Deal Makers and Deal Breakers

Received Sunday, July 15, 2007-Perspective & Opinion
What is the most important attribute in a nanny? And what quality/condition might a nanny posses that would be a deal breaker?
Nannies; same question applies, just change nanny to employer.
-MB, Las Vegas


Anonymous said...

For me the nanny must be smart.
A deal breaker for me would be a nanny who couldn't speak English properly.

jp said...

Nanny must have 3 good references. Dealbreaker would be a non driver.

sarah said...

Nannies-tatoos and risque clothing won't get you through my door. Genuine kindness and creativity makes me melt everytime.

Anonymous said...

Parents- Must be involved in kids' lives in a positive way. Dealbreakers- I won't work for a family who spanks, smokes, or who treat me, the nanny, like something they are just entitled to because they pay for me. The worst thing is when parents treat their nanny like a paycheck and nothing else, and demand rather than ask, assume rather than find out, and try to control their nanny like a puppy on a leash.

Anonymous said...

Most important attributeS (sorry, I have to list more than 1):

*knows how to PLAY with children (sounds easy, but few can do it to save their life)
*genuine love of kids
*possesses intelligence & common sense & kindness
*must discipline correctly (be neither too passive nor too harsh)
*must speak a foreign language



Anonymous said...

Parents that I work for, must be involved in their children's lives, have a similar child rearing philosophy as me, such as no hitting or yelling, and must treat me with the kindness and respect I deserve! My deal breakers would be parents that haggle with me on my prices, which are very fair for my qualifications and references, and parents that will undermine me around their children. Parents and nannies need to be a team, just like the parents. We all need to back each other up, and if we have concerns, we need to address them in private so the children see us as a united front, instead of divided people they can manipulate.

Anonymous said...

The parents that want to keep your working for them under the "radar", meaning not declaring taxes, etc. I had a family I worked for like this. Shhh, I don't want to be caught. Shows they don't care about the person they employ. What about when we get old and don't have any social security put aside for us. I declared on my taxes my wages working for them. Had to pay a couple of thousand.

nanny B said...

I always look in a family to treat their children how I would treat my own. That means their style of disipline, their interaction, their philosophy on education, ect would have to match my own. Then it would be how they would treat me as a nanny. I looked for a family that would treat me like a part of their family, and not just a "hired servent". thank God I found my last family to ever nanny for. they are a blessing.

Anonymous said...

I won't work for neglectul or otherwise "bad" parents, liars and nutcases. A deal maker for me are parents who light up when their children are around.
NJ nanny

Anonymous said...

Family Must: Someone I can easily talk to and someone who is very upfront about what they want for their children.
Dealbreaker: They must have a clean home. There is no way I can be in a messy/cluttered house and feel sane.
-CA Nanny

Anonymous said...

Honestly I can say there are certain nationalities I won't entertain the thought of hiring. A dealmaker for me is someone organized.

Anonymous said...

It's "impatience."
A deal breaker for me is a mom who thinks she's smart but is really just an idiot.

Anonymous said...

It's called a typo, wacko. You must not meet the criteria posted or you wouldn't be so uptight.

Anonymous said...

Nanny dealbreakers: Nannies who have substance-abuse problems, nannies who refuse to learn English or mental illness, nannies who spend more time gossipping with other nannies at the park than playing with their charges and nannies who are cruel to the children they look after.

Parent dealbreakers: Parents who have substance-abuse problems or mental illness, parents who spend more time on their cell phones or at the mall than playing with their children and parents who are cruel to their children, their spouses and/or the nannies they employ.

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that Sunday is like Nanny's Day on this board?


Most important attribute in a family. Wealth. I am not working for anyone chintzy who is looking to nickel and dime me. I know this rules out a lot of decent people.
But people who cannot afford to have different service people, assistants and housekeepers do their bidding often rely on the nanny to do it. Also people like this once they have hired you full time will never let you go even a half hour early- even if both parents are home. They are too afraid of "wasting" a half hour's pay.

After I clear that road block, one red flag for me is a shady husband. Husbands who try to boff the nanny are probably pretty rare, but those who flirt and make suggestive comments about their prowess are pretty sickening. They will try to involve you in their lies. And you are stuck dealing with their wives who are a mess because their shady husband is either gambling, using drugs and or boffing ever waitress in the wall street area. Or all three. I have had two jobs where I had these women cry on my shoulders. They were too embarassed to admit to their friends what they had to put up with. If mom isn't happy, the kids aren't happy so I appreciate working for a man who treats his wife and children like gold. And that is the hardest thing to find! Wealth is everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I also want to work for good parents who are very involved with their children. When I interview, I look for a family with very high standards in childcare. They should ask about my thoughts on discipline, if I have CPR certification, what kinds of activities I would do with children their children's ages. I put a lot of effort into providing activities that are educational, creative and fun. I want to work for a family that appreciates what I do. If they seem more interested in their own comfort and convenience (are you flexible about staying late, light housekeeping etc.) than they are about what I will do with the children, that is a deal breaker.
A nanny

ble said...

Hmmm...IF I were to hire a nanny:

First of all she have to be willing and able to interact with and treat my children just as I would. Meaning she would have to instill the values, morals, lessons, rules, etc. that I would lay out...even if she didn't particularly subscribe to them (although ideally, she would). That does not mean I would not be open to suggestions either though.

Other things would be non-smoker, not a party-girl (or guy) and while I would have no racial or nationality preference, I would like the nanny to be able to speak, read and write English well.

These are aside from the typical things like honesty, puncuality, etc.

Anonymous said...

Why does some deluded poster think Sunday is "Nannys Day"? Don't you realize everyday of the week is Nanny Day for these overpaid, sadistic lazy slugs?

Anonymous said...

What's your beef with nannies? Can't afford one?

Anonymous said...

1:19 are you the official nanny-blog troll?

Lindsey said...

When hiring a Nanny

Deal Maker: Must be Trustworthy, Patient, MUST SPEAK ENGLISH!

Deal Breaker: Smoker, Lazy, Liar.

~Lindsey, SAHM~

Anonymous said...

All you "must speak English" folks are puzzling. To the contrary, you get more bang for the buck if your kid learns a foreign language out of the deal. What a great life skill to have. My kids are set in that department, and the nanny is like freakin' Mary Poppins.

From the beginning, I asked my nanny to bag her perfect English (slight accent) in favor of her native tongue.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a typo. You spelled it wrong because you don't know the word, you dumb mom. You are the same type that says things like "irregardless..."

Anonymous said...

I am sure that was quite comforting for your son. Never mind mommy dearest was off at work, she left him with a stranger who wouldn't even converse with him in English. Cruel.

Ever heard of language classes?

Mother with nanny who speaks french, portuguese and English but has never been asked to abandon her English. My children learn words, phrases and songs from her because they are interested and she is an awesome teacher.

Anonymous said...

Sunday is hardly Nanny's Day. I think most of the nanny's who post questions post here for parents feedback. There are a ton of nanny boards they could ask their questions on. I'm just glad the blog is updated on Sunday.

Let's see- I don't have a singular answer to this question. But I would still like to answer.

a happy person
common sense
references from people I know or recognize.

Deal breakers:
Someone who is impolite during the interview
Someone who is demanding
A negative person
Someone who appears to vain or coiffed because I have 3 messy boys.

Anonymous said...


Are you mentally challenged? Infants don't have a language. They develope languages. Infancy is the best time for an introduction.

Are you the type that thinks a baby gets scared if they don't hear English upon leaving the womb?

No one "abandoned English." It's quite simple. Even you can grasp the concept. In my home:

*I speak English (my native tongue)
*papa speaks his native tongue
*nanny speaks her native tongue


Anonymous said...

"*I speak English (my native tongue)"

You sound like one of THOSE moms. You know the kind that buy cheap help on the sly, usually cleaning people who scrub toilets and do windows and you try and justify your choice to savier and better mothers by playing the language card.

An infant is used to his mother. It is hard enough when mommy goes back to work to have to have baby hear nothing but a foreign language. But you aren't thinking about that, are you?

You're thinking about "bang for your buck"


Anonymous said...

Goth Look
Slut look
Too fashionable

Laid back
Someone I wouldn't mind spendingtime with.

The most important quality you can find in any human being is---


Anonymous said...

Lady with the cactus shoved up her butt:

My kids heard 2 languages from the second they left the womb. What a moron. Go ask your shrink if there's something wrong with that.

My husband speaks the same language as the nanny.

Get it?

Of course not. Because you are an idiot whose kids will surely follow in your footsteps. Unless, of course, you hire a good nanny to counter your damage. :0)

Now go give yourself a pat on the back for being such a transparent, miserable wife and mother. Your husband ought to think about his own version of "more bang for the buck."

Anonymous said...

Is your husband hung like a titmouse? Because you sound like you just aint getting it.

Anonymous said...

LMAO @ a dealbreaker being the nanny is "too fashionable."
Now that's funny.

Anonymous said...

What about the "odoriferous nanny" that was talk of the blog for a good while? Deal breaker?

Anonymous said...

Smelly Nanny didnt reveal her odor until after she started working. But if I were hiring today, because of that post, I would go in close for a sniff. I would pretend to pick lint off her sweater or take a tick from her head.

As for the too fashionable nanny, I am guessing OR would be concerned about a high maintenance nanny that always had to be coiffed and could not get dirty.
That makes some semblance of sense.

Anonymous said...

Another dealbreaker: hooker claws with palm trees on them

Imagine those toughing your baby's diaper area. EWWWWW.

Anonymous said...

I choose not to care for ugly kids. I find that I'm just not as nice to them in the long run - and that obviously isn't fair to them. Hey, at least I know my limits.

Anonymous said...

now that's funny!
teeheeheee :) :) :)

ble said...

Since it seems to be the topic of the moment, I'd like to clarify that, while I said I would need my nanny to speak, read and write English, I most certainly did not mean that would have to be her/his only language or even the only language used around my children.

I would consider it an assett for my children to have a nanny that could introduce them to a new/different culture and language. I just want us to be able to communicate with her (or him) well.

Anonymous said...


You're begging that nutcase to come by and label you as cruel. Your willingness to expose small children to a language other than English will ruin them psychologically. Haven't you heard that?


ble said...

It seems to be the popular opinion on here as of late....that's for sure!

Perhaps I should have added that mine is only one of two causasian families on my street. All of our neighbours are Latino (mostly Mexican) and my 2 1/2 year old daughter already understands a bit of Spanish!

What a neglectful evil mother I am! LOL!

Anonymous said...

If the parents aren't Ivy grads. it is a deal breaker.
I'm not helping dumb kids with homework!

Ivy League mother with dyslexic son said...

Lots of children need help with homework. They don't have to be dumb. What an awful thing to say. Granted, you are only saying it to be hateful.

Nanny in PA said...

Family Dealbreakers:

- Pretentious with an entitlement attitude
- Lazy
- Unreasonably messy
- Dishonest about job description.

Anonymous said...

parent who smiles

parent who abuses her child
parent who never smiles

I spent a shore time woking for a mother who had all kinds of food issues. She would projetc them on her kids. Eat fattening things in front of them. When they asked for them, she would call them fat. Then she would work out with her trainer and take laxtives and have lipsuction. What a number she was doing on those kids.

Anonymous said...

To 9:16 and 11:51:


Anonymous said...

anyone who has never had a social interaction and I use the word social generously- with my former boss.
anyone on or connected to someone on her payroll.

viva la raza

sd said...


and all the other pro spanish speaking nannies on here. I recognize you all. Even my nanny finds you pretentious. You are usually scrooge-ish in your pay. However you rationalize it, I see you as cheap and desperate. Many nannies speak alternate languages and children are curious. They love to learn songs and rhymes and words in other languages. Only a brute would tell her nanny not to speak English. The whole point of having a nanny is so while you are off making your tiny bucks at your middle mamagement position, there is a warm body in your place who can respond in English to other nannies, parents, teachers and neighbors.

Anonymous said...

If you're talking to me (I'm pro foreign language), my children do not speak Spanish. Guess again! I'll give you a hint. It's 1 of the big 3, but you missed your first guess.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, my nanny speaks perfect English. I just ask her not to. This also works well when the Caribbeans approach her. She can pretend not to comprehend.

Anonymous said...

Wow you demonstrate such superior ownership of your nanny. Does she dance for you too?

Anonymous said...

You sound like an idiot. The only difference between many people who go to an ivy league school and those who go to state schools is how much money their parents have.
You are a snobby stuck up loser. I feel so sorry for everyone in your life who has any contact with you.
I can also tell you that I am a graduate of UMass and I'm certain that I am smarter than you are. And more importantly, I'm not a jerk. Like you. Maybe the reason why you can't help the kids who need it with their homework is that you suck as a teacher, and shouldn't be working with kids at all. With your elitist attitude, you are a horrible role model.

Anonymous said...

No, she doesn't dance. But she agrees that learning a 2nd language is ideal and is happy to oblige. You may say that she doesn't want my kids to turn out like you, my dear.

Anonymous said...

You're judging me? You basically just said Caribbean nannies were beneath you and your nanny. Yet you want me to embrace your nanny and her language skills? Please. I have an awesome nanny. She works with me. She doesn't take orders from me. I need a full charge nanny with her head on straight. I don't need some meek little chicken walking around the neighborhood squawking in portuguese. Or whatever. It doesn't matter. You are a sham because you are insisting that you have done something unprecedented here by hiring a nanny that speaks two languages. MOST do. Either they learned it in school or they are from a foreign country.A language is great. Sure. But I expect SO MUCH MORE.

Anonymous said...

To bring yourself up to speed on my additional requirements, read the thread.

I don't think Caribeean nannies are beneath me or my nanny. I think only the ones that harass her are, the majority of whom are Caribbean. I'm talking about the ones who bench sit and tell her she needs to sit down and ignore her charges.

Some people excel at their jobs, and others don't. The ones that don't are easier to ignore if you can't comprehend them.

ble said...

So, 10:23, you don't think they are beneath you, but you think the reason this one particular group that harasses your nanny and bench sit do so because they are Carribean?

How is that any better or any less racist than what you said before?

What race are you and your nanny? Maybe these nannies believe some kind of made up idea of what she is like based on race and that is why they don't like her? I am just making this up, of course, as an example....but if this were the case, based on your judgements above, this would make it okay, right?

Anonymous said...

It's just a fact. The nannies who approach her and tell her not to work so hard and ask her how much she makes are ALWAYS Caribbean. I am not sure why she isn't approached by hispanic or tibetan or white or asian nannies. Perhaps you can explain why that is. I certainly can't.

Anonymous said...

you wrote: "I don't need some meek little chicken walking around the neighborhood squawking in portuguese. Or whatever."
I find it so, so sad that you have children. Very sad. And I take offense to your comment. I am Portuguese and I think you are disgusting. The Portuguese have a very rich culture. My grandparents, God rest their souls, came over from Madeira island and worked very hard, not only to provide for their families but to teach their children about how to be good people. Being a good person is not judging someone by their race. That is so horrible that I really do feel so sorry for your poor children, and your nanny, and your husband, and anyone else in your life who must be exposed to your ignorance.
You could only hope to ever become the kind, hard-working, generous good people that make up my family and the people I know in the Portuguese community.
You disgust me.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed so many of these comments quickly deteriorate into name-calling and debates over issues of race and class.
Maybe it's a sign of the times. Maybe it reveals just how unbalanced and confusing the nanny/employer relationship can be.
I see very little warmth or gratitude expressed between employers and nannies on this board. Makes me sad to think that some of the people who are supposed to be working TOGETHER in the best interest of the children are actually more interested in making eachother feel like garbage.
Whatever happened to common decency, dignity in the workplace and honoring eachother?

Anonymous said...


I'm with you!

And 9:16 just sounds frustrated. She's a wannabe bi/tri lingual mom who can't seem to get her child to grasp any language. Probably waited too long to start in fear of "scaring" her infant with French. LOL!

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, wake up. Life is full of debates over race and class. That is why there are so many problems in our world. It is all connected: racism and classism directly effect the work force, especially a profession like childcare.
It is completely relevant.

Anonymous said...

3:22 AM..... I see very little warmth or gratitude expressed between employers and nannies on this board.

There are certainly many of us working for wonderful families who love our jobs and have warm relations with our employers. I don't think this board can be expected to reflect that. The point is after all to ferret out bad nannies. Probably not many employers who feel their nanny is practically a member of the family would come on here unless they had a bad sighting to report.
UES Nanny

Anonymous said...

3:22 AM I really appreciate your point of view! Finally someone has the nerve to speak up about this.

7:05 AM I don't think 3:22 ever said there aren't issues of race and class in this world.
I think she was pointing out that the focus of this blog should be protecting children, not employers and nannies competing to see who can be the meanest, nastiest bitch on the board!

Anonymous said...

I am SHOCKED that you would regard piercings and tattoos as a deal breaker??!

That is insane, just because a person has ink on their skin or metal in their face, this in NO way affects their ability to care for a child.



a very good (pierced and tattooed) nanny

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that people think that because you don't fully speak, read or write English, they assume you are not intelligent. I would like to see all of you critics to move to a foreign country and learn how to do all of that.

Anonymous said...

12:56am: We would and could. We wouldn't dream of living in a foreign country if we couldn't speak, read, or write the language. How very ignorant

Anonymous said...

First of all what tipe of idiot doesnt speak atleast 2 languages??? Good lord, grow a brain. Also you damn ignorant mothers who walk with a chip on their shoulder because you are nothing and want to be something.... get over yourself. so discusting.
and hire anenglish speaking nanny so she can communicate to your child when your child is frustrated.

Anonymous said...

Dealbreaker for me?
I would hope never have the misfortune to hire one of the hateful, name calling people on here to be with my children. Some of you sound so filled with rage.

I would not hire a pierced or tattooed person either. Those are typically antisocial behaviors that also demonstrate your lack of judgement when done to excess (as in you weren't bright enough to at least get them in a place where they could naturally be covered by clothing in the event you ever want to gain respectable employment.)

If she looked in any way skanky, no way. Somebody mentioned hooker nails. NO way. Funky haircolors, such as pink, etc., no way. She would need to look conservative and professional, as I would also hope for any person getting any kind of other decent job.

She would have to speak English.

Anonymous said...

I think of myself as fairly conservative, but I would
never refuse to hire someone solely on the basis of
their piercing or tatoo.