De-Bunking the Nanny Myths
Let’s break down some popular myths about nannies. In January of 2010, we asked the families who use nannies through Nannies4hire.com to complete a survey about how the economic downturn was affecting their
families. We are using the data gathered to answer some of the myths about nannies.
Myth #1. Nannies are for the wealthy – false
The federal government has identified income of $250,000 a year as the threshold for the wealthy. When asked how much the family income was; 34% earned less than $100,000 per year, 22% earned between $100,000 and $150,000, 17.5% earned between $150,000 and $200,000, and 31% earned over $200,000. Working families are the ones most using nannies. (33% did not answer the question).
Myth #2. A nanny must work full-time – false
The nanny’s schedule works around the schedule of the family. Of the families who responded to our surveys, 46.9% of the nannies worked part-time, with a range of hours per week varying from under 10 to 30. You will be able to find a high quality nanny who can work with your schedule.
Myth #3. A nanny is not safe – false
In a study of Healthy Steps for Young Children2, the leading cause of injury to children was related to the family, not the nanny. Children of unmarried parents were the most likely to be injured. The conclusion of the study was, “Household composition seems to play a key role in placing children at risk for medically attended injuries.” In a study that compared children who received home care, center-based care, and other forms of out-of-home child care, the rate of minor injuries was highest in center-based care, but there was not a significant difference among the 3.
Myth #4. I will not know what is going on in my home with a nanny – false
Working with a nanny is not a mystery. By setting up your communication systems at the start of your relationship, you will know everything that your child did that day. We recommend keeping a nanny journal, a daily reporting book where your nanny records important milestones, successes and challenges of the day. Seeing that your house is neat and clean, and that your child is happy, those are the best measures of your nanny’s progress.
Myth #5. Hiring a nanny is too complicated - false
Hiring a qualified nanny is easier than you think. With an online database service like Nannies4hire.com, you can preview available nannies in your zip code in the comfort of your own home. You will see their picture, experience, health status, education, and more. After you have narrowed your selection to two or three prospects, take advantage of the tools (such as the sample nanny contract found in the Appendix) that will give you peace of mind when hiring a nanny to care for your child.
Myth #6. A nanny will only take care of the children (no housework, cooking, etc.) – false
A nanny is an asset to a family and, in most cases, will help your house run smoothly. The most important criterion is not to burden a nanny with non-child related activities and detract from their primary responsibility: the care of your child. Seventy-seven percent of the nannies who responded to our first survey in 2009 are doing child-related activities (homework, errands, birthday parties, housework, laundry, and meal preparation), while 19% are involved in family duties. In 2010, 79% are doing more than just watching children. When you get ready to hire your nanny, see how your nanny can help your family as a whole.