Nannies provide essential services to the families that employ them, and while some are cherished, others are ill-treated. Janel Moses has heard their stories.
“I’ll get you fired!” I once heard a nine-year-old tell her nanny, who was working to feed children of her own. As a teacher and small business owner, I have interacted with thousands of parents, children, and their caregivers. I am often privy to dynamics that play out behind closed doors.
A decade of discreet dialogues and confidential confessions suggests there are nannies who should not work with children and there are families who should not employ nannies.
Nannies have called me sobbing, unable to buy groceries or pay rent because their employers have forgotten to pay them. It is humiliating to ask for compensation owed, particularly when a family’s record-keeping is sloppy; errors reduce wages. “Didn’t we already pay you?” Families have asked.
Nannies often absorb losses when their employers enjoy vacations and they are not paid. Caregivers lose compensation and employment due to illness and workplace injury.