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Nannies are now making 6 figures and we’re here for it

June 28, 2019

Nannies are often highly educated, well-trained and work a hectic schedule that can require them to be on the clock during odd hours, living in someone else’s home, or even traveling around the world with the kids in their care. Yet, despite all of this, nannies aren’t who comes to mind when most people think of high paying careers — or, at least they weren’t … until now. More nannies are working six-figure jobs, and they’re changing the way people think about the value of child care.

CNN Business reports that nannies in places like New York City, Los Angeles and other major metropolitan areas are making anywhere from $150,000 to $180,000 and that some nannies working in the Bay Area in California are making up to $220,000 per year.

What does it take to be a 6-figure nanny?

In order to command a great salary, CNN reports, these nannies have to be at the top of their games. Experts tell CNN the families who are hiring six-figure nannies are looking for caregivers trained in newborn care, education, technology and who speak multiple languages. These families want nannies who can develop preschool curriculums, teach children how to code and do it all while incorporating languages like French, Mandarin and Spanish. In many cases, six-figure nannies also live with the families they work for, or they are required to travel with the family full time.

Families also want nannies who can act as “family assistants,” taking care of errands, like meal planning and grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, handling vet visits and pediatrician appointments and helping to manage other household workers.

Why 6-figure nannies are a good thing

Obviously, the families who can afford to pay the nanny a six-figure salary are wealthy themselves. That’s not the reality for most families in the US. In fact, the Care.com 2018 Cost of Care Survey showed that, for infant care, the average American family is spending about $211 per week for a day-care center, $195 per week for a family care center and $580 per week for a nanny — nowhere near six-figures. And, for about a third of American families, child care costs eat up 20% of their household income.

Still, the trend of six-figure nannies is an important one because it legitimizes child care work in a new way. And that helps legitimize the work at every level. The fact of the matter is that locking in child care is a major burden for a lot of families, either due to cost or the lack of availability of quality providers. Six-figure nannies prove to existing caregivers and potential new ones that there is value in the work they do and in continuing to grow their professional skills. They also help demonstrate the very real need for more kids to have access to high-quality child care.

Our society tends to undervalue the importance of kids getting great care and the necessity of amazing child care workers who are well-trained and well-compensated. While hiring a six-figure nanny is never going to be feasible for most parents, caregiving is a role that can command more. Hopefully the trend of higher paid nannies and caregivers can help create a shift in the industry that earns these workers more respect and helps more lawmakers see the value of exceptional care for every child and the need to work toward giving more families access to it.

Read next: My life as a summer nanny for the super-rich

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