At Sittercity, we’ve been taking the past few days to listen to and support the Black voices of our child care community. Learning from their experiences, we’re working on how we can be more proactive in combating racism and discrimination in the child care industry. We invite you to listen and learn along with us so that you too can take action to make a change for the better.
Nanny Stephanie Bauchum of Nanny Tees, a custom apparel and merchandise company for nannies, mannies, and home staff, hosted a live event on Facebook called, ‘Nannying While Black.’ We tuned in to listen to the stories and thoughts of 9 Black nanny professionals. With their permission, we’d love to share with you some of our big takeaways and encourage you to watch the recorded version yourself.
1. Vetting The Family Is Critical Before Accepting A Job
Just as parents are discerning with who they hire to care for their kids, Black nannies have to make sure that their work environment (aka your home) is safe for them when it comes to racism and physical safety.
2. Black Caregivers Need Support From The Entire Family
Racism can surface in many different ways. When every member of the family is looking out for it, your Black nanny can feel better supported by her employer (you).
3. Don’t Expect Your Black Nanny To Educate Your Kids About Race
Racism education is parenting work, not caregiving work. Things may come up while your kids are in their care, but when you’ve done the foundational work they can help to reinforce what you’ve taught them—just like many other tough subjects when they come up.
4. The History of Nannying In America is Complex—Honor That
Nannying in America used to be slave labor. It’s important for families and sitters to understand the history of the profession but also recognize it’s an essential and beautiful profession that deserves to be elevated. Black nannies today are passionate about what they do and are proud to be redeeming that work.
5. Nannies Provide A Luxury Service. Pay Them Appropriately.
Having another experienced adult spend individualized and quality time with your child is not a simple job. Nannies should be paid what they’re worth.
6. Black Nannies Continue To Be Unjustly Profiled
So many Black nannies have been approached by police when out with the white kids in their care. They’re always certain to have their ID and a signed letter from the parent saying that they are the caregiver of the kids.
Listening to these voices are so important to learning and taking action to make the child care industry an anti-racist environment. We’re so thankful for leaders, like Stephanie, leading these conversations and look forward to continuing to amplify them.