Demand for nannies surges as kids head back to school

Posted at 2:20 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 19:33:48-04

It's no secret that COVID-19 has dealt a major blow to daycares across the country; some of them still closed. And now, with so many people working from home and many kids learning remotely, the need for nannies is surging.

“From the beginning of the pandemic until now about 75-80 percent," said Michelle Daboul of the growing demand.

She co-owns Top Childcare Concierge in the Detroit area along with her sister, Janel.

The two are noticing more and more that families are looking for nannies with an education background, to help their kids navigate online learning.

“They need help during the school year. They want to make sure they have a secured plan ready and that someone is available and is willing to stay with them long-term," Janel said.

Families are also increasingly looking to hire live-in nannies, and nannies who they feel take the coronavirus seriously, said Susan McCloskey, president of NannyPoppinz, a national staffing agency that serves families in the Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Lansing areas.

“A nanny who had asthma is now moving to the top of the heap," she said.

While it's illegal to ask certain personal questions during a job interview, McCloskey said more and more families are asking her for nannies who are older, more experienced, or even for nannies who may live with someone who is immuno-compromised, qualifiers that for them indicate a lesser risk of the nanny exposing their family.

But this is also where things get tricky.

“You cannot ask people if they are married when you are hiring. That is an illegal question. You cannot ask them if they have children. But now, in the time of COVID, those are incredibly relevant issues," McCloskey said.

McCloskey told Action News one of her families in Florida needed a new nanny because their previous one from another agency, was exposed to COVID-19 and later infected their baby. And while that's not common, she said it's leading to heightened concern over safety for many families.

And as nannies take on more responsibilities, many families are willing to pay higher rates.

“Families are willing to work things out, especially during this time frame period, because they do need help," Michelle said.

“The money that a family pays a nanny should be linked directly to the job duties. So as those go up the salary should go up," McCloskey told Action News.