The Surprising Summer Gig Everyone Envies
Don't feel sorry for what you believe to be the poor, beleaguered nanny, stuck inside tending kids all summer long, without any school to relieve them. June through August can be the hottest months of all for child-care givers, both literally and figuratively. In fact, a recent survey showed that a majority of working parents (69 percent) report feeling envious of their nannies.
"I am not at all surprised by the findings," said Wendy Sachs, editor in chief of Care.com. "When my nanny texts me that she's at the pool with my kids eating ice cream and I am at work, I've felt envious. You want your nanny to be enthusiastic about playing outdoors and going to the pool, but parents want to be there, too. After all, it's summer."
But it's not all fun and games for the nannies. The national survey, commissioned by Care.com, a prominent child-care provider, found that the majority of parents (53 percent) require more child care during the summer months than during the rest of the year. And parents expect more from their nannies and babysitters. In fact, 66 percent of parents have higher expectations of their summer caregivers, expecting them to arrange for more outdoor activities and be actively engaged in field trips and play.
"Parents want their nannies and babysitters to be outside, playing in the park, going to the zoo, and planning more," continued Sachs. "With school out, there are more hours to fill, and the expectations are greater."
But there is some relief for the busy nanny or babysitter. More than half (52 percent) of all working parents plan to use multiple care options -- including educational and outdoor programs -- to round out summer child care. And even though a quarter (25 percent) of parents choose to hire a nanny or sitter exclusively for the summer, almost half (47 percent) of working parents alter their work schedules to accommodate their children's summer schedules.
"It's the summer struggle -- parents cobbling together a smorgasbord of activities and camps for their kids that begin and start at various times and change frequently throughout the summer. For working parents, the summer schedule can be particularly challenging," concluded Sachs. She says parents look for all sorts of child-care options during the summer, "from finding a college student to creating a co-op program with friends. Child-care givers should be resourceful and, above all, flexible."
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.