Finding someone you trust to take care of the most important person in your life, your child, can be an extremely nerve wrecking process. Besides, the anxiety felt from the separation from your child, you want to feel assured that they are happy, safe and being stimulated. Westside Nannies a premier boutique placement agency in Los Angeles & San Francisco specializes in offering the highest caliber of professionals for families.
Known for having the highest standards in the industry, Westside Nannies recognizes that nannies play an integral role in children’s lives and seeks those with a true passion for childcare, strong moral character and of course, charisma. Westside Nannies surpass the standard expectations of supervision, and are experienced in everything from developing age-appropriate activities for younger children to assisting school-aged children with homework and extracurricular activities. Additionally, the staff provides continuous support, placement counseling, and household mediation services free of charge. As a result, Westside Nannies has a proven track record of creating lasting and satisfying professional relationships.
Founder, Katie Vaughan, gave the inside scoop on popular secrets, stereotypes, and myths pertaining childcare and hiring a nanny:
What are the most popular myths and stereotypes that are connected with the title "Nanny"?
The most common stereotypes surrounding the nanny profession are that a nanny's job is easy, or that nannies tend to be uneducated women who don't have the ability to thrive in any other industry, therefore are left to find a job in the childcare industry. In fact, the role of a nanny is undoubtedly one of the most challenging positions out there. Not only does a nanny have the duty of taking care of other people's children, a tremendous responsibility in and of itself, but she/he has to be able to be completely adaptable, flexible, and 'go-with-the-flow" - there's no room for personal opinions and philosophies in this job!
As for as education goes, more and more parents are looking for four-year college degrees and even Master's degrees from the nannies they hire (usually in subjects such as Education and Psychology). We very rarely place nannies with no formal education past high school, (and if they do, they must make up for it in years of nanny experience).
Nanny Undercover: What you don't know revealed.
Many times, families forget that for their nanny/manny, the lines within their home are extremely blurred between professional and personal dynamics. From listening to our nannies, they often wish that they weren't as 'in-the-know' of a family's personal business, but understand it's just a part of working in a private home. Furthermore, many nannies give up their autonomy and personal lives in order to serve the families they work for (particularly live-in nannies), which can lead to a feeling of being burnt out or on edge.
From our experience, the best remedy for this always seems to be positive reaffirmation coming from the employer in order to remind the nanny that she is doing a great job, and that her flexibility is highly appreciated. Along with ongoing encouragement, it's also important that nannies aren't being used as mediators between separated or divorced parents - something we hear about on occasion. Nannies should remain neutral employees and kept outside of high drama or communication between ugly split–custody situations. She/he is there for the support of the children, not the emotional support of the parents.
Is it suggested/appropriate to change nannies as your child changes ages? Should a different nanny be watching my child when she/he is an infant verses when my child is older? Are some nannies better with helping out during the certain stages of childhood over the other?
While these decisions are often made on a case-by-case basis, we often find that families like to start with a highly experienced infant/toddler nanny who understands sleep-training, potty-training, introducing solid foods, has a foundation in Early Childhood Education, etc. As a child grows, a family's needs change, often by way of scheduling needs. Once a child goes off to preschool, many full-time 'baby' nannies get their hours slashed, and are ready to move onto a new family with an infant or young toddler. Similarly, some families find that while they adore their infant nanny, they need more of a 'family assistant' as their child grows and doesn't need as much hands-on care as they once did.
Founder Katie Vaughan has seen a dramatic change in the type of applicants for nanny positions. Vaughan explained, "30% of the nannies we're placing have teaching credentials and they've quickly become the most requested candidates as parents try to give their children the best advantage in life. Unlike the kids next door who have a tutor – our clients have a credentialed teacher for a nanny. The nannies are benefiting too-- private families often offer more stability, more opportunity and better salaries than the public and private school systems."
Applications from teachers have risen over 200% in the last year at Westside Nannies, a high-end nanny agency. Westside Nannies says that most of the teachers moving into the nanny world are between the ages of 25-35 with approximately 70% being in the 25–30 age group. Why the switch? The career they had hoped for in the public school system has been very disappointing – there isn't much room to grow, the leadership is not what they hoped for, the regulations, bureaucracy, and pressure to have their class perform well on the government regulated tests makes them feel like their jobs are always on the line. They know that when budget cuts come they'll be the ones getting the pink slip in the mil vs. older teachers with more tenure.
An interesting debate can be had regarding the current state of the education system as well as future work opportunities for recent graduates entering the work force. Public and private school system are losing young, bright, and passionate teachers while well off families are securing some of the most qualified private nannies.
For more information about Westside Nannies, refer to their website.