Parents turn to nannies as schools go virtual

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 9:31 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With more school districts opting for all-virtual school semesters this fall, many parents are relying on nannies to watch their kids while they work.

Amy Pappenfuss is the owner of “Nanny on the Net,” a childcare network that has served the Richmond area for 28 years. She says during the coronavirus pandemic, more families are seeking childcare providers for older children, in order to fill the role of a teacher.

“We’ll both sort of be able to work from home and be able to help with the children,” is what Pappenfuss says most parents approached her service with, adding, ”but that’s quickly become the reality of ‘we need help’.”

She says what’s most in-demand today are nannies that know their way around an iPad or laptop to access the now-online schoolwork.

”Most of them are going to be quasi-tech savvy so that they can figure it out,” she said, adding that most school districts have made their online learning programs easy enough to navigate for the not-so-computer savvy parents.

The screening process to pair nannies with families is also much more thorough; with a few virtual interviews before a final face-to-face meeting. The whole process could take from two to six weeks, according to Pappenfuss.

Both parents and nannies are also expected to adhere to health guidelines:

”Most nannies are comfortable with that and understand that that is important for a family to know that they’re not out socializing and trying to be very socially distant. It’s a two-way street; families are doing the same.”

Pappenfuss says that luckily, many of the newer nannies are former teachers who switched to child care full-time during the pandemic, so many are already equipped to take on the school work.

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