Sound off from Current Nanny vs. New Nanny

So I found out yesterday that my 2 1/2 year old charge (I have been with for 2 years) is going to be going to "school" 5 days a week 730-530. My time with this family is Tuesday thru Friday- 7:00-6:00pm. Mind you: they gave me a "raise" $11 for one child; $13 for when I have both kids. I am never going to see my charge at all. In my opinion; it's too long of a day for him. They won't let me take the baby outside; so therefore can't take or pick up C from school.

Here's the thing:

Having a nanny is a luxury. You pay for a luxury the same way you'd pay for a luxury car or a luxury cruise or a fine dining experience - in other words, you have every right to expect certain things for your money, but you pay the price.

Let me offer an example: a nanny gets an hourly rate that is higher than a daycare rate. It's expected that she will get regular raises. A bonus at Christmas is pretty standard (one week's pay for every year worked). An expectation to a minimum number of hours. A week of paid vacation. These things are STANDARD, not signs of a generous employer.

I don't know if this is more a rant or an entreaty to parents, but I'm dealing with a situation right now with my NF that is leaving me a little bitter.

I live in an area where nannies are not common, so I considered myself blessed to find a new NF several years ago after my then - current charge started school (I had more than three years wjth that family, and continue to work for them when they need a sitter or short term care). I hit it off with the parents, hit it off with the kids, and was coming off of six months employment, so I went ahead and took the job WAY below market rate, even for my area, and way below my personal rate - we're talking $10/hour for three kids, all under age 2 (and the time) and special needs/multiples. I was so glad to be working again. I've now been working for them for several years, and while I don't think they mean to take advantage of me, I think they just don't think about how their actions affect me. :(

When I started, the family was in a medical crisis and required someone literally every time the kids were awake. I was working almost round the clock, seven days a week (in excess of 80 hours) and DB says it's too much for them to afford, so offered me afford flat rate of $500 per week. He said they'd "remember this later" with a tone of appreciation (and the insinuation that when the crisis was over, they'd make it up to me monetarily). I didn't go back to hourly until almost ten weeks later. Again, at the time I needed the money so badly it was like a godsend, and worth it to keep the job long term, but sometimes when I think of how much money I lost, I could scream. They never "remembered it later" unless you count the time months later that my car died right before vacation, and they asked me to work on my day off and paid me for five hours instead of three "to help out".

Over the years, the pattern has held. I have never gotten a bonus, nor any paid vacation. I have gotten regular raises so I'm just now - after years and another kid - approaching a base market rate. This year, at the beginning of the school year, we talked about me taking on some additional responsibilities, so they offered me a slightly bigger raise to compensate for the incidental time I spent on my own time. I found out then that they gave the other nanny the same raise (even though she was not expected to take on any additional responsibilities).

Which leads me to my current problem. At the beginning of the school year, when i took on additional responsibilities, it required me to give up or reduce some other side jobs I'd been doing. I was upfront with with them about this, pointed out that I'd need to depend on them now for that lost income, and they agreed. So for four months now I've been working about 35 hours a week (give or take no more than am hour or two).

I asked to take off a week over Christmas break because MB would be home, and the week I was supposed to come back, the family decided to go on vacation for a week. When I finally did come back, they told me that "things were tight right now" and they'd need to cut my hours a little temporarily. They assured me they knew I still had bills to pay, they'd take care of me, etc.

This week I was scheduled to work 27 hours; they cancelled even more hours so now I'll only be working 18 this week. I have bills that I won't be able to pay this month. No clear end date in sight. And, frankly, I'm a bit peeved. My dad says I should say something like "don't worry, I can use the extra time to go job hunting" which obviously I could never do, but sums up my feelings well.

I'm a good nanny. This is not in dispute - they rave about me, MB frequently says she wouldn't be able to get along without me, she's so glad I'm in the kids lives, etc. I do light housework, I do laundry, I help keep the household running smoothly. I've been with them through thick and thin - deaths in the family, behavioral problems, other undependable nannies, etc. It's very hard to not feel underappreciated.

Ironically, I have a side job where I never work more than 7 hours a week, and my boss there goes above and beyond. My first year I got two weeks pay as always bonus; this year I got a month's pay. When he found out I bought a new car after my old one died this summer unexpectedly, he gave me a random bonus (almost a month's pay) to help out with the unexpected expenses. This is pretty typical for him. It's hard not to compare the two. :(


Anything else I can do??

A woman in my family is working as a nanny in Louisiana. She gets her positions through a nanny service she works for. What the parents she nannies for don't know is that in Texas, the state she is from, she has had 2 CPS cases against her for neglect of her children (the worst incident being when she was passed out in her room and the kids got out of the house naked at ages 1 and 2). Both cases were dismissed but, I can tell you from witnessing her "parenting", they shouldn't have been. She was also charged with assault against her ex-husband shortly after their divorce. Since then she has lost custody of both children to her ex-husband. I have informed the very well known nanny company she works for of these issues. I told them this about 2 years ago and she continues to work for them. Is there anything else I can do?


" 'Let Me Tell You What Really Happens At This Place' ".

Fine. Tell me about it.

I am the OP of the post about the director who wouldn't help me with an issue at my old center. The story of this post is the new position as a center director that I accepted and started at the end of December. I found the center on social media, and walked into apply for a teaching position. The owner, an older African lady with a heavy accent, looked at my qualifications and hired me as the new director, as I am qualified for a center director in both WI and IL. I feel blessed with opportunity and within the two weeks that I have been there, I have made subtle changes that parents and even the state licensor have noticed. The owner is very pleased with my work, and is onsite if I have questions about anything. In other words, we are working hard to put the center back together, and make it better than before.

Before. Before. The owner said the other day that she wishes I got there sooner, as there was so much crap that happened: and it was due to the leadership (old directors) and the staff. The owners travel back home to their country and are sometimes out of state due to family obligations, therefore, they trusted the old management and staff to provide high quality care. That didn't happen: files were a mess, repeated liscensing violations for attendance (and not signing children in or out, etc) and more. Staff would come into work high, smelling of weed, they would group all the children together in one room including infants and just let the children play. Like a party. From what the owner said, it was a hot mess. So bad to the point that families left and did not return due to the staff and management. There is more, but you get the idea. Former employees who quit or were terminated are attempting to have their jobs back. These employees have the attitude that the owner will hire anyone, including former employees. These people are sending their relatives to apply for positions without qualifications and/or experience. A former family attempted to return to the center but the owner said no, largely because the mother gossips too much, and the owner feels that the parent will bring drama to the center, something she is trying to avoid. In fact, she even asked the owner to re-hire a teacher who pinched children, and offered to bring someone in to " 'keep an eye on ____' " (me, the director).

Talk about drama. Social media is huge now when finding childcare-in my area, there is a FB page where parents seeking care and family child care providers, plus center directors and nannies (like myself) can create posts accepting enrollments or seeking jobs. That being said, a center in the area closed and parents of that center are panicking, as the owner of that center gave families twelve hours notice. Speculation is that the center won't be open by Monday, and I posted on that same thread that we are accepting enrollment and applications for qualified, experienced teachers. The former director of my center is also on that page, and she is the assistant director at a different center. I posted contact info for families. A person wanted to know if we were accepting enrollment for an infant, and the person also mentioned she was looking for a job. I told her to call me. The person who posted below me was the old director, and this is what she said:

" 'Be careful of ____. Still waiting for my last check' ".

Seriously? Posting THAT on FB? On a thread where you know people are searching for childcare and teachers seeking positions. How professional is that?

In the two weeks I have been there: I separated children by age, something that wasn't done before. I wrote up a teacher for not having accurate attendance, after being told repeatedly by the owner she needs to work on that. I created labels for infant belongings, and made new daily sheets. I have a tracking system and opening/closing checklists, and daily/weekly/monthly cleaning sheets. I'm evaluating staff and working on a new curriculum. I also created new schedules and reminding the staff to follow DHFS rules. The classrooms are not allowed to play in the large room, which is the classroom of our 4-5 year olds and school age. The center is clean. Organized. I'm doing things that were never done before by the old management.

The owner supports me and loves it. Due to the area that we are located in, we have mainly state funded families, however, our location is excellent, due to the highway access. We are attempting to market to private pay families.

When the parent left Friday night, she said " 'call me anytime so I can tell you about this place' ". This family pulled their children for reasons that I felt didn't make sense, but to each his own.

My assessment? I feel like the owner is very easy to talk to, and I am learning from her about running a business and marketing. Most of all, I think she is very nice, and I feel blessed to have this opportunity, something that I was denied in my old center because I wasn't friends with the right people. Just yesterday, the staff and I came in on Saturday to clean up and organize for an open house that I am planning on having in a few weeks.

We're not done, but we are getting there. I have a tours scheduled for tomorrow for new enrollment, and I am praying every night that I can do this. I'm overwhelmed, anxious and excited. This is the bravest thing I have ever done, and I know I can do it.

Keep talking. Say whatever you want. Your words don't scare me. They just make me work harder and do better. Perhaps your upset because you screwed up and are just not realizing it. That's not my fault. It's yours. It takes teamwork to create something, and more teamwork to maintain it. Just like the old team created a huge mess, the new team is working hard to clean it up. Opinions are fine, but make sure you have actual facts to base them. The owner did nothing to you, you did something to the business, like selling weed on the property, not doing your job and more. All the crap that happened could've cost the owner her business. And say what you want about me. I take my job seriously. I'm sorry if you don't.


Blast from the past - when I was nannying for a 13 year old kid in the early 80's, he was working thru some racism directed at his family. His mom and sisters did not like him talking about it but I would listen. He would play this song all the time and sing loud when the song mentioned his group. It did help me learn about how kids can be sensitive to verbal attacks on those they love and themselves.

Have kids helped you learn?

Tom Lehrer - National Brotherhood Week

Current Nanny vs. New Nanny

Okay, So the family I have worked with for 2 years (3 this coming September) just had a baby. So right now- I am on moms hours (average around 30 a week) while she is finishing her maternity leave. Upon my MB returning to work- she has decided to enroll her older son (my current charge- I have cared for since he was 5 weeks) into preschool. I like the idea. He will still have time with me but he needs to socialize with other children. I wasn't allowed to take him many places.

Now the new schedule is shaping to be like this:

Me: 4 full days (3 of C being in school) 11 hour days. When I have one child- I am at $10 an hour- with both children- my rate goes up to $12

The new person that they want to hire is: 1 full day (same as above) and picking up C from school/ maybe drop offs - all 3 days of school (that has not be decided) and she is at $15 an hour- no matter what.

I have 16 years experience and she has had only 9 years.

Does this seem off to anyone? Nannies, I want to get your opinion on this. Thank you.

Worst Job....EVER

Had the worst nanny job ever. 3 year old twin boys and a 7 year old girl. The father had passed away from an overdose five months prior. I went to meet with the mom and immediately after walking in, one of the twins tried to punch mom and called her a "b". He wasn't happy about being asked to not play so loudly or throw stuff. That should have been a clue but I still took the job out of desperation. I was told that once a week a therapist came to work with the boys on behavior. The mom absolutely never disciplined the boys. no matter what. She would tell them but not follow through. I on the other hand, always gave time outs for bad behavior. Not these time outs consisted of making the boy stay in his room (which had no toys because they destroyed everything). I would sit in the doorway not saying anything while they threw their tantrum and screamed bloody murder. They began to hate me because I always followed through with what I said. no meant no. no toy if you kick. no donut if you spit. And yes, the twins would bite, scream, spit, kick, punch, call swear words, try to literally kill each other every single day. It was absolutely exhausting to have two of them there. The therapist who came did nothing but play a board game with one twin at a time each week. At one point, during a time out the boy ripped out his dresser drawer and threw it at me landing on my foot and breaking my toe. I extended his time out and as usual, made him pick up his clothes. (wishing a good spanking could be given, believe me). Mom came home and I explained. nothing more. Now a week later (after about 7 months of being with them) the same twin needed a time out for trying to throw his brother down the stairs. In his room he goes. This time he went for the top drawer and pulled it onto his face. He got his time out and when she came home I explained the line on his face and why his entire dresser was thrown around the room. Next morning I get a call before work that she doesn't want me to come in and he said I had punched him in the face. I had NO words. I explained that the boys were just mad that they get their time outs and she should know by now that they behave this way. She said she couldn't risk me being there anymore. So, fine. Next week I get a call from social services wanting to talk to me about the incident. I explained my view and was very upset that lies were being told about me. I waited a few days and contacted the social worker wondering what the outcome was. I was told that the boy changed his story and said he had fallen on the side of his race car bed so they figured it wasn't true. After all that I was completely terrified to be in charge of a child who could completely ruin my life on a whim. The mother ended up asking me back and I said HELL no.

Worst Job Ever


The Dinner, Interview and Being Too Nice

I advertised on social media about being available for weekend childcare. Having been a weekend nanny with an education background, I was specific about the schedule and the pay. I got a response from a family located a half hour from me. The drive wouldn't be that bad because it is mainly interstate. I met the parent, a single mother with sole custody of her son; dad isn't in the picture. She is a sweet person, offered me the position which is one weekend per month, totaling 28.5 over the two days, Saturday and Sunday. This would be in addition to working full time during the week. As it turns out, she is the sister of a family enrolled in my old center, and may know my former nanny family, as this mother and my MB are both in the same field. 

When I wrote the ad, I was specific as well in pay: $10-15/hr, negotiable. This position pays $50/day, which is $100 per weekend. That is well below what I want, and the only reason I accepted the position is because she's a single mom, very nice and I know her sister. 

After thinking about it, I don't want the position. Part of it is the fact that I have to be there at 6a, which is getting to be the norm for me with my new job. The other part is that I would be there 14 hours both days, not to mention the pay. I have great pay with my new position, but I am trying to move and have bills to pay, just like anyone else. 

Is there a decent way to tell her I'm not interested? I drove out to her after work, she bought me dinner. I don't feel like I wasted anyone's time, but I also don't want to upset her, either.

from a reader..... what do you think about this?

Hi! I stumbled on your blog and read your article about how shocking the nanny industry here is. Are you still looking for employment? My husband and I live in Orchard Park (20 minutes from city of Buffalo). We have a son who is almost 2. I work part time and we are looking for a nanny 2-3 days a week. Depending on what it is you would do (any cleaning etc) , we could pay $10-$15. If interested, I would love to talk.


PS. if you would like her contact info just ask!

Looking for advice on how to give constructive feedback to nanny

Looking for a way to help 'right the ship' with my new nanny. I really like her and want to build a good relationship. We are 2 weeks in. She is sweet and generally trustworthy, so I fear her feeling attacked or criticized. What approach has worked best for other nannies?

She watches my 4month old weekday mornings from 8am-1:30pm. Here's what I wanted to address. Please let me know (kindly :)) if I am off base on any of these.
- I would like her to spend more time playing and interacting. i.e. Tummy time, and some developmental exercises recommended by the pediatrician. Currently she spends around 3 hours napping with her in the nursery with the door closed which is long to me considering the baby's naps are usually only 20-50 minutes. My husband doesn't think such a short shift warrants needing a nap considering we don't nap during those times. (nanny is in her 40's).
- I'd like her to handle some of the baby chores while the baby naps. Currently she naps with baby in the rocking chair. This does not sound like a safe practice, but as a sleep deprived new mom I know I've dozed off like this in the past so I'm trying not to judge. I'd prefer she put the baby down in the crib for naps and uses that time to get any baby chores done like washing bottles, sterilizing, baby laundry or taking a snack break/reading break for herself. Instead, she uses baby's awake hours to do all this.
- I'd like her to leave a quick note on how things went. Very short, just so we know how much she drank, any diaper changes or anything she noticed that was unusual like wheezing, excessive spit up, started coughing. This can either be on paper or verbally to my mom who takes over at 1:30pm.
- Lastly, I'd like her to put things back before she leaves. Wash any bottles she used, return any toys or books that she took out, move the rocking chair back to the living room (or don't move the rocking chair at all).




I volunteered to come babysit C while mom was at hospital having a baby. I am usually Monday-Friday 7:45am to 6:00pm. I was called to duty about 1:00am Friday morning and stayed with C until 5:30pm when we went to hospital to meet baby. Do I ask for that in pay? I got my normal paycheck via PayPal..

a day in the life

I'm a full time nanny to four kids, a five year old and three year old triplets (two girls and a boy). We started homeschooling the oldest this fall as he was bored at preschool but his birthday was too late for kindergarten, and started doing preschool activities wjth the triplets at the same time. I work M-F an average of 35 hours a week (sometimes a little more or less depending on the week's activities).

I coach and teach swim lessons in the evenings; this is my love and passion, and my bosses have been really supportive about this. They have a second nanny who comes when I'm not able to be here due to coaching commitments, and I charge less than market rate because it's worth it to me to be able to coach. :)

6:59 I let myself into the house and whisper-hiss at the dog to shush (lol). I put my jacket on the table and my lunch in the fridge. The kids won't be up for another half hour so I crash on the couch and check my email.

7:10 MB comes downstairs and gathers her things to leave. We chat as she gets ready to leave. I tell a funny story about one of my students last night (I coach and teach in the evenings) and we share a laugh. She leaves for work; I fix a cup of coffee and make a breakfast casserole and pop it into the oven

7:30 I hear the feet hit the floor as soon as it turns seven thirty (the kids have clocks that change color when they're allowed to get out of bed). I go upstairs; one of the triplets is already dressed, and I pull out outfits for the other two. We head downstairs where the kids use their morning chart to navigate their routine and help get ready for breakfast. I put on an oldies channel and it feels like a party! :)

The triplets are eating breakfast when DB and older brother come downstairs. Older brother is immediately upset about something; I try to help but quickly realize I won't be able to do anything with him until DB is gone ;). DB leaves for work soon after, and the temper tantrum ends almost immediately. All the kids eat, clear their spot, and wash their hands before heading into the playroom.

8:30 I sit in the playroom while the kids play, then facilitate clean up.

9:00 The kids get out their school boxes and find their seats at the table. I get big brother started on a math worksheet and then help the triplets do a worksheet about matching upper and lower case vowels (something we've been working on for several weeks with hands - on activities). Then I give them a fine motor skills activity - giving paper plate people "haircuts". Afterwards they move onto stations - different activities for phonics and math activities. I bounce back and forth between the triplets and big brother, helping whoever needs it.

Big brother finishes math and moves on to handwriting. Triplet #2 zips through stations quickly and goes back to the playroom. I help the other two, one who is struggling and one who is just dawdling. ;) Big brother finishes his seat work for the day and I get him set up with a cutting and pasting project - making a poster showing the long and short vowel sounds (a concept we introduced this week).

Triplet #3 keeps rocking the sensory bin (filled with dried beans) over. I tell her to stop several times, and a moment later she tips it over. I tell her she needs to clean up the mess she made (something else we've been working on!).

I sit for a moment to help older brother with his project, and remind Triplet #3 that she can't play until the beans are cleaned up. Triplet #2 comes in from the playroom and wants to do art; I tell her to get her art journal and box and come work at the table. I remind Triplet #3 that she can't play until the beans are cleaned up. Triplet #1 finishes and goes to the playroom to play.

I text MB about taking the kids on an outing, and she reminds me that DB took the van to get the oil changed. I look in the fridge and start fixing some green beans for dinner, and mac and cheese for lunch. I remind Triplet #3 that she can't play until the beans are cleaned up.

Triplet #2 has finished a picture for mommy and asks me to take a picture and send it. :) I fix lunch plates and put them in the fridge for easy reheating. I remind Triplet #3 that she can't play until the beans are cleaned up. She finally finishes cleaning up and joins her sister in coloring.

Older brother tells Triplet #2 that he likes her project, and then tells Triplet #3 that he doesn't like her project as much. We talk about how he would feel if somebody said that to him, and how you shouldn't make somebody feel good at the expense of somebody else. A minute later, Triplet #3 asks if he likes her projext as much as Triplet #2's. He tells her that Triplet #3's project is his favorite because she used his favorite color, but that hers is very good, too. (Mission accomplished!)

Older brother finishes his project and asks me to make him two paper plate haircut people. I do; he spends the next ten minutes playing with them. The girls put away their art supplies and go to the playroom to play.

11:00 I hear "I'm hungry!" several times, and decide to do an early lunch so we can play outside. Older brother finishes his play and gets the vacuum cleaner out to clean up the mess that has fallen on the floor. Everyone helps set the table and get ready for lunch (today it's chicken nuggets, steamed broccoli, and mac and cheese). I fix my own lunch and we eat together.

Triplet #3 starts spitting at her sister. I tell her to stop, and she does it again immediately. I send her to her room. She's just in time - out but she thinks she's being sent to bed, and I use it to my advantage.

As the kids finish eating they clear their spot at the table, then potty and wash their hands. The boys put on socks and jackets, eagerly anticipating outside play. I call Triplet #3 downstairs to finish lunch.

We head outside to play in the yard. While the kids play, I enjoy another cup of coffee and sketch out some plans for activities for the rest of the month.

Everyone plays well for about an hour, then Triplet #1 poops his pants, older brother gets put in timeout for pushing, and I catch the girls stuffing dirt into the playhouse (which they know they're not allowed to do). I herd everyone back inside where they put away shoes and jackets and wash hands.

1:00 We all snuggle on the couch with our current read - aloud book, the Boxcar Children's Yellow House Mystery. I've barely started reading before Triplet #3 is slamming her sister into the sofa. I give her a warning, start to read, and she does it again. I send her to lay on her bed and continue reading. We read our usual two chapters, and the kids are so engrossed they ask for a third. Older brother wants a fourth, too, but the other two are tired of reading.

I send them into the playroom and watch them play while I work on a busy bag for working on numbers 1-10. I call up to Triplet #3 that she can come down now. She's had a little nap and seems much happier.

2:00 I call in big brother to do his reading at the kitchen table while I laminate the busy bag pieces. He's really taken off with his reading this month and it's very exciting!

After he finishes reading, I help the kids add a feather each to their "thankfulness turkeys" (we write one thing we're thankful for each day on the feather). Today it's "my toys" and "my sister" (both girls). Older brother has had a spat with Triplet #3 and asks me to write down all the members of the family but her on his feather. I decline. ;)

I set out grapes and granola bars for snack time. Afterwards, everyone piles onto the couch to watch an episode of Odd Squad (we're phasing out naps and this is our compromise to give the kids some downtime).

2:55 The other nanny arrives, and we chat about the day. I leave for my second (and third, haha) jobs (coaching and teaching lessons). I'm surrounded by kids all day, and I can't think of anything better! :)

An oldie but a goodie!! What did you get for Chirstmas ?

Yes, this is now and has been one of ISYN's most popular Features and the Reader's can't wait to see what everyone got for 2016... good or bad! Please follow the format below and e-mail it to: isynblog@gmail.com.

* Bonus this year (2016):
* Your weekly salary:
* Any supplementary gifts aside from the Bonus:
* Length of time you have worked for the Family:
* City, State and Country where you live:
* How many children, ages:
* Live in or out:
* Additional comments:

New Years Eve

I was asked to work on New Years Eve, which I had to decline because I had already made plans, But I would like to get some opinions on that,  Do you work on holidays like Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and if so, what do you charge?

If I  had not had plans I would have done it, but I would have charged them my regular rate, and now that I have had time to think about it, I am thinking it should be more.

Opinions please...