A WEALTH OF NANNIES

KID-CARE SOPHISTICATES
By Andrea Peyser
http://www.nypost.com/seven/01192009/news/columnists/a_wealth_of_nannies_150816.htm

Although we agree that many professionals become nannies (click http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2009/01/professionals-that-become-nannies.html) we do not agree with the author that a nanny’s job is not mentally stimulating. Is a nanny’s work not mentally stimulating? Is there really such a thing as an “overeducated” nanny as the author states in this article? Are nannies offended when she calls us “glorified baby sitters” in this article?

Read the article and comment on your thoughts below.

“WHO’S that gorgeous woman speaking French like Brigitte Bardot and teaching someone else’s brats calculus while looking as if she just walked off a runway?

Chances are that chic lady in the park getting puked on by little Gabriel or Tiffany is the most indispensable member of the labor force: the nanny.

The recession has come to the Upper East Side – home to more spoiled, young terrors than you can fit inside Dalton. The position was once the province of domestic workers from Ireland or St. Lucia, but Manhattan is seeing an unprecedented glut of sophisticated, overeducated and underemployed women desperate for work. Any work. And being a nanny has its advantages.

At least, that’s what these glorified baby sitters tell themselves.

Take Emily Collins. She came to New York from Florida two years ago to pursue a career. But she was laid off from her job as an executive assistant. Immediately hired by a fashion company, she was laid off again, just before Christmas.

Suddenly, the jobs to which she applied had dozens of applicants, all willing to work for a pittance. “I can’t live on $35,000,” she said. “I was making 50 before.”

A return to Florida beckoned. Then she got another idea. She applied to the Absolute Best Care nanny agency on the Upper East Side, which provides domestic workers to boldfaced names.

“I never dreamed I’d be here,” said Emily. “Some days I actually feel ashamed about what I do. I tell someone, ‘I’m a nanny.’ They say to me, ‘Don’t you have a bachelor’s degree? Aren’t you 25?’ ”

Well, guess what? What Emily loses in mental stimulation, she makes up in salary. Top nannies command anywhere from $650 to a whopping $1,500 a week. That’s after taxes. And employers take them around the world.

Whitney Boughton, also 25, worked in sales for Wachovia. Last summer, she quit, betting that working as an assistant to a big macher on Shelter Island might lead to better things.

But summer ended. And banking jobs dried up. “I read ‘The Nanny Diaries’ in high school,” said Whitney. “I used to think, ‘Who would do that?’ ” Well, now she’s a full-time nanny.

Among its 9,000 registered nannies, Absolute Best Care has seen a 10 to 20 percent leap in former members of the rat race. “Maybe we would get one or two of these types of nanny a month,” said owner Douglas Kozinn. “Now we’re getting four or five.”

But Jerry Bohne, owner of the Adele Post agency, warns that the glut of applicants drives down salaries, and the glitzier the gene pool, the less child-care experience.

In this recession, it’s a buyer’s market. Let the buyer beware.”

What do you agree with and disagree with about this article?

Comments

  1. I am a tudor, chef and nutritionist, personal assitant, personal organizer, and childcare provider each and every day working as a nanny. Would the author say that tutoring kids or being a chef isn’t mentally stimulating? I use the knowledge from earning my bachelor’s degree in psychology every day working as a nanny. I refer back to my eduction of child development and behavior modification each and every day. How is that not mentally stimulating?Nothing is more mentally stimulating than working with children. Constantly helping them develop and grow, keeping them safe and nurturing them so we can help them develop to their best potential.The author is a snob that assumes that being a nanny is “beneath” educated, older individuals. She clearly is ignorant about the nanny profession, or she wouldn’t make such negative remarks.And why do my nanny friends and I make more than $800 per week? Because we are the most important people the parents will ever hire. We are caring for, nuturing, and keeping their most precious children safe. No job is more important.I disagree about the “glitzy” educated, professionals becoming nannies is bringing the salaries down for other nannies. Would you say that about teachers? Pay them more and the less educated teachers make less??? Doesn’t make sense. Instead I think you get what you pay for. Want an educated, professional caregiver, you have to pay for those qualifications. Diana B, Professional Nanny, Cherry Hill, NJ

  2. Why couldn’t they interview all of us nannies that have degrees and have worked as teachers, daycare owners, social workers, even accountants that have chosen to be nannies and are not “sometimes ashamed” about being a nanny, but are proud to be working as nannies.The author and these two ladies think we should be ashamed? I am beyond proud of the very important work I do. The family and household runs smoothly because of me, and that is not an exaggeration. I work my butt-off and really care about these kids. They are thriving in part due to my help in raising and caring for them. Would these nannies or author be embarrassed to say they were a mom? Our jobs as in-home caregivers are no less important than being a mother. Takes all your energy and efforts to do a great job raising kids!I am not ashamed at all to work as a nanny. Could I have continued working as a preschool teacher? Of course. I wouldn’t be ashamed to say I was a preschool teacher but nwo that I make more money as a nanny I should be ashamed to admit I work as a nanny?Belinda, Professional Nanny, College Educated and Graduated, Chicago, IL Suburbs

  3. It’s true that nannies come from all walks of life and different educational backgrounds and from other professions. I have no problem with articles explaining that. I am sophisticated and a well educated individual despite my job title of “nanny.” I don’t mind that the Post brought that to reader’s attention.What I disagree with is that the women interviewed were “glorified baby sitters.” That’s just mean, although there are plenty of them out there. The majority of professional nannies are not glorified baby sitters, they are caring, hard-working, thoughtful ladies.I am glad that the nannies described NANNY DIARIES as a horrible job, but in reality nannying is not like it was written in that novel but a wonderful job!!It’s an under-rated profession. Whether educated or not, the great nannies are truly great. More nannies than not have great attitudes and love their very mentally stimulating and challenging jobs.

  4. How does “glut of applicants drives down salaries” work actually? Nannies aren’t cars or a product to purchase. The better educated we are the better our salaries. If Jerry means that it lowers the chance of unqualified caregivers getting great jobs, than of course he’s right. But for us experienced, great nannies our salaries aren’t decreasing.Oh, and a degree doesn’t always equal a qualified caregiver. Experience, personality, reference should all be considered too. Just being a receptionist or an accountant with a degree does not mean someone is a more desirable nanny.Nanny Jenn, Brooklyn, New York

  5. There is a tone that other professions are “better” than nannying in the writing piece. Sadly it’s more common than not that people feel this way. I agree that it’s just ignorance. Until you are a parent it’s hard to know how hard being a parent is. Before walking in someone else’s shoes…shouldn’t judge them negatively. Caring for children is mentally stimulating. And so is being a server, or mechanic, or chef, or pilot, or any other profession. Just because the writer has a low opinion of nannies doesn’t mean we ought to.CherylNanny OaklandCalifornia

  6. I too worked in my degree field. I got earned an MBA and worked in finance. But, I’m not ashamed to admit that I hated the office environment. I literally burned-out. I decided to work as a nanny just for a year to save money and decide what to do. I went back into finance. Hated it and finally gave my notice to do what I most enjoyed, being a nanny. I too preface most conversations about my career telling people I earned an MBA and worked for “name of company” before saying I now choose to work as a nanny. It’s a shame that society in general doesn’t respect the profession assuming it’s not glamorous and is on the bottom of the pay scale. But that’s not my problem. I am happy, well compensated, and am an asset to the family I work for. What the article above refers to is honest. Don’t be insulted, just continue being a great nanny and don’t worry about what others think.Indianapolis, Indiana

  7. It greatly irks me that the writers who choose to write about the nanny profession never have a clue about it!The author leaves her e-mail address:andrea.peyser@nypost.comI’d love for us ALL to let her know what we think!

  8. This is another example of the mentality that women who whether by choice, necessity or circumstances beyond their control, are in the position of care provider to children, (i.e. mom, nanny, or that dreaded term, babysitter) are somehow inferior to those who go to an office and work at a real job. Emily, one of the nannies, said herself, “Some days I actually feel ashamed about what I do.” How can someone who is a major influence on, and is responsible for the care, nurturing, and up bringing of a child be ashamed of that. Have we so conditioned our nations young people to believe the task of child rearing to be unimportant? What a sad commentary on our society.

  9. So many people are such snobs. Everyone looks down on someone else it seems.

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