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Nannies: 10 Signs of a Bad Employer

Nannies: 10 Signs of a Bad Employer

=&0=& With all the genuine concerns around abusive nannies, I thought it might be useful to run an article about bad employers. Statistics show that the majority of nannies perform a good job, and that cases like the Krim double homicide are – thankfully – extremely rare. Yet still, we hear constantly about trust and betrayal by nannies in the media. What is often over-looked is a more common form of abuse: bad employers. It takes a beating or even a human trafficking before this kind of violation makes the headlines. The fact is, most nannies at one point in their careers comes across an abusive employer. Abuse comes in all shapes and forms: yelling, shouting, demeaning speech, with-holding payment, unfair work demands, the unlawful retention of legal papers and even actual physical harm. This is because childcare remains the one service industry that is unregulated. While it is routine for parents to thoroughly screen prospective nannies by running rigorous background checks involving the Police and credit history, or by speaking to previous employers, etc, the same is not true for nannies. Nannies attend each interview in blind faith. Nannies are rarely told why a former nanny left. Nannies are not assured that a new employer will treat them courteously and will not take liberties. Finally, nannies are never offered evidence that a new employer can afford to keep them on a payroll for as long as they promise. A nanny’s most private information, on the other hand, is presented often to multiple viewers. With this in mind nannies can be alert to the indicators of a bad employer. They = prospective employers.

  1. They are cool and indifferent on an interview. They

Nanny – Do you get laid off every summer ?

Nanny – Do you get laid off every summer ?

You needn’t get the Summer blues just because you’re a nanny. By Nanny X, It always amazes me just how quickly summer descends in the City. By mid-March parents are feverishly sourcing the best camps. By April/May families are looking at their calendars planning their annual vacation. Come June school is winding down. In the midst of all this frenetic activity a nanny can often feel side-lined. For most nannies, the summer brings along with it a certain kind of dread. It doesn’t matter how invaluable her services are for the rest of the year, over the summer, her very job survival can hang in the balance. Why is this? 1) Nanny herself avoids the issue and simply hopes for some loyalty and a schedule she can work to. 2) Parents find themselves in a moving landscape where their children’s needs are in constant flux, and as such, thinking about the nanny is way down the to-do list. 3) The cost of camp, vacations and out-of-school activities in the City makes it cost-prohibitive to maintain a full-time nanny. 4) Parents deliberately avoid addressing the ‘nanny in the summer’ issue by waiting until the last minute to disclose what their plans are. Just before summer officially breaks the chatter amongst nannies contains a familiar theme: what will they do with me over the summer? Will my hours go down when school resumes? I hope they don’t ask me to live-in at their country house. Nannies with children of their own face a double quandary: how can I remain in service while organizing my own children’s downtime? Essentially the answer to the ‘summer lay-off’ is simple. It is the exact same solution to almost every problem governing childcare. It is this: define in an annual review (beginning in January of every year) a new contract or agreement that governs: pay, duties, sick-days, vacation pay/summer retainer and over-time. =&0=& When you sign a contract with an employer effectively they are buying your time and services for 12 months, not 9 months. You in turn guarantee your labor, commitment and services for that time period. If your employer is unwilling to retain your services over the summer and if they believe they have every right to ‘let you go’ without pay for 3 months of the year, then you are not being treated as a professional childcare provider. You are being viewed as a casual worker and via your consent, that is, returning every September to ‘business as usual’, you are condoning your own mistreatment. Parents who vacation away from their usual location will often cite economic reasons for why they cannot retain their nanny June-September, but this is not a legitimate reason, if they are able to rent a second home it is a lifestyle choice. If affluent employers can get away with employing casual workers without any benefits, they will. But you as a professional nanny also share some responsibility in protecting your rights as a full-time or even part-time worker. Spring is not the time to raise the issue of being retained over the summer, January is. When you begin a new job, lead with a contract. Contracts do the talking for you. In the contract add a clause that states both parties will re-negotiate the terms of the contract annually, at the beginning of the year. Don’t let your employers fob you off with the excuse that they can’t plan that far ahead. Most employers will know ahead of time what school or camp their children will attend over the summer. The summer should not be synonymous with being let go or going weeks without a wage. Nannies, like all professionals, deserve to be retained during any period of time where they are available to work but their employers are not. In other words, it is not your responsibility to guarantee work it is your employer’s. In my next article I will be outlining what your contract should look like. =&1=&  
New Year = New Job

New Year = New Job

=&0=& =&1=& Through-out 2013 I was overwhelmed by the amount of nannies who complained about their jobs. Every week I would receive emails that mentioned one of the below:
  • job creep
  • sudden hour decrease
  • disrespectful employers
  • abusive children
  • unpaid overtime
Ladies it’s time to step up your game and take some control over your careers. Here are some simple ways you can stay ahead of the curve.
  • STAY ALERT TO NEW AND BETTER POSITIONS. It’s vital that you keep your resume fresh and filled with a wide range of experiences. This will make you more attractive to nanny agencies and more sought after by parents. While it is important to build up solid references and maintain a reputation of loyalty, if your vocation is childcare, you will want to have a keen sense of where your career is heading. Staying with a family beyond seven years isn’t a badge of loyalty it’s a big red flag that suggests you procrastinate and lack focus. Misplaced loyalty will simply stagnate your skills and deter new prospects leading you down a dead-end road of decreasing hours and income.
  • SPECIALIZE! Niche nannies like baby nurses and tutor nannies often earn more per hour than generic nannies. Being a niche nanny does require more flexibility but if you’re willing to specialize you could find yourself in demand. But how can you specialize? Are you good with infants? Have you built up a client base that can attest to your experience? Ask those people if they would consider acting as a reference down the line. Consider taking some evening courses that add credibility to your resume. Basic certificates like CPR and First Aid can be obtained easily through local health centers. If you have built up experience with babies and are self-educated in sleep training, common infant conditions and pediatric nutrition, why not add a feather to your bow and apply for jobs with multiples? Parents with twins are willing to pay more for competent, experienced care-giving.
  • OWN YOUR UNIQUE GIFTS!  Do you have a background in education? Are you proficient with numbers, in the sciences or in literacy? Do you have experience helping your own children with their home-work? Transfer those skills into your resume and apply for jobs working with older children. Are you involved in the arts? Are you are an actor or an artist? Do not be shy! Seek work experiences that enhance your natural skills. Consider supplementing your weekday nanny job with weekend work over the Summer in children’s camps or city programs. Look for low-cost evening courses that you can take and add these to your resume. Agencies like Smart Sitter actively source care-givers with additional skills and gifts.
=&3=&=&4=& =&5=& Check these out: urbansitter.com sittercity.com indeed.com craigslist.org nannypoppinz.com theapna.org/category/nannyagency =&6=& Here’s what eNannySource recommends that nannies follow in their job search. 1. Compile a good nanny resume that includes your education, schools attended and a good description of your job worked in, both nanny jobs and others. A nanny application may be even better since it covers more areas.2. Get letters of reference from your prior nanny employer and others. If you haven’t worked before get letters of reference from teachers, ministers and other people important in your life.

3. Go online and make online registrations at all of the online nanny agencies and job sites such as Indeed.com you can find.

4. Go to local nanny agencies in your city and make applications there. Find out from your friends which nanny agencies are the most reputable in your area.

5. Have a

Monday Problem: I don’t get over-time.

Monday Problem: I don’t get over-time.






Disclaimer: all emails are abbreviated and edited for clarity. When you submit to The Nanny Time Bomb please note that there will be edits. All names and info kept confidential. 




Dear Nanny X

I have a few issues..

#1 being the mother is often late coming home.. I tried bringing this up  
with her and she seemed very stressed about the situation. She told me I  
needed to be okay with her being late because she's already stressed enough  
about