08 July, 2007

Frustrated Nanny Seeks Encouragement...

Received Sunday, July 8, 2007/Perspective & Opinion
I've been a frequent reader to this site for quite some time, and I've even posted to it a couple of times. I was (if any of you remember) the nanny who got a re-gifted projection alarm clock for Christmas from the (then) live in family. Anyways, here's my (frustrating) situation:I've been caring for children- well, honestly- since I was a young teen. I have always known that caring for children was my passion; perhaps it stemmed from being the caretaker (as a kid) to my sister who was unfortunate to have several physical problems as well as moderate mental retardation. I've been caring for other's children for quite a while, and I've become GREAT at it. I even took care of my goddaughter from birth to age two, and her brother when he was born less than a year after him. Anyways.. I'm well experienced. I'm currently living in the DE region because I would rather be close to my goddaughter and to the majority of my family (including my sister). However, it seems that people here in DE are unsympathetic to the nanny profession; and more specifically to people who don't have a vehicle of their own. I do not have a car (at the time), although I intend to get one as soon as I possibly can (and have a little bit of money saved up for that purpose)... but all of the positions I've applied for (in the nanny field) all get back to me with the same line "I'm sorry, we're currently looking to hire someone who will be reliable with their own transportation" What ever happened to giving someone a break?! I moved to PA to accept a live in position with a family who provided a car for me to use on and off the job. This was great, except for the family not being the best family to work for. (I won't get into details there, but trust me when I say that friends and family members were telling me to get out, as much as I wanted to say for the kids' sake) I called for a meeting with the parents on four separate occasions to try and work out the issues professionally, but nothing was solved. They refused to make the necessary steps for me to be able to provide the children with safe and efficient care that they needed and deserved. I had to leave. I miss those kids. But, as any nanny knows, that's par for the course. I still keep in touch with the previous families I've worked for (for the most part) and we still have an amicable relationship, but I know that the most recent family and I will not have further contact and sometimes I continue to question leaving them.. but that's another (long) story! So, now I am back in Delaware, and on the hunt again for a great family; they are around, I know it, but they will not offer a position to me because of something as silly as not having a vehicle. I understand some family's' needs are different from others and some positions DO require the use of a nanny's personal car... but would it be fair for a person to be denied a position in the major work force just because they don't have a car of their own (YET)? Live in jobs would make sense. But I am having the worst job-searching luck... Jobs that pay 300/week for a 45-50 hour week with the kind of experience I have isn't acceptable. Plus, as my recommendations would go to assure, I am great at my job. With all that having been said, this is so discouraging. I guess I was just looking to "vent" in a safe place, and maybe some people can provide me with the encouragement I'm needing right now to not give up on something I've loved doing and I'm great at. Let the advice roll! Thanks for letting me vent,
-Frustrated Nanny
Reminder: Send your nanny sightings to isawyournanny@aol.com

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Im from chicago and its even harder to find an family, but have you ever considered sittercity.com?

just a thought..

Anonymous said...

I feel for you. I've been working with children in some capacity or another for over 10 years, but I don't have a car. I have pretty reliable transportation to and from work, so it's very rarely an issue. Just keep looking. You don't have to settle- you just have to find a job with a family whose needs (and resources, in terms of having a car for you to drive if necessary.) are compatible with your needs. I have an awesome job now, albeit only p/t with a wonderful family. It did take time to find, but it was worth it for me.

compassionate nanny said...

Hello! Congratulations on all your good work as a nanny. You have a lot to be proud of.
Re: the car issue...this may sound a little blunt, but see if you can get yourself a good-quality used car ASAP. Keep saving your $$. Work side jobs as a sitter if you have to in order to afford the down payment.
I'm offering this advice because it sounds like you have a lot of nanny experience, and would probably be happier as a live-out nanny at this point in your career. Live-out nanny positions provide SO much more freedom and privacy. And any decent employer will offer to pay for your car insurance (and possibly part of your car payments) if you're required to use your vehicle during work hours (to transport the children, etc).
Best of luck. And feel free to check out the blog I just started. :)

Anonymous said...

I totally understand: my situation is similar, but different. I actually did childcare my whole life too, but never got my drivers license until last year!! (I'm in my 30's!) And I only got it because I had a baby and I wanted to be able to take her places. Now that I have it I of course love it. But when I went looking for nanny jobs, it was really hard because they want you to transport kids. What I would say to you is, until you get a car (and some people don't understand that you can't just "get one" so easily!) try and interview with families of infants, since they are the least likely you will have to transport.
As far as people giving people a break, well unfortunately people are very self-centered many times and are actually very prejudiced against people who a)don't drive b)don't have a car or c)are slightly different in any way!!
Good luck, you sound awesome, some lucky family will find you!
xoxox

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is unreasonable of the family to want you to have a car.

The family I work for wanted me to have one so I could take the boy places during the day, not have to rely on other people to get me there and back, have transportation in case of an emergency or if one of them got off work early.

It is understandable.

Anonymous said...

Rely on other people?
Are you from Deleware?
We don't put our children in the nanny's beater vehicle.
We provide safe vehicles that are regualarly services for the nanny to drive.

Pretty lowbrow, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny (with a car) but quite a few years ago I was a hiring manager for a large organization. One of the first questions I asked was if the potential new hire had a car or not. If they didn't I wouldn't take the call any further. I learned the hard way that MOST people I hired without cars, were often late, couldn't find a ride, bus was late, etc. I guess it also kind of made me think that if they weren't even motivated enough in life to have a car of their own (whether it be a junker or whatever) how would they have the motivation to do such a great job with my company? Just my two cents!

Anonymous said...

This is a very slow time of year to look for a nanny job. If there is an agency in your area like Pinch Sitters, I would sign up with them for temp work until you find something. There should be a lot of openings in the fall.
In my experience, most of the families that require driving the children provide a car for that purpose. Maybe it depends on the area you are in. Good luck.

Dee said...

5:53,
I have actually had the opposite experience. I am the director of a corporate childcare center, and I employ 10 teachers and 15 assistant teachers/part time/subs. Several of the teachers who work at my center do not have cars for many reasons, none of them being that they are not "motivated." We live in a metro area where there are frequent buses and trollies so some people choose not to have a car since there is sometimes not a need for it, if they have no children, etc. And I find that the teachers who do not have cars are ALWAYS on time and rarely late. On the other hand, some of my girls who have cars are always coming up with excuses. (Usually that their car is acting up!)
You may be missing out on some great employees by discriminating like that. Also, your view of people without cars is pretty naive and judgemental if you ask me.
Just my two cents...

Anonymous said...

Look into local reputable nanny agencies they tend to have lots of different clients with a wide variety of needs! The agency I joined (before finding my current job through them) even has two separate categories one for employers who need a driver, and another for employers who don't require a driver. To have specific needs such as this listed up front before interviewing really saves time and helps to narrow down your search for the right job, as well as to find someone whose needs are perfectly matched to your own!

Anonymous said...

Let's cut the bull here. Delaware is full of working class people. No one is going to provide you a car. No one in Deleware really is qualified to have a nanny. Their children should all be in daycare, probably even state sponsored-so they don't know anything about professional nannies or hiring a nanny. If you want to stay in that area and work as a nanny for the working class, you are going to need to suck it up, buy a car and work for Deleware wages.

ec said...

When a family is able to be picky, why would they hire you when the person behind you in line does have a car?

Anonymous said...

Nanny,
You cannot have your cake & eat it too. The average income for a Delaware family in 2004 was $35,728. See all of these useless nannies? Do you think they go home to estates? Do you ever see a really terrible nanny behind a sterling silver pram? No. Same reason my YSL handbag is not threadworn. It is real. This gross attempt people have to keep up with the Joneses causes them to hire from the gutter and slap the title "nanny" on that person. I don't even know what my point is. Just that the notion of a family in Deleware providing a car for a nanny is a tad ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I think that the first thing that you need to realize is that most families in Delaware will not be able to pay you much ... hence you being able to find jobs that are paying $300-400. I hate to say it but this is probably a lot of money for a family in that area to pay.

As far as the car is concerned, they are probably asking you to have a car because they use their car to get to work and can’t afford to purchase another car for your use. Personally, I would never let my nanny use her own car to transport my children around for fear that it would not be reliable enough. However, I understand that everyone’s needs and means is different.

If you want to get paid more and you can't afford a car now, you need to move to a major Metropolitan area such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles, etc. If you intend to stay in Delaware, then you need to accept the fact that it's how things will be there. It's supply and demand and you are comparing apples to oranges.

I hope this makes sense and that it helps you in your decision.

Anonymous said...

We do not let our babysitter transport our infant. We trust her, we would just rather not have her do that unless it were an emergency.

OP said...

This is the OP here...

For clarifying purposes, I have posted to a number of jobs; in all kinds of areas: NY, CT, PA, DE, and etc.. But the problem I'm running into is the same. So, for those who are telling me to "suck it up" and "that's the way it's going to be in DE"; I'm sorry i didn't make it more clear that I've applied for all sorts of jobs. The problem is that for a position out of state, it will need to be 1) a well paying enough job that I can afford getting a car of my own for live out, or 2) a live in position.

Out of the comments that have been made-- for the most part they are very supportive, and exactly what i was looking for.. THANK YOU so much for not souring me on this career... But, for a couple of comments, i have to respond:

5:53pm.... I'm sad that you used to be so prejudicial towards people who were unfortunate enough to not have a car... just because they aren't rich doesn't make them any less of a great worker. I have recommendations to back me up on that point. Just because i don't have the extra money for a car when i have extra bills, doesn't mean that i don't have motivation to be the best nanny I can. Shame on you for even implying that. Good luck to you. (Dee, you were right on with this reply to that comment, thanks so much for that!)

8:20pm, Thanks for proving to me that there are still people out there who just plain SUCK.

Again, most of these comments weren't the plain "suck it up" or "get real" and WERE the comments that i was asking for as far as encouragement and support. For that, i thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Come to NYC, you don't even need to drive, let alone have a car!
As for the post disparaging people who don't have cars, many highly successful city dwellers choose not to have cars. Are you aware of environmental issues?

dee said...

to 5:53,
I just thought I would add something to my previous reply to your post.
Just because a worker has a car, doesn't mean they are motivated. Many, many, MANY young people I come in contact with, from their late teens all the way up to their 30's do not have any financial responsibility and their car was payed for by yes you guessed it, mummy and daddy. So you tell me, does that make them more motivated than someone who is saving to buy one?
I think you sound very immature, and much like the young people I have spoken with who have cars and not much upstairs if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

All I'm going to say is good luck to you. You sound wonderful and I know you will find the right job and family.

Okay, I will say one more thing. We have one (old) car. I stay at home most of the time with my toddler (we're in a nanny share for a whopping 9 hours a week). Anyway, we live pretty close to my husband's work and in a mostly decent climate, so he rides his bike to work. He enjoys it! He did find out, though, that many people at work thought he had some DUI history or something that prevented him from driving a car to work. Strange prejudices!

Anonymous said...

3:32
It's so strange, I agree. Why are people so stuck-up and ignorant?

Anonymous said...

It isn't prospective families' job to "give you a chance". They are looking to hire someone who fits their family's needs, and 90% of the time, that will be someone with a car.

Nannying doesn't always happen from 9-5, and so public transportation doesn't always work for arriving on time to a nanny job. It's reasonable for familes to want to hire someone with a car.

Why don't you look into getting financed for an inexpensive used car? Hell, even call one of those "Bad credit, no credit?" hotlines and see what they've got to say.

If you want to find a satisfying, decent-paying job in your area, sounds like you'll need a car.

If you refuse to get one, move to NYC.

Anonymous said...

To the OP: please disregard 2:16's naive advice about the "bad credit/no credit" places: their interest rates will ensure that you get into debt that you can never get out of. Bad, bad advice. Spoken like a true child of a parent that bought them a car.
And for your information, public transportation in metro areas are also not merely 9-5.New York is not the only city with affordable public transportation.
Check your facts please.
As far as "giving you a chance", no it's not their job to. But it is being a good person to do so. If the candidate is a good one, sometimes it is wise to overlook certain factors, or learn to deal with them, especially if they are temporary. If the family needs someone with a car, fine, then. But not all families need that. As someone else mentioned, parents of infants, not needed to be transported. In metro areas, in cities.
I could go on but I'm tired of explaining to dense elitist people...

Iz said...

dear nanny,
you are pissing and moaning about not having the credentials needed to be a low rent de nanny. either move or shut up. your post is as tiresome as the state you swear your allegiance to.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 2:56. I was the one who said I didn't hire people in my previous career who didn't have a car. It wasn't some preconcieved notion I made up. I tried for two years to hire many people without cars and the sad truth was, that it never worked. I lived at the time, in Orange County, Calif. and EVERYONE had vehichles there. If you didn't, then you relied on an almost non existant bus system. So sorry I sound immature to you, but this day and age, it's really not that difficult to get a car. Really, it's not. If you can't save up to get a car of your own, others are right saying you need to move to a big city where cars aren't needed. I understand some ride bikes for environmental reason, but lets be realistic, most of those people HAVE cars or CHOOSE not to have cars, and they just don't ride them everyday to work. I say get a better paying job where you can afford a car and don't blame the families who are turning you down for "not giving you a chance" because you are the one that is choosing not to have a vehicle at the time. If they are going to pay someone, they might as well paysomeone that can get around and not make up excuses. I love how people get so defensive on this site!

Anonymous said...

3:43
You sound defensive as well.
The OP doesn't sound to me as if she is blaming anyone: it is frustrating when you have the qualifications and your shortcomings (like not having a car) will not prohibit you from doing the job. It is true that many families do not need their nanny to have a car, and it is true that many families provide one. I did childcare, babysitting, nannying for years without a car and sometimes it was harder to find a job, but I always found one, I was never unemployed even for a short time, and the families I worked for are so glad they had the insight to hire me. If I had my choice between a good nanny without a car and a below par one with, I'd go with the one without the car.
You can go back and forth all you want but the fact of the matter is that, yes they can be picky and should. But we all have different priorities, and mine would be to find a loving, capable nanny who took great care of my kids. Carting them around to a million different places? Not necessary, if you ask me unless they are school age and have different activities.

Anonymous said...

Well, if she simply got a car then she wouldn't have to deal with these issues. Sounds pretty simple to me.

Anonymous said...

OP, what have you decided to do? Are you going to get a car, move to a big city with reliable public transportation, or stay there and stick it out until you find a family willing to "give you a chance."

ble said...

Maybe you should just get a car. While your credntials sound great, I think I would be nervous about hiring someone who did have their own transportation. Especially if I depended on your on-time arrival to be sure I was able to arrive to work on time. Being a SAHM, it is not an issue for me, but I can see why it might be for others.

Anonymous said...

I am an employer an hour north of NYC and I wouldn't care whether you had a car or not--as long as you show up on time and did a good job. The best nanny I ever had was a temporary nanny who didn't have a car. I was so thankful for her cheerful professional loving approach towards my 3 children, I frequently offered to let her take our nanny car home with her overnight (if it was during the week and all it would do would sit in our driveway until the next morning) or pack the kids in the car for a ride when I got home from work and take her home (which they loved to do). Unfortunately, she was unable to stay on beyond the term of our temporary position. Maybe you should look for a multichild position. My experience is it's next to impossible to find someone who wants a position with more than 2 children under 5 and they leave as soon as they find a job with fewer kids.

OP here: said...

OP here (if anyone is even still reading this post...)

I've decided to move on to another area where the need for nannies is greater (and pays more, generally). I'm looking in the CT region, and in the PA region currently; I would rather not move to where I know NO ONE, and wouldn't be able to travel 'home' (de) to visit family or friends once in a while. I have family and friends in the CT region, so this would be ideal; if the family provides me with a vehicle until I can get my own; for errands and stuff. I am not unreasonable when it comes to borrowing (especially an employers) car, I am not out every night or anything ridiculous like that; In fact, I'm mostly in bed by 10:30 every night and in the house by 9:30pm (the latest) every night as well. My past employers (live in jobs) have been more than happy with my "less than expected" use of their car.

Anyway, having all that been said; to answer the question of "what are you going to do"... I've posted to CT and PA sites, and I've received a few responses. I'm seeking out more prospectives and going from there.