Thursday, August 25, 2005



Blogger SuperAmanda said...

Elliot, who surely must be one of the all time greatest kids-though all the kids I watch are! This little guy is so easy comical AND very caring and is instantly everybody's friend. His parents are awesome and he has a great older sister who always looks out for him.
Anyway, he picked up a guitar that was missing a string when I was with him last month and started singing this new song he made up:
"You in the outside world
Who chooses to live the cowboy life
It's not easy-if you're not a man about it"

It was so profound!!!His dad and i were like 'holy crap!'

I remember my mom letting me have this empty book that I filled with little pictures and my own hippie poems, all kids need that freedom to create.
Elliot and I are also really getting into Marvel Comics and we love 'The Thing.' A great way to get the new Burger King kids meal toys of the Fantastic Four is to buy the kids meal keep the toy , eat three of four fries and give the rest to a homeless person.

8:14 PM  
Blogger SuperAmanda said...

Professional childcare givers choose to work with children because they have a calling, a deep desire to give to children. Their work requires a great deal of patience, understanding, and respect for children. Even though their work is demanding, they choose childcare because they love being with children.

Caregivers know how important it is to develop a deep and trusting bond with children. Development psychologist Thomas Lickona, Ph.D., an expert on character education, considers attachment a critical step in moral development. Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan, Ph.D. says, “The attachment infants and young children develop with caregivers provides the basis for all emotional development
and, consequently, all future learning”.

Psychologist Burton White, Ph. D., who has spent 40 years studying the needs of children says, “ What happens during a child’s first three years of life makes a unique and powerful contribution to the basic makeup of each new person.” She further states that “Studies confirm that children need consistent relationships with one or few caregivers who are sensitive and demonstrate great interest in them.” Therefore, bonding with a caregiver is vital to a child’s emotional health.

Unfortunately, many nannies go from job to job, and the children must bond with three, four, sometimes five nannies over the course of a few years. But how can a child who keeps loosing their nanny feel safe to attach to yet another caregiver?

Maybe a more effective question is why do the nannies keep leaving their jobs? A newly released study from the Center for the Childcare Workforce shows that early childcare educators are leaving the field at an alarming pace – about one-third quit their jobs every year. “That will continue to be the case as long as we pay caregivers poverty wages,” says Faith Wohl, president of the Child Care Action Campaign. The average national salary for childcare providers is $14,000, she says. “We are not giving childcare workers the respect they need and deserve, considering the important role they play in our children’s lives.”

The lack of respect a nanny feels is partly due to the low wage she is paid. But, nannies know about this when they accept a childcare position. What they don’t know or expect are other unfair and disrespectful labor practices.

Many employers talk about a contract during the job interview but don’t present one at the time of hiring. Over time they “forget” about it. Nannies who don’t have a signed contract live with the constant fear of being let go without notice or severance pay. This insecurity makes nannies resistant to speaking out against unfair practices or unreasonable requests.

In most cases there are no built in bonuses or pay raises for nannies while most employers have them in their jobs. The irony is while the nanny doesn’t receive bonuses or regular pay raises she overhears her employers talking about their stocks, their 401k plan, their bonuses, and the pay increases they have received in their jobs. Often nannies who ask for a raise are told that the family cannot afford to pay any more. It becomes difficult for nannies to live with this answer when they see the employers making constant upgrades in their living style by buying a bigger home, a bigger vehicle, better furniture, memberships to health clubs, or increased hired help around the home. This practice feels unfair and disrespectful and can build resentments toward the employers, which is difficult if not impossible to keep from children.

Most nannies do not have an outlined or written “job description.” Without a job description, a nanny’s responsibilities grow. Over time the nanny is asked to do more household duties, like care for pets, let in repair people, drive the employer to appointments, etc. Eventually those extra jobs (without extra pay) become part of the nanny’s daily routine. While the nanny is taking care of many other jobs the quality of childcare goes down because she is unable to give her undivided attention to the children. Without a job description the job becomes too much.

The inequity of benefits the nanny receives compared to the employer is another problem. Most nannies don’t receive the same amount of paid vacations or holidays that the families receive from their jobs. If the family doesn’t leave town during their vacation, the nanny is often required to work while the employers entertain friends and family. If the family does go out of town to vacation and they have pets, the nanny has to care for their pets or lose pay. The nannies even have to work on some of the holidays while their employers have paid days off. These practices are more than unfair; they are insulting.

Another disrespectful behavior that nannies experience is the employer failing to give them their paycheck at the end of the week. Employers will explain that they don't have the checkbook or they haven’t had a chance to tally up the hours. Sometimes they say that they haven’t deposited their check yet and they request the nanny not to cash the check until Monday. Many nannies say they don’t receive their vacation pay until after they return from vacation. It isn’t easy for a low wage earner to insist she be paid without fear of losing her job.

Nannies feel resentful when their employers continually arrive home late. Few nannies receive time and a half for overtime (after 10-12 hrs) even though they are forced to work late when the parents arrive home late. It is especially difficult to accept this behavior when the employers own a business or have flexible work hours. Working with children all day is demanding; nannies get tired and want to go home on time. They have families who depend on them and miss them too.

Childcare licensing makes it clear that sick children are not allowed to attend childcare. They enforce that law to reduce the spread of germs. However, this law does not apply to families who hire caregivers in their home. As a result, nannies get sick more often because they are caring for children during contagious times with high fevers, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most nannies get little to no sick pay or personal need days for doctor appointments or other health care needs. The problem with this arrangement is that when the nanny’s children are ill the nanny isn’t able stay home to care for her children without loosing pay.

Nannies leave their jobs for many reasons but unfair and disrespectful labor practices are the major causes. Nannies often complain that they feel unappreciated and taken for granted. Over time their job dissatisfaction leads to job burnout.

3:30 AM  
Blogger jennconspiracy said...

I know I could never be a nanny!

Btw, I recognize those cats! MEOW!

12:03 AM  

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