Nannies look after people’s children whilst 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.
- Ensuring children are happy and entertained.
- Accompanying children to extracurricular activities e.g. a dance or sports club.
- Provide emotional support to children.
Nannies will also work closely with parents and other family members to ensure that the children get the best all-round 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?
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 or more children, 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 the job?
- 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 the job?
- 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 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 be 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 will 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 it 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, and I’m even learning about horses!”
– Grandmother of two, via Koru Kids
How do I get started?
Increase your chances of getting employed by getting the relevant certificates…
Good news – 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:
You can achieve your first aid certificate by completing a short course that will teach you what to do in an emergency when a child is injured or unwell.