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After a two year stint as a stay at home/MBA mom while my husband attended graduate school, I recently decided to re-enter the corporate workforce. I accepted a challenging role that allows me to build off my past employment experiences while embarking upon an exciting new career. I’m feeling it. My husband also works full-time and has begun his post-MBA career. We’re both ambitious and driven people with demanding careers.

Managing our lives around our jobs has been a challenge off and on throughout our marriage but now that we’ve got two kids it’s mayhem. Our daughter attends a preschool in the suburb we currently live in while our son attends a school in the city we’re about to move to. Both schools are incredible and offer after-school care that we trust but with our schedules, it still doesn’t give us enough of a buffer zone if we have to work late, attend a company dinner, entertain visiting colleagues, or meet up in the city for a weeknight date night.

We decided to hire a nanny to pick up the kids from school, get them situated at home, feed them a snack, hang out, and wait for one of us to get home. We realize it’s a luxury. Yes, I’m hiring a nanny so I can work more if I want to, not have to negotiate with my husband over whose schedule is the priority at the moment, or to reduce stress if my husband is away on a business trip or vice versa. I have no shame about any of it.

Each woman we’ve interviewed is a recent college graduate. According to a recent article we aren’t alone. Nannies with degrees are in demand. My sister was a well-educated and exceptional nanny. I know well what the worth of a quality nanny is. We’re willing to compensate accordingly like many other families but a college degree is not a requirement for me.

My Nana didn’t have a college degree and please believe if I found a little old lady who reminded me of my Nana (and made Dominican beans like she did) I’d scoop her up immediately. My husband disagrees. Both of our children are enrolled in specialized schools, we place a high value on their educations outside of the home but inside as well. He’d like to hire someone who is as qualified as he is to keep them mentally stimulated and challenged while respecting that they’re still young children who need time to play and just be kids, too.

I’m most concerned about safety and my children’s comfort level. Since we are currently looking to hire a part-time nanny the standards are a bit different. She won’t play a major role in our children’s formal learning process so hiring a college graduate is a luxury but not a necessity.

It’s a tough job market out there. I understand why many young, college-educated women are pursuing nanny careers. If you are employed by the right family the salaries and benefits can rival many post-college entry level jobs. One downside I am personally all too familiar with is that the best candidates sometimes find work in their chosen field of study and have to leave nannying to do what’s best for their careers. Again, I totally understand but it stings.

A degree doesn’t mean one can sleep on fully vetting a nanny. I’m sure we can all name a few bozos with fancy degrees we’d never leave alone with our kids. For some people, it truly is nothing more than a worthless sheet of paper. One has to choose wisely. We’re still searching for the right candidate but we’re going to make it whether we find a nanny or not.

Do you think having a college degree should be a requirement for nannies? Would you hire one who didn’t have one?

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