I visited a friend with a baby in Washington, D.C. Trying to return to her high-paying job at a government contractor, she has contacted practically every day care center in the city and in the northern Virginia suburbs. They typically have two-year waiting lists. I visited another friend, a professor at Georgetown University. His wife is expecting in February. “They have day care at Georgetown for children of employees, but it is harder to get into than the university itself is for undergrad,” he noted. There is no way to apply until the child is actually born.
The young mother asked me how it was possible that the day care centers have not been able to expand fast enough to keep pace with the growth in wealth and jobs that has been fueled by the expansion of the federal government, contractors to the government, and the lobbying industry (is the term “Government Gold Rush” taken?)? I posited that all of the Washingtonians who are reliable enough workers to show up every morning at 7:00 am have already been hired, either by a day care center, the health care industry, or a government-affiliated employer.
So if you’ve been having trouble finding a job and enjoy spending time with kids, consider hanging out a shingle as a nanny (or “manny”!) in Washington, D.C. Pay ranges from $35,000 per year (illegal immigrants with no experience, paid in cash) to $100,000 per year.