When the Going Gets Tough, Some People Lay Off the Nanny

Financially pinched families are scaling back nanny hours, seeking “nanny shares” or reluctantly adding their children’s names to waiting lists at day care centers.

A “nanny share” ad placed by Michael Fields on Craigslist in Los Angeles reads, “The recent economy woes have me taking less of a salary…”

On a recent morning, it was standing room only in the waiting room at DDL Domestic Agency in Los Angeles. Nannies, houseboys and cleaning ladies hungered for work. But “business is dead,” says agency owner Doris Dorenbaum, brandishing the only three active employer files. Two years ago, she says, the agency had more families seeking help than she could service.

Read more:


  1. Although, I’m not concerned about my job at all, I do understand the situation and have nanny friends that are very concerned. They have been pro-active finding ways to make themselves as indispensable as possible and have found ways to save the household money.

  2. I haven’t heard too many horror stories for nannies and I live and work right in the middle of the story (New York) employed by parents that work on Wall Street. I know a nanny working for a blue collar worker who lost her job. I know a few that have reduced some hours but still work full-time.My employers told me right away and keep explaining that even if they lose their positions they would need my services to look for another job (not that they think their jobs are going anywhere). My employers have savings. Huge huge financial cushions. Despite the recession they are philanthropic and giving tons of gifts and donations to those less fortunate then them. They each (both parents) make a boatload. Most career, professional, well paid, experienced nannies aren’t working the nickel and dime, hourly pay jobs, but salaried positions in which their employers can afford to give them benefits, bonuses, and so on. They aren’t the ones having to tighten their belts. Knock on wood of course!!!!Carmine

  3. To the Wall St Journal: interview the caregivers. Not only the employers or agency owners! Are writers and journalists above talking to the domestic worker just like those who employ them?Nannies and housekeepers, are people too. Why couldn’t they interview or quote some of them? They were filling up the lobby of the agency they quoted, right? I find it hard to beleive that an agency would be filled with undocumented workers. Do you know agency owners who refer nanny candidates that aren’t legal to work?To the parents: during this time even the richest people should scale back on thier personal shopping and treat others with more respect and kindness (especially those caring for their most precious children).I know a nanny laid-off last week, after six years of being on time, going home late, caring for the kids unconditionally with tender loving care. She is given one week notice, before Christmas!?Not that I don’t feel bad for the parent who lost a job. Absolutely. But, the parents knew the one parent was being laid-off for weeks. The nanny kept asking what this would mean to her and the parents told friends and the nanny alike they couldn’t lose the nanny. They said they still would need the caregiver so the parent could search for a new job.I want parents to remember that even your housekeeper, houseboy, landscaper, nanny need jobs too.Nannies and parents should leave on good terms. Why would the caregiver go back and work for that family when/if they need her again after giving her just one week notice?When the money and jobs are being lost extra human compassion could go a long way. One week notice is just flat out mean.The mother still gets her manicures and pedicures, botox injections, tummy tuck, their holiday decorations cost more than their nanny’s monthly salary, but don’t reduce the number of gifts you are giving this year so they can pay the nanny for just an extra week or two becaue she gave so many years great service…. Other publications like the Wall Street Journal need to speak to the domestic worker and not just let the nanny newsletter, in-home caregiver newsletter do that job. Makes me think that the papers and journalists don’t respect the service industry employees they are writing about either.Nanny Professional for 15 years Melanie

  4. Seriously, I agree with Melanie:Agencies shouldn’t even consider referring workers who cannot work legally in the country. First question should be where their papers and identification are.Let’s face it. That’s why I make so so so much more than the nannies in town that cannot drive or work legally. There’s no fear of my boss losing his license or the mother from losing her bar, they hire only legal employees.I think the middle class are the families forced to let their domestic employees go and I get that. Unlike Melanie, I don’t think it’s an easy choice for parents at all.This holiday season give give give and voluteer for those less well off.

  5. PROFESSIONAL NANNIES: Now is the time to put your best foot forward. With economic recession follow Best Nanny Newsletter advice and be the best employee you can be! Nannies need stellar references.Nannies need to stay as long as possible at a job (families like to see caregivers will stay at a job for an extended period of time). Give extra loving care.Come early and leave late.Make the children your first priority.Communicate with your employers (the parents) ensure that you are meeting their needs.And if laid-off make finding a new job your full-time profession. There are still great jobs out there for great nannies.

  6. It is a good industry while the economy is booming but not when parents have to cut-back.As a parent I can assure all nannies that they should not take cut backs personally. Parents love their nannies. I wouldn’t want to lose my great nanny but after cutting back as much as possible it is understandable that housekeepers and in home child care providers are the first to go.Nothing against nannies or cleaning people at all. It’s not personal. Melinda a parent and nanny employer

  7. I think it’s kind of a popular topic now and I don’t think most nanny agencies are filled up to the brim with nanny candidates with no jobs to fill. I think it’s more competitive now, perhaps. So market yourselves. As this newsletter is titled, be the best nanny in the bunch and you’ll get the job. Scale down your expectations. Maybe you will have to drive farther or not expect as many benefits. As to have a salary re-negotiation in 6 months if parents cannot afford to pay you as much as you would like now. In 6 months they may feel more financially secure.Simon, au pair

  8. I just don’t see how this reporter can actually prove that nannies are getting laid off. Most nannies work for the affluent and the affluent are fine even after losing in the stock market. The wealthy have enough to get fired and keep their help.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: