Interviewing nannies and…

Interviewing nannies and babysitters. I'm having a bit of a tough time here -- we can get a 20-yr-old babysitter for $10, but experienced nannies seem to charge more like $15. Which is totally reasonable, and I want to pay a fair living wage for this kind of work, but I can't help doing the calculation that says we can afford two days/week at $15/hr, but we could afford *three* days a week at $10/hr. Would we be compromising Kavi's care if we left her with a college student?

The nanny I interviewed today, Melissa, has three children of her own, her family owns a day care (where her husband watches their children, including her nine-month-old), she has a ton of experience and references and seems really comfortable with both Kavi and Ellie. She says she likes being out, and is interested in taking long walks with them both when the weather isn't too freezing, which is a huge plus, since Ellie's so bored and stir-crazy. She spent lots of time petting and playing with Ellie during the interview, while holding Kavi, which is harder than it sounds.

In other words, she seems great, very calm and comfortable and cheerful. Should I even bother interviewing the two college students I found through care.com? Will I feel like I'm just being cheap? If I hire one of them, will I spend the whole time they're watching Kavi worrying that I should have gotten someone more experienced? Argh. This is all very confusing.

I want Mya to move to Chicago! (Not that we could afford to give her full-time work, or even pay her what she's worth part-time...sigh...)

5 thoughts on “Interviewing nannies and…”

  1. … oh, yeah, I’ve got to go call some people about babysitting. Thanks for the reminder! Obviously, I can offer no answers but plenty of sympathy.

  2. …I guess there’s no reason to be private about this, although for some reason it seems that way. Basically, we’re not quite yet at the point where we can use Mya effectively. What N has figured out she needs is a couple of hours of extra-hands help at least two days a week, which isn’t enough at a time to ask Mya to make the long drive. On the flip side, for us to revel in the delight of a whole 4-to-8 hours of Mya, we need to get the whole pumping process working more smoothly than it is now. Rest assured, though, we haven’t forgotten!

    We’ve got some ideas. A friend has offered to coordinate posting and initial interviews for us, which I didn’t realize until she offered was the single most supportive thing someone could do for us right now.

  3. Makes sense, on all fronts! Good luck with it!

    If you’re basically looking for a mothers’ helper at this point, that’s considered at the bottom of the pay scale, for what it’s worth — it’s a position often filled by babysitters who are just starting out. Not that you couldn’t get someone more experienced too, if you wanted, but in some ways, I’m finding it’s easier to have a young person in your home; it becomes more of a big-sibling relationship, rather than a co-parental one, if that makes any sense.

  4. It sounds like the extra $5/hour Melissa would cost would buy you a great deal in terms of peace of mind. That makes it cheap! I would advise finding that saving that $5 elsewhere in your budget so you can spend it here. Practically speaking, it’s a better investment: you will feel more confident about the level of care that your daughter will received, and that will only help you make better use of that time for your own projects, i.e. less worrying, more focus.

    That said, I would also still interview the students. Who knows when you might need a backup?

    Good luck!

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