Archive for the ‘Nannies in the News’ Category

Bet You Can’t Beat This Nanny’s Skill Set

nanny auction

A group of male and female graduate nannies will be auctioned off in Beijing.  Yes, I said auctioned off.  :)   One nanny says she loves housework and singing, and knows how to do family-style massage and fabric decorating. She could also serve as an English tutor and work for foreign households as she speaks fluent English.     You’ve got to admit, it’s one way to get a job.

Should Nannies Provide Their Own Background Checks?


I thought this was an interesting development in Australia.  Nannies, tutors and other self employed people who work with kids are required to get their own background checks.  That makes sense for self-employed people but would a similar policy for nannies help move the nanny industry forward in this country? 

Nannies Filling the Shoes for Parents Outside the Home

The secret is out – nannies regularly take on jobs that their employers don’t want to do, don’t know how to do, don’t have time to do.  They bake cupcakes for the school party, they chaperone the fieldtrip, they bring snacks to the team practice, they make play costumes, they plan birthday parties.  And now…they’re working shifts at the co-op!

I found the recent article in The New York Times pretty amusing.  I’ve never belonged to a food co-op (I have shopped at PCC…does that count?) but the rules seem a bit strict. 

This latest brouhaha was brought on by a blog post from last week that said some members of the Park Slope Food Co-op were having their nannies work their required volunteer hours.  I guess this is VERY much against the rules.  Well, only if the nanny is a live-out.  (I don’t really get that either.)  It’s also seen by many as elitist.  I get the fair share idea behind a co-op but as long as the work gets done and as long as the nanny is willing to do it, does it really matter if the parent or the nanny works the shift? 

Employing domestic workers or having them take over mundane tasks does not make the employer elitist or the worker abused.  Yes, there are many caregivers that are treated badly by their employers.  But there are many who are not. 

Nannies have been expanding their roles and responsibilities for years now.  We now have nannies who also take on the tasks of household managers, family managers, personal assistants, housekeepers, chefs, on and on.  Working a co-op shift is just another way for a household employee to support a busy professional couple. 

What do you think?  Nannies, would you ever work your employer’s shift at a food co-op?  Employers, would you ever ask?

NY Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Signed into Law

First off, thanks to Kathy Webb for breaking the story.  Her blog is the best in the business. 

The bill pass but with some MAJOR changes.  All the things that got so many people worked up were deleted.  No health insurance, no 14 day notice period for termination, no 7 paid sick days a year.  Instead they got 3 paid days (sick, personal, whatever) after one year employment, 1 required day off a week, overtime (which they already had in NY) and anti-discrimination coverage (was that missing before?). 

The thing I find most interesting about the bill is “The NY Commissioner of Labor is directed to report to the governor, the speaker of the assembly and the temporary president of the senate before November 1, 2010 on the feasibility and practicality of allowing domestic workers to organize for purposes of collective bargaining.”

Now that could have a huge impact on our industry overall.  Imagine if nannies could come together and set real workplace guidelines for wages, hours and benefits.  I want to be on that bandwagon because I think the first stop would be an across the board credential. 

I have very mixed feelings about this outcome.  I think nannies, along with every other worker in this country, deserve health insurance, notice before firing, and paid sick days.  However I don’t feel that nannies deserve special treatment (as the law state) “because domestic workers care for the most important elements of their employers’ lives, their families and homes.”

So, do you think this bill was worth all the effort?  Do you think it’s a victory for nannies or the Domestic Workers group in NY?  Do you think it will make any real world impact?

“It’s good that the nanny did CPR”

Why should EVERY family, agency, and online job site require a nanny know CPR before taking a job?  Because this most basic training truly saves lives.  How can something so fundamental to the safety of a child not be a requirement to work as a nanny?    Check out the story here and below. 

The grandmother of an 18-month girl who nearly drowned Tuesday in Palm Beach says the little girl is recovering.

“She’s fine. She’s much better,” Virginia Millner said of her granddaughter, whom she did not identify by name at the request of the girl’s parents. “She’s coming home today,” Millner said Wednesday from her Island Drive home, where the accident occurred. “We’re just thankful to God,” Millner said.

The toddler’s brother discovered her at the bottom of the swimming pool Tuesday evening. A nanny pulled the girl from the pool, administered CPR and called emergency responders. She was taken in critical condition by ambulance to St. Mary’s Medical Center.

At the hospital, the girl was sedated and placed in the pediatric intensive care unit, officials reported.

Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Pete Codispoti said the emergency call came in at 5:11 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s good that the nanny did CPR,” he said. “It’s one of those awful things. It’s the type of call we never want to get. A lot of our guys have children. It’s hard on them.

“We just want her to do well,” he added.

Fire-Rescue had recently completed a refresher Pediatric Advanced Life Support course. One of the instructors, James Weber, went on the emergency call.

On Wednesday night, Fire-Rescue spokesman Joseph Sekula said, “The baby is awake and alert and they are hoping to send her home tomorrow."

Domestic Worker Files Suit Over Required Background Test

This article tells the tale of a domestic who applied for a position (housekeeping, errands, and of course occasional care of a child) and was told she would need to pass an HIV test to get the job.  She’s filed suit against the employer and the placement agency that represented the employer. 

I find this interested in two ways.  One, each day more and more domestics are stepping out of the shadows and taking actions against unfair practices by employers.  It seems that we are quickly approaching a tipping point where calling bad employers out won’t be so surprising or unusual anymore.   Oh, I can dream. 

Two, an agency is also named in this suit.  For years agencies have been unscathed by any backlash against bad employers.  Nannies keep going back because they need a job.  So I’ll be interested to see what happens to this agency and if they do suffer a punishment, if it will change the way other agencies do business. 

What unfair hiring practices have you come up against and what did you do in response?

NYC Domestic Worker’s Bill of Right PASSED

State lawmakers passed bills today that will increase rights for household workers.

The bills require overtime pay for eight-hour workdays and at least one day off each week. They also guarantee six paid holidays, seven sick days, and five vacation days annually.

Advocates say if the bills are signed by Governor Paterson, New York will be the first state to establish these rights for domestic workers.

The new legislation will impact more than 200,000 housekeepers, nannies, and other workers, many of whom are woman or immigrants and are vulnerable to employer abuse.

Interesting Article on Super Nanny

I’m not a big fan of the show.  I think she often treats parents disrespectfully and well, I have an issue with the “naughty” chair.  Not the concept of helping kids calm down but the label.  But I know I’m in the minority.  Parents and nannies alike have been glued to this show for year.  I ran across an interesting article from a parenting training about Super Nanny.  He sums up my thoughts pretty well.  And hits upon a point that will make many working nannies nod their heads in agreement. 

“Super Nanny is the modern parents’ dream because she is the bad cop that many mothers and fathers cannot and won’t be. She is the parent who stands firm and asserts herself. She is the parent who takes no prisoners and who at the end of the program can still get a kiss and cuddle from the children she has tamed.”

I wonder how many nannies have been influenced by this show?  Have you, or your employer, taken tips from Jo on how to manage children’s behaviors?

what do you think of the Domestic Workers Bill of rights?

The Bill will ensure domestic workers are provided a limited number of paid sick days, personal days, and vacation days; notice and severance pay; yearly raises tied to inflation; full overtime pay for any work over 40 hours per week; one day of rest per week; protection from employment discrimination; and health benefits.

I’m on the fence about this bill.  On one hand, I absolutely agree that nannies and other domestic employees deserve all the things asked for.  But on the other hand, I think ALL workers deserve those things.  Unfortunately most people outside of the professional arena don’t get those benefits.  I know plenty of retail, factory, fast food, restaurant (the list seems endless) workers who don’t get paid sick days or health benefits.  So why do nannies deserve more?  Let me know what you think.   

Gwyneth Paltrow gives credit to her nanny!

And then calls her a professional to boot!!  She might be my new favorite actor.  We all know that most professional women – from movie stars to lawyers – employ a nanny but very few mention them to the press.   Most just talk about how hard it is to juggle motherhood and working, acting if they do it all by themselves.  Yes, it is really hard being a working mother (or stay-at-home mom for that matter) but it’s nice to be recognized.

Gwyneth Paltrow: ‘I couldn’t work without kids’ nanny’

Gwyneth Paltrow is glad she finally employed a nanny to care for her two young children – because she "couldn’t work" without the additional home help.

The "Shakespeare In Love" star and husband Chris Martin have two kids, Apple, five, and four-year-old Moses, and they refused to employ a nanny for years – with Paltrow taking time out from acting to focus on motherhood.

But the 37 year old admits she’s now hired a professional to help take care of her children, and she couldn’t imagine working without the "life-saver."

She tells Britain’s The Sun, "I have a nanny and she’s just like part of our family. She’s lovely and a life-saver and I couldn’t work without her.

"I couldn’t be here without her because she loves my children and they love her."

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