Will Covid-19 Permanently change our industry?
September 20, 2020
In the first few months after CoVid-19 arrived in the US many Americans have been told to work from home. The restaurants and shopping malls were all closed, pretty much all events were cancelled, and no one could travel. There hasn’t even been any live sports on TV.
Of the many questions this extreme situation raises, there is one that will require a several month wait for answers: Should we expect a coronavirus baby boom? A surprising amount of research has been done on the subject of post-disaster fertility. The headline hypothesis is fairly straightforward: With other activity curtailed, couples have more opportunity, and perhaps more desire, for intimacy. Nine months later, the babies show up.
But Richard Evans, associate director in the Graduate Computational Social Science Program at the University of Chicago wrote in the Washington Post “On the whole, it’s unlikely that America will see a coronavirus baby boom, but we could see a baby blip” “Given all the previous evidence on how different types of catastrophes affect our fertility, it seems likely that we can expect a small increase in births as a result of the coronavirus.” Nationwide, he thinks there could be a 2% increase, meaning roughly 6,000 extra births per month. Sheeva Talebian, Fertility/OB-GYN specialist and fertility expert for Women’s Health Magazine, says she thinks that people will hesitate to get pregnant during this time due to stress, fear of CoVid-19 infection and financial worries.
So only time will tell whether we will see an increase in babies and therefore an increase in the need for newborn care but one thing I think we can be certain of is that this pandemic has changed our industry both in the requirements from families that hire us and in the stark realization that without regular contracts we are in fact quite vulnerable income wise as self employed workers.
I asked a few of our active group members if they would answer a few questions regarding how they felt CoVid-19 had affected their business and and the answers were surprisingly varied;
How do you feel CoVid-19 has affected your work so far?
Have you been asked to Quarantine with a client family?
Have you been asked to take a CoVid-19 test by a client?
How do you feel CoVid-19 will affect our industry going forward?
Milly Fuentes – (Admin for ‘NCS Job board’) said
Yes Covid-19 has affected my work. I have not been able to find work as I used to! Most jobs that I apply for clients want me to either quarantine with them or self-quarantine for 2 weeks before working with them. Clients are definitely asking for Covid-19 tests. I have done it to be able to work for some clients. We will have to be extra careful with COVID-19 and either live with the clients or be support careful about our personal life during contracts!
Kim Morgan – (NannyKimKim) – INA Nanny of the year 2020
Kim doesn’t think Co-Vid has affected her work, “As sad as it may seem for others, it has been an amount of blessings for me during covid. I’ve landed a new position that has increased my potential hourly earnings significantly.
I haven’t been asked to quarantine with a client family but I take the necessary precautions to keep myself, my boys, employers and NK safe. My employers paid for car service to and from my home for three (3) months, I wore my gloves and mask, sanitize the car with disinfectant wipes and change my clothes once I got to work.
I haven’t been asked to take a Covid test, but I was asked if I would like to take the antibodies test because they’re doing it and they would pay for it. They gave me the choice if I wanted to or not. It wasn’t mandatory for me to do it, to which I told them no, I rather not take it.
Covid-19 has already started to change our industry. Parents are already trying to low ball nannies and guilt them into accepting lower paying positions and Nannies are desperate because of the situation, therefore some already started accepting these lower paying positions just so they can provide for their families, even though it’s not much. Whereas on the other hand, you see a lot of learning pods popping up, teachers are now taking over the roles that nannies would play educating children because of the uncertainty of schools reopening.
Grace Koinange of Newborn Code
Covid-19 has not affected my postpartum income at all and here is why? Having worked in the industry for so long all my jobs are referrals from past clients. This is a Safety Net in itself and the friend referrals come with a heightened sense of TRUST. The notion here is to circulate within the clients and friends network has really worked out for me. I consider myself lucky in that aspect.
On the other hand if this was not the case I am sure the story would be totally different. I have seen good tenured Doula’s and NCS’s go unemployed for weeks on end or also many contract cancellations. Yes I have been asked to quarantine. I am all for it! The clients are also willing to take my son if this choice presents itself happy to quarantine together. Every new client I see is asking me to take the test as they are also taking it. (it’s fully paid for by the clients) and on some occasions other clients were testing me and team every 2 weeks as they have their full staff home staff still on rotation.
How this will affect our industry going forward? Only time can tell but the obvious early predictors that Covid-19 has created is capable parents. Parents are home all day with their newborn, they are figuring it all without the pressure of returning back to an office. This might perhaps later on translate negatively to the referral program that’s protecting my Doula/NCS net above and because I am not in multiple homes my chances of increasing my clientele base in 2022 will of course dwindle down.
We are also going to witness a surge in Mammy shaming communities. The pandemic CLASS OF COVID-19 mothers will come out feeling stronger than they went in. This is the next feminist Generation like the 60’s nothing will Stop them, they did it alone and anyone that will need help will be shamed. But on the other hand it has increased the workload for many women who now have 3 jobs instead of two. A mother, employee, and now also entertainer and teacher. The stress levels will be out the roof so maternal health experts are needed.
Now with the same breath I am fearing for my black or ALL POC communities the economical effects are long term. Covid – 19 has set these generation backwards. I am also fearful for the single moms like myself who will have to hire a live-in support person to help minimize the infectious curve. (so my nanny will have to quarantine with me so I don’t put the families I will work with at risk). This also presents another dilemma do I charge the client more to accommodate my nanny?
Now is also the time for ALL of us to diversify and think outside the box. I think this is also good for those who want to take extra class Take them NOW!!! Absolutely double down on education
For my sleep consultation business it was bumpy in the beginning. I was so used to having the human touch at home. I had to scramble real quick to have it all via zoom. It took me about 6 weeks to get boots on the ground.
Wow in conclusion this is huge- it’s interesting to see how this will all play out. The tech world here in the San Francisco Bay Area is completely unpaused, business as usual working from home is the Ultimate flexibility lottery for new parents. While others may be struggling the tech world is thriving.
As for myself, and the NCSA, I was booked to travel to Tuscany with a family in May which obviously was cancelled, but gave me a good amount of extra time to work on getting the NCSA ready for launch. I currently have one twin family I am working with who are very anxious about the virus so I have agreed to not take on any other clients whilst I am with them but I have not been asked to test.
I believe CoVid-19 will change our industry to some extent, already families are taking more precautions in regards to who they hire and let into their ’safe bubble’. So having great qualifications and certifications on your resume will definitely help reassure concerned families. I also would recommend now using a contract with a clause detailing what your agreement is regarding Co-Vid. Nancy at Gentle Ventures offers a great contract with an added CoVid-19 Clause which is available to all NCS’s with a 50% reduced price for past students of hers.