Financially pinched families are scaling back nanny hours, seeking "nanny shares" or reluctantly adding their children's names to waiting lists at day care centers.
A "nanny share" ad placed by Michael Fields on Craigslist in Los Angeles reads, "The recent economy woes have me taking less of a salary..."
On a recent morning, it was standing room only in the waiting room at DDL Domestic Agency in Los Angeles. Nannies, houseboys and cleaning ladies hungered for work. But "business is dead," says agency owner Doris Dorenbaum, brandishing the only three active employer files. Two years ago, she says, the agency had more families seeking help than she could service.