It’s a recurring and infuriating truth in the nanny profession. I find myself having a variation of the following conversation- a lot:
The money you earned in your last job, you might not get in your next position.
I have to say I am distressed at how many times and ways I have to have this compensation conversation with nannies who are looking for new jobs having completed 5 or 10 or even 15 years of devoted service to families. Why is it that nannies climb 10 steps on the financial ladder only to be pushed back to the 5th rung when they leave a job—even with stellar references? Is this the only profession that work experience and a solid track record do not equate to increased salary and the hope of financial security? Think Sisyphus pushing that rock up the mountain.
Here’s what I say to nannies:
I know you want to start a new job caring for an infant once again since you loved helping raise the kids you are leaving. You like being in on the ground floor. That’s great. Here’s what is not so great: That infant’s parents are most likely younger than the family you are leaving and may not be able to pay you what your current family with more earning power can. The new parents are starting their careers and are looking to pay a more entry level salary despite wanting experienced caregivers with terrific track records. I know. You’ve been working for 10 years and deserve more money. Not only is it possible that you will not make more money in your next position, I am simply hopeful a new employer can match what you are currently making. But there is also a real possibility that you may have to take less.
Who wants to deliver that message?
Childcare is a serious profession. How are we building a much needed workforce if caregivers have no prospect of increasing their salaries? If there were no people to take care of working families’ children, this city would grind to a halt. The metro closure has nothing on the chaos that would result from having no quality childcare!
It’s a conundrum. I know and understand the issues. What I don’t have are the answers.