Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nanny Jobs Requiring College Degrees

Yesterday SunSentinel.com posted this under "Moms & Dads Parents Share Their Stories & Advice." We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Here is the post:

Nanny positions requiring college degrees

It’s tough out there for job hunters. It’s getting even harder for those looking for nanny work.

I’ve noticed more and more job postings are requiring nannies to have a college degree. Some nanny agencies won’t look at you unless you have a Bachelor’s degree under your belt.

Just yesterday I came across a mom looking for a nanny for her fraternal twins. Under her list of skills--“college degree preferred.’’

I think these parents and agencies are totally off base.

While earning a college degree is a major accomplishment it doesn’t mean you know squat about parenting or caring for kids.

As a working single mom, I relied heavily on nannies and babysitters when my daughter was much younger.

The nanny my daughter loved the most was a high school dropout with three grown kids. She cared for my daughter for two straight years until it was time for her to start pre-school.

She was loving, playful and creative. But she was also stern, disciplined, and organized. She knew my daughter so well she called my attention to things her pediatrician missed.

When I panicked about certain behavior, she was able to tell me from her own parenting experience, not to worry, it was a phase. And she was flexible, which was a big plus in my line of work.

I’m grateful for having found her. She’s no longer our nanny, she’s a family friend. To my daughter she will always be “Tia."

Had I narrowed my nanny pool to college graduates, we would have never met and our family would have missed out.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Although I did not attend college I think my experience as a daycare teacher aide is probably more valuable then hiring a nanny with a bachelor degree in math or science. But, any higher learning is good. I think when caring for newborns or special needs children experience and education are most important. But, if parents only need someone to pick up kids after school and drive them to activities and someone to clean and fold their laundry then not much experience or education is needed. It depends on each specific situation.

Just being a parent or having experience does not make someone a good child caregiver either. Plenty of experienced moms that are terrible nannies.
Jodi McMahon
Nanny of three
Baltimore

lovebeingananny said...

As a parent if you have a choice between two nannies and the only difference is one has a college degree and the other doesn't wouldn't you hire the one with a college degree?

I think the biggest problem is that parents are hiring the cheapest caregiver rather than the best.

Anonymous said...

Why wouldn't a parent hire a caregiver with a degree? There is no one more important to hire than the nanny. If they can make more money and be more picky about who they choose to work for all the better for them.

Anonymous said...

I know many nannies that have college degrees- and most of their degress have nothing to do with childcare. The ones that do have ECE degrees started out thinking they'd become a pre-school teacher. But once they found out all the red tape involved with school policies they realized becoming a nanny involved less hassle and actually a higher salary and more perks.

I am a nanny who never had the opportunity to attend college. It just was not something that my family pushed- and since things were much different in the early
80's, I did not see the benefit, plus in my high-school there were courses that prepared you for jobs-and it was fairly easy to land one.

In the early 80's, when you attended a job interview and if you were enthusatic about learning they were willing to teach you. Sadly that is not the case any longer.

Since I did not attend college, I have sought out every other possible venue to show I am a serious minded nanny.

I have taken the INA Nanny Credential Exam, am a member of National Assoc. of Nanny Care, and NAEYC- (National Assoc. for the Education of Young Children), try to attend their conferences and workshops, keep current my CPR and 1st Aid Certification, have founded a nanny support group. Also I am always researching and reading the latest developments regarding childcare.
So hopefully by doing those things, I am able to be on the same level or better than someone with a college degree and hope the families and nanny agencies I interview with will see my effort in pursuing and keeping current my nanny education.

~Andrea- Nanny in NJ

Anonymous said...

It is true there are many wonderful nannies without college degrees. That is why parents have to weigh everything about each job applicant before hiring a nanny. I think more parents hire from a "gut feeling" and that isn't something you can read on paper or earn in college. But a college degree can be helpful. Even courses you might not have thought of like piana for example may come in helpful because the nanny can help the child with piano lessons and practice. An education s everything you do in life. But, it is up to each parent to choose who is best to care for their child. I do think experience might be more important for newborns and toddlers because it is such demanding work. Young kids just graduating high school don't often have the organizational skills or hard, long term work experience. College degree is just another point to add to your resume.

Cynthia, San Diego

Anonymous said...

I think this article really is off base in this economy. I have a very experienced, great nanny friend who hasn't found a good full-time nanny job in a year. She is legal, has great references, and a decade of nanny experience. What I am hearing from her and other great nannies (but not quite as great) is that parents are hiring the nanny that will accept the lowest offer, not the best nanny.

In NJ a family with five kids wants to pay less than $10 per hour. A family with newborn twins and a toddler want to pay minimum wage.

The sad thing is that in this economy the parents will find a nanny who will accept minimum or less than minimum wage even for these very difficult jobs.

The competition seems to me to be the nanny who will accept the lowest salary, not the most educated or experienced or most qualified for the job.

Nanny from Denver said...

I am an experienced nanny and have a BA degree in Early Childhood Education. This is only one part of my background and in itself, does not make me a good nanny. My communication skills, empathy for busy parents, patience with children, practical experience, and enthusiasm for the kind of work I do are equally, if not more important than my education.

However, I do value education greatly and so have my previous employers. Not because it was important to possess a degree, but because continuing education is important in any field. In one previous job, the nanny who replaced me was a dear woman who had raised 6 children and had nannied for her previous family for 10 years. She was wonderful, but she had never attended any type of conference or workshops, did not know how to find resources on the internet, and had no knowledge of any current trends or philosophies in parenting.

My previous employers soon called me to mentor her as they missed their children being engaged in the many educational projects and outings as they had before. This nanny was wonderful in every other way, but the fact that she did not see her role of nanny as being an educator to her charges (knowledgeable about great art projects, literature for children, or how to incorporate learning into daily outings) became a shortcoming for her.

For many families, serving as an educator to their children is an important role of their nanny. This does not come as a result of having a certain level of education. It does, however, come as a result of having an interest in keeping informed in areas that can benefit your charges; by attending workshops, participating in professional conferences, or even by being an avid reader of topics involved with children.

Anthony said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. I want to share news aboutcollege which is offers beyond-the- classroom experience to students in the rapidly-expanding industries of Health Care, Criminal Justice, Business, and Computers. Don't miss out on great career opportunities.