While a great deal of attention is understandably focused on the challenges of American families to find and afford quality child care, we seldom discuss the very child care providers upon whom families depend and how the economics of care impact them as well. Today, Care.com (NYSE: CRCM, www.care.com), the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, released the findings from its first ever Babysitter and Nanny Survey, conducted to better understand the day-to-day reality for in-home child care workers and the impact we will all potentially face if we cannot retain and attract more caregivers to this critically important work. The survey asked babysitters and nannies about their skills, wages, and career paths, and dug into Care.com member data to determine the most opportunistic states to be a babysitter or nanny.
BEST STATES TO BE A BABYSITTER OR NANNY
To determine the states where babysitters and nannies have the most opportunity to find jobs offering higher-than-average wages, a state ranking was calculated by comparing a proprietary database of child care jobs posted on Care.com with the average hourly rate advertised for child care workers on the site from June 2018 to May 2019:
CARE.COM 2019 BABYSITTER AND NANNY SURVEY INSIGHTS
How Many Families Do They Work For?
Babysitters and nannies often work for multiple jobs and for multiple families in a given year. A full 70% reported they have worked for more than one family in the past year, 46% worked for at least three families, and almost 1 in 5 (19%) worked for five families or more.
How Much Education and Training are They Bringing to the Job?
The survey found that 70% of babysitters and nannies identify themselves as having earned at least a high-school diploma and more than 50% say they’ve earned a college degree. When it comes to safety training, 61% identify as being certified in CPR and/or First-Aid and 80% said they are willing to gain additional education and training if it meant they would earn a higher wage as a caregiver. Families on Care.com have historically displayed a willingness to pay for additional education and certification. In the 2017 Care.com Babysitter Survey, 66% of parents surveyed said they would pay more for a babysitter or nanny with extra skills, education or training.
What Brings Them into the Profession?
To no surprise, babysitters and nannies enter child care because of the gratification and fulfillment it provides. The top reasons they pursue a care career is because they love working with children (87%), enjoy helping families (62%), and find the work meaningful and rewarding (53%).
What Pushes Them Out of the Profession?
While passion brings child caregivers into the profession, practicality is pushing many out. Forty percent reported they have considered leaving, with 69% saying they need to increase income and 39% challenged by the lack of professional benefits.
Not surprisingly, 86% of babysitters and nannies believe they deserve benefits provided to most workers, including overtime, sick leave, and paid time off. But when asked who should be providing those benefits, respondents are uncertain: 33% say the family they work for should pay; 31% say they don’t know where these benefits should come from; and 27% say the government should provide benefits. With families facing a severe shortage of slots in licensed child care facilities, there’s growing demand for in-home care. But lingering questions about wages and benefits threaten the stability of this workforce.
How Dependent Are They on Their Wages?
More than half of the child care providers surveyed (53%) say they have additional sources of income. And although many don’t consider their caregiving wages their primary source of income, more than two thirds (67%) still depend on those wages to make ends meet.
For six years, Care.com has studied the rising cost of child care in the annual Cost of Care Survey, in which families admit to spending less, saving less, working less and having fewer kids as they struggle to find and afford reliable child care. At the same time, there is a significant impact of America’s care crisis on the nannies, babysitters and child care providers so many families depend on.
“This survey helps illuminate the dilemma that many caregivers face when having to choose between doing the care work they love and supporting their own families,” says Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder, Chairwoman, and CEO of Care.com. “Our economy depends on these caregivers and we need to figure out how to attract more to the field, either through training, education, portable benefits and better wages for nannies and babysitters. It’s an investment in vital human infrastructure that will help us emerge from our current child care crisis.”
Are They Aware of the Shortage in their Profession?
The babysitters and nannies surveyed were unaware of the declining number of workers in their industry. Two in 3 survey respondents said they didn’t know about America’s child care shortage, and when asked what would help attract more workers to the industry, the most common answers were benefits and higher pay.
About the Care.com 2019 Babysitter and Nanny Data
The Babysitter and Nanny Survey is a survey to measure the skills, wages, and career paths of a historically undervalued and underappreciated caregiving workforce. The Care.com 2019 Babysitter and Nanny Survey captured responses from more than 4,200 child care providers in the United States during the month of May 2019. Respondents were recruited from Care.com’s platform.
State rankings for the top states to be a babysitter or nanny were calculated by comparing a proprietary database of child care jobs posted on Care.com with the average hourly rate for child care workers on the site from June 2018 to May 2019.
Since launching in 2007, Care.com (NYSE: CRCM) has been committed to solving the complex care challenges that impact families, caregivers, employers, and care service companies. Today, Care.com is the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with 19.8 million families and 14.3 million caregivers* across more than 20 countries, including the U.S., UK, Canada and parts of Western Europe, and approximately 1.7 million employees of corporate clients having access to our services. Spanning child care to senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more, Care.com provides a sweeping array of services for families and caregivers to find, manage and pay for care or find employment. These include: a comprehensive suite of safety tools and resources members may use to help make more informed hiring decisions – such as third-party background check services, monitored messaging, and tips on hiring best practices; easy ways for caregivers to be paid online or via mobile app; and Care.com Benefits, including the household payroll and tax services provided by Care.com HomePay and the Care Benefit Bucks program, a peer-to-peer pooled, portable benefits platform funded by household employer contributions which provides caregivers access to professional benefits. For enterprise clients, Care.com builds customized benefits packages covering child care, back up care and senior care consulting services through its Care@Work business, and serves care businesses with marketing and recruiting support. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Care.com has offices in Berlin, Austin and the San Francisco Bay area.
*As of June 2019