5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring a Nanny: #3 Underpaying A Nanny
Pitfall #3: Underpaying a Nanny
Hiring a nanny rather than using a daycare is a luxury for many people. It’s understandable that a family would look for the best rate possible when hiring a nanny. Her employment is typically a long term commitment, and her pay represents a substantial monthly expense to the family. Unfortunately, I sometimes see families “shopping” for the best price the way they might shop for a good “deal” on a pair of shoes. This strategy tends to backfire. If a nanny is very good, but settles for a pay rate that is below “market” given her qualifications, she may take the job but continue to look for another position that compensates her at a rate that takes into account her experience, references, education and track record.
As a psychologist, a mom, and an agency owner for 15 years, my perspective is the following: Your child’s early years are vital to his or her emotional and cognitive development, and the care he receives now will help lay the foundation for the rest of his or her life. You will probably only need a full-time nanny until your child starts preschool. This is a small percentage of your child’s life. Then, most families switch to part-time help and the cost decreases considerably. During this important developmental period, it’s worth it to make sure you keep consistent, uninterrupted care that provides security and predictability to your child and your family. Once your child is older and no longer needs a nanny (my child is a teen now), you will look back and be thankful that you paid a fair rate and hired and retained a warm, loving, stable, dedicated nanny who gave your child the stimulating and consistent care he or she needed during such an important period of brain and personality development. I look back now on my daughter’s early years and I have no regrets that we paid a little more to find and keep a wonderful, dedicated nanny who we could count on and who gave my daughter consistent love and attention.
To get more tips on hiring and retaining a nanny go to: www.safeandsoundnannies.com
Dr. Ann Wycoff is founder of Safe and Sound Nannies, a full service agency, and The Nanny Answer, an online, do-it-yourself nanny screening service.