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Beverly Hills Nannies: Fact or Fiction? An Interview with Katie Vaughan of Westside Nannies

August 22, 2012

$40 per hour salaries? Full benefits? A brand new car and designer duds? We couldn’t help but wonder how seriously to take ABC Family’s new hit show “Beverly Hills Nannies,” so we sat down with Katie Vaughan of Westside Nannies, Beverly Hills’ premier nanny placement agency, for the inside scoop of what it’s really like to work in America’s most prestigious zip code.

eNannySource: Are nannies really making $40 per hour and receiving full benefits?

Katie: Unlikely, says Vaughan. According to this placement queen, an experienced and educated nanny working in Beverly Hills makes $20-$25 hour on average. On occasion, extremely high caliber jobs will pay large annual salaries (upwards of $80,000 per year), but these are rare opportunities for seasoned, veteran nannies that have already experienced the ups and downs of working in a high-net worth home. As for benefits? Also a rarity, says Vaughan. About half of her clients offer health insurance when offering a new nanny a position, but again, full benefits are typically only offered for very elite positions.  Most of the time, nannies must be willing to accept the fact that the industry they work in does not offer the same benefits a corporate job might, and while Vaughan wishes more clients valued the idea of offering their nannies benefits, it still isn’t commonplace.

eNannySource: Rubbing a principal’s feet – what was up with that?

Katie: In her 7+ years as owner of Westside Nannies, Vaughan has never once heard of a nanny massaging their principal, and would be more than concerned if this request was made – and fulfilled – by one of her candidates! “As far as Westside Nannies is concerned, massaging an employer – even if it is just their feet and it’s done in a playful manner – is totally inappropriate and bizarre! This was definitely a scripted scene – this just does not happen.”

eNannySource: We also couldn’t help but notice that each featured nanny was stunningly attractive, stylishly dressed, and primped to the nines. Is this really reflective of the Beverly Hills nanny candidate pool?

Katie: Absolutely NOT, reports Vaughan. “We represent nannies of every age, size, and race out there. I was actually shocked to see how limited the representation of nannies on the show is – it couldn’t be more skewed. We interview dozens of candidates each week, and are looking for poised and professional childcare providers – not poised and professional childcare providers who also look like models! Having placed nannies in high-profile and celebrity homes, I can tell you that they definitely do not all look – or need to look – like they’re ready for the red carpet. They need to be loving, genuine, and full of nanny experience in order to land a job; not just beautiful and thin.”

eNannySource: So what can viewers walk away from the first episode believing?

Katie: According to Vaughan, the perks of a top-notch nanny position can be incredible. While it usually takes time to build a strong rapport and sense of trust with a family before the gifts start flowing, she has placed nannies that have received all-expenses paid vacations, unattainable designer handbags, brand new vehicles, and cash bonuses (including one family who paid off their nanny’s entire college education)!

eNannySource: A free trip around the world doesn’t sound bad to us, but what’s the final consensus on being a real nanny in Beverly Hills – and not one filmed for reality television?

Katie:  “It’s tough, tough work. Our nannies work 60+ hour weeks, give up their friends and loved ones to commit to their positions, and aren’t taking leisurely lunch breaks and attending weekly spa sessions with the Moms who employ them. They are changing dirty diapers, putting together school projects, preparing dinner, and diffusing sibling rivalry everyday. They certainly aren’t going in each morning with a full-face of makeup and curled hair, are living off of reasonable salaries, and are usually driving a mini-van – not Porsche.”

Katie Vaughan is the founder of Westside Nannies, a boutique staffing agency with offices in Beverly Hills and San Francisco, that specializes in placing professional and educated nannies. Because of their high standards and discretion, the agency is known for placing nannies with high profile and celebrity families, and has been featured on programs such as Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil and E! News.


6 Responses to Beverly Hills Nannies: Fact or Fiction? An Interview with Katie Vaughan of Westside Nannies

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Kelli says:

Thank you very much for posting this article. I am glad that someone has responded to the ridiculousness of this show. I have done a lot of research for nanny positions and I know that it is rare to find jobs that pay that much. Nor would they even think about hiring someone with little childcare experience. Additionally, the “nannies” on the show are highly unprofessional and have crossed countless boundaries that are healthy for employers and employees to have. Lastly, the “head” nanny doesn’t know the first thing about starting a business. Her “placement agency” is no where near legitimate and no family would actually use her to find nannies for them. Thank you again for writing this!

Catherine says:

I know you’ve probably gotten quite a few emails about Beverly Hills Nannies recently, but I just recently got hooked on it and I just wanted to say that Cindy seems like the coolest, nicest, most patient mom and Scott is the best manny. :) I love both their outlooks and Cindy’s kids being a gift to her, and I love how she treats both Kristen and Scott. So let’s hear it for the Mom’s and Thank you Cindy for being the nicest mom on that show. :)

Michelle says:

Thanks for your comments! I like Scott too. Hopefully we will interview him soon as well!

Kelly says:

Thank you for this! Ever since that show began, I get all of these questions when I mention that I am a nanny. Sadly I think the show paints a very poor picture of us.
I typically don’t put on make up for work, I wear either jeans or khakis with a nice top, I drive the family SUV, I make a median nanny salary and get partial benefits. I am educated, have nanny and daycare experience. I cook, do laundry, light cleaning, and run errands. I would not trade a day at my job for one day of a job like those from the show. No matter what the salary or benefits appear to be.

I enjoy what I do and don’t want to do anything else! My rewards come in the form of hugs not a huge unrealistic paycheck.

Hello, I beej working s a Nanny for 30. Years. /in Mexicoo City. With a very nice and wealthy family for 7 years, I get well paid, 40 dlls an hour, I’m also a chef assistant, so I love to cook for their children, a boy an a girl gourmet food, and the parents, sometimes, I’m an US Resident, planning go back to the states and keep working as a Nanny wich I really love!! I traveled Ruth the Family a lot of times to US where they also have a house, unfortunly, they are moving to Spain, and they want me to move with them, but I’ll be to far away from Texas were I live. Do. You know a family in Texas were I can work as a Nanny? They call me, gold loving hands, for childten, tests What i Am a very living person, and a lot of fun for the kids, and strict when they need to be educated.
Thank you so much!!!
Thank you so much

Sorry I misspell some words, folding cloths and writing is not a good idea!!