Everyone knows what a nanny is, yet the role of the modern nanny is still widely misunderstood. State of the Nanny provides a clear-eyed assessment of today’s nannying industry and its potential for improvement. Essential reading for nannies and those who employ them.”Louise Dunham is THE expert on putting the CARE into childcare. State of the Nanny is a wonderful resource for families considering employing a nanny, and for nannies themselves. A thoroughly engaging book that eloquently discusses the political and personal whilst keeping the most important people – the children – as a highest value.” — Pinky McKay, lactation consultant and parenting advisor, and best selling author of Sleeping Like a Baby, Toddler Tactics, and other titles. “A timely call for recognition of nannies everywhere, but also for a return to an older set of values that enveloped our local societies and enabled working women for centuries to conduct their economic work outside of the home…” — Jacalyn S Burke, author The Nanny Time Bomb – Navigating the crisis in child care From the Introduction: I’ve been working in the nanny industry for just under 30 years, a period in which organised child care both inside and outside the home have been through many ups and downs, and changed enormously. Much has changed for the better, but there is still plenty of room for improvement and it is very important that we continue to seek that improvement. That requires people who have informed opinions to speak out, and anyone who knows me knows that as well as my long experience in the industry, I’m rarely short of an opinion. This book is one way of expressing my opinions, which is why I’ve written it.When I reflect on the last 30 years, we are not as far along as I would have hoped. Progress is slow in a number of areas. With each change of federal or state government we get incremental change, but rarely anything bold. Sometimes there is a step back rather than forward. In some cases governments will create or clarify the laws – such as the requirement that nannies cannot operate as independent contractors – but then do little or nothing to implement those laws in practice. We have made some good ground in building the ‘professional’ status of nannies, though there is still an awful long road to travel on that issue. There is still not the necessary level of respect, support and understanding for the challenges that nannies face, the level of responsibility they take on and the fact that they earn their money and should be paid accordingly. The ‘anyone can mind a child’ mindset is still widespread and needs to be removed. Parents need to understand that to use untrained carers (usually in order to save money) is to compromise on their children’s care, which is ultimately demeaning to the children themselves by tacitly saying that they are not important enough to be professionally cared for. This book is a call to arms on these and a number of other issues. My hope is that it will be read, discussed and debated by nannies, nanny agency operators and those who hire nannies. As the ancient Greek proverb says ‘A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in’.