Are you caring and compassionate? Do you love being around children? Then a career as a Nanny could be just what you’re looking for.
For parents, being away from their children can be tough – and Nannies understand this. A good Nanny will bridge the gap between children and their families, making their time apart as pleasant as can be.
So, if you’re looking for a highly rewarding new role, then find out how you can get started below…
What do Nannies do?
Nannies look after people’s children while they’re away or at work. They usually work in the children’s own home to provide as little disruption to their regular routine as possible.
Depending on the needs of the family, Nannies will either live in their own home and visit the household to look after the children (on either a part-time or full-time basis) or they may live with the family long-term.
As a Nanny, a typical day could include tasks such as:
- Taking children to school or nursery.
- Preparing meals (and feeding babies or toddlers).
- Completing household tasks such as laundry and cleaning.
- Helping children with their homework.
- Keeping a very close eye on younger children and helping to teach them basic life skills.
- Making sure that children are happy and entertained.
- Accompanying children to extracurricular activities – for example, a dance or sports club.
- Providing emotional support to children.
Nannies will also work closely with parents and other family members to ensure that the children get the best all-around care.
The difference between full-time and part-time Nannies
Nannies who work on a full-time basis are usually heavily involved with the majority of a child or children’s daily routine on at least five days a week whilst the children’s parents or carers are at work.
They often become like another member of the family (and sometimes live in the household out of convenience).
If you like the idea of working with children but you don’t want a full-time commitment, then you could consider working as a Nanny part-time instead.
Nannies who work on a part-time basis will look after children on a less frequent basis – perhaps a couple of days a week and the occasional evening, or maybe just for a few mornings a week.
They act more as childminders; called in to cover for parents who work part-time or who have planned to go out for a few hours in the evening.
What skills do I need to become a Nanny?
The right person will:
- Have a caring nature.
- Enjoy being around children.
- Be calm and patient.
- Have excellent communication skills – you’ll need to communicate effectively with not just children, but their families too.
- Be well organised, as you’ll be responsible for running the schedule of one child or more, making sure they’re in the right place at the right time.
- Have good literacy and numeracy skills as you may have to help children with their homework and help support their school-based learning.
- Be able to balance kindness and authority well.
- Have the ability to stay calm under pressure.
- Be able to multitask.
What will I love about being a Nanny?
- If you love children, then you’ll enjoy being able to help guide and support them.
- The flexibility – being a Nanny is not a 9-5 job. Hours may vary, so you shouldn’t find yourself getting stuck in a dull routine.
- The option to work full or part-time.
- Making children and their families happy by giving them the help they need.
What are the challenges of being a Nanny?
Children sometimes display challenging behaviour, but this is a normal part of growing up and can be handled well by someone who is kind, yet authoritative.
How much will I earn as a Nanny?
As a full-time Nanny, you’ll earn an estimated salary of £30,000. Additional benefits (e.g. the provision of food) will be decided upon on an individual basis depending on the family you’re staying with.
Are there opportunities to progress?
People often look for a Nanny with the hope that it will become a long-term arrangement that will give their children as much stability as possible. Progression normally comes in the form of getting to know a family inside out and getting as attuned to their needs as possible.
But the more experienced you become, the more in demand you’ll be if you do decide to look for a position with a new family. There may also be opportunities to go and work abroad, depending on the family’s circumstances.
What's life as a Nanny really like?
“Here’s a job that I’m qualified to do and that I could enjoy. The hours suit me too! I had worked in a primary school and previously cared for my grandsons. Koru Kids introduced me to my family. We are getting along really well!”
– Grandmother of two, via Koru Kids
To find out what it’s like to start a career as a Nanny later in life, it’s also worth reading Glaucia’s story. She became a Nanny at 60, and is happy and fulfilled in her new role.
How do I get started?
Increase your chances of getting employed by getting the relevant certificates...
The good news is that there are no formal qualifications needed to work as a Nanny, but most families will feel more comfortable employing you if you have the following…
- A First Aid certificate
You can achieve your first aid certificate by completing a short course that’ll teach you what to do in an emergency when a child is injured or unwell.
- A UK Criminal Record (DBS) certificate
You can register for your DBS certificate online by filling out an application form. The certificate usually takes a few weeks to come through so it’s best to do this earlier, rather than later.
- Ofsted-approved childcare training
It’s best to talk to your local council about council-run courses available in your area. These can be cheaper and will guarantee that you find the courses most relevant to you.
- Ofsted Registration
Once you’ve obtained a Pediatric First Aid certificate, a UK criminal record (DBS) certificate, and completed an Ofsted-approved childcare training course, you can apply to register as a Nanny on the Ofsted Register.
This will increase your employability as families will feel more reassured that you are equipped to provide the best care possible for their children. The skills you learn along the way should also give you more confidence in your ability.
You may also want to gain some work experience before applying for a role as a Nanny
If you want to build up some confidence in your ability to care for children, then it’s worth contacting nurseries or local schools in your area to see if you can help out as a volunteer.
Schools are usually grateful for an extra pair of hands in such a busy environment and it’s a great way to decide whether you want to work with children in the long-term.
For those within easy reach of London who are looking for part-time positions...
If you’re within easy reach of London and looking for part-time work, then it’s worth applying to Koru Kids – a London-based childcare service that takes on Nannies of all ages with the aim of training them up (including First Aid) and placing them with a suitable family.
You’ll be given plenty of support the whole way through from staff at Koru Kids and other soon-to-be Nannies who are going through the same process as you.
Koru Kids are very supportive of people who are looking to start a new career as a part-time Nanny and they recognise the value that age and experience can bring to the family home.