Growing up we always had a nanny and they loved us. I thought they were family. The one thing I missed the most bringing up children our kids was a nanny. It is a dying art, what a tragedy. I know for the soccer, basketball and football moms and all moms would appreciate the tremendous help a nanny is. To all moms out there: Hooray and God bless for taking up the greatest job in the world.
Nannies are by no means a dying breed. My daughter is at home now taking care of her own newborn twins, but she was a professional nanny making pretty darn good money before! Tons of folks in my area and on down to New York City have nannies.
My younger daughter works for a company called "Nannies As Needed" when she's at home from college at holidays and in the summer. They provide fill-in nannies when a family's nanny is on vacation or ill.
Being a nanny is, as you say, noble work (if you do it right and have the right motives and abilities); but I was one of those mothers who wasn't about to leave my little kids with anyone else (except with my mother once in awhile, and most often just so they could spend time with her). When I think of kids like movie stars' kids, who often spend a lot of time with nannies, I kind of feel bad for them.