I would like some teachers to post their opinions on this topic. What would you do if a parent voiced this type of concern to you regarding a nanny?
I think I'd probably just smile politely and say something vague like "Okay, thank you for your concern."
But then I would probably make sure to be within seeing and hearing distance of the nanny to surreptitiously observe how she actually did handle the children. If it turned out that I agreed she was too harsh and confining, I'd discuss it privately with the parents, but I would definitely NOT tell them that another parent mentioned it.
I think this would be a great outcome to the situation. Well, not great if the nanny was bad, but you know what I mean. I don't see the harm in mentioning it to a teacher, in a casual but discreet way, to get the opinion of a professional who has seen a lot of different childcare styles and
sees at least one of the kids for a long stretch of time. Even if that professional never told me what their opinion was, or involved me further in the process--as really, they shouldn't. If the nanny was replaced or her attitude changed, that would be a relief to me, and answer enough.
Now, if I never saw any change in the situation--I don't know, that would make it tough. Would I be willing to befriend the family, so I could get to know them and investigate further? Some people would call that extreme, others wouldn't. I think it would be okay etiquette-wise if I was genuine in my interactions with them--like if they turned out to be people I had nothing in common with and I felt I had to lie about my views to keep getting invited to their house, that would be wrong, I think. I mean, if it's getting to that point, we're moving beyond etiquette into serious safety concerns.