You can stamp your feet if you want. You can cry, sulk, even hold your breath until you turn blue. It won't help.
There is a nanny shortage afoot, and no amount of parental petulance will ensure that you can hire a nursemaid for your children."We can't possibly fill the demand," said Cathie Robertson, president of the International Nanny Association and a nanny-training instructor at Grossmont Community College near San Diego.
For each trained nanny, 25 to 250 families want one, said Robertson, whose group fields 15 queries daily from parents seeking more than a sitter or day care. "People are more willing to pay for excellent child care," she said.
They certainly do pay.
Terri Eurich, founder of the National Academy of Nannies Inc. in Denver, last month placed one graduate with a Connecticut family that pays $1,400 monthly. Plus major medical coverage. Including vacation provisions. Also, travel opportunities. "Those jobs are out there," Eurich said.
Nationally, average pay ranges from $200 to $300 weekly for trained, live-in nannies hired by couples who, between the two of them, earn at least $80,000 yearly, said Donna Dixon, an associate dean at the Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, Wis.
Nanny educators and placement-agency operators are hardly surprised by the dearth of trained nannies. More than 3.2 million mothers work outside their homes now. The U.S. Labor Department predicts that by 1995, 80 percent of women ages 22 to 44 will work outside the home, representing almost 15 million pre-schoolers.
"There are lots of babies. There are older, wealthier, dual-income people having babies," said Eric Miller, editor of Research Alert, a Long Island magazine devoted to spotting and analyzing trends.
"Yuppies, as they've aged, buy service almost more than anything else. They don't like the paltry child care available. It's a recipe for a nanny," Miller said.
Susan Elsea, a suburban Detroit sales executive for American Express, considered a day-care center when she was pregnant. She envisioned wondering: "Are her diapers changed? Is she by herself in a corner?" By the time Carolyn was born seven months ago, she had decided to hire a nanny.
Elsea used an agency rather than a classified ad to find her nanny. "The finder's fee is well worth it. The $1,000 was a drop in the bucket. Time is money. We couldn't have come up with her on our own," she said.