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Should We Really Care if Nannies Are Replacing Rich Parents?


Any time a nanny is mentioned, especially nannies working for wealthy parents, non-wealthy and non-nanny-having parents end up getting riled up about rich parents not actually being parents and so forth. Nannies have been filling in for parents at bake sales and school functions for as long as nannies were invented. Yet, many of us feel as though rich parents are once again taking advantage of being rich and somehow shirking parental responsibility.

The nanny debate was brought to light recently in a New York Post article titled “Poor li’l rich kids:  Posh schools scold parents who send nannies”.  Apparently, wealthy New Yorkers are sending their children to private schools, but instead of participating in the school activities, they’re sending nannies to book clubs and bake sales.  Schools such as Marymount and Buckley, are getting a bit irritated and warned parents that they had a duty to participate in “safety patrol”, for example. Even going as far as requiring that parents attend and not send a caregiver or housekeeper in their place.

Nanny or aupair

As one parent mentions however, she pays the school $40,000 a year and doesn’t really have time to participate in “menial duties”.  “These schools are exorbitantly expensive, they hit you up for school fees, donations, and then they want your time?” she huffed. “I have three kids at three different schools. If I can send my nanny, I’m happy to do it.”

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Former Dana Haddad, former admissions director of Horace Mann says he actually prefers that nannies attend admissions interviews instead of parents because kids perform better. Other faculty members mentioned that sometimes the parents are so high-maintenance, they would rather the nanny attend anyway.

According to recent PayScale data, nannies and aupairs may earn anywhere from $15,000 to $37,000 per year. It is likely that the nannies for the wealthy parents mentioned, earn more. And since sending a nanny in place of a real parent has been common practice for years, is this really an issue? Nannies are not typically considered in the same career fields as regular babysitters. It is quite possible then, that the duties of a nanny are a bit more complicated, as well.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! Are wealthy parents neglecting their parental responsibilities by sending nannies in their place? Or is this just another benefit of being wealthy? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments!

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(Photo Credit: By Sharon Mollerus/

Christina Majaski
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