This viral ad seeks nanny to dress up like a Disney princess and sparks a conversation on the cost of childcare
Childcare workers shouldn't have to dress up in Disney dresses to make a living wage and moms shouldn't have to drop out of the workforce because childcare eats their whole paycheck.
Finding quality childcare is hard enough, but one family in the UK is making their pool of candidates even narrower.
This family is going viral because they're requesting their new nanny also be a real-life Disney princess (don't worry, they'll pay for the costumes). The ad was posted on childcare.co.uk and has attracted a ton of attention due to its "unusual request" (something the mom totally admits to in the first sentence of the ad).
"Like most 5-year-olds, our [twin] girls are obsessed with Disney and we feel this would be the best way to communicate some important values. We know this isn't a normal request for nannies, however we think it would be a great way to teach our girls about things like determination, compassion, fearlessness and ambition from strong yet relatable female role models like Princess Tiana, Princess Anna, Belle and Cinderella," the mom behind the post wrote.
"We are looking for someone who can commit to a character and create a really fun atmosphere in our home, but also won't be afraid to be a disciplinarian if the twins are naughty or act out – they can be little terrors at times! The right person will have a real creative flare as well as a passion for all things Disney and will be able to share that love of those characters with our girls."
While there are plenty of adults who are into princess cosplay, it might be a lot to ask someone to pick your kids up from school four days a week, arrange "a variety of Disney-related activities," cook them dinner, put them to bed and be "willing to work around our busy schedules" .... but this person is willing to pay £40,000 for this part-time position, which works out to more than $52,000 USD, so they are obviously willing to pay for (their own very precise version of ) quality childcare.
Unfortunately, most parents aren't in the position to fork over 50 grand for a nanny, and most childcare workers don't earn that much.
In the United States, parents are paying almost as much for housing as they are for childcare, but the workers (mostly women) who provide that childcare are among the lowest paid in the country, and many have to rely on food stamps and other forms of government assistance to supplement their very low wages.
The ad is funny, the reality of childcare costs is not
This Disney nanny ad is going viral because it's hilarious (and we do hope that this family finds the perfect Disney-obsessed nanny for their girls) but it also highlights a real problem with how childcare is becoming a luxury item. Middle-class moms are being priced out of the workforce, while parents who can drop $50,000+ on childcare get to keep their careers.
In the UK right now "some parents are paying more than the cost of a year's university tuition for a part-time" day care spot, the Telegraph reports, making being a working mom in London "a luxury for those who can afford childcare", Metro notes.
It is awesome that this family is able to pay a childcare worker what she is worth, but childcare workers shouldn't have to dress up in Disney dresses to make a living wage and moms shouldn't have to drop out of the workforce because childcare eats their whole paycheck.
Other countries have figured out how to pay childcare workers fairly and charge parents fairly, and it's time for the US and the UK (and Canada, and Australia) to make childcare more affordable for the middle class without building a system on the backs of underpaid women. If we could wave a magic wand we'd get affordable, quality childcare for every mother who needs it, but unfortunately, there's no fairy godmother for day care.