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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Finding and keeping a nanny

As most working parents know, you can't hold a job without good child care. Recently I have found myself giving advice for finding -- and keeping -- good nannies? Although I have a steady nanny now for five years, I have endured my share of turmoil. Even now, I am always on the lookout for good sitters to fill in gaps if necessary. There's no right answer to the best way to find a nanny, or keep one. My advice to friends:
* Do whatever it takes to keep your nanny/sitter happy. Buy her special lunches, pay her overtime, keep her favorite soda stocked in the fridge.
* Find one with as few personal problems as possible: transportation issues, their own child care issues, immigration problems.
* Don't be cheap. If you underpay, your nanny will leave you. For average nanny salaries, check out the International Nanny Association's 2006 Salary Survey, which breaks out results by region. Salaries ranged from $300 to more than $1,000 per week. In South Florida, the going rate can be anywhere from $300 to $400 per week.
In the survey, most nannies reported making roughly $12-$15 an hour, with incremental overnight pay of up to $100 per night. The survey was based on 1,119 respondents.
* Consider a nanny placement agency. There are several good ones in South Florida. Ask friends with nannies for recommendations. My sister found a great nanny by befriending a teacher of English as a Second Language (ESOL) courses at a nearby high school.
For night time sitters, I have found teenagers to be the best. Now is a perfect time to find them. I typically scour the summer camps for teens who like to care for children. I also chat with women in my neighborhood when I walk my dog, especially if I suspect they have teenage children. And, I always ask babysitters about their teenage siblings. If you have any suggestions, feel free to contribute your tips.

2 Comments:

Blogger jennifer gelco said...

Great advice! There can be no preparing for when the divorce mother of four falls head over heels for the evil child hating lothario and sets about trying to turn her into the last heiress he tried to attach his sinking star too. It's hell to watch the ruin of children and regardless of how evil "Marge" was, anything bad that comes to her will affect her children who love her so much!

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should be ashamed by how little time you spend with your children. why do you need nighttime AND daytime care?? Where are you that you can't bring your children? Do you even tuck them in at night?
Why even bother to have them if you have to hire people round the clock to care for them? why can't you give them some of YOUR time instead pursuing your own SELFISH interests ahead of your FAMILY?! Why bother to have a family if your job comes first? Children should be raised in a FAMILY setting not by strangers who are PAID to love and nurture them into adulthood.

11:02 AM  

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