WHERE HAVE ALL THE AFTER-SCHOOL NANNIES GONE?
Nanny agencies around the country have been turning away requests from families for the traditional after-school nanny. What’s happened to the traditional college students?
This fall, Caring Nannies had nine After-School Nanny positions available. We were unable to place any of them! Nanny agencies around the country are no longer even accepting these requests. Where have all the traditional after school nannies gone? For the past 31 years we’ve been able to source students from ASU and the surrounding community colleges to fill these crucial positions typically from 2 to 6 pm. The nannies have their traditional classes in the mornings, drive to pick up the school-aged children, take them home for a snack, and then get started on homework. They transport them to appointments, dance, soccer or Karate practice with socks, tennis shoes, tights and mouth guards. These hardworking nannies throw in a load of laundry and prep dinner or at least get a salad ready or feed and bathe the kids. They’re typically paid $15 to $16 per hour and it’s worked out great. But now they’re just extinct. They don’t apply for these jobs. The truth is, they need full-time hours to meet rising costs of school, and they’re doing online classes so they can do it all. Or, according to Daryl Camarillo at Stanford Park Nannies in Menlo Park, they’re seeking positions that will compliment their resume or matche their career paths.
Caring Nannies has a few suggestions.
1. Keep your child in an after-school program and try to utilize Saturday sports and dance options.
2. Give an after-school nanny a higher wage, like $18-$20 per hour.
3. Give the nanny longer hours. Give her 30-35 hours per week and expand her duties. She may cook 2-3 family dinners per week. She can grocery shop, do family laundry, iron shirts, make travel plans, research summer camps, or do full housekeeping. Over the course of a week, she can focus on 1-2 areas of the home per day and clean the entire house within a five day stretch.
4. Another suggestion from Daryl is to be satisfied with semester-long placements, as college students change classes, since students change teachers sometimes each semester. You can have the outgoing nanny help hire and train the new one.
5. By the age of 12, many families allow a child to stay home alone. Clinical psychologist Angela Bowers feels that children ages 10 and over have the ability to stay home for a couple of hours occasionally, but that it shouldn’t be overdone, since they can begin to feel lonely and isolated. Determining factors are how responsible they are, who their friends are, and if they know how to handle emergency situations.
It’s frustrating, we know. Spring is right around the corner and our recruiting staff is walking the campuses at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers college in Northwest Phoenix, Grand Canyon University, Paradise Valley Community College, Scottsdale Community College, Mesa Community College and ASU main in Tempe, talking to career services, posting on job boards and still not getting quality experienced applicants. We want to help in any way we can. I hope some of these suggestions help if you’re searching for after-school help after the holidays.