Author Topic: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?  (Read 5883 times)

startingout

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Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« on: March 23, 2021, 09:11:20 PM »
Our nanny is wonderful and our toddler loves her. She makes our lives so much easier. However, we spend so much on childcare that I'm embarrassed to admit the amount out loud. I feel like I belong on the Antimustachian Wall of Shame. The few times I've disclosed to friends and coworkers how much we pay our nanny, their jaws dropped.

I tried to find a nanny share arrangement, but couldn't find anyone interested close enough to us. DH assures us that when we have a second child, the cost per child will drastically drop. But we'd still be upping our nanny's pay, so our overall expenditures would be even higher.

Has anyone else on here also hired a nanny? If so, how long did you have your nanny for?

TheFrenchCat

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2021, 08:32:38 AM »
We haven't since I'm a WFH mom, but my husband's aunt and uncle used a nanny for a while.  They had four kids, so it actually worked out to be cheaper than daycare for them.  If I remember correctly my aunt and uncle also had a nanny for their two boys, and since they both had high earning careers, they could afford it.  They didn't really try to live frugally though.  But we are paying for private school because it is better than our local district and fits better with our values, so you're not alone here in paying more than you have to for taking care of your kids.  But I suppose it's not very mustachian.   

startingout

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2021, 09:50:34 AM »
Thanks! DH and I have been WFH for the last year too.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2021, 01:06:11 PM »
We have an au pair. The amount of time my wife and I collectively want to spend on child care is less than the kids' waking hours, and the au pair helps bridge the gap. It's expensive and also worth it for our sanity.

erutio

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2021, 02:30:01 PM »
What's the difference between a nanny and au pair?

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2021, 02:59:14 PM »
What's the difference between a nanny and au pair?

The au pair program brings in young people from foreign countries to spend a year or two living with a host family while doing child care work for that family. A nanny is someone you hire from the local population and usually (but not always) lives in their own place.

lutorm

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2021, 04:53:04 PM »
We had a nanny for half a year between my wife going back to work at 6months and the kid being old enough that we were comfortable putting him into a daycare. It was very expensive and even though the kid loved her we also think it's better for socialization to have him spend his day with a bunch of other kids.

When I was a kid, I spent my days with my grandpa and, while that was a wonderful arrangement, I think the lack of lots of social interactions with kids at a young age contributed to my social struggles growing up.

racquetcat

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2021, 03:32:40 PM »
Our nanny is wonderful and our toddler loves her. She makes our lives so much easier. However, we spend so much on childcare that I'm embarrassed to admit the amount out loud. I feel like I belong on the Antimustachian Wall of Shame. The few times I've disclosed to friends and coworkers how much we pay our nanny, their jaws dropped.

I tried to find a nanny share arrangement, but couldn't find anyone interested close enough to us. DH assures us that when we have a second child, the cost per child will drastically drop. But we'd still be upping our nanny's pay, so our overall expenditures would be even higher.

Has anyone else on here also hired a nanny? If so, how long did you have your nanny for?

@startingout  My wife and I have both worked full time our whole marriage, while we've also had 2 kids. When we had kids and both decided that we wanted to continue working we also decided (and this next part is coming from an extremely privileged situation, I realize a lot of families have to have both parents working just to afford food and shelter) that we would not be frugal when it came to childcare options. We never had a nanny, but we often choose more expensive daycare options because we felt like they provided safer and better education for our children. We realize we could have saved money doing childcare a different way, but to us we were okay splurging for a more expensive option because it was important to us. If we weren't going to be around our kids for 9 hours a day we wanted to trust the people and place they were at.

Is it that you just feel guilty for spending a lot of money on a nanny or is it that you think it's not smart to spend that amount of money on childcare? I would also assume a nanny does miscellaneous housework as well so you're getting more than just daycare for your kid.

In the end, I think as long as you're paying attention to what you spend and if you're family feels like it's valuable, then, you do you!

kei te pai

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2021, 12:39:45 AM »
A loved and trusted Nanny is worth paying for at a rate appropriate for a skilled worker, it is not an unskilled job. Call it an investment in a calm and happy life, and dont ever feel embarrassed about valuing and paying for care of any sort.
Human relationship skills are just as valuable as any other.

EricEng

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2021, 04:18:34 PM »
What's the difference between a nanny and au pair?

The au pair program brings in young people from foreign countries to spend a year or two living with a host family while doing child care work for that family. A nanny is someone you hire from the local population and usually (but not always) lives in their own place.
Au Pair $5-25k/year: More importantly is the Au Pair gets paid far worse on the argument that they are kind of interning and getting to learn the local language/culture and visits with possible goal of citizenship.  They tend to be younger, less experienced, and language issues.  They are also commonly exploited as being young, inexperienced and in a foreign countries makes them ripe for abuse.  Au Pair pay is also low because they usually live and eat with you.

Babysitter: $20-40k/year: "Nanny" can be misused to describe a babysitter that plops them in front of TV all day and keeps them alive on junk food.  If you are paying someone $5-14/hour you probably only have a babysitter.

Professional Nanny $35-120k/year:  Most have had professional nanny school training, attended many early education classes and conferences, and part of the International Nanny Association.  They will provide enriching activities all day with usually scratch made healthy meals.  Top end nannies for rich families also provide household management via grocery shopping, cloth shopping, age appropriate toy/book shopping, laundry, cleaning, contractor management (house upgrades), and errands.  On the low end they will typically live in an extra bedroom or have an extra stipend to cover rental costs.  On the upper end the nanny will use an in-law suite or have a full apartment rented for them (big deal in New York City).  With a good professional nanny your child is essentially getting a private preschool teacher.

Source: My wife was a professional nanny for many years working for CEOs and politicians in DC area.
http://www.nanny-governess.com/
https://nanny.org/

Imma

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2021, 04:41:23 PM »
While I understand the difference between a professional nanny and a "babysitter" @EricEng I do feel it's a bit unfair to describe them as someone "who plops kids in front of the TV all day and feeds them junkfood". I'm sure those type of nannies exist, but I doubt many parents would employ a nanny like that for a longer period of time!

I had a nanny growing up and she was lovely. She took care of me from 6 weeks after my birth until I started school. I have lots of fond memories of her. She was a SAHM whose children were grown up. She read books with me, we went on walks, we went grocery shopping, we cooked, in short, I did everything a SAHM would do with her child, except I was not her birth child. I feel very lucky to have her in my life and we've always stayed in touch. I really appreciate that my mother was never jealous of another woman mothering me. I'm also glad my parents didn't send me to daycare (although my town didn't even have a daycare when I was a young kid, everyone's mothers stayed at home except for mine) because I don't think kids in daycare have the same continuity, they don't form such strong bonds with their teachers.

My friend also works as a nanny for a family. She has a teaching degree so she knows a bit about childhood development, but she's certainly not like a private preschool teacher. She's great fun though and takes the kids on frequent visits to the library and the petting zoo, they do lots of crafts. I don't have kids but I'd hire her in a heartbeat.

EricEng

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2021, 11:55:53 AM »
My point wasn't to insult regular nannys.  It was to make sure people don't give the nanny title to a glorified babysitter that puts little effort into the job beyond keeping the children breathing.  There are a lot of these types that try to get hired for "nanny positions".  If they are doing creative, enriching activities with the children and actually putting effort into the job then calling them nanny is fine.

We ran into an issue when we moved to a new region and wife was trying to find new nanny job.  The local area was inundated with terrible "nannies" and the locals had an extremely low expectation of these "nannies" and thus refused to consider payment outside $5-8/hour.   I remember one family that wanted to pay a fixed daily amount for ~10 hours work which came out to about $4/hr (below min wage).  You can't even get a teenager for that! 

Those who put effort/love into the job, look to expand their knowledge, and view it as a career instead of a short term source of money deserve to be called nanny.

SomethingFishy

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2021, 01:11:54 PM »
We’ve had a nanny for what will be two years in June. We started with one because our twins were extremely premature and their doctors encouraged us to keep them out of care facilitates until their immune systems and lungs caught up, developmentally speaking, around the age of two. I anticipate at least two more years, as we’re adding a third kid later this year at which point any other child care options are just as expensive. When the two oldest start pre-school, we may make the switch to an au pair. For now, our nanny is amazing. Our savings rate has plummeted to the single digits, but this won’t be a permanent expense and the nanny we’re working with does a phenomenal job.

mrs sideways

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2021, 10:27:59 AM »
When I was a kid, I spent my days with my grandpa and, while that was a wonderful arrangement, I think the lack of lots of social interactions with kids at a young age contributed to my social struggles growing up.

FWIW, I think social skills have a LOT to do with the kid and not the environment. My father and uncle were raised in the same house under the same circumstances, and while my uncle can read people like a book, talk to anyone, and work a room like a high-level politician, my dad... not so much. And guess what side of the family I came down on? Despite spending my entire childhood in daycare, I was STILL a social moron up to and through college.

Abe

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Re: Anyone else have a nanny or au pair?
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2021, 07:56:27 PM »
We have a nanny who is very good and our son loves spending time with her. We hired her to drop off our son at school since both of our jobs assume that we don't have children and can just be at work by 7am. The nanny's services were also helpful because our neighborhood schools are set up on the assumption that one parent doesn't work and can take time off whenever for any random event or holiday or teacher work day the district comes up with. She helps with household chores, too. We compensate her very well as a result. I've come to the conclusion that our society essentially cannot function without either one parent staying at home or a nanny helping with the kids. For example, when a kid gets a fever and they have to go home immediately. Everyone in that class has already been exposed, an extra few hours laying down in the nurse's office (like I did as a kid) won't change anything.

Anyway, nannies are great.