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Rosy Times for Nannies

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If you're of the Mary Poppins type, it is a good time for business.

babysitter with mother

Ronda Kaysen: SitterCity.com, every mom's go-to website for babysitting, has a new notch in its belt: it's also the latest economic indicator. The website, the largest of its kind in the country, reported a 128 percent increase in job postings in the last quarter of 2009 over its first quarter postings. And a survey found that two-thirds of the recent postings were by newly employed people on the hunt for a sitter. What do all these numbers mean? More moms are finding jobs -- and if you're a nanny looking for a job, you're in good shape.

"It's a very good time to be a caregiver," Genevieve Thiers, founder of SitterCity, told momlogic. More than 9,700 new jobs were posted in December alone. It's not uncommon to see a spike in jobs for caregivers during a recession, since people tend to scale back on professional childcare during rosier times when they can afford to stay home with their kids. "Caregiving is a necessity, not a luxury," said Thiers.

Thiers thinks the 128 percent increase is only half the story, since about 50 percent of SitterCity users find their babysitters by scouring the online resumes posted by job seekers.

Whether this means the economy is improving overall is hard to say. It could actually be a sign of just how bad the economy actually is. As more families feel the crunch, more moms reenter the workforce or take on second jobs to keep afloat.

Take a look at job postings and you'll see signs of the times. Nannies now offer tutoring or housecleaning services along with babysitting. And more families are seeking nanny shares to save money. "They're getting creative," Thiers said.



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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Fiona  January 8, 2010, 10:33 AM

You clearly misunderstand the difference between a nanny and a sitter.

The confusion would enrage qualified nannies.

Sitter is a low paying, low qualified caregiver. Nannies work their butts off, make decent wages, make benefits… Do you see that on sittercity?

No, it’s a good time for low paid sitters and parents are taking advantage of the economic recession to pay less for childcare workers be it sitter, nanny, governess….

Deborah January 8, 2010, 12:03 PM

Unfortunately, sittercity allows parents to post offering less than the legal hourly minimum wage for full time positions. No one can support themselves on $5 per hour (or $200 per week for 40 hours of work), and suggesting that an abundance of $5 per hour jobs indicate an economic boom for childcare providers is kind of foolish.

In addition, please don’t use “nanny” and “babysitter” as interchangeable terms. A nanny is generally an educated or experienced person who provides full day care to her charges that supports their physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development. A babysitter offers sporadic care to children and does her best to keep them safe until their parents come home. Not exactly the same thing.

Nanny Kate January 8, 2010, 1:28 PM

The first sentence says it all. These families are hiring sitters not nannies. Moms reentering the work force to “stay afloat” cannot afford to hire nannies. Paying $5 or $6 an hour will not get you an educated, dedicated, professional nanny

Suzanne @ Sittercity  January 14, 2010, 2:28 PM

Please know that Sittercity.com posts jobs for both babysitters and nannies in accordance to what an individual family requires. The 128 percent increase in job postings on Sittercity.com includes all the care types available on the site: babysitters, nannies, pet sitters, senior care providers and tutors; however the majority of job postings on Sittercity.com are for babysitters and nannies. Also, the average national hourly rate for babysitting jobs posted on Sittercity.com ranges from $10-$13, higher than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. Nannies are often full-time, salaried positions and Sittercity.com also posts these types of jobs on our site.

-The Sittercity.com team

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