A Modern Day College Educated Nanny

NannyThis Grandma finds that the parents of my grandchildren, and many of the children of the grandmas she knows, fit the profile of the professionals and parents in the September 20, 2013 segment on “Modern Day Mary Poppins,” found also at NBC News.

However, are they looking for “Mary Poppins?” Wikipedia describes Mary Poppins as:

Mary Poppins is a slightly stern but loving nanny who uses magic and self-control to take care of the Banks children. She is usually identifiable by her sensible hat and parrot umbrella which she brings with her wherever she goes on outings. She is loving and kind towards the children, but can be firm when needed. She is “practically perfect in every way.” In the film version, she is a young woman, with an air of grace and elegance about her.

“Loving and kind”are musts for a nanny.  The parents of our grandchildren define “Modern Day Mary Poppins” as “perfect in every way,”the absolute best nanny for their children they can afford AND someone who they feel comfortable taking their place during the day.  Today, that means a nanny with a college education and more–how about a second language!  It seems in this economy, a college educated nanny is affordable:

Cliff Greenhouse, president of the Pavilion Agency, which helps New Yorkers find household staff, has noticed a shift toward nannies like Barletta since the mid-1990s, when he saw very few Americans in the industry and fewer college-educated applicants. He attributes the change to the growth of working mothers, with many women becoming the breadwinners of their families.

“Moms [who use our agency] aren’t going to work full-time unless they can leave their children in the care of someone they consider a peer,” he said. Becky Kavanagh, co-president of the non-profit International Nanny Association, has also observed this trend, especially among professional couples in larger metropolitan areas. “They’re looking into the total education of their child,” she said, adding that many couples seek out nannies who have degrees in early-childhood education as well as nannying experience. For some parents, the ultimate nanny candidate has multiple degrees, including Master’s degrees. “They see that and say, `Oh my gosh, I have to have that,'” she said.

 Experts say they have seen a rise in highly-educated applicants at nanny agencies since the Great Recession. “When the economy went down, you saw a lot of educated people try to break into the industry because they thought, `I have a degree in business.’ Anybody can take care of kids. They found out really quickly that wasn’t the case because the agencies wouldn’t work with them without prior experience,” said Michelle LaRowe, editor-in-chief of Longhorn Leads, a Houston-based portfolio of sites that connects parents and caregivers. But college-educated applicants who babysat or nannied during school found their services in high demand.

Well, Modern Day Mary Poppins–what do you now cost?

Few statistics exist on nanny salaries, primarily because most of these workers – regardless of their level of education – are paid under the table. In an annual survey conducted by the International Nanny Association this year, nannies reported a median salary of $16 per hour. But experts say the highest paid nanny can make $100,000 or more annually, depending on location, education and references.

 Despite the hefty price tag, some families see a well-credentialed nanny as a wise investment — and even a way to save money on tutoring fees.

This Grandma does not know anyone paying those prices, but the cost of excellence is always high.  The college educated nannies should expect that the parents AND GRANDPARENTS of our grandchildren have high expectations of anyone in whom we trust the care of our precious ones. Yes, the parents of our grandchildren really need the nanny to replicate “old fashioned stay at home mother of the 1950’s.”  Potential nannies would be well served to watch some of those old situation comedies.  Probably, the parents of our grandchildren would have to watch those too or think back to when their grandmother took care of them when this Grandma worked.

We Boomer Grandmas work or have active independent lives.  If we could, we grandmas would be the perfect nanny too.  Aha. We grandmas want a college educated nanny who replicates us in the “loving and kind” role (okay, no spoiling our spoiling)!  Let’s participate in the training of the nanny so he or she will truly be perfect.

The bad economy may be a good benefit for the grandchildren who need nanny care now.






  1. Very well written up about Nanny and their activities! Truly I can’t say anything about them except well because their contribution is huge and it’s not an easy task to take care of child instead of parents. So I have read out this entire blog very attentively and wanna appreciate with this entire blog because whatever has been written up in here that’s all are very true as well. Heads up!

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