child in ghost costume

Dear DNB,

Why are nannies so hard to hire these days? Any time we find one we like, they ghost us after the interview. We’re nice people! 

Our old nanny used to watch our kids, grocery shop, cook simple meals, do our family’s laundry, run local errands, handle our returns, drive the kids to their activities, vacuum, change the sheets weekly, and wipe down surfaces/bathrooms, which is the same stuff we’re asking for now. We’re offering $20/hour, which is more than I made out of college. What are we doing wrong?!



Dear Ghosted,

You asked us for advice, so we’re going to give it to you. 

Your nanny is not a housekeeper and $20/hour isn’t enough. They’re not ghosting you — they’re running from your misguided expectations. 

A nanny is there to take care of your children. Period. They’re not there to do your laundry, your dishes, or your vacuuming. They shouldn’t be walking dogs, ironing shirts, or changing sheets.

If there’s downtime and your nanny has had a moment to rest, they may wash, fold, and put away your children’s laundry, pick up toys, and sweep up any crumbs left behind from lunch. For that, the rate starts at $25/hour. It goes up if you have multiple children. (Yes, even if your older kids are in school and the nanny is only responsible for one child most of the day. Big kids come home from school. They get sick. And it’s never really just one child’s laundry, meals, messes, homework, or drop-off/pick-up schedule at the end of the day.)

We tell you this with love and empathy. We know childcare is expensive. We don’t like coming home to the mess we left, either. But again, a nanny is not a housekeeper. She just works in your house.

Here’s a handy chart explaining the difference between a nanny, a house manager, and a housekeeper:

Again, no disrespect. We all had to learn this stuff for the first time at some point. Hope this helps you land the nanny of your dreams! 


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