Why Don’t We ‘See’ Nannies? Care by Nanny – The Invisible Professional in the Childcare Industry

Care by Nanny – The Invisible Professional in the Childcare Industry

Every year, Federal and State government agencies allocate millions of taxpayer dollars to support and improve quality of care provided by preschool teachers and family daycare providers - and rightfully so!  For the last three decades, research has shown that the very early years in a child’s life are the foundations for later success in creating healthy relationships and academic learning.   Among this cohort of early childhood educators are Nannies.  We see them increasingly in our neighborhoods, parks, playgrounds, libraries and ‘mommy-and-me’ classes with their ‘charges’. Like their colleagues in preschool and family daycare settings, parents assign their Nanny with a most important and essential task:  to create a relationship with their child to ensure healthy development for the long term.    

And yet, Nannies remain an invisible and marginalized segment of the early childhood workforce.  Unlike those caring for our very young children in preschools and family daycare homes across our nation, the Federal government fails to recognize Nannies, abdicating its’ responsibility to ensure that Nannies are licensed and regulated.  It is a shameful and frightening reality that anyone can say they want to work as a Nanny.  There is no government agency ensuring that they have a clean criminal background check or minimal health and safety certifications.  To further keep Nannies marginalized, there exists no credentialing program to professionalize Nannies, ensuring they have met the academic and best-practice standards of their industry. 

As a society, we must ask ourselves:  Why do we choose to keep Nannies invisible and marginalized?

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