However, it is not as easy as you may think. It takes a special kind of personality to be a good nanny. You have to really love working with children and you have to be flexible, in terms of working hours and days. You have to have the right temperament and a lot of patience - being a nanny is a huge responsibility. As a nanny you are essentially a third parent to the child, you have to be there for them when their parents can’t be. You get to build a relationship with the kids that you are taking care of and they become dependent on you.
A nanny is a professional, childcare provider that works in a home and takes care of the basic needs of the children, and ensures their safety in day-to-day activities, while providing close supervision.
The main job of a nanny is to supervise children, while the parents are away, and provide a safe environment, while also being caring and nurturing. Some of the main responsibilities of a nanny are: transporting the child (or children) to various activities, like sports or music lessons, keeping the children’s play areas neat and some may even be required to do the children’s laundry. As a nanny, you would be expected to engage with the kids in age-appropriate games, arts and crafts and other things that may interest the them. Depending on the age of the children, some of the duties could range from helping with homework to reading to them and putting them down for naps. Sometimes, domestic duties relating to children would be: washing dishes after meals, tidying playroom and bedroom, packing and unpacking children for trips/travel, etc.
A person who chooses to be a nanny should be someone who is super responsible, trustworthy, efficient, and well-organized. They have to be nurturing and loving and above all have plenty of patience with children, especially with those who don’t listen to directions well. It would also be helpful if they were a self-starter, meaning, they do not have to be told what to do repeatedly by the parents and they do things before they are asked to do so. The nanny should also be someone who follows the rules and allows puts the children’s needs and priorities first.
When a family hires a nanny, the expectations are high, as they are entrusting their children with the nanny. In the same breath, nannies also expect just as much in return. According to the Nanny Authority, (nannyauthority.com) they expect their nannies to be provided with:
- Private room and Board, Private bath
- Use of vehicle
- Home Environment free of all safety and health hazards
- Accurate description of duties and responsibilities
- Paid holidays
- 2 weeks of paid vacation per year
Nannies tend to have much more responsibilities than a babysitter, so therefore their salaries are much bigger. As per the International Nannies Association (INA), in 2017, a survey was distributed not only to US nannies, but internationally, and includes results from Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and others. According to their survey, 99% were females. The results are as follows: “Ninety-two percent live outside the employer’s home, 42% have at least a 2-year college degree, and 77% work full time. 53% report that their current employment fits the nanny job description, and 42% are nanny/household managers, up from 38% in 2014. 71% have more than 5 years of experience in the field.
Education and experience correlate with higher hourly wage.
60% received an annual bonus in prior 12 months.
Nannies that have taken the INA Nanny Credential Exam and/or the INA Basic Skills Assessment get a higher hourly rate.
64% are paid legally.” (http://bit.ly/2017INANannySurvey)
The outlook for a career as a nanny looks to be steady. As per the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, the median pay in 2018 (www.bls.gov/ooh ) for a childcare worker was $23,240 per year or $11.17 per hour. According to ZipRecruiter, “As of May 15, 2019, the average annual pay for a nanny in the United States is $32,612 a year. Based on recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, the Nanny job market in my area and the surrounding area is very active. Florida ranks number 49 out of 50 states nationwide for Nanny salaries. (www.ziprecruiter.com)
In order to be qualified as a nanny, you don’t necessarily need a degree, however, an associate's degree and/or specialized certifications in early childhood development would be very helpful and would look much better on a resume when applying for a nanny job. It is very important that a nanny be CPR-certified and have first aid certification. Some of the career requirements according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Nanny.org, and Payscale.com. are listed below:
- None; associate's degree and/or certifications in early childcare preferred
- CPR and first aid certification common; voluntary certifications available
- Varies by position
- Key Skills
- Strong communication and instructional skills; patience and stamina
- Additional Requirements
- 18+ years old; good health, up to date on immunizations, and negative TB test; pass background and drug tests
- $25,692 (2016 median for nannies)
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Nanny.org, Payscale.com.
Most agencies in the U.S.A. will not refer foreign candidates to a family for consideration if they do not have valid work authorization. If a family (parents) hire someone directly on their own (for example online job matching service,) they are responsible to confirm that the candidate is legally eligible for work in the U.S. (Nanny.org)
Three classes that would be helpful if choosing a nanny career, would be 1) Psychology class because it would help you be a better communicator and understand the human psyche better; 2) CPR/Health class because if there was ever an emergency you would be qualified and know what to do to help the child in need. For example, there is a place called CPR Test Center that offers online training and certification that can be completed in less than 30 minutes. 3) Time-management or Life skills class because you have to be able to be organized and have a structured schedule you have to maintain.
If your plan is to work as a nanny, providing childcare to children in their home, just know that you will be expected to provide a nurturing environment for them, while being able to complete other tasks in the home as requested by the parents. It can be a very rewarding experience where you can influence the hearts and minds of young children in a positive way.
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