Parents Seek Nanny To Live In Their 'Frozen Caravan' To Watch Their Baby For No Pay

Childcare is a labor of love, yet it also deserves major financial compensation.

woman taking care of a child Vlada Karpovich / Pexels 

Having a baby is a majorly altering experience, one that completely shifts the focus of your daily schedule and the trajectory of your life.

Becoming a parent means being responsible for the care and safety of a vulnerable, high-needs human. All parents, but especially new parents, need as much support as they can gather to ease that transition.

A post in the subreddit r/ChoosingBeggars revealed a request from a set of new parents who were looking for a nanny, with very specific job requirements.


The parents were seeking a nanny to live in their caravan over the winter to watch their baby for no pay.

The job posting was made on Facebook, yet the exact name of the group it was posted in was blurred out, as were many other identifying details. A caravan is the term that people in the UK use for a camper or an RV.

The post declined to mention if said caravan would be solely for the nanny, or if the whole family lived there together.

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“Hello lovely people,” the request began. “We are looking for an au pair or babysitter to join us in beautiful [redacted] for the winter, with the possibility to extend to all year.”


The parents called themselves “a young family with a 9 month old baby daughter,” then specified exactly why they were seeking childcare. They wrote, “After embracing the slow pace of life and adjusting to our new family dynamics, we, the parents, have begun to immerse ourselves back in our online business.”

They explained that they planned to focus more on their jobs and therefore needed a “compassionate individual to care for our baby for a few hours each day and assist with various tasks around the home.”

parents seek nanny live in frozen caravan with no payPhoto: William Fortunato / Pexels


The tasks listed as part of the job description included walking the dog and preparing meals, although the parents emphasized that the main focus of the position would be watching their baby.

They described the accommodations they’d give their prospective nanny, offering “a place in our caravan during the tranquil winter months… nestled on our picturesque land.”

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The parents outlined their ideal nanny candidate as someone who would “relish the peacefulness of [redacted] during the off-season, possess experience or a sincere passion for infant care, and align with a holistic lifestyle deeply rooted in slow living and nature.”


Yet the big reveal in the job posting came towards the end, when the parents shared that 'most hours are in exchange for accommodations and meals.'

They clarified that “there are also some paid hours.”

“If a tranquil setting and a fulfilling caretaking role speak to you, this opportunity might just be your perfect fit,” they concluded.

The title of the Reddit post captured the hidden essence of what the parents were actually asking for: “Look after my child, cook meals, and walk the dog in exchange for living in a frozen caravan with us.”


The comments about the parents' expectation for their nanny had a unifying theme, focusing on the fact that childcare is hard work that deserves compensation.

Some people dragged the parents as pretentious for the way they characterized themselves, which is somewhat besides the point. What’s more important is the disregard they seem to have for childcare being a legitimate professional position, one that someone should be paid to do.

One person noted inconsistencies between the parents’ lifestyle and their expectations for their nanny, saying, “I'm puzzled by the dichotomy of their self-proclaimed ‘slow pace of life’ and working with technology so much that they don't have time to cook, care for the baby, and walk the mutt.”

Someone else echoed that perception, saying that an “online business is supposed to be flexible so you can do other things.”


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While it’s legitimate to need childcare even if you’re working a flexible, at-home job, it’s hugely unfair to expect that caregiver to work for free.

Watching a baby is a particularly challenging job, one that comes with moments of immense joy and satisfaction, along with being exhausting and all-consuming. Nannying is all-hands-on-deck at all times, especially when the baby begins to crawl and walk.

The physical demands of the job are hard enough; there’s also a major emotional and mental toll involved in caregiving work.

As a nanny, you’re constantly anticipating the very real demands of a very small person, one who can’t reason or be left alone or say what it is they need. It’s not surprising that so many people in caregiving roles experience high rates of burnout. To be expected to do that work — and it is work — for little to no pay is egregious and immoral.


parents seek nanny live in frozen caravan with no payPhoto: Josh Willink / Pexels

I spent 15 years as a nanny and a postpartum doula, focusing specifically on infant care. The time I spent with babies I love is something I wouldn’t trade for the world, yet it was never lost on me how intense the job was.

I went home each night completely worn out. I was fulfilled but exhausted — and those were the good days, days that didn’t include skipping naptime or diaper blowouts or nonstop crying.


Being a nanny was a gift, one that gave me so many invaluable skills. I learned how to soothe and swaddle, how to make a baby laugh that perfect, deep belly laugh that truly melts hearts. I learned how to offer care to those who need it — both parents and newborns.

Over the trajectory of my nanny life, I knew what I was worth, and it was so much more than space in a caravan during winter.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.