Las Vegas preschool teachers quit for nanny jobs amid growing demand for quality child care

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) — On Tuesday, FOX5 introduced you to a Henderson woman who quit her daycare job to become a nanny at a private home, and for much higher salaries.

A co-worker at the same daycare reportedly saw three out of four daycare workers quit in a very short time.

Las Vegans who become nannies don’t just quit daycare jobs — they also quit school buildings.

“I took everything I learned as a preschool teacher and applied it to being a live-in nanny,” said Bixby French, a Las Vegan and former preschool teacher. “Being a live-in nanny has really benefited my life, my happiness, my income.”

She’s not the only one making the change.

Las Vegan Jessica Martinez’s background in early childhood education puts her above all other applicants, at a time when the need for nannies is already skyrocketing. Now she said she was finally compensated fairly.

“So when I interview families…I show my preschool background,” Martinez said.

Martinez was a preschool teacher, and amid demand for home-tutoring and home-schooling “pods,” she said that skill put her in a salary bracket far above what she could earn in kindergarten or daycare center.

“A daycare here, when I started, they wanted to pay me about $13 to $15 an hour. Now when I started interviewing families, they wanted to pay me $18 to $25 an hour, and that included benefits,” Martinez said.

Along with her family, she said she was suddenly presented with the option of health insurance, paid vacation, grocery allowance, and more.

Although Martinez said she misses the classroom environment at times, she said the situation she currently works in as a nanny is far too comfortable and engaging to give up.

“I’m also able to be flexible with these families, so that’s something teachers in a daycare can’t do,” Martinez said.

Another preschool teacher-turned-nanny we spoke with on the phone said she was also being offered benefits like these.

“I work for wealthy families who take two-week vacations to Hawaii in the summer, and they pay me if they take time off,” said Rachael Cummings from Las Vegas.

She said many parents offer these benefits out of necessity to stay competitive and hire a quality candidate.

“I don’t know if there are just more people who want nannies than there are educated nannies available,” Cummings said.

She said demand for live-in instructors and nannies has skyrocketed, but their supply is apparently limited.

Martinez said that in light of recent events, security issues with traditional education are also playing a role in the demand for nannies or home educators.

“I have a couple of parents that I’m working with right now that push me more…to do something at home, because the school shooting is something on their mind and they’re just not comfortable,” Martinez said. “It hit home for a lot of people, and it’s also a big change: I feel like, with COVID, I’m finding what’s best for my child.”

So, is the change we’re seeing now disproportionately affecting those who can’t afford a nanny?

It’s a topic that FOX5 plans to continue dissecting, so follow what we find.

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