In Today's Economy, Nannies Must Multitask

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2009 1:13 PM CDT
A nannny.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – As affluent Americans downsize their household staffs, the once distinct lines between nannies and housekeepers are getting a little fuzzy, the Los Angeles Times reports. More and more, nannies are being asked to scrub the toilets along with watching the kids, and housekeepers are being asked to vacuum with a young charge in tow. “It just doesn't make much sense to keep them both," said one woman who gave her nanny cleaning duties.

Experts note that combining duties can be an affront to the dignity of professionals, who often don’t receive a commensurate pay raise, and can also be bad for kids, who might receive less attention. But the economy appears to demand multitasking. “The typical English nanny or governess used to roll her eyes when I'd ask if she'd be open to cleaning,” the owner of a placement agency said. “Now they're all saying, 'Send me on the interview.'”