Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Job Hunt, part one

So, I've been out of work for a while. A really long while. And each day I spend a few hours answering ads placed on nanny/family matching sites, cruising craigslist, checking in with agencies, etc. etc. etc.

Today's favorite ad reads as follows (emphasis mine): "We have a 10-week-old baby girl and are in desperate need of a nanny. We have had the HARDEST time finding the right person. We live in Northwest Atlanta/South Cobb County on the Chattahoochee River. Our needs are every other Monday from 11-4, Tuesday from 10-4 and a few Saturdays from 10-3. Eventually Mondays would be added permanently. We would pay $7 per hour, and $10 per hour for special occasions. We would not require any laundry or meal preparation. Our dog would not need any care either, although the occasional tummy rub would be nice! We would like our new nanny to be available for the long-term, as eventually we would need them full time."

And while I am doing the best I can to stay positive, ads like these really annoy me. I made $7 per hour when I started as a nanny 16 years ago. I try to remember that new nanny employers may not know that it is actually ILLEGAL to pay a nanny less than minimum wage, but I have to wonder why parents wouldn't do some due diligence, asking people "in the know" what the average nanny hourly rate in the area might be.

I also blame the websites that allow potential employers to choose illegal wages as their "pay offered". If a website is matching nannies and parents, then parents seeking a nanny should not be able to offer less than legal minimum wage to the potential employers who might answer their ad. I'm not a technical person, but surely there is some way to offer only options for pay starting at minimum wage when the parent checks off that they are hunting for a nanny.

Ultimately, in childcare as in everything else, people get what they pay for. That means that parents who offer ridiculously low rates to a "nanny: will often wind up with their children paying the price for that decision.

Ahhhh....that feels better. I'll save my vent about interview cancellations for later. :-)


Best Nanny Newsletter said...

Hey Deb,
I completely understand your frustration. And with the economic recession and so many caregivers out of work parents know they will eventually find a mediocre nanny to work for $7 an hour under-the-table because that caregiver will be desperate to work.

The law is difficult to pinpoint about minimum wage for live-in domestic employees though. The American au pair cultural exchange program allows parents to deduct 40% of salary for room and board for live-in au pairs. Perhaps that is how some nanny employers can offer lower rates (lower than min wage) for live-in nannies.

A nanny asked me why nannies do not file a report with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) when they find jobs posted for under the minimum wage. If you feel the wage is illegal (or any part of a business is illegal) then perhaps the business should be accountable. To do that maybe contacting the BBB could help resolve the problem.

Good luck finding the good paying (but more importantly respectful family)that you deserve. You will soon!! Best wishes!

Best Nanny Newsletter said...

Forgot to post our article:

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is so annoying! I am also job searching and it is so frustrating coming across ads like this. I've been looking for so long because I expect real wages that reflect my experience and allow me to live in the expensive city I am working in. Unfortunately, there are many people (be them young, illegal, desperate, or clueless) who will work for such low pay.

Are you still blogging? I notice you haven't updated in a while. I hope to read more!

Panthera said...

On, whenever I see a family wanting something similar for $5 an hour or whatnot, I respond and let them know I am not interested but the wage they offer is in fact illegal. I usually then link them the FAQ page about wages, etc for nannies.

Because I don't want someone who doesn't know better to get screwed over.