Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Carroll Gardens Nanny Poaching React-O-Matic

May 3rd, 2008 · 1 Comment

The Carroll Gardens Park Nanny Poaching Incident we posted about yesterday continues to reverberate in BoCoCa Parents email circles. There were many comments on our original post, of course, but there are also multiple emails with react. Most that we’ve seen point out that in a free market, nannies are pretty much free agents. Or not:

But would it be appropriate for an employer or headhunter to walk straight into their competitor’s office to lure their best employees while they are on the job? I don’t pretend to think that the childcare field is sheltered from market forces but I would like to believe that we live in a civilized and supportive community that respects the unique & important role that our nannies play in our lives. We have so much to worry about when we entrust someone to care for our children that it’s sad to realize that we also have to be concerned with losing them to our neighbor.

There’s also this response on the BoCoCa list that we found compelling:

What makes the whole story so strange to me is not that the nanny went to talk to the woman who solicited her at the park, but rather that she told her current employer after the fact. It seems like a move that is bound to cause contention. Unpacking the intent is just no good. If the nanny was telling the story as a sly ploy to get more money or more hours, then not only is it possibly not effective, it seems, to me at least, to be extremely emotionally manipulative. If she just doesn’t see how unsettling the story would be to her employer, one might question her judgment.

Childcare tends not to be a field with a lot of room for advancement, unfortunately, and I read something recently that claimed domestic workers’ wages have not risen significantly since 1992. That’s tough. It’s also totally understandable why a nanny would take up the offer to go to someone else’s home to discuss prospective employment. Blaming the woman who makes a competing job offer to one’s nanny is something like, to steal a previous poster’s simile, blaming the other woman if your husband cheats. I don’t think the two situations are even comparable, but that’s a different topic altogether…

Tags: Carroll Gardens

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Pre-k dad // May 3, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    touch my nanny I break-a your legs.