workers who care for their child. Also, there have been several debates about how childcare providers should be hired and screened and whether routine criminal background checks should be used to uncover potential offenders.
Babysitters are one of the new categories of offenders for whom specific information is being collected within the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The following is information from the analysis of NIBRS data on crimes against juveniles:
- Babysitters are responsible for a relatively small portion of the reported criminal offenses against children.
- Among the reported offenses that babysitters commit, sex crimes outnumber physical assaults nearly two to one.
- Children most at risk of physical assaults by babysitters are younger (ages 1-3) than those at risk of sex crimes.
- Juvenile offenders are responsible for nearly half the babysitter sex crimes known to police but only fifteen percent of the physical assaults.
- Babysitter offenses rarely result in death, but victims of babysitter crimes know to police are more likely than other child crime victims to suffer an injury.