To quote the Dolly Parton song, Islands in the Stream: “We rely on each other.”
Pat Cascio, Morningside Nannies, Houston, Texas
I recently read a comment written by a nanny that said: “Nanny agencies only have low paying jobs.” Most nanny agencies’ referral fees are based on a percentage of the nanny’s annual salary and any agency would love to place nannies who command salaries at the highest end of the compensation spectrum. If the agency can talk the family into a higher salary then the agency is realizing a greater fee. I can’t imagine any nanny agency that would promote lower salaries!
Families talk to their friends and co-workers and will tell the agency representative: “My friend pays $500 a week and she has a nanny that she loves.” Many families are budgeting their expenses and want to establish a weekly salary rather than a per hour amount. Well informed agencies will counsel the client on the laws that pertain to household employees and will discuss regular hourly rates and overtime rates. The greatest majority of nanny employers are professional couples that are away from home for fifty hours or more per week and when they hear that the overtime rate may be at $25 or even $30 an hour for ten or more hours they are overwhelmed.
In order for an agency to be successful it must listen to their clients and consistently present candidates that meet the criteria the family has set forth. The agency may have an excellent paying job or two and then nothing but medium salaried jobs for weeks. The biggest problem that a high-earning nanny faces is that the higher the salary the fewer available jobs there are. This is true in every industry. Picture a pyramid, and your salary level is at the very top of the pyramid. That area is very narrow.
Frequently the high paying jobs are very specific in their requirements. A nanny may have years of experience, attend industry conferences, have an amazing knowledge of child development and be up to date on the latest child care techniques, but if the family has told the agency that they want a college degree the agency will lose the client if they present someone that doesn’t have the required educational level. A family may say we’ll pay a very competitive salary for someone that has pediatric nursing experience, or Montessori training, or has the ability to speak a desired foreign language. Also, it’s not unusual to find that the jobs with the high salaries are ones that very few nannies will want, as they may include lots of last minute travel, extremely long hours or a very demanding employer that has had a lot of turnover in their household.
Many nanny agencies are owned by former nannies or by parents that have employed nannies and most understand the relationship of the family and nanny. They have to be intuitive about the right fit if they want their business to survive. Frequently agencies will tell the client family that their expectations will be difficult to meet and if they do entice someone to take the position there is a good chance that they won’t stay on the job very long.
Yes, there are still great paying nanny positions that become available, but I think a nanny is more likely to find them through a reputable agency then on an on-line resource.
Morningside Nannies is part of NannyFusion.