So you’ve decided you love children, are passionate about helping raise them, and want to become a nanny?
First and foremost, decide if nannying is truly FOR you! It isn’t for everyone, and it definitely isn’t just an easy paycheck. Nannying requires flexibility, patience, the ability to take direction while still leading, and unwavering love for children that don’t belong to you! Though it seems like your favorite nannies play with children all day, the reality is that there is lots more involved in being a nanny.
If you’re just breaking into the nanny field, it’s a great idea to have a basic understanding of child development. Even though you may have done some babysitting here and there or have younger siblings, taking on a nanny role is more about fostering the development of a child than just keeping them alive for a few hours. You will witness children possibly crawling for the first time, taking their first steps, learning personal grooming and to use the potty, and as a nanny, you work with the child to reach these various developmental milestones.
Some of our favorite books to assist with child development are The Montessori Toddler by Simone Davies and Elevated Childcare by Janet Landsbury. There are also excellent podcasts, nanny groups and this blog that will help you prepare for your first role.
Usually nanny agencies require anywhere from 2-5 years of nanny experience after age 18, (NO being a summer nanny at 15 is not counted in your adult experience). If you don’t have that yet, no worries! There are still some options available to you to get started such as Care(dot)com, SitterCity, Urban Sitter and local mom/nanny Facebook groups.
Before applying to these roles, ensure you have completed and are up to date on your CPR and First Aid certifications. You should have a cover letter stating any child care experience that includes both paid and volunteer babysitting, daycare, nursery, and camp counseling experience. You also want to include any RELEVANT certifications, education, and even a few of your personal hobbies. You may be applying for one of your first paid childcare roles, but there is no need to list tons of experience in an unrelated field on your resume for the sake of filling up the page, we all have to start somewhere!
Listing your hobbies at the end of your resume is a great way for potential families to learn more about you and your life outside of work. If you love yoga and completing puzzles, a parent with children also interested in yoga and puzzles may choose you over another similarly qualified candidate simply because of the similar interests.
Realize that as a newer nanny in the industry, you will probably have to start at an entry level nanny position. This doesn’t mean accept a job under minimum wage, but be aware that with minimal experience, it is unlikely that you will enter the job market making what a career nanny with tons of experience, education, and expertise would make.
Our advice to anyone aspiring to enter the nanny industry is to do your research on the ins and outs of the industry.
Research the industry leaders (they had to start somewhere and many of them have and continue to share their stories).
Learn about common roles and responsibilities of nannies (its not all finger painting and eating goldfish. Nannies and home managers have a variety of roles and responsibilities. Usually the higher the rate, the more responsibilities you have).
Get a few certifications for child care workers (These certifications will make you more marketable and will boost your resume. Some organizations may even offer free courses)
Get your passport (your nanny family may need you to travel with them and if you can’t, it may be a deal breaker)
Learn to swim and about water safety (If you can’t swim, take some lessons! Learn the basics, water safety is a nonnegotiable for most families).
Read personal nanny and agency blogs (There is a plethora of information on the internet! Most agencies will give you the inside scoop on their blogs. Nanny bloggers and influencers [Shout out to the Nanny Niche] are all about giving the deets about Nanny Life! You can learn a lot about the day to day life of a nanny with a quick search on Instagram and Twitter)!
Look into the various professional organizations and find out what they require for membership (Membership to these organizations definitely has its benefits and the networking is unmatched).
Learn a new language (This is a HIGHLY sought after skill for nannies, and if you speak two or more languages then you’ll likely never go without a nanny position)
Avoid the various courses that “Show you how to make six figures as a nanny” (If we are being completely honest, making six figures as a nanny comes only with time and experience. There is no way to jump over the time and work it takes to boost your resume and suddenly “make six figures”. BEWARE of anyone that offers a shortcut…there isn’t one!)
Hopefully this blog helped you make the decision to jump into the nanny industry.
Subscribe to the blog and follow the agency on Instagram as we help you navigate the industry and all it entails! Coming soon we will discuss childcare cover letters, resumes, portfolios, and interviews !
See ya next week!
Chelsea and Brie