On August 15, 2013 Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry wrote an article, “What My Nanny Taught Me About Free Markets: Occupational Licensing Is A Sham.” My response is below.
Thank you so much for your article, it is quite rare that non-nannies actually address our industry, so your opinion is welcomed. My name is Helen Adeosun and I am the founder of SitterCycle, an online platform that aims to certify nannies and caregivers in skills they can use throughout their career and help parents have the peace of mind they need.
Since I own a company whose mission is teaching exemplary care-giving skills, I disagree with your premise.
In the 19th Century, before there was an American Medical Association, state licensing boards and board exams, American medicine was a sham. People regularly put themselves in the hands of untrained men who doubled as bartenders and tradesmen to have an arm amputated or a rotten tooth removed. The results, of course, were mixed. At the time this was the norm; it was accepted as fine to be treated by someone who wasn’t specifically train or certified as a doctor. Things could work out fine, but then again…God help you if things went bad.
Just as at that time, a lack of professional standard in the US for childcare providers isn’t because it “just is the will of people,” but because currently there is a genuine “lack of will.” The policy decision in the 1937 Fair Labor Standards Act to willfully neglect childcare workers has had a ripple effect, including short-changing many nannies and making parents do a lot of the guess work when finding caregivers in a mostly unregulated market. The “consumers” were Dixiecrats in Congress who would only let the bill legitimating the rights of workers pass if their black nannies were excluded. I don’t think most of the consumers you talk about are these people, but, yeah, these guys are partly responsible.