Nanny jobs used to be a common way for aristocratic young women to enter the job market temporarily, before they found a suitable husband. Nanny jobs were a way for these young women to leave their childhood home and live with a new and wealthy family, learn about household management and childcare, and yet still be “respectable.” Nannies were seen as a professional class that served solely the elegantly rich and jet-set classes of the world.
However, all that has changed dramatically. These days, women (and occasionally men) of all ages and backgrounds are taking nanny jobs, and they're not only living with the upper classes in huge mansions. Rather, a 21st-century nanny might be living in the spare room of a duplex in Flushing, working to keep house and mind the children while Mom and Dad slog away at work and get tied up in traffic.
Any working parent can tell you how expensive and often inconvenient traditional daycare can be, particularly during the summer months when even school aged children need to be minded, week in and week out. Childcare expenses can triple or even quadruple during these months, and yet Mom still has to come home, do the shopping, make the dinner, do the laundry, and clean the bathroom, on top of all the extra hours she's having to work in order to pay for the extra daycare costs.
More and more, parents are turning to offering nanny jobs as a solution to the problems faced by busy working parents. A live-in, full time nanny can be available to not only supervise and care for the children, she may be able to drive them to their activities, do the cooking and cleaning, and take care of other tasks for the parents. She has autonomy and responsibility, and can more or less manage her day as she sees fit while the parents are at work. Then, when the parents come home, they can spend quality time with their children in a clean, safe, and happy home.
Nannies can be cost-effective, even though their monthly wage may seem high. If nanny lives in the home, there will be some expenses associated with her food and utility use as well as her salary, of course, but the trade-off can be a very good one in terms of quality of life for the parents as well as the children. If the children are cared for mainly in their own homes, they have a greater sense of stability and bonding. Routines are more easily adhered to, they spend less time being driven around from place to place, and it is easier to monitor and control the children's' diets, homework, exercise and even medication regimens. As the parents are less stressed by the day-to-day demands of housekeeping and childcare-related labor, domestic marital harmony can improve, and children get the benefits of having the parents' undivided attention. Mom can have time to read a book or do puzzles with her children, rather than having them scream for her attention while she is trying to cook, clean and organize a carpool all at the same time.
As more and more jobs disappear from the employment landscape due to outsourcing and consolidation of workers, the demand for nannies is increasing exponentially. Daycare providers now have to compete more for customers, and offer more flexibility. Still, that may never be enough for a busy parent who is on call 24/7, and in this day and age, this is becoming more and more common. Nanny jobs are definitely here to stay.