Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Old Dec 12th 2005, 7:37 pm
  #1  
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 6,840
Englishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond repute
Question V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Some of you may be aware of the recent disaster my dearest Australian expat friend has just gone through with her ex-husband. He has now left the US for good to return to live in Australia. They have two children and they were visiting their maternal grandparents in Sydney and just as they were checking in with their granny for their flight back to the States, their father had been to a magistrate in Brisbane on the same day to prevent them leaving the country.

My friend had to fly to Oz and an agreement has been legally drawn up as their father has now agreed that they can return to their home in the States and they arrive on 30th December.

My friend desperately needs some practical help and here's the background (her life is one bloody big soap opera and I should write a book of her experiences LOL!):

Her predicament is that her ex-husband was the 'house-husband' and she is the wage-earner. In truth, the last few years she has had to employ live-in nannies or au-pairs as the ex used to move out from time to time, and even if he was around he didn't really take care of the kids.

Unfortunately she's had problems with the nannies as well; she has a Filipina lady who comes in to do the cleaning and 'found' two of of her acquiantances to do the childcare. They too were from the Philippines but they both left her in the lurch; one was sponsored to get a Green Card by the Board of Education in Newark to teach in a deprived school and just wanted a temp job for a few weeks, so never said a thing about it to my friend - she told my friend on a Friday afternoon that she was moving out the next day as she was starting a teaching job on the Monday morning! The other Filipina concocted a story about going to look after her cousin in Seattle who was dying of cancer and needed a break for a few indeterminate weeks....I smelt a rat (been down that road in Singapore) and as soon as I discovered that there was only a cellphone contact no. rather than a landline I knew she was lying.....sure enough she was spotted a couple of weeks later in the neighbourhood....she'd taken a job looking after an elderly person as it was less taxing but wanted to keep her options open if she didn't like it!

Other childcare disasters were the au-pair my friend brought in from a farm in Oz -she was termed the 'Aussie bush-pig' as she was disgusting in her hygiene habits (mouldy food under her bed), nearly brought down the ceiling having energetic sex with a male au-pair friend of hers....but the last straw was when she spent so many hours sending IMs back to her friends in Oz she overlooked the fact that my friend's son (then 18 months) had put his hand in the toilet bowl where his older sister hadn't flushed it and was eating her poo...my friend only found out when her daughter told her and the au-pair didn't deny it, so she was sent back to Australia... She was replaced by an au-pair from Poland who promptly crashed my friend's car with the children in it.....the little boy seemed afraid of her and my friend suspected that she was hitting her son.

In between all of these disasters I've been helping out my friend on an emergency basis when she's had to go to work and desperately needed someone to look after her kids when she's been left in the lurch. I'm very fond of the kids, the boy is three years old and the girl is seven. When she returns to work in the New Year I've told her that I'll help her out for a few weeks until she can find a suitable nanny. I can't do it long term because she really needs a live-in; she's in the fashion industry and has to make occasional trips to Boston - sometimes flies up for the day or sometimes stays for one night. Rarely, she needs to fly to San Francisco for fittings. My husband is often on overseas business trips so I need to be at home for my teenage son. Also I don't want to be an employee for a close friend as it just wouldn't work and we would probably fall out and I can't possibly take money off her (although she earns more than my husband LOL!)

So.....to get to the point (at last!)....do any of you expats out there know of a native English speaking person eg. American, British, Canadian, Kiwi, Aussie etc. who might want to be a live-in nanny in the New Year? (She's not keen on non-native English speakers as her son was generally only hearing Tagalog from the Filipinas) My friend usually works a four-day week so there would be ample opportunities for time off. The nanny would get a large bedroom and private bath and toilet on her own floor and would drive my friend's car. New York City is less than 30 minutes away by train and Newark international airport is 12-15 minutes away. It might be a great opportunity for example for a British relative who would like to spend some time working in the US....ideally someone who isn't immature and is sensible...perhaps may have an NNEB certificate or proven experience looking after young children. My friend is willing to work with an agency to go through the J1 visa process (for au-pairs) but it would be preferable for a trial visit first (eg. on a visa waiver) to see how it goes....

If anyone knows of any decent girl/woman - mature ladies or empty nesters are fine - please send me a PM.

Thanks!
EM
Englishmum is offline  
Old Dec 12th 2005, 7:51 pm
  #2  
Lapine Member
 
snowbunny's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin, Texas in my own little world
Posts: 21,691
snowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Hello Englishmum,

What might help is writing up a summary of the position your friend needs to fill. Seven-year-old girl and three-year-old boy, right? Girl in school? after-school care? boy in daycare/preschool etc? Live-in child-care, any other responsibilities? A more precise location?

She is fortunate in that this is the turn of the college semester and you might be able to get a college student in need of a job. I would contact the universities and colleges nearby as most have job posting boards. Mentioning that the family are expatriates might draw interest from college students who are looking to learn about other cultures and possibly even travel with the family.

Best of luck -- child care is always such a difficult decision and hard to find!
snowbunny is offline  
Old Dec 12th 2005, 7:52 pm
  #3  
Account Closed
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 8,266
TouristTrap is just really niceTouristTrap is just really niceTouristTrap is just really niceTouristTrap is just really niceTouristTrap is just really niceTouristTrap is just really niceTouristTrap is just really niceTouristTrap is just really nice
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Oh gawd. Can't help, but I feel for her. Hope she gets set up fast enough
TouristTrap is offline  
Old Dec 12th 2005, 7:56 pm
  #4  
Ray
 
Ray's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 68,280
Ray has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

I think Bob is free ....
Ray is offline  
Old Dec 12th 2005, 8:05 pm
  #5  
I'm back!
 
Just Jenney's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Richmond, VA, USA
Posts: 4,316
Just Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Originally Posted by snowbunny
She is fortunate in that this is the turn of the college semester and you might be able to get a college student in need of a job. I would contact the universities and colleges nearby as most have job posting boards. Mentioning that the family are expatriates might draw interest from college students who are looking to learn about other cultures and possibly even travel with the family.
I agree that college students who are already in the area and are looking to make some extra money over winter break is an excellent suggestion. I remember lots of my friends working as babysitters during college, particularly those majoring in education. Education majors are typically looking to be teachers one day anyway, so they enjoy being around children and have experience working with them. You might also want to check out the career centers of the local colleges and universities, as many students post their resumes there, even for part-time work.

It sounds like your friend's previous experiences with immigrant childcare providers have been horrific -- they were more interested in staying in the country than actually doing their job properly. I'm not saying that ALL immigrants are like that, but from the way you've described the kinds of employees she's attracting, getting someone who doesn't have US immigration as their greatest priority might be a better way to go.

~ Jenney
Just Jenney is offline  
Old Dec 12th 2005, 9:10 pm
  #6  
Septicity
 
fatbrit's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 23,762
fatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond reputefatbrit has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

AFAIK, I don't believe you can self-sponsor an au-pair on a J1 but rather it has to go through a certified or pre-approved au pair agency here in the US. A quick Google will find you one. I'm pretty sure they'll let you specify that you want a native English speaker only, but this will cut down the number of candidates. The cost is not insignificant...

Alternatively, you need a citizen/GC holder/EAD holder already here and they can do a private work contract.
fatbrit is offline  
Old Dec 13th 2005, 1:17 am
  #7  
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 6,840
Englishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond repute
Question Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark
I agree that college students who are already in the area and are looking to make some extra money over winter break is an excellent suggestion. I remember lots of my friends working as babysitters during college, particularly those majoring in education. Education majors are typically looking to be teachers one day anyway, so they enjoy being around children and have experience working with them. You might also want to check out the career centers of the local colleges and universities, as many students post their resumes there, even for part-time work.

It sounds like your friend's previous experiences with immigrant childcare providers have been horrific -- they were more interested in staying in the country than actually doing their job properly. I'm not saying that ALL immigrants are like that, but from the way you've described the kinds of employees she's attracting, getting someone who doesn't have US immigration as their greatest priority might be a better way to go.

~ Jenney
Thanks for the suggestion about local unis. However, my friend needs a full-time nanny rather than a part-timer and I guess the students don't take a 'graduate gap year' after graduation as many British graduates do?. The local website for her town has a jobs page and there are some posts from college students at Seton Hall university; however they all want to do basically part time hours only to fit in around their courses - and surely a student can't take a three-year old into college? Daycare isn't a viable option either due to travel commitments.

I spoke with my sister-in-law in England this afternoon as she is a manager at a private nursery school; she thinks that quite a number of young women who are on the NNEB (Nursery Nurse Examining Board) courses at the local Tech college would jump at the chance to live and work in the US, so she's going to ask around.

Fatbrit - yes you are correct in that only agencies can arrange for the au-pair visas......she had to pay one agency $5k to bring in the Aussie au-pair even though the agency never found her and just arranged for the paperwork only....it was a pity that the girl had no interest in doing any childcare once she had arrived in the States and it didn't work out. I think my friend would prefer to do a phone interview and invite the prospective nanny to visit (as a tourist) and seeing if both parties are happy before going to the expense of applying for a visa.

Apparently quite a number of Mormon girls from Utah become nannies domestically within the US for approx one year after leaving school as generally the males are sent overseas for their 'missionary' work. My friend is trying to look into that too.....they don't get drunk, take drugs, stay out overnight with boyfriends etc. She's now in San Francisco for a few days then flies to Oz to spend Christmas with her family before bringing them back here.

The odd thing is that there seems to be no nationally recognised qualification like an NNEB or GNVQ for nannies/childminders similar to what there is in the UK....in our area most of the nannies are from Jamaica, Trinidad, South America or the Philippines without any childcare certification and it seems that many of them are illegally here....however it's actually illegal to ask a prospective employee's immigration status (ie. to ask to see their visa in their passport) here.
Englishmum is offline  
Old Dec 13th 2005, 2:12 am
  #8  
thingluvthing2ringfingIdo
 
thing1's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon USA
Posts: 342
thing1 is just really nicething1 is just really nicething1 is just really nicething1 is just really nicething1 is just really nicething1 is just really nicething1 is just really nicething1 is just really nicething1 is just really nicething1 is just really nicething1 is just really nice
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Originally Posted by Englishmum
If anyone knows of any decent girl/woman - mature ladies or empty nesters are fine - please send me a PM.

Thanks!
EM
I am a certified professional nanny and have 11 years experience.

I don't mean to judge your friend, but it sounds to me like she is getting what she is paying for. 2 Filipinas and 2 au-pairs says to me she doesn't want to pay very much. If she is willing to pay more, I expect she can find quality and lasting childcare.

I was a full time nanny for a family in the Michigan with 3 children for 8 and a half years. I took that job fresh out of nanny school (Northwest Nannies Institute in Portland, OR). All of the other jobs I interviewed for were on the East Coast. If your friend wants quality childcare, I would suggest she go through a professional nanny agency like Northwest Nannies (http://www.nwnanny.com/). They will do the work of screening potential applicants and try to do their best to match nannies with families.

Personally, I don't think a college student is the best idea simply because their priorities won't be the children in the end. A career nanny's focus will be on the children and she/he won't have plans of leaving upon completion of school like a college student would. I think it is important to provide consistency when it comes to childcare providers. Having the same childcare provider long term is the best for the children.
thing1 is offline  
Old Dec 13th 2005, 4:14 am
  #9  
Lapine Member
 
snowbunny's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin, Texas in my own little world
Posts: 21,691
snowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

It is very expensive to hire a full-time domestic. Think of just paying the legal minimum wage times the number of hours per week worked plus considerable overtime. A true live-in nanny must give up all other life -- that is, her career must be that of a nanny and she cannot really have her own family.

Another factor is medical care which is extremely expensive to afford for a domestic and would be paid by the state in the UK.

It's true that a university student could not take a three-year-old to university, which is why I asked if the three-year-old was in any sort of day program.

The demand for full-time domestics, especially in prosperous areas like the Northeastern US, outstrips supply considerably. If stability is paramount, then an illegal alien is not an option as that person could be deported at any time and your friend fined.

If the nanny must serve as a sort of de facto parent / legal guardian for the children because the mother is travelling or unreachable for a good deal of the time, then she needs a very responsible adult with a career history. I agree with the recommendation to go with an agency but to check out all accreditations and work history personally and not rely on the agency to do that part.
snowbunny is offline  
Old Dec 13th 2005, 4:22 am
  #10  
Lapine Member
 
snowbunny's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin, Texas in my own little world
Posts: 21,691
snowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

PS.... google is your friend.... for example:

http://www.expatriates.com/cls/577670.html

http://www.nanny-governess.com/curriculum/index.cfm

http://www.nanny.org/
snowbunny is offline  
Old Dec 13th 2005, 3:02 pm
  #11  
I'm back!
 
Just Jenney's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Richmond, VA, USA
Posts: 4,316
Just Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond reputeJust Jenney has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Originally Posted by snowbunny
If stability is paramount, then an illegal alien is not an option as that person could be deported at any time and your friend fined.
An illegal alien should NEVER be considered an option, period!

~ Jenney
Just Jenney is offline  
Old Dec 13th 2005, 4:13 pm
  #12  
Lapine Member
 
snowbunny's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin, Texas in my own little world
Posts: 21,691
snowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark
An illegal alien should NEVER be considered an option, period!
Due to the demand outstripping supply, and the fact that papers can be forged, there are many, many nannies who are not in this country legally.

Using an agency or a service that deals with the nanny's taxes, benefits, etc. can mitigate this risk.

Anyone remember Zoe Baird?
snowbunny is offline  
Old Dec 13th 2005, 4:44 pm
  #13  
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 6,840
Englishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Thanks for all the replies.

No my friend certainly does not want to employ an illegal here.....one of the Filipinas she employed possibly is an illegal (the one who said she had to care for her dying cousin)....she gave some convoluted story about being brought in (from Singapore!) by a Filipino family who were on an expat posting with the United Nations....apparently she ran away as they weren't paying her wages and she didn't care that they had retained her passport because it is so easy to get a replacement. She was a good worker according to my friend and her mother who came to stay for a few weeks, but Nida is basically incapable of telling the truth (a common trait amongst her peers....been there, done that and it cost us a fortune). I think she was getting paid $500 per week as a live-in, cash in hand and no rent, food or utilities to pay for. In the Philippines a top police officer is lucky to earn US$50 per *month*. Live out nannies typically earn around $600 per week, sometimes more, in our neighbourhood. Directly opposite my house a nanny arrives every morning at 6.20am to look after two little girls. Her car is still there most days at 7.30pm-8.00pm and sometimes works on a Saturday as well....the father is an investment banker and I think the wife has a high-powered job too....never seen them since they moved in last year, they just drive in and out of their garage in their cars. I feel sorry for the kids never seeing their parents like that, but our neighbours all think it's quite normal for kids to be left for long hours with 'babysitters' as they like to call them.

Unfortunately you can't ask them to verify their legal status of residence in the US - it's against the law to ask! There is a heck of a lot of 'poaching' of childcarers going on in our local towns as there is so much demand for childcare and not enough supply. Daycare centres aren't always the preferred option as they tend to close at around 6pm - most people commute to New York City and are often in 'high pressure' jobs where it is frowned upon to walk out of the door by 5pm and if the trains are screwed up then there is the panic about collecting the children, plus the fact that so many couples here each travel with their jobs to other States or overseas.

Registered childminders as we are used to in the UK (where the parent takes the child to the childcarers house) seems to be very few and far between here.....most of the daily nannies - particularly the Hispanics and from the Caribbean or African Americans arrive in the suburban towns on the trains from the inner cities eg. Newark and parts of Jersey City...most middle class parents wouldn't want to drop their child off in those places even if it was an option, plus the fact that they like the nanny to do some light domestic work in their (the employer's) homes too.

I think that my friend is very brave to want to stay on in the US as a single parent....but her job does not exist in Australia and she doesn't want to go on welfare if she does return. She thinks she may have 10 more years of work before she has to 'retire' from modelling and will then return home. Fortunately her brother married an American woman a couple of years ago and lives in Hoboken, about 12 miles away - he's a carpenter and keeps all of his tools in my friend's basement so he calls in to her house daily.
Englishmum is offline  
Old Dec 13th 2005, 4:45 pm
  #14  
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,750
Chorlton is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark
An illegal alien should NEVER be considered an option, period!

~ Jenney

Didn't you ever see A Day Without a Mexican??

~~Chorlton
Chorlton is offline  
Old Dec 13th 2005, 4:49 pm
  #15  
Lapine Member
 
snowbunny's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin, Texas in my own little world
Posts: 21,691
snowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: V.Long Message - Help Desperately Needed

Originally Posted by Englishmum
Unfortunately you can't ask them to verify their legal status of residence in the US - it's against the law to ask!
No.

Even employers of domestics are REQUIRED to have an I-9 or its equivalent in which they verify the identity and the work status of any employee.

It is illegal to *discriminate* based upon the type of work status a prospective employee has (eg PR vs conditional).
snowbunny is offline  

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.