The Nanny Career

The Definition

A nanny can be many things, but the most basic definition of a nanny is someone who cares for another’s children for employment purposes. However, even this basic definition may not be true for all nannies.

What Does a Nanny Do?

A nanny is responsible for caring for the infants and children in a particular household or households. The average nanny will generally take on all services related to child care including the child’s laundry, cleaning up toys, making child-friendly meals, assisting in discipline, helping with homework, transporting to school, and more. This is the most basic form of a nanny.

However, many nannies also take on additional roles such as a cook, housekeeper, tutor, personal assistant and more. The potential services a nanny may provide are endless.

Is it a Real Job?

Absolutely! A nanny is a professional employee who has chosen the safety and care of another’s children as their career. As with any job, nannies can be part-time or full-time employees with varying benefits.

Who Becomes a Nanny?

Believe it or not, not every nanny is Mary Poppins! Nannies come in all shapes and sizes. There are nannies of nearly every age, race, religion, and social background. Although the field is predominately female, there has been an increase in the amount of male nannies entering the child care workforce. In short, nannies are as diverse as the children they look after.

How is This Different From a Babysitter?

A babysitter is generally someone who offers basic supervision and care for children for a short period of time such as a date night or a weekend afternoon. They often work sporadically with fewer hours and less commitment than a nanny.  A babysitter often lacks the same knowledge and qualifications of a nanny as well and will receive fewer benefits. In contrast, a nanny usually works longer, more regular hours with a commitment to a specific family or families. A nanny will usually have a quality range of knowledge and experience for caring for children and will provide extensive services in comparison to a babysitter. Being a nanny is usually considered a professional career while being a babysitter is generally considered a temporary side job. However, it is important to note that some people use the term “nanny” and “babysitter” interchangeably.

What do You Need to Become a Nanny?

Some nannies may find employment with a family simply on good manners, a connection with their children, or a trust worthy demeanor.  However, most will have at least some childcare experience or prior knowledge before being hired as a nanny.  Many nannies begin their careers working as a babysitter or daycare worker. The higher qualified nannies will pursue further education including a professional certificate, a college degree, or other child care credentials.  Those wishing to be the very best in the field will earn multiple credentials and learn desired skills such as a second language or musical instrument. Most importantly, all nannies should be knowledgeable about the proper care of children and enjoy working with kids.

Why Become a Nanny?

A career as a nanny can be a very rewarding experience. Much like a parent, you get the joy of watching a child grow and learn through your careful guidance. Many nannies will have a deep and meaningful relationship with the families they work for and that is a reward like no other. However, a nanny career can also be quite profitable. While some nanny wages are quite low, nannies for the rich and famous make well above $100,000 a year. In addition to pay, nannies often receive additional benefits such as room and board, access to a family vehicle, and paid vacations. Other benefits may include networking opportunities, access to a family gym or country club, traveling with the family to exotic locations, and more. It is important to note that every nanny job will come with varying benefits.

What are your thoughts on the nanny career? Have you been a nanny before? Let me know in the comments below!


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