W84th and Central Park West - NY

Last Friday (July 27th) I saw a nanny shaking and jerking a baby that looked around 4 months. The baby had dark hair and an olive complexion. I am reaching out to my network in any way I can to find this nanny. I'm hoping you can help. I also have a blog, so posted this info there as well:

Flaming the OP's of Sightings will not be tolerated. Thank you!
day in the life
Hi, I just thought I'd write and tell you what being an Australian nanny in Australia is like. It's not as common over here as it seems to be in the US. I'm employed by a lovely family and I look after one 2 year old girl, 2 days per week. I start at 9:30am and finish at 4:30pm. A typical day consists of: 9:30: G arrives with WAHD and MB has already left for her day of shopping and socialising. G and I leave for story time at the library, once a week we go swimming instead. (We catch a tram everywhere or walk) 11:30: We're back home for lunch time (the meals for G are always prepared and ready to be served- My charge only eats organic foods) 11:45-12:30: We do a craft activity (eg. Painting, shaving cream, pasting) 12:30-3pm: Nap time for G, during this time I wash G's clothes and unpack the dishwasher as well as wipe down the pram and high chair. Then I have my break, eat lunch and relax. 3-3:30pm: G's awake, play with puzzles, dirt play, drawing. (children's music plays) 3:30-4:30: G and I go to the park. G has afternoon tea at the park. MB comes home and happy G saids bye. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about Aussie nannies, ask away. - Aussie Nanny


Job Creeping into Housekeeping

It's my first time as a nanny and I am a live in. I am going to school, working as a nanny and secretary in an office. All for the same family. The interviews and phone calls seemed wonderful, they really portrayed exactly what I wanted to work for. I took the job and moved 2 hours from home. I wake up, clean the kitchen, which is not a big deal, take the kids to theatre, and go to work. I stay in the office 9-5 and pick the kids up drop them off and go to school 5-8. Sounds like the perfect position right? Initially I was told soo many different things such as they have a cleaner and I would not be needing to clean. Now I am expected to sweep and mop the floors, clean the bathroom, and do all of their dishes? May I remind you I get paid gas money for the week unless I am in the office. Am I being ridiculous or should I quit!?!? - Nanny911

Greenpoint Brooklyn, NYC

Hi! I'm moving to Brooklyn and will start working with an 8 month old (and her older sister, who will be in school mostly) in Greenpoint. Are there any nannies around Brooklyn who'd want to start a playgroup? I have no idea where to look to find one! Thanks! Anyone who'd be interested can email me at

Madison Square Park - NY, NY

Madison Square Park, Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 10:45am 
(During concert in the park) 

Nanny: African-American, short curled hair. Wearing a blue and white gingham shirt and dark jeans.
Son: 4 or 5 years old, curly red/blonde hair. Wearing an orange and navy stripe shirt.

Incident: He had to go to the bathroom, so the nanny told him just to stand to one side of the playground and pee on the fence. He was peeing on a row of strollers, including mine! Then afterwards, he wanted a snack and she handed him a granola bar WITHOUT EVEN WIPING/WASHING HIS HANDS, which had just been touching his penis and had some pee on it. So not only was she having him do something illegal (yes, it is illegal to pee in public like that), she is unsanitary! There is not only a public bathroom at the south end of the park (costs $0.25), there are also free bathrooms in Eataly, right by the park, as well as at several restaurants around the park. This nanny should be ashamed of herself for what she is/is not teaching this child, as well as for how disgustingly filthy she is.
Flaming the OP's of Sightings will not be tolerated. Thank you!

Sadness Ensues from News of Second Sibling

I have been with my current family for 14 months--since my charge was born. In these 14 months my charge and I have formed an amazing bond and I can really say that I love her as if she were my own family. I have a great relationship with both MB and DB and I live in. We have a great set up...the job has been pretty flawless thus far. I'm writing because my MB just found out she is pregnant and while I knew they wanted to have another baby eventually, I actually found myself pretending to be excited when they told me. That sounds terrible-I AM excited for them because I know they wanted a 2nd child, and I am so happy that they are happy.

I have been through all the milestones with my charge and she is finally at such a fun age where she can run around with me, say things to me, and really show off her personality and in a way I feel almost like it will be more difficult to have the fun we have when there are 2 children to care for. Now it's not that I don't think I can handle it-I was a nanny for 5 children before this job. They were all already born when I worked for them, though so I didn't get used to just having one to take care of before the others came along. I know this is selfish...I'm sure I will hear that in the comments but I just wanted to know honestly if anyone has ever gone through this too? It's just been fun planning activities and outings for my charge now and I'm scared I will be limited to what we can do when there is a new baby. I haven't ever nannied for multiple children when one was a newborn. Does anyone have any insight for me? - Anonymous

Attack of the Hot Lava Dog Vomit

GUEST COLUMNSubmitted by Sara Forrest
I am a nanny for a wonderful family with a dog. Oribi is an extremely sweet Labradoodle who loves playing, napping, going for walks, having her butt scratched, and fishing food droppings from the seat of the high chair. And also throws up sometimes. Attending to this, when necessary, has never been An Issue Of Monumental Proportions. Being a pet owner myself and, especially, a nanny, I am exceedingly accustomed to having to rid my surrounding area of vomitrocious disgusting crap, such as vomit, diarhhea, urine, snot, drool, unwanted bodily fluids. Today, however, did not bring with it An Ordinary Amount Of Bodily Fluids That Needed To Be Cleaned Off Of Wherever They Happened To Land. Today brought all that it could carry. And then some. 

I arrived this morning to learn that Oribi had recently vomited in one of the upstairs bedrooms - no big deal. A couple of hours later, while we were in the playroom, she threw up again. Whatevs, it happens - a little Pepto, Ginger Ale, and Saltines, and she'd be good as new. This, however, was not the case.

Fast forward several hours. The kids are upstairs napping, and I'm in the living room mindlessly entertaining myself and enjoying a break from the sound of my name. (You know the phrase, "that's my name, don't wear it out"? I'm relatively positive that some nanny, somewhere, coined it. And I'm pretty sure mine is actually worn out.) Anyway, there I was, completely engrossed in a magazine article on how to find the most flattering shoe for my toe shape, when Oribi wanders into the living room and steps onto the oriental rug. "Hi, Oribi", I say, and then reach my hand out, offering to scratch her butt. She takes one step toward me, and then stops in her tracks and starts heaving. At that moment, two thoughts enter my head. 1) I wouldn't have pegged myself as a pointy-toed shoe person, because my foot is already pretty narrow - maybe I should go back and read the first part of that article again to see if I misunderstood something. 2) Dog vomit + oriental rug = OHCRAP. I leap off the couch and rush to her side, gently but firmly trying to guide her off of the rug so that whatever comes up will land on the hard floor. After several seconds, I switched from Gentle Yet Firm to GETOFFTHISEFFINGRUGNOW (as much as could be done without hurting with her, at least) but she wasn't budging, and I sure as HEdoublehockeysticks wasn't strong enough to pick her up, so the situation seemed Inevitably Disastrous. As I stood there, trying to hear myself think over the sound of her dry heaving, it suddenly came to me - if I went to the kitchen and grabbed a paper plate, I could have her blow her cookies onto that and the rug could escape unharmed. Instantly, I took off toward the kitchen like a deranged cheetah swift-legged gazelle to apprehend the paper plate. With lightning speed, I fished it out of the cabinet and headed back towards the (potential) scene of the crime. The veryexactprecise second I darkened the doorway, clutching my green and white flowered Circle of Salvation, I saw the vomit drop onto the rug with a mocking "SLOP" sound. I stood there for a brief moment, looking back and forth between the plate and the vomit. Really? 

Oh well, no use crying over spilled barf - the deed had been done; I decided to quickly use the bathroom before I started cleaning it up. Upon exiting the restroom, I was greeted by Oribi and three more piles of vomit - one on the high chair mat and two on the kitchen floor. Sigh. But, it wasn't her fault, and I really did feel bad for her. I decided to clean the rug first. I went and got the cleaner out from under the kitchen sink and made my way back to the living room, carefully avoiding the gigantic piles of Hot Lava Dog Vomit. I got the excess off of the rug with a paper towel and went to spray the cleaner, but nothing would come out. I realized it was practically empty, but had seen another bottle next to it in the cabinet. I got up and made my way back through the kitchen, examining the bottle (aka: not looking at the floor) as I went. Suddenly, I felt something cold and mushy under my left foot. I was desperately hoping that I had been bitten by some radio-active gelatin during the night and was now involuntarily manifesting my new ability to shoot Jell-o out of my feet. This, however, was not the case. I looked down, and my worst fears were confirmed - I had dog vomit all over the bottom of my foot; chunks and all. After cleaning up my own vomit, I washed off my foot, the rug (it was fine, so, no worries), the mat, and the floor and, thank goodness, Oribi didn't throw up again after that. 

But, I still think it would be the shiz to be able to shoot Jell-o out of my feet.

Nanny Parents vs Daycare Parents

So I was talking to a friend of mine who has a little girl. For now the mom is a SAHM. But dad has been encouraging her to get a job. He even lined one up for her. This means the little girl will go to daycare from what I gathered. When I told him I received a job and he asked for what and I told him I was a nanny. He got annoyed and stated he didn't see why the parents can't just put their little ones in daycare. I didn't make it about money. I told him the little one I cared for had special needs so daycare would not work for her. I left it at that. But this is the 3rd time this has occurred from non nanny parents. Just curious as to why? Sometimes daycare doesn't work for little ones, although some transition well into it. Could it be guilt? - Anonymous

Debating Dating Buddy of DB

I'm a live in. I have a good relationship with my DB and MB. When they have gatherings they invite me to join in as a guest. MB and DB are only a few years older then me. I have recently been getting acquainted with a friend named S. I don't see what the harm is if I'm encouraged to hangout with them when they have gatherings. I mean, I do help plan the meals and stuff, but I am allowed to enjoy myself. I don't abuse this privilege. I do my own thing. We have a rapport. S and I don't make the interest obvious, but lately he's been coming over to help DB with some stuff. We chat here and there and he asked for my number. Would this be rude? What if we dated? Also... live in nannies, how do you handle guests? Are you invited to hangout with them on or off duty? This is my first live in, so any advice is welcome. - Anonymous

List the Red Flags: Part II

Hey ISYN! I am getting ready to leave my current position after two and a half years in order to pursue work in a totally different field. I gave my four-weeks notice earlier this month, and my bosses have posted a couple ads online for the job and started interviewing new nannies, but it's been SUCH a crapshoot so far- a combination of people with no experience applying anyway and women who ask for major concessions on schedule or to bring their child, but demand the highest possible pay. The funny thing is, my job is really great. The family is totally sweet and smart. They really did adopt me into their family, and I am friends with the kids' aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins... everyone!

The parents are involved and informed about the kiddos. MB is a WAHM but doesn't come out of her office too much, but lets the kids come in and visit with her if she isn't busy. She and I have been friends from the start and I never felt I was being watched or judged. There are no nanny-cams, the kids are encouraged to pick up their own messes, and chores really are limited to tidying toys and the baby dishes (although I do a bit extra because I can). The pay is pretty average for this area, and time off is mostly unpaid, but I've always gotten not only a solid Christmas bonus but a few smaller "just because" bonuses the rest of the year, and MB tells me "Thank you" before I leave every single day. The kids are well-behaved and polite, and the parents do discipline them and enforce the rules that I make when I'm away. They're little ones still, so there are meltdowns at times but both are smart kids, and already potty-trained.

My bosses are just looking for someone with at least a couple years of experience who will encourage the kids and take them on fun outings. I just can't understand why, with the number of girls I see complaining about picky or cold bosses, or jobs that pay under $10/hr., qualified candidates aren't jumping all over this position. Also, when they do find a new nanny, we're going to do a couple transition days of myself and the new girl working together. I want to keep my eyes open and make sure they've got a good candidate, but I haven't spent a ton of time with other nannies in the area - what should I be looking out for as potential red flags when I'm talking to/working with another nanny? - Anonymous

10 Hard Hitting But Important Nanny Interview Questions

GUEST COLUMNSubmitted by Sandra McAubre

Asking difficult questions during an interview can be intimidating for both the parents who are asking the questions and the nanny candidates who are answering them. However, you are seeking a person who will be instrumental in the upbringing of your children and therefore you need to get the right answers to all the questions you ask, no matter how difficult they may be. Some of the important and hard hitting questions you may want to consider asking nanny candidates include:
  1. What do you do when you become angry with a child? – Obviously, it is critical that you know how your prospective nanny will handle anger towards your children. Even the best behaved children can, at times, test the mettle of a caretaker. How the caretaker responds is central.
  2. Will you consent to a pre-employment background screening? –If a candidate will not commit to a background check, this should be a red flag. When securing a background check, be aware that some background checks are only national or statewide and only cover felony offenses. Charges that are leveled and then dropped against someone will not show up in most generic background checks. You want to dig a little deeper and run county court checks to find out if there isanything in the person’s history that could have an impact on your children.
  3. What is your philosophy on discipline? – This is another very critical question to ask during the interview process. You want to know how candidates will handle disciplining your kids because it will come up from time to time. Your nanny’s philosophy in this area must be compatible with your own.
  4. What is your educational background? – This person will be responsible for the intellectual stimulation, as well as the general welfare, of your kids in your absence. Therefore, you will want someone who values education and educational pursuits, whether it’s reading to the little ones, engaging in creative play, pursuing musical interests, practicing everyday math, or experimenting with scientific exploration in the kitchen. A nanny who can contribute to the education of your children is a must.
  5. How have you handled sibling rivalry? – If you have more than one child then at some point your nanny will probably need to deal with sibling rivalry. How she has handled it in the past is something you will want to know.
  6. How have you handled a temper tantrum in public? – Even moms can have issues handling their kid’s temper tantrums in public. Will the nanny be firm or will she allow the child to have the upper hand? Exactly what would she do if your little one decided to fall down screaming in the middle of the store?
  7. Have you ever suspected anyone of abusing a child in your care? If so, what did you do? – This question allows you to find out how the candidate will handle serious situations. You want someone who will stand up and protect your kids; not someone who will turn their head and pretend that there is not a problem.
  8. Have you ever been in an emergency situation? How did you handle it? – Knowing that the person you are looking to hire can handle an emergency with quick thinking and a calm demeanor is vital. Should an emergency arise you don’t want someone who may panic and not be able to handle it.
  9. What would you do if my child told you something you knew I wouldn’t approve of? – As children get older, they may confide in the nanny and share things they may not feel comfortable sharing with their parents. You want to know how this person would handle such confessions.
  10. Are there any circumstances in your life that could affect our family’s safety? – This is a crucial question considering that very good and well qualified nannies can have people in their lives that pose a safety or security threat.
These are only some of the hard hitting questions you may want to ask during your nanny interview. As you formulate questions, remember that your paramount concern is how the nanny candidate is going to care for your children. Questions about the person’s background should be directly related to the impact on the care of your children. Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and ask questions that are respectful of their privacy, but get to the heart of the matter, which is the quality of care that they will provide your children.

Another Taxing Question

ISYN Tax experts: is a newborn care specialist a form of a nanny or do they file as independent contractors? - Anonymous

Calling Chicago

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

Tips on Sleep Training Twins

I need tips on sleep training twins. Our goal is to be able to put both babies down at the same time in their cribs and fall asleep on their own. We'd also like to train with minimal crying. They have a pretty firm eating and sleeping schedule and get tired around 8:30 and noon every day. They are 6 months old. - Anonymous

North Kingstown, RI

This is a little time sensitive. Nannies in North Kingstown, RI or towns close by, would you be interested in an afternoon Music Together class? I'm attempting to negotiate a class for ages 0 to 5 to be held sometime between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. If you are interested reply here and with the time you would prefer. Thanks.

Please Help Find Elizabeth Collins & Lyric Cook


Saturday July 21, 2012 - Iowa Cousins Case Now Considered Abduction
Monday July 23, 2012 - FBI Believes Missing Iowa Girls are Still Alive
Thursday July 26, 2012 - Surveillance Footage Found of Missing Cousins 


List the Red Flags

Have you ever worked for a cheap family? Or were clueless that you were working for parents who also happen to be clueless as to what a nanny actually is? I'm asking to share my story due to the fact I didn't realize how detrimental the job was until my final days and I have to get this off my chest.

I worked for a family for almost a year and a half, who I should have known from the get-go were going to be cheap and awful to work for. I was in desperate need of a job and to be honest took the first job offered to me. I had been searching for a month and a half before receiving a job offer. I had decided to go from sitter to nanny. The B family hired me to take care of their two kids. We seemed to click. The interview was crazy due to MB having HR experience. But I thought they were professionals. Wrong! They tried to carry themselves as such but it was a facade. In the interview they asked if I was OK with NOT getting paid for vacation. DB said he thought it was ridiculous for them to pay someone for not working. That should have been a red flag but it wasn't. Next they discussed pay. After calculating what I was going to get, it came to minimum wage, but even lower after taxes. For two kids, they felt the caretaker should only get paid minimum wage.

They lived in an apartment that used to be DB before he was married. I guess they are practical and prefer to save and not spend. The MB was always late about 80 percent of the time, with no OT for me. It took almost half a year before they decided it was ok for me to take the girls out and they claimed we could go here and there BUT that was a lie. The only place I could go was down the road to this park. Eventually after pleading with them I was allowed to take them to story time at the library. Then they moved and the new place was out in the country and that cut story time out and the only park I could take the girls to was a few blocks away. They hinted that it probably wasn't a good idea to take her to story time since the library around the corner didn't do much of story time, even though they knew just 10 minutes away, the girls could go to a huge kid friendly park and library in another town.

When I first started the job they encouraged me to help myself to anything I wanted, but over the course of time, they started hinting hubby was on a diet. Certain foods were his and 'haha' his diet was serious, but we shouldn't compromise his food, even though he probably wouldn't last longer than 2 weeks. Then of course, mysteriously the girls were 'diagnosed' with allergies and couldn't eat certain foods, even though when they got lazy, the girls went buck wild with the same foods that supposedly caused their allergies. Needless to say, I couldn't touch their food, so I was slowly cut off from eating their things. They are by far one of the cheapest people I've ever encountered.

The DB was also really nosy. He tried acting like he wanted to converse but really just wanted to pry. MB bragged about how they were going to buy a used car for 15,000 and pay cash, yet they never gave me a raise. They didn't believe in reimbursing me for gas mileage either. I honestly got depressed and cried towards the end but kept it together knowing I didn't have much longer to go. For almost a year, I tried having a positive attitude and believing in the best. Staying at the house with barely any interaction and no outings were driving me crazy. I did manage to be vey creative though. I had to be for the girls and I'm glad I didn't give up. When I realized after reading nanny forums and becoming familiar with how things worked, it made me realize how badly I was being treated. I became a zombie just going through the motions.

The last straw was when (I was already planning on leaving but this took the cake) I was accused again (indirectly) about the water heater being too expensive that month and it was due to 'someone' abusing the dishwasher. DB started rattling on about how he had never once in his life, even in college, spent so much money in utilities and couldn't imagine how it became so expensive. I know they thought I had something to do with it, because the day I was accused, was the same day I was asked not to touch the dishwasher and told plates would have to be washed by hand.

In the end I believe their cheap ways screwed them over, because before I left, they had a guy come and try to fix something that wasn't broken. DB is cheap and he felt like he didn't owe this utility money. Well, turns out it was something that just needed tightening underground. No money would be deducted from the rent. The guy who inspected it was related to the property manager of the house DB and MB were renting. Well I guess the property manager didn't like DB and took his complaint to the owner of the house. The owner gave them three months to move out because of the incident and what was worse is they were expecting a baby around that time. Even though the house was vacant for almost a year and the owner was being supplied with money, he didn't want them to continue renting the place. I think through word of mouth he thought DB was nothing but demanding about a house he didn't own and it was more of a headache. No one knows about this because unless you nanny it's hard to understand how business is done. I just had to vent. I sometimes get panicky when meeting new families because I dread working for someone similar. Nannies, what are the biggest red flags you know are a given when interviewing? Thanks for listening. - Anonymous

Producing an Optimal Partnership

I'm looking to hire my first nanny and I'm wondering if you all can offer any tips to help create a smooth relationship with the nanny. I feel confident in contracts and taxes. I'm looking for other tips. Things that can help or hurt a relationship with a nanny. - Anonymous

Toting Twins

This probably sounds silly, but how do you nannies that care for twins carry two babies at once? Or lift two at once? Or lift one then the other? I've cared for babies before but never two at once. I'm about to become a nanny for a set of twins and I'd like to know how you tote two around. - Anonymous


Who's Your Baby?

I've been a nanny for several years, but despite the fact that I'm used to hearing random compliments about "your baby", I still struggle with responding. I find it really hard to just say "thank you" without specifying that I can't actually take any credit, but then I feel awkward when I say "Thank you, but X is not my child." And I definitely don't feel very polite if I just smile and nod.

Do other nannies struggle with this? How do you respond to people complimenting your infant/toddler charges when they are not able to thank the person themselves? On a similar approach, if someone approaches you with questions about your charge (particularly parents with children in similar age ranges) how do you respond to that? Do you just answer the questions without specifying who you are in relation? Or do you say something like "I'm a nanny, but..." I'm sure I'm totally overthinking this, but I'm truly curious. I can't be the ONLY nanny who hasn't figured out a comfortable way to handle the situation...right? - Anonymous

No Wavering on Waivers

Hello, I am looking to get some response from nannies as well as parents. I am an  experienced nanny that has worked with several special needs children as well as typical children. Lately every interview I go on for a nanny position for special needs is presented that I would be paid through a government respite care waiver (no problem have dealt with that before.)

Now here is the dilemma: the waiver only pays the care giver 8.77 an hour which is much lower than I start at for a typical child much less one with special needs. Pretty much every parent is insistent on the inflexibility of the pay. Also, there would be no hope in normal raises unless the government decides to up the pay which is unlikely. Plus I would not get paid for days parents take off or when I don't work when they go on vacation or child has appointments etc because I can't claim the hours to the waiver that I have not actually worked. In each interview when I have brought up the idea of the parents paying three or four dollars an hour in addition to the waiver pay I have been told no.

I understand that special needs children have a lot of extra costs but how can they really expect a high quality nanny with special needs experience to work for 8.77 an hour. Are there other nannies here that get paid through this type of waiver and if so how do you make it work? Are there parents that employ caregivers through this type of thing that can give me some insight? I have nannied for special needs children before and love it but not sure about this new trend of lower pay for watching a special needs child than a child without special needs. Am I being unreasonable? - Anonymous

How to Exit Stage Left

So I have a very difficult and stressful situation that I am agonizing over. I plan on leaving my current Nanny job. I love the job and my charges. I have been with the family over 4 years and I am their first Nanny and started when their first child was a newborn. I have never had an issue with them and they are truly wonderful people. But I feel that it is time to move on. I want to move to a different city and their youngest is starting pre school this fall.

I started meeting with agencies and have decided to move in October. However, my MB just told me she is pregnant. The job would be changing to a mothers helper role which I would never do anyways. I was planning on giving my notice the first week in August. I honestly have no idea how to tell her. Do you have any advice how to quit professionally? I have always had the kids grow up and it be a mutual parting of ways. I've never left if I was still needed and I feel this is just going to be awful. - Anonymous

Introduction to ISYN

Hi everyone!! I'm new to nannying - I actually just got my first nanny job with a family. I've done child care in the past in my teens as well as extensive volunteer work with older children. I'm 20 years old and I didn't expect that this would be a job I'd have! However, I adore children so it makes perfect sense to work with them. The parents I'm working for are awesome - mb works fulltime and db is a WAHD. He also has a good philosophy of being upstairs in his office and letting me set the pace with the kids, so that's awesome. I'm really excited!

My charges are a 16 mo old girl, 2 and a half year old boy, and five year old boy. I did a trial sitting day with them today and had a great time!! I also worked out my wages - I'm getting paid hourly, on the books 10 dollars net. I don't drive so I will be commuting to work. I work 50hrs weekly mon-fri. I'm excited to have weekends off! I mostly am just introducing myself to everyone as I'd like to speak with more fellow nannies! I have a couple questions though: What can I do when the two brothers start biting each other? They seem to think it's funny and soon both of them are bawling. What are some ideas for oldest charge to do while I entertain two little ones? They play together but I see difficulty there. Basically just any things I should know as a first time nanny. Take care!! - Michelle


6 Reasons Why Being a Nanny is Different than Being a Daycare Worker

GUEST COLUMNSubmitted by Sandra McAubre
All quality caregivers have a genuine love and working knowledge of children; however different care giving environments require a different type of childcare. For caregivers with other types of care giving experience who enter into the world of nannying, the change of environment often comes along with an unexpected change in expectations. While daycare providers and nannies may share similar skill sets, the dynamics of working in a private home are much different than those in a home, family, or daycare setting.
When considering a career as a nanny, there are several differences from being a daycare worker that you should be aware of. Here are 6 reasons why being a nanny is different than being a daycare worker.
1. Accountability. Unlike in a daycare environment, nannies typically work unsupervised. Parents depend on nannies to be totally transparent about everything while on the clock. The level of trust a nanny employer must extend to a nanny is typically far beyond what is extended to daycare providers, since nannies work alone, without coworkers or supervisors. They must be trusted to do what their employer asks and to report any questions, concerns or problems that arise.  Nannies must be transparent and trustworthy to succeed in providing in-home child care.
2. Relationships. The nanny and employer relationship one is complex. Nannies and parents develop a true partnership in raising the children. Nannies step in to meet the child’s physical, emotional, social, and intellectual needs while the parents are away from the home. This requires nannies and parents to closely work together. While a nanny is an employee of the family, she often becomes more than just a worker. She becomes a valued contributor of the family unit that is significantly depended on for the family to function as desired. Since the nanny’s workplace is the private home of the children, the relationship is naturally more intimate than the relationship between a daycare worker and the family.
3. Employee status. Unlike in a daycare center where the caregivers are the employees of the center owner, nannies are employees of the families for whom they work. Rather than the family adapting to the policies of the program, as employers, the parents set the rules, establish the policies, and call the shots that the nanny must adhere to.
4. Isolation. Since nannies typically work alone with the children, there isn’t regular interaction with other adults throughout the day. There’s no one to take over for a formal break and no one to lend assistance should the need arise. Nannies must facilitate social opportunities for the children and avoid isolation by attending playgroups, going on outings and developing relationships with other parents and caregivers and their similar aged children so that they can connect during the week.
5. Hours. On average, nannies work 40 to 60 hours per week. A nanny’s work day often starts hours before centers open and extends well past when they would close. Nannies must be prepared and be willing to work 10 to 12 hour days. Given the nature of the job, flexibility is also required. If a parent gets stuck in traffic on the way home or if a meeting runs over, they can’t leave work until the parents return home.
6. Regulation. Daycare centers, at least licensed ones, are overseen by local and state regulations. Nannies work in a largely unregulated industry. Unlike preschool teachers, there is no universal certification for nannies, and unlike centers, no one comes to inspect the private home for safety standards and concerns. Nannies must be proactive and work with the parents to develop a safe environment that encourages exploration. Nannies may also opt to attend formalized nanny training or take voluntary exams, like the International Nanny Association Nanny Credential Exam. Nannies should also maintain current CPR and first aid certification.
While all caregivers play an important role in the lives of the children for whom the care for, nannies tend to work for a family for at least one year and typically, if they start when a child is an infant, will work for several years with the same family. For caregivers wishing to become a nanny, careful consideration of the differing expectations and demands is required.
1) Night time babysitter needed - (Milwaukee) I work at a new bar and I'm having a hard time finding a new babysitter for my kids. I would prefer someone watch them in my home. I have an 8 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. As I'm not making much I can only pay $15 a night. (if this becomes steady and work picks up, I'll pay you more) I have cable, movies, and lots of food! I usually start around 7 PM and work until bar close, you would be welcome to spend the night if you don't want to leave that late at night. If you would be able to do this then please send me an email with some info about yourself, and a phone number. Could use someone as early as tomorrow. _______________________________________________________________
Submitted by MissDee. Thank you!

2) Need sitter - (Norfolk) I am looking for a teenage babysitter for my 4 and 6 year old. Its only a part time basis, 4 hours a day 4 days a week for now, with occasional overnights at some point. My daughter needs someone who will play games with her and sit outside with her while she plays. I am paying $5 an hour. Can pick you up or drop you off, if you live close. I need someone Monday-Thursday from 3pm till 7pm. Just for the summer. Please be child friendly and between 12 and 16. ______________________________________________________________
Submitted by Anonymous. Thank you!

3) Saturday afternoon/night babysitter needed - (Chesapeake) I need a babysitter tomorrow night for my 3 sweet and highly energetic boys ages 4, 2, and 6. Time would be from 3p to at the latest 2am. Please have references and a set price in mind when you get in touch. email, call or text at 270305**** ______________________________________________________________
Submitted by Anonymous. Thank you!

4) Babysitter Wanted - (Milwaukee) I am a single mother looking for someone to babysit my daughters 7 and 9 in my home. The hours I need someone is 12 noon to midnight Monday through Wednesday. Since I am on a tight budget I can only afford to pay 60.00 per week. This would be great for a "RESPONSIBLE" teenager or someone on unemployment looking to make a little extra cash. I would need this person to start Monday. Thank you for looking at my ad. ______________________________________________________________
Submitted by MissDee. Thank you!

5) Looking for a Nanny - (Minneapolis) OK first things first....I want an in-home nanny in my home! I'm willing to pay $100-$130 a week. You will only be working Monday-Friday. You will be needed from 7am to 6pm. Most days you can leave by 5pm. At least 2 of the days a week you will be able to leave around 3pm maybe more than 2 days a week. But you will still get paid the full amount. My daughter is 17months old. And she is working on being potty trained. So yes you will be working on that with her as well. My daughter is very easy to take care of! She sleeps till 9/10am and takes a nap for normally 2/2.5hours. Being a nanny I would expect you to *TAKE CARE OF MY DAUGHTER!!!* (don't just leave her in her highchair all day) *Take to her and play with her, READ her BOOKS! *Clean up after her. (No you will not being cleaning my house!) *Make my daughter food (Goldfish crackers are not a meal) *Not sit on your phone or have the T.V. on all day. And that sums up the job. You will never have to work weekends ever. Nor overnight! You will be paid every Friday when me or my boyfriend gets home. Please be OUT of high school and graduated! As we'd like you long term. Up until my daughter goes to school. And even after then.
Submitted by Porky Pig. Thank you!

6) Nanny Needed - (Madison) Hi I am looking for a sitter for my 6 1/2 month old son. I will need care regularly Monday-Friday 7am to 9am starting the first week of August (around the 6th). I want to use those two hours a day for "mommy time" so I can get things done and go places I need to go before it gets too hot. You may also pick up additional hours if my husband and I want to have a date night or we have other errands we need to do together and we want him to stay home (say if it's too warm outside). Here are my requirements: *Must have experience with children, especially babies *Must be a non-smoker *Must be flexible and have own transportation *Must be dependable and won't flake at the last minute *Must be a one-on-one caregiver willing to sit on the floor and have fun with my child *Resume with past work references needed at interview *Must be someone who is sweet, funny, and nice as I feel my husband and I are the same personality wise.  I am offering 2.00/hr and if you think that is too little please email me and we can negotiate on the rate. Please understand that only my husband works at this time so I can't afford alot, but I will do what I can to work with you :). You will be paid every Monday for the week prior. Care is to be given at my apartment so you can have access to all his toys, etc. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions! Feel free to leave a brief summary about you and a phone number to contact you at to set up an interview. Thanks! :)
Submitted by MissDee. Thank you!

7) Need Reliable Babysitter Easy Job!! - (S.C.) I have two awesome little boys that I am in need of a babysitter for every thursday, friday and saturday 7:30pm at night until 2:30am in the morning . I never leave them up I always put them to bed before I leave home so theres nothing you really need to do but I just need someone to be there. They sleep all night so pretty much you will be able to come over to my place and relax, watch t.v. or whatever. So if interested or if you have anymore questions please email me. IF YOU CAN ATTACH A PICTURE THAT WOULD BE GREAT. Pic is for security purposes because we save pic in case you choose to run away with our angels. We pay 5.00 hr. Thanks!! ______________________________________________________________
Submitted by Anonymous. Thank you!

8) Nanny Needed - (Pittsburg) We are looking for a professional and experienced nanny that is over 40 years old (FEMALES ONLY) whom loves cooking and cleaning, with more than 5 years experience, CPR certified, a clean background, and very good with children and speaks and read english. We have a total of 4 kids. The service we will need is: cooking, taking the kids to school, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, laundry, pick up the kids from school, take them to afternoon activities and/or after-school homework. We also need babysitting 2 Friday nights each month. The ages of our children are 1mo, 4yrs, 10yrs and 15yrs. We will need assistance with the two middle children with school. Mom will be caring for our newborn baby girl and may need occasional assistance. Our family loves Soul food, Caribbean food, Mexican food, Italian Food, Chinese Food and love a variety as well as trying new things. We will like to start services in early Aug. Please respond by email telling us about you and your experiences to be considered for a interview. Please include photo with your response. We are offering $10hr. Days may vary each week depending on mom needs.
Submitted by Lisa. Thank you!

What Nannies Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation

GUEST COLUMNSubmitted by Carol Watson

Workers’ compensation insurance provides injured workers with wage replacement benefits and covers medical costs incurred as a result of injuries sustained in the workplace. The laws governing workers’ compensation vary widely from state to state, creating a confusing situation for many nannies and their employers. Often, domestic workers and the families that employ them are unaware of the financial risk that failure to carry such insurance carries; in the event of an injury, either or both party can sustain significant financial damage when injuries occur during the course of work-related activity. Additionally, employers that fail to provide workers’ compensation coverage in states that require such insurance are likely to find themselves in a financially risky situation in the event of even a relatively minor injury.
State-to-State Variation
Employers of domestic workers in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington are only required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance if their nanny is a full-time employee. Part-time and full-time employees in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota are required by state law to be covered under an employer-provided workers’ compensation policy. Other states don’t require employers of a single domestic worker to carry insurance, though the laws governing liability vary among them. These complex laws are made even more difficult to decipher by variations in wording and particular requirements.
Homeowners’ Insurance Will Not Cover Domestic Workers
Many nannies and their employers make the mistake of believing that a homeowners’ insurance policy will cover any claims of injury, regardless of fault, to a non-family member on the property. This is, however, almost never the case. Guests and visitors injured in your employers’ home can file injury claims for medical bills and other related expenses, but these benefits are not designed to cover domestic employees.
Nanny Taxes and Workers’ Compensation
The Internal Revenue Service estimates that up to 70% of domestic workers in the United States are not compliant with tax regulations. Failure to comply with these laws, in addition to creating the potential for significant penalties for both parties, also typically precludes employers from obtaining the required workers’ compensation insurance. Non-compliant nannies that are injured in the course of their duties are not eligible for any workers’ compensation benefits; in the event of a severe injury that requires hospitalization or prevents a return to work, the loss of wages and medical bills can be financially devastating.
Nannies without personal insurance coverage that work “off the books” or in a state that does not require their employer to carry a workers’ compensation policy are likely to be responsible for any expenses incurred as a result of a workplace injury. Though non-compliant families are excluded from obtaining workers’ compensation coverage, paying employment taxes does not automatically include workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer will still have to obtain a separate workers’ comp policy, though it’s often available through their homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy as a rider.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Litigation
Nannies that are injured on the job who have accepted a workers’ compensation settlement are prevented under the insurance laws of most states from suing their employers for pain and suffering; before accepting a settlement, nannies are encouraged to seek legal counsel. If you’ve been injured on the job and your employers don’t carry workers compensation coverage, you may be able to file a civil suit to reclaim lost wages and reimburse medical fees. Some states also allow workers to sue their employers outside of the workers’ compensation insurance system for injuries sustained as a result of intentional or egregious conduct, such as physical violence or refusal to correct unsafe working conditions.
Though a civil suit provides the opportunity for an uninsured, injured worker to receive a higher pay-out than a workers’ compensation settlement typically provides, the burden of proof regarding working conditions, willful negligence, and other contributing factors rests with the plaintiff. Workers’ compensation benefits are usually paid regardless of fault.
Working with children is unpredictable and exciting, which is part of the appeal for many nannies. This very unpredictability, however, can expose a childcare provider to potentially-serious injuries that affect her career, whether on a short-term or permanent basis. Before accepting a post, you should always discuss any concerns you have regarding workplace injury compensation and insurance. For added security and peace of mind, these provisions can and should be included in your written nanny agreement.


The Merciless MB

I was working for a family for two months when the MB went on a month long vacation whilst my charges went to their fathers for that month (separated family.) I was asked by MB to go up there and take the charges out and go on day trips with them and dad. I agreed. I didn't have anything else to do, plus was meant to be paid for 4 weeks vacation.

While she was away MB wanted her garage deep cleaned, yard watered daily, weeding done. All without access to a bathroom (I have a medical problem that means I can't be away from a bathroom for too long.) I couldn't and wouldn't do it but arranged for it to be done for her. She gave me her car to use but 2 days after leaving told me to return it. She then started calling, telling me I had to ask permission to see the children at their dads. Even though she told me to communicate with him, to see them, take them out, etc. I did 2 overnights for him which he paid me separately for. She threw a fit, telling me she told me not to contact him. When she returned, the harassing continued.

I wasn't paid my fourth week vacation (agreed to be paid Friday, day after she returned) then had her boyfriend text, telling me I need a valid reason to remain employed. Needless to say, I quit. I had problems prior with her refusing to pick up after herself. I would come in to dirty plates from a whole weekend, her clothes everywhere (dirty), and was told I had to clean up after her. She is now saying I am a thief and need to return the 3 weeks pay to her as I didn't return to work. I had every intention of returning until the abusive messages started from her. She is threatening to call the police and say I stole the money. I haven't got the money to give her. I don't know what to do. She is telling me she will show up at my husbands work. She's also threatening she will have me deported (I have a green card to be here legally.) Please, I need advice!

Equaling the Obligations

I am currently a nanny for two children aged 4 and 6 and have been for a year. The 6 year old attends school which the 4 year old will be attending in september, for 7/8 hours a day, which greatly reduces the family's need for me. It takes my weekly hours from 65 hours a week down to about 20. I also do one night a week babysitting. MB has offered me the same wage to do school pick up and drop off, be on hand for sick days and do full days during school holidays, but I must also take over for the cleaning lady who comes twice a week for 4 hours each time she comes, and cook a family dinner every night. The only problem with this is that when my job first started a year ago she wanted me to cook every night, but let's just say that when she sampled my cooking she stopped asking me to cook! I'm fine with the offer that she has presented (minus the cooking.) My question is, we are going to go over the logistics of the deal on sunday, so what sort of questions should I ask?

Bright Idea Needed for Dark Bedroom

Is it possible for a 7 month old infant to be afraid of the dark? I think my little charges are afraid of their dark bedroom.

Attachment Parenting vs All Other Methods

I'm a new nanny for a little girl of 13 months. Her parents practice attachment parenting. Basically go on cue with her needs. She is a bright and happy child. Sometimes though, getting her to sleep is tricky because she can't cry senseless, unless I have to take something away she isn't supposed to play with OR am changing her diaper. Otherwise, if she is crying while I'm trying to put her down and she clearly is tired, I'm not doing the job right. What are some tips you guys have on this? I change the place and try and cheer her up before we try again. Also, what kind of MBs or DBs did you have with infants/toddlers? Did you have baby-wise, authoritative CIO or AP or helicopter parents? Who would you like to work for and why?

Is there a 3 Strike Rule in Nannying?

How many strikes do you give parents before you decide to move on? I've dealt with my MB freaking because I ate too much of her favorite snacks. I've dealt with them trying to get me to stay later for no more pay. I've dealt with them trying to sneakily get me to care for their oldest child without extra pay. I've dealt with them blaming me for their oldest child's leaving crumbs all over the place. I've dealt with them complaining about the baby's spit up stains on the carpet. I've dealt with them complaining to me about the baby not sleeping through the night because I let the baby sleep too much during the day only for me to put the baby on a schedule and for them not to follow it. I could go on, but I'm just getting angry thinking about it. I know in baseball it's 3 strikes and your out. Is it the same for being a nanny? I don't have a job lined up yet, but I am seriously considering posting my CV this weekend.
I am completely at my wit’s end and will be giving notice tomorrow. I’ve only been on the job for a month. Most of my following complaints were not disclosed to me in the interview, or the issues were mis-represented during the interview, or I didn’t even think to ask. The sad thing is, the parents are really nice and the kids are awesome. But I cannot tolerate these working conditions. I am mostly stuck in the house with three kids, a WAHD who’s constantly around, not many toys, and very few outdoor/outing options. 

Here’s the setup: They have three children -- 3 year old twins and a 1-year-old. They just moved into a new home with intermittent construction going on (the kitchen was completely gutted and is in the process of being built from scratch). The house has no child-proofing except a gated staircase leading to the basement. I am a nervous wreck trying to keep them from all the hazards: construction tools and materials to entice the twins, delivery men coming and going, ladders, exposed electrical outlets, uncovered floor ducts, half-unpacked open cartons full of unsuitable items to entice the 1-year-old, etc. They do at least have an exersaucer for the 1-year-old, but I can’t stick her in that the whole time! Instead of a kitchen, there is a tiny alcove next to the dining room with a counter and a few shelves. The only running water available is a bathroom sink, so I’m preparing and washing bottles within a few feet of the toilet. The only appliances are a fridge in the garage and a microwave. The large backyard is not fenced in, and the only play equipment out there is a small swingset that they are bored with. The deck is twenty feet off the ground and has no gate on the staircase. The temperatures are sweltering and they have no wading pool or sprinklers.

I work long days and rarely see MB. She leaves for work before I get there, and DB often ends up relieving me before she returns home. Very few toys have been unpacked and only limited screen-time is permitted. One of the twins is a very high-energy hyperactive kid. They have zero interest in books (which, if they did, I would gladly read to them for as long as they would sit there!). The father is constantly in and out of his bedroom office supervising the construction workers on the days when they are there. They won’t allow me to drive their vehicle and DB hates having to unload all three car seats from his car and install them into my car, then repeat the process in reverse at the end of the day, so I am only allowed to take them on one outing a week. And that is to a tiny local park where we stand sweating, eyeing the slide that is unusable (too hot to the touch) and the line of other children waiting for their turn to use one of only four swings available. (MB explained to me that even SHE doesn't take them on outings besides that one tiny park unless she has an extra pair of hands to help because one of the twins is a "runner". I think I could handle them just fine but she is too nervous to permit it.)

I got so desperate that I ended up spending some of my own money on things like bubbles, squirt guns, various activity books, Brain Quest cards, paints, puzzles, a magna doodle, an etch-a-sketch, a bingo game, etc., to keep us from going bonkers. I’m not sure how the parents keep them occupied over the weekend. I guess they take them on outings together, and give them more screen time -- the twins once kept pestering me on how much longer until I left because “when you’re gone, we get TV!”. I’ve tactfully addressed some of these issues (the ones that the parents could have immediate control over such as unpacking more of their toys/games, allowing me to get out of the house more often, maybe allowing a little more screen time since our other options are so limited), but have gotten met with either indifference or a subtle defensiveness. It is a shame because I’ll bet in another three months or so things will have improved. The disruptive construction workers will be gone and the house will be child-proofed, they will have a kitchen with appliances and running water, everything will be unpacked and put away, the back yard will be fenced in, the temperatures will have moderated, the twins will be in preschool every day, etc. But I have barely survived my first month and know that I simply cannot wait it out. I sure wish I had known what I was getting into.


Town Commons Playground - Carrboro, NC

Tuesday July 17th about 10:00-10:45am in Carrboro, NC at the Town Commons playground. The little girl's name was Esme, 2 years old, and a little boy with blue glasses, also 2. Nanny was a middle aged Hispanic woman wearing black track pants and a white t-shirt. She was wonderful, attentive, playful, and friendly! My charge and daughter brought a ball to share and she was helpful in encouraging all of the kids to share and play together. She spoke Spanish to the children and they were already fluent (girl was very vocal and polite). She had a stroller filled with activities for the kids and even brought out a book to share with my 16 month old who couldn't really participate in the older kids ball game. She seemed to genuinely care for the children and if I weren't already lucky enough to bring my daughter to work with me, she would be exactly who I'd want to hire for my daughter!
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DB Shuns One of his Sons

What would you do in this situation. I care for two very young children, both are 11 months old and dad works at home. I'm becoming concerned that dad favors one son over the other. Whenever he comes up for a break he barely acknowledges one of the babies and he's all chit chat and cuddles with the other. When he does acknowledge the other he seems annoyed by him. He's not physically hurting the one or anything like that. Is this favoritism in the making? Is this something a nanny should address?

Older Kids Causing Chaos

I have been working as a nanny for two families for a year now. The first family has two kids, ages three and four. The other family has SIX kids, 2, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 15 (although the 15 in a step brother and is rarely there). I get along great with the kids in the first family and have next to zero issues. However, I feel like I am constantly battling with the children of the larger family! Several times a week I deal with one of the older kids (the 9 and 11 year old) acting out and deliberately disobeying. For example, in the last few weeks, the 11 year old has locked himself in the bathroom ALL DAY and has thrown a fit about getting a seatbelt on saying I'm being a "control freak". The nine year old talks back constantly and when I ask her to do her chores or homework assignment, it's nothing but "I don't have to! My mom said no!"

She has attempted to PULL her little sister (age 2) into the pool, even though I was standing right next to the toddler. I just cannot seem to control these older kids! I'm not sure if I should be less demanding (although I only ask them to do the stuff that their mother asks them to) or more strict with them. I don't want to be too strict where they hate me. I know that they LOVED their former nanny. The 5 year old told me that the other kids told her that, "Our old nanny loved us, Ms. Emily doesn't". The other day they saw a picture of their old nanny and FLIPPED. They started kissing it and saying how much they missed her.

I think a lot of the problems stem from the fact that they don't really see me as an authority figure. Even though I've been there a year, I've been there mainly during the school year, which means I only spent about 12 full days with the older kids before the summer started. Other than school breaks, I saw them for 10-15 minutes after school a few days a week. I just don't know how I should react or handle the kids. All the kids except for the youngest is going back to school and I will be done with the family at Christmas, so I don't have much longer with the older kids. I also want to add that I get a long GREAT with the other kids I nanny for. I have watched other kids in the past and taught in classrooms and NEVER had this problem


I just wondered whether other nannies think it is ok to name their charges and or put their photos on facebook? And what do moms think of this too?

Crappy Napper

Help! I am caring for a 7month old that has recently started refusing to nap. I know she is tired, she gives me the signs, and as soon as I put her down she starts screaming bloody murder. We had gotten her off being rocked to sleep and being held to sleep. She won't nap and ends up being crabby the rest of the day. I dread going into work now.

Making it Easier to Report Nannies

Hello, I'm a mom in the UES and I have witnessed unscrupulous behavior of some nannies. I know (now) that I can report what I've seen here, but the message may never reach the parents. I have felt frustrated about what to do if I witness something that looks suspicious, but not exactly criminal. What if parents and nannies could "register" with your site or a similiar one and be assigned a number that is prominently displayed on a stroller or some other item (for older children) so when someone wants to report an incident, the nanny can be identified. Perhaps the number can be displayed near the wheels of the stroller so it can't be covered up. People can also witness "good" behavior and report that as well so nannies won't feel offended by registering. It could give nannies a sort of certification and will help weed out the bad nannies and highlight the good ones. I'd be happy to try and set something like this up in my area and may even be able to recruit other moms to help as well. Let me know what you think. - T.
Believe it or not, that idea has been brought up on this Blog before... however, it did not go over very well. Most Nannies stated they would refuse to walk around with a number on their stroller. Also, ISYN does not wish to Register it's users because we believe it will hurt Blog traffic. We have had quite a few Parents respond identifying a Nanny in one of our Posts... understandably, for privacy reasons, most would rather not update the Sighting, claiming it was their Nanny. I should encourage Readers to Post the Bad Nanny Sightings to local Mommy Groups/Blogs/Forums when a Sighting does occur though. I appreciate your thoughts... and if out of curiosity you would like me to Publish your letter so you can see the opinions for yourself, I'd be more than happy to do that for you. Thank you! ~ MPP

ISYN Consumer Reports

What are the best and worst baby products you have used? What were the pros and cons of each. I am looking for input on mostly infant and toddler products - swings, carriers, high chairs, strollers etc.

Bidding Adieu

Hi all. I am a nanny and my "family" I have been with for a little longer then a year and a half is moving to France. The mother is always home and this is my first steady nanny position and I was wondering do I get them anything on my last day? If so then what do I give them. They have 3 kids and not a lot of room to bring something with them. I am unsure as to what to do any help would be appreciated.

Wanted: Help getting this Job!

I would like some advice from nannies and parents alike. I haven't worked since we had our son four years ago. I'm interviewing for a position, just three miles from our home in the east bay, California. I ran an in-home child care for five years. Aside from that, I have experience as a parent. My oldest is 18 years old! My four year old will be with daddy when I'm working. I get to drive their car to take the kids to school. I'm sure I will be expected to make breakfast and do the dishes. How much should I ask for? Any tips for the interview or in general? I would be so grateful for any help. I really want this job-bad! Monday-Thursday 6:00AM-9:00AM. Three kids, 8, 10 and 14.

Rhode Island Activities

I need ideas for outings with a 9 month old. Mom would like two outings a week. I would like if we could go to the same place each week to have a routine a familiarity, but that's not required. We're located in Rhode Island, and I am allowed to drive my charge. I've already googled some places, but I'm hoping to find some that are nanny approved. If you aren't close to Rhode Island general activity ideas are welcome.

Another Little Perspective on Spanking!

Even if putting the wife over your knee became considered ungentlemanly, for decades a series of riotous daughters in movies, comics and cartoons continued to get their bottoms spanked by exasperated fathers...

spanking4-1 It got me thinking about what other films might feature nannies. I then saw your "perspective on spanking" and got sidetracked by that. Lawdy, those men look a right set, don't they? Of course you can never believe what you read in newspapers. Who knows, maybe they all worked in the print room, and some young journalist wrote their copy- "for a laugh". But being of a certain age myself it got me thinking. Spanking was certainly much more prevalent and acceptable back when I was growing up, maybe not for the wife (lol as the young folks say) but certainly for the sassy teenage daughter. So as a counterpoint to that piece here's my old movie take on that, a shot of a typical film daughter of the period, charming, impudent and disobedient in equal measure getting her comeuppance, a comeuppance which it has to be said is hardly undeserved. It's essentially played for laughs, but I guess it's a little morality tale as well, but quite inconceivable as a movie scene in the modern day. Intriguing. All the best, Michael.


Advice on Acceptable Duties

We have had a nanny for our daughter since she was 3 months old. I work from a home office, so I wanted her home with me, but I need the help during my business hours so I can actually get work done. She is a very bright, inquisitive, and active toddler and our wonderful nanny keeps her engaged, safe, and happy while I work. Our current nanny has been with us for just under a year and her employment contract is coming up for renewal. We intend to give her a performance bonus (one weeks pay), a $1/hr raise, and a gift from our daughter (still not sure what yet, but something personal and more sentimental than pricey). First, does this seem like a generous enough way to say, "thank you, you are appreciated and we love you"?

On the other side of the coin, our daughter is turning two next month and we are looking to place her in part-time daycare (two days a week) just to get her interacting with other children more regularly. Unfortunately, we live in a very remote area that has very few age-appropriate venues and activities (almost none really) for toddlers. She isn't getting exposure to other children as she would if she was able to go on field trips to the zoo, museum, etc. or regular playgroups (none of those things exist here). Even the parks are only usable part of the year due to extreme temps. Our nanny agrees that part-time daycare would be of benefit to our daughter for socialization and variety as it takes constant innovation to keep her from getting bored (we only live here because my husband is military). So, with daycare comes two days a week where our daughter won't be home and we have no other children for our nanny to watch. I have been thinking about ways to keep paying her for the same number of hours, because I know she cannot afford to take fewer hours (she's currently with us 30 hours a week), but we still work within the confines of a household budget and I really feel like we just can't pay her for two full days where she literally has nothing to do. Particulary when we have to make room in the budget for the daycare expenses as well.

Under her current contract, our nanny is only responsible for caring for our daughter (no housework expectations beyond loading dishes into the dishwasher, wiping up meal messes, and putting away toys). All other housework I have always handled by myself. Anyway, I would be very pleased to have help with daily housework duties and am thinking that daycare days would be a good opportunity to have her still come in and help with all the chores that I typically tend to - laundry, dusting, cleaning floors, toys, and maybe even cooking dinner for the family. I recognize this is essentially changing her job, because our family's needs are changing, and I really do not want to offend her in anyway. I respect her as a childcare professional and would like to work something out that keeps her happy and with us. But also would love the help to keep the house operating effeciently, giving me more time to enjoy my daughter and husband. So, to all the nannies, would you find such a shift in duties offensive? If not, are there certain housekeeping duties that would be deemed unacceptable (for instance, bathrooms?) Are there any nannies out there that do housework (beyond child-specific chores) as a regular part of their jobs and if so, what are those duties? Do you find them to be fair and reasonable? Is cooking for the entire family reasonable to add to the list (she cooks wonderful lunches for our daughter)?

I know our nanny needs to work to meet her family's budget and savings goals (she has a daughter in high school that's off to college next year). I also know that her job with us is going to be difficult to match with another employer in this area, but I don't want that to be the reason she stays with us. I want her to be happy. We pay significantly above average for our area, because we can, and we have tried to structure as generous a benefits package as possible. She gets paid holidays, vacation (tied to ours, but its about 4 weeks a year), flexible scheduling (when she needs time off, we have always accommodated), paid sick days, holiday and performance bonuses, and then gifts for birthday, Christmas and the occassional thank you (because, have I mentioned we LOVE her). She's on the books. If we add housework to the mix of duties (to be done only when daughter is not home), is it fair to keep her at her current compensation rate with the annual raise and performance bonus I mentioned above? Thanks for considering this request. I hope to get feedback on it.