I moved here from Trinidad 21 years ago. I’ve lived in Brooklyn the whole time. The family I work for now has one baby whom I watch full time, everyday.
I don’t want to say what I make as a nanny, but it’s less and less. Everything is off the books. I’ve never talked about it with the family because I think it makes them uncomfortable. I try not to think about it. I got the job and it’s such a nice family, so I know that they know they should pay. I don’t want to bring it up if they don’t.
You know, with the economy how it is, I don’t want to be unemployed, so you have no choice and it’s really not worth talking about the taxes if it means being fired.
I’ve been doing this for a long time. Out of the seven families I’ve worked for only one ever discussed taxes with me. Parents are so worried about the cost.
I know I should be getting paid more. Maybe it’s just the problems with the economy, but I know they try to make it seem like they can’t afford to pay me more and then the next thing I know I’m out of a job because they’re moving to a bigger house somewhere. That’s what happened with the last family I worked for.
These people I work for now are so nice. They’re both professionals and are very busy, you know.
I’m getting older and I know you have to get Social Security, but I don’t. That sort of thing, and health care, are a real problem. I worry, and I know I should have those benefits. People here are obviously making money. I don’t understand it. It’s not right.
— interviewed by Claire Glass