Nannies are trendsetters. For decades they have been discussing what they make with other nannies. We used to say: You’re kidding. They talk about their hourly rates with complete strangers they meet in the park? At the library? Or on playdates? Yes, yes they do. Pretty regularly. How else are they going to know if they are being paid fair market rates?
How do WE know this exchange of info is happening? Because those nannies who were comparing income notes in the park have now called US looking for new jobs. They feel devalued when they hear what others are making. Here are some of their mental ruminations: “Why is this nanny making so much more than I am? I have as much, if not more experience.” or “Why am I making so much less? I feel disrespected.”
Parents/employers are incredulous. Parents-particularly women employers– are shocked to learn that money is a common topic of conversation among childcare providers. Why? Because for the longest time these moms didn’t know what their peers were earning.
But more recently, we’ve seen a sea change across all industries, especially among young professional women, who now want to know what their colleagues/counterparts are earning in an effort to achieve pay equity. It used to be taboo – or at the very least, tacky–to EVER discuss with anyone what you made. Now transparency instead of secrecy is the byword.
In this current job market, where great talent is hard to find, candidates are not just settling.
Employers should know they aren’t going to get a deal or a steal when hiring great employees. That definitely includes nannies. Asking what they made in their last position to determine rates? Uh uh. Not legal in some cases and not relevant in others.
Unfortunately, for nannies already employed with significant on-the-job experience, younger less experienced caregivers may be getting a higher hourly wage to begin now. Hopefully, there will be some adjustments to create more balance in the “now” market as opposed to the “then” market. No blame is laid on previous nanny employers. They paid market rates when they hired. That was then. And this is now. And those “now” rates have changed.
We’re glad to see the trend of wage transparency taking hold across all industries – and we’d like to give credit to some of the pioneers of the movement: Nannies.