|photo from aupair-grandmas.com|
Whether the age of a nanny candidate effects their chance of getting a nanny job is a topic I try to avoid because I abhor stereotypes of people of different ages in the workplace. But, recently a nanny friend did mention to me that I'm not getting any younger. She implied it will be harder for me to find great nanny jobs as I get older.
Although there's no doubt age discrimination exists, there are businesses that market au pairs and nannies that are at least 50-years-old. For example, a business Au Pair 50+ left a post on our newsletter Facebook page explaining that older caregivers have vital experience handling children and households and have the maturity, patience, and understanding that young people have not yet acquired. The fact that many parents want to hire experienced caregivers may explain the success of a company called Rent-A-Grandma that only places carefully screened caregivers 50-years-old and up.
It appears some parents might see a younger nanny as more energetic or athletic and able to keep up with high energy children. In contrast, the older nanny may be seen as an expert, mature, and patient.
It is unfair to assume a younger job candidate isn't experienced enough to be a great nanny. Many college students working to earn an Early Childhood Education degree, and those having just graduated with degrees in education, child development, or psychology make great nanny job candidates due to their proven dedication and interest in the field of child care. Job seekers with a lot of babysitting experience can often transition easily into the role of being a nanny. The young, single, unattached caregiver is typically more available for live-in nanny positions than caregivers that are married with children of their own. Some parents may prefer the lower salary expectations from young workers who are just starting out. Plus, successful young nannies with great attitudes, that are willing to learn and be directed by the parents can be excellent in-home caregivers.
It is also unfair to assume simply because a caregiver is a Grandmother she hasn't the energy to keep up with active kids. Clearly with experience comes maturity, confidence, and patience. Caregivers that have raised their own kids also have plenty of other household skills including cooking, organizing, and keeping a tidy home. Many mature caregivers can accomplish all of this without being overwhelmed or burnt-out and are willing to make a long-term commitment that young nannies often cannot make. If the parents are looking for an expert nanny experienced with newborns (such as a newborn care specialist, a night nanny, a nanny nurse), or to care for a child with a special need, along with the expert experience, comes an older caregiver.
Do you think age really matters when parents are hiring a nanny?