Do Parents Care More About Their Checkbook Than Quality Care?

Do You Think More Parents are Hiring Inexperienced Nannies for Less Money, or Spending More for Experienced, Quality Care?

With the Unemployment Rate for 16-to 24-Age Group the Highest Since World War II are Younger, Cheaper Nannies Taking All the Nanny Jobs?

Yesterday we explained that the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that in 2010, childcare workers averaged $19,300 per year compared to a national mean for all workers of $44,410.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also confirms that wages for childcare workers have indeed DECREASED over the last few years.

Yesterday, some nannies commented that nanny web sites have lead to lower wages because parents that use nanny web sites are looking for a bargain. Are parents looking for a bargain when it comes to hiring a nanny, also cheap when it comes to paying their nanny wages?

An interesting article posted yesterday on the web site explains that with the highest unemployment rate for 16-to-24 year olds since post-World War II, the nanny field is now filled with young workers.

The article, “Job scarcity steering some to baby-sitting” by Katie Thisdell explains, “With unemployment [so high] finding another job probably is difficult for young nannies.”

The article states that, “caregivers in their late teens and early 20s seem to be using online networking sites such as and More than half of the 3,500 baby sitters on are between the ages of 18 and 25.”

With easy-to-use, 24/7 access to web sites, parents can find thousands of young, relatively inexpensive nanny candidates that are willing to accept bargain rates online.

Do you think parents want to hire an inexperienced nanny for less money, or spend more for experienced, quality care?


  1. Not all parents care about saving money more but many do. I think I am a middle of the road. I don't have limitless resources. I have to keep a budget. Not for nannies to be insulted but, with all qualifications, great references, and experience considered: why wouldn't a parent hire the cheaper nanny?

  2. Rates have definitely gone down. Nanny websites are one of the reasons. It's nannies in these low paying jobs that have high turnover rate that hurt the nanny profession. The inexperienced nanny makes more mistakes and doesn't know how hard the job really is. The article linked on the blog says it's a fun job. Of course kids are fun, but the author hasn't a clue about the job. Long hours, low pay, lack of respect, work that parents don't even want to do isn't exactly fun.You get what you pay for. To bad parents have to learn the hard way. Young sitters and first time nannies should be mother's helpers. Leave the "nannying" to professionals with experience.

  3. @mom hires- respectfully, you don't want a nanny you want a "sitter". That is an attitude that lacks respect for what professional nannies really do.@ steph- whole heartedly agree

  4. It seems to be true. Rates are lower and there are less jobs so sounds like a good guess. You can't blame websites since it's the parents paying or not paying.

  5. It's a combination of problems. On the nanny websites the problem is that babysitters and nannies are all combined together. Until there is licensing and credential tests parents don't often understand the difference between sitters and nannies.

  6. I agree Michelle. Plus you need testing to help differentiate between sitters and nannies. Sadly ignorant (well meaning) parents that use web sites to hire nannies will take the cheaper caregiver not fully understanding how that may not provide them wiith the best care. Nanny agency staff can explain this to parents.

  7. I personally don't think the on line nanny sites have made the rates go down. The agencies in my area- from what I have seen in the past 10 years- have jobs in the same salary range as the sites.Actually I've seen some on sites offer more than thru agencies.If younger, cheaper nannies do take the jobs- and are not qualified parents will realize they need to hire someone with more experience and dedication.I've actually met countless parents who have gone the cheap route and were soon sorry.

  8. The nanny websites have just made hiring nannies more competitive and we are suffering for it. That's all it is. Parents can now compare nannies side by side themselves and not just a few sent to them by a nanny agency and they choose who they want for the rate they prefer. Nanny web sites are conservative business practices, Republican philosphy of a free market system working.

  9. Well something is wrong because talented artists make more money than nannies. Good jobs are getting harder and harder to find.There is high turn over of these young, cheap nannies because the nannies take the job not understanding the heavy workload and long hours that nannies face. Nannies are required to be child psychologists, tutors, nutritionists, fitness instructors, personal assitants, housekeepers, chefs and more. Live-in nannies have it especially hard as they may also find it hard to have a personal life of their own, as last-minute meetings and parties come up, canceling the poor nanny's plans. Too bad the typical nanny placement agency is becoming a thing of the past as nanny websites are the now the norm.

  10. Education listed as one of the worst paying degrees. My experience is nannies can make more than other childcare providers.

  11. I've just done a bit of emergency temping for a parent and she has asked my advice on how to find an inexpensive nanny that will stay at the job. I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to say as I'm not convinced there are many young nannies who find nanny jobs very appealing. Without a good salary, what's to keep young workers in the nanny field?

  12. While I agree that any nanny, regardless of experience level, deserves to make a living wage, I get very frustrated when novice nannies (those with minimal childcare experience and/or education) feel they deserve to make what an extremely experienced nanny makes after years "in the trenches".Sure, some parents are going to hire the cheapest care possible, and that might mean they hire 18-year-olds with no actual experience.Ultimately, either the young nanny will learn and develop and grow her childcare talents and move on to a better paying job, or the parents will be replacing burned out nannies every few months until they wise up and realize that paying a bit more might just get their children better care!Unfortunately, many families that really truly can NOT afford nanny care believe they somehow deserve to have a nanny regardless of whether their salaries can pay a living wage. These families will go through novice nannies like people with colds go through kleenex, and never figure out that they need to look at more affordable options.

  13. There is no problem with younger nannies making as much as older nannies if they are great nannies. Their job is no easier than an expert nanny!!!The problem is that when workers accept low paying jobs it brings the mean wages down for everyone in the field! I don't mind an 18 yr old working with twins or 3 kids making the same as an experienced nanny doing the same job.The problem is when anyone takes a job for very low pay it hurts the entire industry because all parents will want to hire all nannies for less like their friends are doing!

  14. I hate to have to disagree with you once AGAIN Tales of Nanny Hood 🙂 but I also agree with some of your comment too. :)I understand you think older, more experienced nannies should earn great wages but I don't mind younger nannies making a good living either.I don't think nannies should have to start at the very bottom and earn their way up the ladder (so to speak). Our work is already on the bottom. We don't start in a mailroom and work up… we are in the mailroom. I agree with you that younger, inexperienced nannies may not understand how difficult the job is and burn out. And when a job is this tough, if they are paid low wages they will leave the profession. We can't expect nannies to stay in the profession for low wages, I agree with you there.But I don't mind when young, less experienced nannies make a great salary. A 21 yr old with a degree in early elementary education may deserve to make a lot more than an uneducated, bad attitude experienced nanny.I agree with lovebeingananny that the more people that accept low paying the jobs hurts us all.It doesn't matter who is accepting the low paying jobs (be it nanny experts, beginners, illegals or citizens) those who accpet low paying jobs hurt us all. I don't blame parents for hiring the person who accepts the lower rate… but I agree Tales of Nanny Hood that parents get what they pay for. They won't likely get high quality care if paying a bad salary because with experience we professional nannies know better how to negotiate.We also can't change nanny websites and those who post jobs and those who look for jobs there. It's just a fact of life now. I think we have to focus on educating those parents using the nanny web sites how to hire a good caregiver by focusing more on proper interview questions, how to make a job description and work agreement, and how to screen nannies to find the right caregiver instead of parents jut focusing on finding the person who will accept the lowest hourly rate.

  15. So, if you were looking to hire a nanny Michelle or Loves, you woud pay an 18 year old with a litte babysitting experience exactly what you would pay a nanny with 5 years of experience? Imagine you like them both and you're a parent with a childcare budget. Do those two people really have equal value in the marketplace? Or would you offer less to the teen?I would offer less to the teen, and I bet 90% of parents would too. Of course, I would also be likely to raise her pay if she proved her worth. ;-)Especially in today's economy, people are looking for good deals, and the people turning to childcare for work may be doing so because they haven't got other options. That's why experienced nannies have to do all they can to showcase what they bring to the table that those without experience don't have.We in the biz know cheaper isn't better, but parents don't, and that's why sites where parents can offer $5 per hour for childcare are flourishing. It's a childcare "perfect storm".

  16. Hi again Tales of NannyHood,In your last example yes, absolutely. Experience is rewarded by higher rate and typically, should be, typically. But, ALL low paying jobs hurts the pay of us all. Especially online when parents educate themselves. They see $10 per hour and they will grab it. Ignorant parents moght not realize the more experienced, educated nanny is a better choice. So when they can easily find caregivers at lower rates they grab them.You have to admit there are lousy experienced nannies and great beginner nannies too. Just can't generalize that all young nannies must make a crappy salary because you did at that age.I simply think that not ALL young nannies should start automatically at a lower rate.Just because you've worked hard for low pay doesn't mean others have to suffer too.Age just can't be the only factor in salary.Just because one nanny makes $15 an hour with 20 yrs experience doesn't mean a nanny caring for multiples or a kids with special needs for 1 yr doesn't deserve $15 per hour too. Any low paying jobs hurts the pay of us all.

  17. When I consider now in hindsight what my experience was as an 18 year old nanny, I think I would have wanted a competitive salary. (But my experience was literally babysitting between 40 to 60 hours a week for moms who worked summer jobs in factories. I was preparing meals, keeping kids really entertained, and not off being "a typical teen" like many of my friends were. Plus I did tons of babysitting during the school year. Took child development classes through school and 4-H projects, etc. So I wasn't this total novice either.Yes experience should count, as there are many different things I picked up from kids in applying the book smarts I learned in courses I have taken.I am subbing now, while my charges are aware for a few weeks, to pick up some extra cash. I am probably making less than what I hear rumors of what I can get. (But it's not a big deal as I'm still being compensated by my employers.) So I guess some could say bad me, I'm taking a job away from someone else. BUT, I was chosen because the parents wanted a quality caregiver for the short term while they continued to look for someone like me. They are saying they are having a hard time finding someone competent and qualified who really wants to be with their young toddler. — I don't get it, it's hardwork to be a nanny, but it doesn't have to be rocket science.

  18. I think I agree with article that young unemployed who want to work in other jobs are filling the market and since they will accept jobs at lower rate we are losing a lot of jobs for career nannies. Illegals have always been an issue too. But I still love young people that need to work, and illegals are good people too just looking for a better life for their kids.

  19. Well it's the same reason the au pair industry is booming. Parents sign up online and get super cheap child care. Au pairs, young unemployed, illegals, or anyone who will accept a lower paying job makes it harder for nannies to earn more.

  20. I agree that "low paying jobs hurts us all."

  21. I need advice, I took a job $50 a day for one infant. do i need to file taxes? am i getting ripped off? what should i be asking for? 10-8 hr daysthank you

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