Wall St Journal: The Latest Status Symbol? Nanny-Management Degrees

The Wall Street Journal posted the following article on their blog:

Employing a full-time babysitter or nanny is in itself something of a high-end child-care option. But every high-end option has a high-high-end option—or several—and the in-home care of children is no exception.

My Journal colleague Robert Frank, of the Wealth Report blog, wrote on Friday about a New York nanny agency that’s offering a state-certified course in nanny management. The course, run by the Absolute Best Care Learning Center in partnership with the household-management school Starkey International, costs $4,000 for 50 hours of instruction in such areas as “nanny-management theory, which teaches a nanny to study a household’s various habits and routines and organize childcare ‘around the overall environment,’ ” and “ ‘hands-on care,’ like CPR and how to care for a newborn or a toddler,” Robert wrote.

While $4,000 may sound like a lot for a child-care worker or an employer to shell out, especially in the current economy, Absolute Best Care noted in a press release I received that top nannying jobs can pay more than $60,000 a year.

In his Friday piece, Robert linked to an MSNBC article about some sought-after categories of child care workers, such as Tibetan nannies, who might well draw that kind of salary. And ever-popular are nannies and au pairs from Britain and elsewhere in Western Europe, as the Journal’s S. Mitra Kalita reported. Yet another training outfit, the British Nanny Academy of Los Angeles, caters to parents seeking that Poppins-esque touch.

Also hailing from Britain, though now based in New York, is Annabelle Corke, co-founder with the Australian Deborah Crisford of a nanny recruitment service called Heyday. Ms. Corke told me Monday that the three-year-old Heyday specializes in uniting discerning parents with the “educated big-sister type” of child-care worker. After an in-home consultation with the parents, Heyday taps its network of largely college-educated potential nannies in an effort to make an effective match, Ms. Corke said.

The words and photos on the Heyday Web site, though, did make me wonder if any of those educated big sisters might happen to resemble my African-American children. Ms. Corke said that “a lot” of the nannies and families with whom Heyday works are white, but she said the company uses no racial criteria. “The main thing is intelligence,” she said. “I don’t care what color you are as long as you have that emotional intelligence and savvy.”

Ms. Corke said Heyday is a relative bargain at $2,000 to $3,000 per successful placement, compared with $6,000 or so at some competitors. More power to them all, I say, but I’m glad that my family was able to find a wonderful full-time sitter 6½ years ago for nothing more than the cost of a copy of a local weekly. Though she may seem to fit the profile of an “ordinary” nanny, as a woman in her 50s from Jamaica, she’s been truly extraordinary for us—warm yet firm with the children, completely reliable and well equipped to shift into more of a household-manager role as both kids are now in school full-time.

Your thoughts?


  1. Any education is good. Hopefully education helps earn higher salaries. I'm not sure of who can dish out $4,000 for a week. Spend fify bucks get CPR/First Aid certified. If a nanny has the time to take the courses then they are probably unemployed. If they are unemployed, they haven't the money to take the courses.Nanny Francine, Cambridge

  2. The problem I had with the advertisement for absolute care last week was that they claimed they were the ONLY training of its kind, which is false or even misleading. I am confused too if Board of Ed qualified means anything. The courses ought to be accredited or they are just workshops like mentioned previously on facebook.–M.A. (my friends will know who I am)

  3. The WSJ article on the Juggle blog reads that the absolute care courses are state certified. I think the cost may be the only pitfall. I find no problem of offering such courses as unrealistic it may be for nannies to be able to afford them. There are already training progarms that do not have more than 3 students trained at a time. And even FREE nanny training courses from professionalnanny.com tend to have very few students at a time.

  4. Why not hire the most qualified and educated nanny? The more she is willing to do the more valuable she is to the parents. Timothy a father of nanny in NJ

  5. I don't get it. We are talking about children. Who you hire for childcare is the most important hire you will ever make. I think parents would want to spend top dollar for the best childcare.How many parents spend more each year on landscaping then chlldcare? Do you see the problem? Spend less on the bentley and more on the child caregiver. For working parents no one is more important than the caregiver they hire. If the caregiver isn't the best of the best parents should stay home and raise their kids themselves because their children are too important to risk to a help wanted ad in the local paper or lack of experience.

  6. The Absolute Best Care Nanny Training is actually now charging $ 1,997.50. The key is it's a Nanny Manager Course, training the Nanny on how to be properly managed in the home – that coupled with the practical. It's also the first NY State Certified, not claiming to be the first training class for nannies but one with Management skills and building a better relationship with a family – which are invaluable skills to learn in this profession.

  7. Apparently Absolute Best Nanny Care is allowing our comments left at other articles to sink in. Too bad they didn't research sooner what is actually out there as far as nanny education options in the United States.But even as far as learning management skills and how to build a better relationship with parents. These are articles that can be found for free through the Nanny Network Library. Or a person can find articles on caregiver relationships through a simple search engine search.Plus nannies who take ECE courses at some online sites or even in live programs can get coursework on all this too. For less cost.

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