The Real Families Nannies Work For

Posted on by admin | in Nanny Tips

While the media loves to feature nannies who work for celebrity families, the reality is only a small percentage of nannies work for celebrity families. In fact, a majority of nannies work for two parent families in dual income homes.

In fact, in the 2012 International Nanny Association Salary and Benefits Survey, only 3% of nanny respondents reported that they worked for an internationally or nationally known celebrity, while 72% of nannies who responded to the survey reported that they work for a professional couple.

By the numbers,

  • 72% of full-time nannies responded that they work for a professional couple.
  • 11% responded that they work for a couple where one or both parents work from home.
  • 9% responded that they work for a couple where one parent is a professional/and one parent is at home.
  • 2% responded that they work for an internationally known celebrity.
  • 2% responded that they work for an independently wealthy individual or family.
  • 2% responded that they work for a professional single parent.
  • 1% responded that they work for a divorced couple with shared custody.
  • 1% responded that they work for a nationally known celebrity.

While celebrity nanny jobs may pay a small fortune, be filled with excitement and travel, and include time spent rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, these jobs often come with high demands. Celebrity nannies may work long hours, have to travel at the drop of a hat and make personal and social sacrifices to remain employed in a high paying, high profile position. In fact, in a March 2012 interview with The New York Times Magazine, Cliff Greenhouse, president of New York Based Pavillion Agency, was quoted as saying “that kind of commitment is essentially built into the price. Many clients are paying for the privilege of not having to worry about their child’s care, which means never worrying if their nanny has plans. Which, of course, she can’t, pretty much ever.”

But the reality is most parents who employ nannies are professionals who work outside of the home. They employ a nanny because it offers the personalized and flexible care that is needed to allow them to do their jobs. For many professional couples, they also opt to hire a nanny because it is the only childcare option that makes financial sense. If a family has two small children who need care, paying a nanny can be less expensive than paying early and late fees at daycare and supplementing that care with a babysitter if their working hours start early in the morning and extend late into the evening.



But just because nanny employers don’t hold celebrity status or pay celebrity nanny wages, doesn’t mean that they don’t occasionally behave like they do. Many times nanny employers forget that their nannies have lives and commitments outside of work and as a result, put unrealistic expectations on their nanny with regards duties, flexibility and hours worked.

And likewise, just because a nanny doesn’t work for the rich and famous, doesn’t mean she occasionally doesn’t act like she does. Sometimes nannies survey their employer’s surroundings and as a result, evaluate their worth based on what they feel the parents should be able to afford paying them, which isn’t necessarily their market value based on their geographical location, experience, education , training and the other components that can help determine a fair nanny salary.

Having a written work agreement that details the nanny’s salary, duties and expectations can help keep the celebrity egos suppressed and ensure that both the nanny and the parents have a clear understanding of their employment arrangement.

So while it’s the celebrities and their nannies who often make the news, it’s the professional couples and their nannies who make up the bulk of nanny and employer relationships.

Nannies and their employers often depend on each other and need each other equally. Most nanny employers can’t afford to pay six-figure nanny salaries and most nannies don’t want to sign their lives away to their employers. To me, it’s clear that there is a middle ground and that’s where most nannies and parents reside. It’s where the ones who have long-term, successful relationships do, for sure.

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