The Nanny Diaries: Recession Causes "Overqualified Nanny" Epidemic

The recession means rich kids are out of a job too. Result? A crop of French-speaking, name-dropping Gossip Girl nannies!

Says the New York Post's resident crank Andrew Peyser, "the position was once the province of domestic workers from Ireland or St. Lucia, but Manhattan is seeing an unprecedented glut of sophisticated, overeducated and underemployed women desperate for work. Any work. And being a nanny has its advantages."

She goes on to profile a former fashion assistant and an out-of-work banker who have taken on nanny work. Says one, "I never dreamed I'd be here...Some days I actually feel ashamed about what I do. I tell someone, 'I'm a nanny.' They say to me, 'Don't you have a bachelor's degree? Aren't you 25?' " Adds the other, "I read 'The Nanny Diaries' in high school..."I used to think, 'Who would do that?'

Both women found work with the agency Absolute Best Care, which has seen a huge jump in "overqualified" nannies in the past few months. And why not? "Top nannies command anywhere from $650 to a whopping $1,500 a week. That's after taxes. And employers take them around the world."

We are used to hearing Nanny Diaries, Privileged-style narratives of hard-working girls thrown in with spoiled brats. But what about when they're of the same world - or even older versions of the kids who've traditionally been lampooned? More like Uptown Girls! And remember how, in that, Brittany Murphy was able to teach Dakota Fanning all about irresponsibility and silliness and rock music and expensive clothes? Chick lit and flicks aside, though, who in this economy could possibly be ashamed of a good, well-paying job? And let's not forget that in an ideal world, one does, in fact forge a deep and lasting bond with a child which can impact on their lives in a positive way: a far more immediate gratification than many jobs afford. All those of us who've worked in child-care — and that's a lot of us — know it to be one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs out there. One problem though: this may casue serious confusion amongst the readers of "I Saw Your Nanny."

A Wealth Of Nannies [New York Post]