Foreign caregivers become harder to find due to pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic and sudden jump in exchange rates have put Turkish families behind the eight ball since foreign babysitters and housekeepers are paid mostly with dollars.
Finding an affordable babysitter in Istanbul has become what can be called a gladiatorial experience for new families as they would like to have a live-in nanny due to the pandemic.
However, caregiver salaries have risen astronomically recently due to the fact that the live-in alternative was preferred only by foreign nationals who receive their payments in foreign currency.
The decrease in the number of foreign caregivers in the country as a result of the flights that could not be made due to the pandemic is another factor that affects the prices upwards.
Speaking to Demirören News Agency, Olcay Nazlı Karakuş, a nursing consultant, said that the prices have increased up to three or four times due to the increase in demand.
The salaries now range from 6,000 - 7,000 Turkish Liras ($563) to 20,000 liras ($1,600), according to Karakuş.
Turkish families mostly prefer Filipino, Turkmen, or Uzbek national caregivers as their salaries range from $800 to $1,200 thanks to the advantage of having at least one foreign language.
Yasemin Çizmeci, another nursing consultant, also believes that it is difficult to find a caregiver due to the shortage of personnel and the rise in prices.
“Due to the closure of the border gates in Turkmenistan and the low number of personnel here caused the prices to rise,” Çizmeci said, stressing the major challenges in finding a suitable caregiver.
Tens of thousands of female migrants have traveled to Turkey to work as domestic workers and caregivers.
They hail from countries as diverse as Armenia, Moldova and the Philippines, in particular, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, two countries where a language similar to Turkish is spoken.