in , ,

Nanny Chewed Out By Employer For Calling 911 After 8-Year-Old Kid She Was Watching ‘Vanished’


Being a nanny is a huge responsibility. Kids can get hurt really easily.

So, it is important to be prepared for an emergency, and know who to contact. Usually, during an emergency people call 911. No matter what the kids’ parents say.

Redditor  encountered this very issue with the family she works for. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.

She asked:

“AITA for calling 911?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I nanny a 10 year old and an 8 year old. I’ll refer to them as 8 and 10. 8 seemingly vanished into thin air.”

“He was in the bathroom, I was talking to 10 and then we couldn’t find him. 10 and I looked all over inside the house, the backyard, yelled for him in the front yard.”

“I sent 10 around the block on his bike (they are allowed to go around the block but 8 isn’t supposed to go alone). 10 even knocked on their friend’s door. No 8.”

“By this time about 20 minutes have passed since I last saw 8. I’m flipping out. 8 knows the rules, didn’t bring his phone with him, and has never taken off before.”

“So, I told 10 to call their mom while I called 911. About 3 minutes later 8 comes strolling up the block.”

OP’s boss was not happy with the 911 call.

“So I get off with 911 and talk to mom. She says ‘why did you call 911 and not me?'”

“Me: because that’s what you do when a kid has disappeared.”

“Mom: you should always call me first, I’ll always have a plan, plus they don’t start looking for missing kids for 48 hours.”

“I don’t know where she got the 48 hours thing for kids, that’s adults.”

“Ok, so mom has a plan, great. She never told me not to call 911. She never said anything about calling her first in any sort of emergency.”

“So she basically kind of chewed me out for calling 911. Am I the asshole?”

OP added some edits.

“Edited to add a little more info.”

“The 8-year old I nanny for was a few blocks over doing whatever 8 year olds do. He knows that he’s not supposed to be over there, he knows he’s supposed to take his phone with him, and he knows he’s not supposed to be outside by himself, and that if he wants to go outside he has to tell me.”

“For some reason he ignored all of that.”

“Mom completely flipped out when she got home. Screaming at me IN FRONT OF THE KIDS. She got down right mean and said some pretty cruel things to me.”

“So I don’t work for her anymore! I don’t need a job that bad.”

“I think she was worried about CPS. I know she’s on their radar.”

Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.

“God I am terrified to have children. I’m always worried about getting abducted myself and I’m 24.” ~ always2blamejane

“I’m so sorry about this! Abductions are fortunately rare, and usually it’s a family member that takes children.”

“Adults are not often taken, despite what movies and television say. There have been 374 missing adults cases in the US in 2021. In a population of 328,000,000, that’s literally a 1 in a million chance. Rest easy.”

“Edit to clarify US numbers.” ~ Standard-Jaguar-8793

“374 missing adults— would that include people missing for any reason? For instance, an adult with developmental issues who wanders from a care facility. Or a senior with dementia. Other mental issues etc.”

“I would guess that adult cases are far more likely to involve someone leaving rather than being taken, if that makes sense?” ~ Revolio_ClockbergJr

“Mom is acting like she’s going to get billed or arrested since the kid wasn’t kidnapped etc. really over the top. What next, if a kid is choking call her first? Etc.”

“I used to work in a rather large store that did ‘Code Adam’ and we were told by the local police that after 10 minutes, even if we weren’t done searching to call 911 while we kept looking.”

“They said if the child was under 5 to call right away. They’d rather get a ‘never mind, we found him’ that have a kidnapped child get off the premises etc.” ~ Techsupportvictim

Most agreed that the first 48hrs are key.

“I’m a 911 dispatcher, and you handled the situation appropriately. You took a reasonable amount of time to search the area for possible locations and then you called for help. Informing mom is important, yes, but finding the kid is first priority and 911 has better resources to help immediately than mom does.”


“Also the 48 hour thing used to be true but it isn’t any longer. If’s not even true for adults, much less a child, though for adults it can require a bit more explanation to get them entered as missing than it does for a child.” ~ RedoubtableSouth

“Yeah, aren’t the first 48 hours critical in finding any missing person, and the likelihood of them being found safe drops significantly after that?” ~ TogarSucks

“The fact that this rumor perfectly coincides with the most critical time frame makes it sound like propaganda from kidnappers to get away with it.” ~ SJ_Barbarian

“I think it also has to do with people watching shows about unsolved crime and cold cases. They’ll mention that the police couldn’t accept a missing persons report before a certain amount of time and assume that’s still the case.” ~ terra_terror

“Yep. Like every other Crime Junkie episode I listen to the family thinks you have to wait to file a missing person’s report and instead of calling and trying, they just wait and lose critical search time. It’s pretty heartbreaking.” ~ 365untilpretzelday

Many shared their experiences.

“When I was three I walked out of the church playground, which was right along a large highway, and started walking down the service road because I thought there was a bigger park nearby.”

“It’s sheer dumb luck so many people survive to adulthood.” ~ hananobira

“I’ve heard it said that 3 year olds are actively trying to get themselves killed, pretty much at all times! I think it’s true.” ~ TugB0ats381

“Can confirm. At a ripe age of 3 or so, I left grandma’s house to go for a swim in a big river that was about 15 min from her house.”

“Didn’t tell anyone. While on my way, I stopped to dive into the rain water barrel at the neighbors, but the water was kinda stinky. There wasn’t enough room to swim, so I continued on my merry way, made it all the way to the beach and into the water.”

“I think they hunted me down shortly after that.” ~ BupycA

“NTA, you did the right thing. Screw her worrying about CPS because that could be a real reason for her to neglect the kids enough to garner CPS’ attention.”

“It’s on her, not you. You’re being a responsible nanny trying to keep her kids in line.”

“Okay, you could have asked her if you should call her if her kid needs CPR because the mom insists on being called first while you stand by to watch the child drown instead of calling 911. That is thought provoking.” ~ InsaneMisha77

“NTA. It used to be, back when I was a kid, standard procedure to wait 24 hours before the police would even file a report for a missing child, but that was before they figured out there’s a much higher probability of finding the child alive when they start looking immediately.”

“Now they react immediately. That’s why you see Amber Alerts within hours of a child disappearing.”

“Also, when I used to babysit, the parents would always have a list of emergency numbers to call. This mom should have communicated to you what she wanted to be done before any issues came up.”

“But if I were her, I wouldn’t be mad. I’d be glad you were looking out for my kid.” ~ Lanky-Temperature412

“NTA. Always call 911 first in an emergency. Someone waiting to call 911 on my dad could have killed him and likely caused some additional brain damage because he ODed and my dad’s business partner didn’t want to ‘get him in trouble’, so he called my mom first who had to call 911.”

“The man was blue and had aspirated and he didn’t call. Ugh sorry that was a side bar but yes – 911 is for emergencies, use them and then call mom.” ~ activebitchface

“NTA, however I maybe would have let mom know pretty soon after looking around the house prior to calling 911. As a mom I tend to know where my kids run off to and it may have saved time if I was reachable to hear where 8 may have slipped away too.”

“If I couldn’t get ahold of mom or like what you did an amount of time had passed then absolutely call 911.”

“Maybe there have been issues in the past with CPS or bad experiences with law enforcement that or maybe she was embarrassed?”

“Regardless of mom’s reaction I don’t think she deserves hate for getting upset but I can see both perspectives but I also wouldn’t have gotten upset.” ~ marye914

“NTA You did the right thing and if 911 thought you did the wrong thing they would have told you. Children are looked for immediately and if they turn up hiding behind the shed everyone is super happy.”

“If you had not called them and something had happened to the child she would never have forgiven you.” ~ W1ldth1ng

“That’s an odd reaction from Mom.”

“You’re in a position of care and during that time the children’s welfare is your responsibility.”

“You couldnt find the kids you searched. You called 911. You did the right thing.”

“As the children’s nanny in that situation your legal obligations trump mom’s preferences.” ~ Youmelala

“NTA! For all the reasons others have said.”

“Recognizing when something g is an emergency is an important life skill and very hard to teach. You knew how to keep your wits, check logical places, etc., and when to call for help.”

“That is incredibly valuable.”

“It sounds like this Mom is reacting to her inner feelings – embarrassment there are police at her house, or she might look like a bad parent? an old memory of herself running away from home or bad interactions with police?”

“In any case, her response was not, ‘Oh my God! Thank you for putting the safety of my children before anything else!’ And that is what she should have said.”

“You did the right thing. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.” ~ MarvinDMirp


“If mommy has a plan – then it`s vital to tell anyone who looks after her children.”

“And, why NOT call 911 for a missing child? What is she thinking/hiding?” ~ Professional_Duck564

“As the adult in charge of the kids at the time, you did the right thing – you told 10 to call their mother while you called 911, so you’ve made sure she has been informed at the same time as informing the emergency services.”

“When a child goes missing the sooner emergency services are informed, the better. I’m sure she wouldn’t have berated you if 8 hadn’t come back of their own accord and the emergency services had managed to locate them.” ~ Northern_Queen

“NTA. Btw, the 48 hours thing is bullshit even for adults. You can report a missing person as soon as you realise they’re missing.”

“You actually should, because the first 48 hours are the most critical for finding the person.”

“To me, it’s kinda shady that mum’s first response wasn’t ‘holy shit, where’s my child’ – it was ‘Why didn’t you call me first? I have a plan’.”

“To me, this says one of two things. Either this has happened before, or she really doesn’t want the government involved.”

“If it’s the former, she should’ve warned you her kid’s a runner. If it’s the latter, I’d honestly be asking why that is.” ~ LordofFullmetal

“NTA. For kids it used to be 24hrs but thanks to the strong efforts of Amber’s mother (the reason we have Amber alerts) the US and many other countries no longer require a 24hr missing period.”

“In fact now they understand 24hrs is the hope of finding a child alive. You did the right thing and these children shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere alone.”

“Making 10 responsible for 8 out in public isn’t fair.”

“God forbid 8 is hurt or kidnapped or dies doing something stupid and reckless 10 will always carry that with them. Not to mention the sibling resentment for always being responsible for him.”

“I hope 8 is seriously grounded. They straight up snuck out of the house!!!” ~ FearlessWillow9069

OP did what was best for the child. The parent’s feelings should be secondary to the child’s safety.