Received Saturday, May 15, 2010
I've got a pretty crazy situation going on with my job right now, and I'd love some advice.
I'm nannying for a family that has a single child, a 13 month old boy. I started at this position last June, caring full-time for the child. In September, the family enrolled him in daycare because they wanted him to "have socialization with other children" and gave me a minimal amount of notice that my position would be dissolving. Several months later I was contacted by them again when he was kicked out of the daycare due to his behavior (Which is another story in of itself...) I, with some hesitation, agreed to work as their nanny again. I was glad for the work and especially happy that they were willing to work with my new schedule, in which I had classes from 8 - 11. The mother often didn't go into work until 12 often anyway, so it was no problem. Later, though, she decided to hire another lady (Who has no childcare experience) to come in the mornings so that the mother could catch up on her sleep (13 mo still wakes up every hour during the night) and so she could get ready without having to deal with the baby.
Without discussion, they decided that they would be paying me the same rate they paid the daycare for my work - which works out to a measly $5/hour! I take him to storytime at the library every week, set up playdates, go to the zoo, etc (In my own vehicle, with no compensation) and in addition am highly qualified for this position. $5/hr in is no way fair compensation, but I've hesitated to bring it up as I know they can't afford much more than that. On top of that, they often need me to stay several extra hours at least 1 day a week, but give me only a couple hours of notice, if that. They still only pay me the $5/hr for overtime as well. They have taken off on several trips with little warning as well, leaving for several weeks which left me scrambling to budget as I was without pay.
I notified them that my schooling will be switching to online, which opens my morning up and makes me available for full-time pay, which truthfully I am being desperately in need of. The mother informed me that the schedule would be staying exactly as-is because she didn't want to mess anyone's hours up. However, I later learned through the other caretaker that she has been offered an extra 2 hours of work a day, which is frustrating to hear. They had also assured me that if they ever turned up needing care outside of our normal hours, they would give me priority over the other caretaker; I also found out that they have not been truthful about that either.
All of this has led to to wanting to take another position. I've been looking for a couple of weeks but have not found the full-time position that I need. I'd love some tips from other experienced nannies out there about where else I can look; Craigslist (ugh), sittercity, care.com... Any input would be lovely!