The Invisible World of Nannies, Housekeepers and Caregivers

“She’s like a member of our family.” Behind the well-intentioned sentiment, so often said of nannies and caregivers, lurks a sad truth. To be “like a member” of the family is a far cry from being a family member.

This week, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the University of Illinois in Chicago and the DataCenter are releasing the first-ever national survey of domestic workers, Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work, which reveals how vulnerable these workers are to abuse. Take Anna’s story from the report:

“Having honed her child development skills as a teacher in the Philippines, Anna was hired as a live-in nanny for a family of four in Midtown Manhattan… At night, she sleeps between her charges on a small mattress placed on the floor between their beds. She has not been given a single day off in 15 months. Like many domestic workers, Anna’s pay is low… On average, then, she is paid just $1.27 per hour.”

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