Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sometimes It's Not the Kids...

...It's the way people view our profession that really gets my panties in a wad. 

Care.com ran an advertisement this last week with the heading "Overpaying Your Sitter? Check out our Calculator." 

At first glance I thought - "well I am not a babysitter anymore I am a nanny so no biggie". Than I stopped and thought about what this advertisement was really saying. It is assuming that most child-care providers are overpaid or that most parents are worried about overpaying the people that take care of their children.

And that is when I got mad.

Seriously hold up and think about it.

YOU, a parent are really worried about overpaying the person who is your temporary replacement. YOU, a mother are really worried about paying the person who is feeding your children, cleaning your house, educating your toddlers, and teaching the kids YOU birthed how to function as productive members of society too much? YOU, a dad are worried about spending too much money on the person who keeps your kids safe, changes the countless dirty diaper, tosses the football around with them, makes sure your little ones actually sleep during the day so you can enjoy them at night, the person who is helping you raise your own flesh and blood? Are you really worried about over-paying them?

Maybe I shouldn't be venting to the parents, because in reality all you are trying to do is make sure you are paying the going rate while balancing your budget. At the same time finding that one special care-taker that will fit your family and love your child. Not an easy task! As a parent you are trying to be fare to the hard working nanny in your home and your check book.

Maybe, just maybe, my anger should be geared towards care.com and other agencies that feel that paying a nanny too much is actually a problem. Let me tell you it isn't. On the contrary most GOOD nannies are under paid for the work that is expected of them. Honestly how many times have a heard "you can't put a price tag on mother-hood" yet we under-price fill in mothers. In truth any full-time, well established, experienced, and qualified nanny is just that - the 3rd parent.

Let me add some more perspective:
In Seattle Minimum Wage is now $15 an hour.
A friend of mine did some grunt work for a large corporation here back in January where he got paid $20 to fetch lunch, change a few light bulbs, move a few props, and help out with whatever needed to be done. $20 an hour for his first week on the job.
Many of my nanny friends here in Seattle make around $17 and hour - and that is slightly on the high side for the average nanny. The exception is the educated, highly recommended in demand nanny making $20 an hour. In this business that is a rarity.
Kind of boggles my mind that our culture will easily pay a grunt man $20 an hour and then haggle pennies with the person staying at home with their kids.
Or take it a step further, a nanny, the person in your home, showing your kids love, kindness, care, well fed, and keeping the house run the way you like is only getting paid on average $2 more than the person flipping burgers at McDonald's.

As a fellow Nanny (Ohio Nanny) Put it: 

I love how she put it - VALUE  YOUR  Nanny. Value is way more than how much you pay for childcare, it goes beyond - to your attitude toward her/him. But as the saying goes "put your money where your mouth it". If you are going to value your nanny that includes how you think about paying him/her.

Hear me on this is, I am NOT complaining on my specific salary. I openly knew what the rates and salaries were when I entered the nanny-field. I try to stay current on the parameters of what I should make in whatever city I am looking into. I take that on myself.

 My frustration comes with the lack of professionalism that people seem to feel is appropriate in our field. So instead of care.com asking if someone is overpaying a sitter, maybe we need to start asking are we really paying the sitters and nannies what they are worth or are we cutting costs in the wrong area?

CECONNER © 3.31.2015