Nannies are Essential Workers

Coming back at you hot and heavy with another post and update for what you need to know to survive this current outbreak crisis if you are a nanny in North Carolina. Remember when we had one-or-fewer posts a day? Remember breaks that we could take? Yeah :: wistful sigh :: us too. But as long as you need us, we are here for you! So let’s get to it (if you didn’t figure it out from the post title): Nannies are essential workers. In all of North Carolina this is true: Nannies are essential workers.

First we are going to explain what that means. Then we are going to tell you what credible source provided us with this information so that you can be certain we are passing along accurate information. And finally we are going to address the Charlotte Nanny Market’s impending shut down. Each section will have a heading. The links in this paragraph will help you jump the page, for ease of reading.

What does essential mean?

An essential worker is someone who cannot be penalized for showing up to work during any sort of shelter-in-place or quarantine or shut down or whatever catch phrase they are using for “stay at your house”. Essential workers can go to work without penalty. Non-essential workers trying to go to work or anywhere not on the approved list will face penalties and maybe even jail time. But nannies don’t have to worry about that because we are essential workers.

Does that mean we MUST go to work? No. It isn’t telling us what to do. It is only telling us that we can go to work without penalty.

There may come a critical childcare shortage in North Carolina where nannies will be conscripted to provide childcare against our will. But that day won’t happen during this crisis. North Carolina is facing the opposite problem: more childcare availability than parents willing to take advantage of it.

So, in summary: Essential means we can still show up to work, consequence-free. Can.

How do we know all of this?

As you rightly skeptically should be, you are wondering what the source of this declaration is. It is NC Legislator Senator Jeff Jackson of Mecklenburg County in a comment to a post made on Facebook (or one of his staff, more like). The previous link will take you right to that comment. But we are going to quote the key bit for you here:

Businesses and types of work are considered essential:

• Home-based care and services (home-based care for adults, seniors, children, people with disabilities)

Sen. Jeff Jackson

Firstly you’ll notice that children are listed as a group that can be cared for. Great! Nannies care for children.

Next you’ll notice “home-based care”. While in the childcare industry that means a home daycare, when it comes to elected officials writing things, what they mean is: any care that takes place in any home at all– child’s home, your home, doesn’t matter because it is A home. Great! Nannies work in homes. —- See, we even clarified.

In addition in the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce list provided by CISA, which is being used by every government level in North Carolina, one can find the following line on page 5


Which is as granular as the federal government is going to get to cover us, and cover us it does. Because nannies are caregivers. So if your local government claims they are using that list, we are good.

And there you have it. We are essential.

Mecklenburg Shut Down

Complete shut down for all non-essential workers and all non-essential businesses and all non-essential movements in Mecklenburg County from 26 March 2020 at 8 am to 16 April 2020 (end time not specified).

The greater Charlotte area is one of the four nanny markets of North Carolina. We are sure they are in a tizzy. If you are or know a Charlotte-area nanny, make sure they see this post. We in the rest of the state send you our deepest sympathies for the stress you are about to face but also our deepest hopes that by shutting down you will beat this thing in Charlotte. Snuggle your charges extra hard for the rest of us in areas that still have run-away SARS-2 spread.

And if you haven’t yet, check out the mental health resources available to you in this time of crisis. Help helps.

Why isn’t anyone besides Senator Jackson saying anything?

The man is a powerhouse of outreach, that’s for sure. He’s the easiest to link to. And he speaks with authority. But he’s not the only one. Still, as sources of information go, we recommend you tune in to him as you’ll hear it more clearly and more succinctly from him than from anyone else.

4 replies on “Nannies are Essential Workers”

Why is it that Charlotte area nannies, from what I understand from this post, won’t be going to work if they’re deemed essential? You state we are essential with great facts to back it up, but at the end say that nannies in Charlotte will be missing their charges. I’m so confused.

I appreciate you asking for clarification! Essential does not mean that nannies are required to report for duty, and some surely will choose not to do so. Essential only means that nannies cannot be charged with violating a stay-home order should they choose to go to work. Hopefully explains it better than I can.

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