Westchester at Work

The Gig: Live-Out Nanny

Name: Marva Thomas

Employer: A Rye Family of Five

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Town: Bronx


A Modern-Day Mary Poppins’s Salary?
On average, live-out Westchester nannies earn between $26,000 and $39,000 a year working full-time—roughly 40 to 50 hours per week. (Live-in Westchester nannies typically make between $28,600 and $31,200 for a 60-hour week.) Marva Thomas earns $37,400 annually: $33,800 in salary, plus $3,600 a year for health care (it is quite uncommon, however, for employers to pay their nannies’ health- care costs) for a 55-hour week. She also makes $15 per hour for overtime, and receives two weeks’ paid vacation. Her most memorable Christmas bonus? One thousand dollars plus a plane ticket to Jamaica.

Job Description
Her days begin at 7 am and end at 6 pm. Besides caring for three children under four, including a nine-month old, her duties include preparing the kids’ meals, driving them to activities, doing the family’s laundry (no ironing), and light cleaning (a once-a-week cleaning woman handles the heavier stuff).

Thomas’s qualifications? Back in Jamaica, where she was born, she raised her now 23-year-old son and babysat (“I’ve always loved kids”). She got her first nanny job through a cousin, and all subsequent positions though Quality Care Associates, Inc., of Rye.

The Upside/Downside of Working as a Nanny
“The most satisfying thing about my job is the kids. I still see the children I’ve cared for in the past. It is wonderful to see how they’ve turned out.” The toughest part of the job? “Getting attached to the kids. When I have to leave, it hurts so much; it’s like a piece of my heart is being ripped out. “

What the Nanny Sees
“Parents are afraid to let their kids cry. But they’ve got to learn; it’s for their own good. Children need to be disciplined. And you can’t be your child’s friends. I actually find it harder to work with a mom who stays home because the kids tend not to listen when she is there. When the mom is not around, there are less arguments.”

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