What's in a Name?

opinion 1
What is it with the large number of people on CL advertising themselves as nannies. When they are an in-home daycare? I sometimes wish that nanny was a protected title. It's tough when anyone and everyone can call themselves a nanny.


it is what it is said...

I hear you. It's similar to my pet peeve where parents refer to their infant's daycare as "school", and their caregivers as "teachers". People always want to elevate things to shroud reality.

A teacher earns a college degree and is licensed and certified. A daycare worker may also be educated, but could also be 19-year-old working for minimum wage.

Nowadays, anyone who babysits your children is called a Nanny, daycare is called school, and a daycare worker is called a teacher.

(And yes I do realize that daycare workers can be degreed teachers, but generally speaking degreed educators aren't working in daycare centers.)

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. It drives me nuts when friends have a babysitter one night a week, and then refer to the sitter as their nanny.

But that's why people call themselves nannies. Mothers want a nanny because it makes them feel important, babysitter, no so much. So people looking for jobs use the posh title, and everyone is happy, except the real nannies.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

When a family employs a Nanny, they sound like they are well-off since many people assume only the wealthy can afford a true Nanny.

I think it is dumb on CL when women who run in home daycares state that they can provide Nanny services at a daycare rate.

If you run a home daycare, you cannot do what a Nanny does. The child must come to you plus you have other kids to care for so the child does not get 100% of your attention that they would get w/an in-home Nanny.

Nanny234 said...

I know what you mean!! But, I have the opposite problem!!! My employers refer to me as 'babysitter!' They'll say "oh the babysitter is watching the kids" etc. I work 45 hrs/wk, for about a year and a half for them!! I approached MB and said I consider myself "nanny" not "babysitter." MB said "Well babysitter just sounds cuter." Come to find out, many of her friends don't even know she has a nanny, they think she's an amazing SAHM! What's with that?! Being certified as a nanny could definitely work in my favor!

UmassSlytherin said...

Just a note regarding referring to "daycare workers" as "teachers."

In a licensed daycare center, there are "teacher" positions. These women do have degrees or a certification that allows them to be an Early Childhood infant/toddler/or preschool teacher. There are also "assistant teachers" and these qualifications are less.

Children enrolled in a daycare center or school refer to both their teachers and assistant teachers as "teachers." To a child, all adults who work at their school or daycare are "eachers." And rightly so.

Any parent who has had an amazing infant/toddler/preschool caregiver, or any person who has provided quality infant/toddler and preschool care, knows that they are teachers.

What I find amazing is that there are so many wondeful women and men in childcare who take on the title, the job responsibility, the work load, the long days keeping kids safe and stimulated, writing lesson plans, changing diapers, providing love and care, and yet they still get paid crap.

To me, THAT person deserves the title of teacher.

I know I have said in past posts that you will find unprofessional peoploe in childcare. This is true. But make no mistake that you will also find teachers, yes teachers, of far superior quality to many public school teachers that I have encountered.

There is good and bad in everything. And in my opinion, Daycare Teachers are the Teachingest kinds of teachers.

I need a break said...

I work 50+ hours a week and have been in this business for 21 years and I've always preferred to be called babysitter. I agree it just sounds cuter and more friendly.

MissMannah said...

I don't like being called a babysitter because I don't sit on babies. My last employer always referred to me as her babysitter and while it bugged me, I never cared enough to actually bring it to her attention.

Magda Gerber coined the term "educarer" when referring to daycare teachers because they are in charge of both the education and the care of young children. It isn't a one or the other thing, the two are intertwined so she thought there should be a word for it. I don't particularly care for the word, but I like the thought process behind it.

nannywho said...

I responded to a nanny ad on CL, went to the interview and found out at that point it was an in home large daycare and they needed an aid. She said that she wanted a nanny though because of the experience needed with multiple age groups. Then she offered me $8.00/hr and said that if I would commit to a full year she would give me a raise after a few months but didn't know how much she would then offer. It was terrible.

Britney said...


I see a lot of ads on CL for home daycare assistants and the pay is never more than $8/Hr. This leads me to believe that women who run daycares out of their homes are cheap.

Just sayin'.......

UmassSlytherin said...

"Women who run daycares out of their homes are cheap" is a ridiculous statement. It is very judgemental.

Home daycare rates are cheap. Home daycare providers do not make a great deal of money.

8 dollars an hour is minumum wage. I would not expect to pay a home daycare assistant more than that.

I have run a home daycare. The rates are low. If you have no experience in dealing with them, I suggest you find out before you spout.

And for the record, I would never do home daycare again. It is far too much work, too intrusive, and I am not cut out for it. Like nannying, my home daycare days are over. It is harder than it appears.

workingMom said...

"If you run a home daycare, you cannot do what a Nanny does. The child must come to you plus you have other kids to care for so the child does not get 100% of your attention that they would get w/an in-home Nanny."

This is what I meant with my comment in another thread about "warehousing children". In my area we have TWO great daycare centers, where the child-to-caregiver ratio is like 4/1; the rest have way too many kids of various ages being 'supervised' by way too few caregivers. And at a couple of these centers (like the YMCA) the children are directly supervised by inexperienced teenagers, while the lone adult never comes out of their office.

Our FT nanny left (to be an RN) when my son entered first grade, and these kind of centers were our only option for the two hours he needed to be supervised after school. My husband, my son, and I all hated it/them. And we tried to find a babysitter for that time, but nobody would work just two hours a day. He finally became a latchkey kid at 10 yrs, but there were downsides to that, too.

proud Y employee said...

The YMCA I work at has licensed programs through EEC. You must be an adult and have an education and experience to work in them. The only exception is Childwatch (I don't know if that is what you are referring to) in which you get two hours of free daycare while you work out. It is not lisenced and some of the staff are teens.

Working mom, were your children enrolled in the Y near you? I am curious to know when you saw the program in action. Also, have you thought of telling the front desk your concerns and filling out a comment form? If the program at your Y is out of ratio, that is a state violation.

The Y I work at has quality, licensed childcare programs with a fully qualified staff and happy parents and children. It is in Massachusetts.

workingMom said...

I also want to comment that it irritates me when someone who is clearly just a babysitter calls themself a nanny.

A nanny is so much more educated and skilled than a babysitter (in many different ways, particularly in managing relationships), justifying 'good' nanny pay.

One can't just decide to call themselves a nanny because they think it's a good-paying, easy job; they need to possess the qualifications, as well.

proud Y employee said...

p.s. I think "nobody wanted to work for only two hours" is a shoddy excuse to have your children in a program that you hate. that is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Bad parenting.

If the price was right you could have found something else.

Your kids come first.

workingMom said...

Proud Y employee,

You had better believe I complained, filled out the comment card, and basically made myself a pain to the Y staff! This was many years ago (1997?), and I was unaware of ratios/codes, and nothing was ever done. And it was NOT free, and not cheap either.

Practically every evening after work when I picked up my son from the Y, it was complete mayhem, with kids running wild in an icky, basement area that was too small (IMHO) for the 20 or so kids they had in there.

I live in an odd area, comprised of some wealthy people (who don't use such services), a small amount of 'middle-class' (myself), and a large contingent of the low-income and poverty-level - and I think that has a lot to do with the type and quality of childcare services available.

My issues with warehousing kids bleeds over into the public school system as well - but that's another topic. Suffice it to say that if I could do it over again (my son is now grown) I would figured out a way to homeschool him or have him tutored, rather than thrown into classrooms with 29other kids.

I don't think my little Johnny is/was so much more special than anybody else's; I simply think children require more individualized attention!

workingMom said...

Proud Y employee,

Shoddy parenting. You have no idea.

I tried hiring neighborhood teens, young adults, college kids, and retired neighbors. Nobody was interested.

In-home daycares weren't interested in the older child, because they either already had their quota (from kids they'd had since birth), or were waiting to fill that space with an infant they could make more money from.

We went through 3 different centers before I found a SAHM friend who would take my son after school until he turned 10.

I know good daycares and centers exist; we were just unable to get into one of them at the time we needed to, and my experiences with the larger centers really, really turned me off.

Kat said...

Working Mom you broke the law, having your child alone at home at ten years old. You're very lucky nothing bad happened to him.

The Devil said...

@ Kat what is the legal age for leaving children home alone?

It's interesting to note that the countries that constantly top the charts in the education department often have large numbers of kids and the classroom and don't worry about each kid being a unique a special snowflake.

That's not very realistic anyway. Your kid is going to have to be a part of a large group of people at some point in life and they also aren't going to receive individualized attention from their bosses. I think the earlier they learn to function as part of a group the better off they are.

UmassSlytherin said...


That is your educational philosophy. Mine is that the program or curriculum should fit the child and not the other way around.

While there is a lot to be said for conformity and "fitting in" with a large group, there is also a great deal to be said about being an individual and embracing children for their individuality. That is how children grow. They have some mentors (you would not be cut out for this) who take the time to celebrate each little "snowflake."

I hope you are not in the field of education. I would feel bad for your students.

I also feel working mom left her child alone way too soon. a 10 year old home alone? yikes. bad judgement. I would have gone on public assistance before I left my child home alone. and I have the feeling, work at home mom, that you were far from that.

UmassSlytherin said...

p.s. devil, my boss always takes time to give us individual attention and praise. I think that is why he has so many employees that love working for him, and a place of business that is well-run and pleasant.