Forget becoming a banker or influencer if you’re seeking a large income – the current demand for nannies is so high that wealthy families are trying to lure staff with vast pay rises, all-expenses paid holidays and luxury cars.
Thanks to a supply crunch, spike in demand during the pandemic and cost of living crisis, rich families are desperate to secure childcare.
Offering extra perks is becoming more common, according to Kirsty Wild, nanny employment specialist at Nannytax.
“More luxurious perks include rent-free accommodation and travel opportunities, while some nannies are offered use of their employer’s second homes for holidays.
“One nanny we spoke too had just had the opportunity to work in Barcelona for a month, another got to drive a Porsche and a Tesla, while another had use of the family’s chef and chauffeur.
“Nannies have been gifted paid-for luxury holidays, iPhones, Apple watches, and spa treatments.” she says.
Meanwhile the most valuable perks are the most overlooked, Kirsty adds. She tells the Mirror: “Perhaps the most valuable perks are the most overlooked.
“Many nannies would love more paid time off and guaranteed pay for a set number of hours per week – meaning their salaries wouldn’t drop when their families are away on holiday.
“And many would like to be able to choose when they take annual leave, as most nannies have to take their holiday days when their employers are away. A good compromise is for the nanny to choose half, and the family to choose half.
“Then there’s professional development. Offering your nanny a training fund and a set number of days per year that can be used for training will benefit your children, as well as your nanny’s career.”
Demand for childcare continues to soar with many parents being left “in a real mess” as thousands of providers close.
Oftsed reports that the number of childcare providers in England dropped by about 4,000 between March 2021 and March this year, the largest decline since 2016.
Campaign Group Pregnant Then Screwed told Sky News it had been “inundated” with messages from parents struggling to find a solution.
Kirsty says many of these issues have impacted the private industry too – as did the pandemic.
“There are several reasons,” she adds. “Demand first went up at the start of the pandemic when nurseries closed, as nannies were the only childcare providers permitted to continue working during the first lockdown.
“Even as restrictions eased, some families felt safer using nannies rather than sending their children to nurseries or childminders where the risk of exposure to coronavirus was higher.
“The pandemic also saw a huge exodus of families from urban to rural areas, where childcare provision can be a lot patchier. Those families may have no other option than to hire a nanny.
“Even in built up areas, nurseries are closing at an alarming rate – as reported by the BBC this week – and families are starting to wise up to the fact that hiring a nanny might not be so much more expensive, particularly for those with more than one child and for those willing to do a ‘nanny share’ with another family.
” Brexit has also been a huge factor in strangling the supply of nannies and au pairs from the EU, with new visa laws that can make it impossible for childcare providers to work here.”
The current demand means nnannies had a 13% annual increase in pay over the last year and the average salary is now £32,552. In London, nannies’ salaries rose by 8 per cent and are now pushing £40K per annum.
Kirsty adds: “While there’s a shortage of nannies, demand will remain high and salaries will continue to rise. That’s why we’re hearing about nannies being poached at the school gates.
“Yet despite this, our recent survey found that more than four in 10 nannies were considering a change in career – with a desire for higher pay being the top reason.
“In this context, I wouldn’t be surprised if nanny salaries continue to rise dramatically.
“Nanny employers should also be thinking about retention strategies, considering our survey found that 26% of nannies had not received any additional perks or rewards on top of their pay in the past year and only 3% had been offered training opportunities.
“Offering bonuses or a training budget could be good ways to ensure in-demand nannies feel valued and appreciated.”