The new movie "The Nanny Diaries(C)" has the founder of the first and only English nanny school in America a bit perturbed about how nannies are portrayed.
The movie, based on the 2002 novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, deals with the caretaker of the child of a bossy, socialite mother and a businessman father who has a roving eye for other women.
Sheilagh Roth, founder and executive director of the English Nanny & Governess School in Chagrin Falls, OH, says, "Professional nannies -- those trained for the role of nurturing and rearing children through childhood -- would never, never tattle about what goes on in the personal lives of her employers."
Mrs. Roth's school, founded in 1984, features such specific subjects as creative play, self defense, nutrition, child development, travel safety, cultural enrichment, etiquette, and even techniques to evade the paparazzi.
"We don't want movies such as this one to frighten parents from hiring a professional nanny, thinking that their family secrets will be exposed," she says. "Our nannies sign contracts and swear vows of confidentiality when accepting positions."
The school's graduates work throughout the United States with high-profile families.
Here is Mrs. Roth's list of Nanny "No-No's" for Employers:
1. Respect: Don't treat nannies as live-in slaves. They are
professional child-care experts, not housekeepers, maids, or family
chefs. Verbal abuse is not tolerated.
2. Duties: Don't expect them to be on call 24/7. Duties outside of
normal hours are considered overtime. Nannies sign contracts spelling
out duties, benefits, and compensation.
3. Authority: Don't allow other family members to give orders. Nannies
report directly to the heads of the household.
4. Privacy: Don't discuss the nanny's private life. Nannies are trained
to be discreet about your family matters and expect the same courtesy.
Nannies should have separate and private living quarters.
5. Communication: Don't abdicate child development responsibility. Open
dialogue is essential for discussing the child's developmental
6. Vacation: Don't automatically expect the nanny to accompany the
family on vacation. Expect to pay for travel and overtime.
7. Exclusivity: Don't expect the nanny to baby sit for your friends or
8. Clean-Up: Don't expect your nanny to clean up after your parties or
English Nanny & Governess School, Inc.