I have a long standing career (14 years) in early childhood education working with infants-school age children and their families, along with a year of nanny experience. During this time, I have worked with a variety of children and their families, from the low-income mother struggling to pay the bills to the upper class (not wealthy) family. No matter the income and education level of the family, or where they lived, one thing is the same: families want quality care while being affordable for their family's needs and budget. After a struggle to find work as a nanny here in my college town (it appears to me that parents only want to hire inexperienced college students to be nannies, and let's face it, the less experience one has as a nanny or early childhood educator the less they are looking for in pay) I have decided to make a drastic change: I plan to move to Chicago after graduation in May of 2013. I have family in the west burbs, and believe there is more to do (Art Institute, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Joeffrey Ballet, etc) as an adult and for children in Chicagoland. From what I have read here on ISYN, it is my understanding that the nanny market is pretty tight right now due to the economy, making jobs in the area scarce. The traffic is nuts, the city is huge, and I feel that if I want to nanny, the place to do it is there, as the city is bigger and I will have more options to choose from.
That being said, what is the nanny market like in Chicago? Is it competitive? Here I compete with people half my age and a fourth of my experience for nanny jobs. It's rather funny, because most of the "qualifications" for nanny jobs here are experience with children, own transportation, and a nonsmoker. I am qualified, however, apparently I must not be for some reason. lol Anyway, I was in Chicago this past weekend and am excited to start a new chapter in my career, even though it's a year away. I happened to watch "Beverly Hills Nannies" last night, and it got me to thinking about families and what they look for in nannies in Chicagoland. Do I need to be cute and look like the mom would hang out with me, with the right labels and know the right people? I am a jeans and tee shirt kinda gal for the most part. I don't own any designer labels. Is physical fitness important in the nanny market to be hired by a family in Chicago? I am very engergetic, however, I am overweight and trying to get back into shape. I am careful in what I eat, yet I don't exercise like I should. Does my weight and figure matter to prospective families? Lastly what agencies should I avoid? I have a list of ones that I felt weren't too friendly, based on the reviews and website (Cambridge Nanny Group comes to mind.) Any really good ones that can place a 40 year old nanny with an associate degree and 15 year career in early childhood education? Secondly, would $20-30/hr be too much to ask for, given my age, experience, and education? Thanks for your help! - Anonymous
at 4:30 AM