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Characteristics of a Great Nanny

Characteristics of a Great Nanny

Being a Nanny is a respectable career that’s worth considering if you have an invested interest in being an early childhood educator or childcare provider. It can be the perfect progression in your career and allow you to move up to a more advanced level of care and into a more profitable salary bracket. The job provides a rewarding aspect that will allow you to contribute to the upbringing of young children and be important in their education from the early years of their lives. In addition to the personal rewards, there are financial benefits too. Many daycare providers are on minimum wage, whereas nannies can earn a healthy wage (£8.64/Hr on average as of September 2015). The difference in pay is reflected in the difference in the job role too. Here we have listed some of the main differences in being a child carer & a live in Nanny: 


A childcare provider is likely to have a less intimate relationship with the children and work with more children for a shorter amount of time. Being a Nanny offers a closeness to the children and a more significant relationship between child and carer. A child carer would take care of the basic needs of kids in their care, a Nanny would partner with the parents in providing discipline, structure and education that is crucial to their development. A Nanny would often be involved in family dinners, school activities, vacations and other actives. This can be hard work but does allow for the job to be more rewarding and bring a social element to life as a child carer. 

Structure & Convenience 

The work setting for a Nanny would be a lot more consistent and well structured. Rather than working in a facility or your own home, you would be work in the home of your client with their children specifically. You are likely to be provided with a private room/bathroom and have a handful of rooms in a guest area. This gives you the opportunity to work on personal interests (whether it be vocational projects or education) during nap time or other periods of free time. The live-in Nanny doesn’t have to worry about commuting costs, is often catered for and will have flexible hours that work around the family. This can provide a much more relaxed work/life balance. This, does of course, depend on the client and there can be periods of long hours and hard work. For example, school holidays are likely to be a period of more intense workload and hours. 


Being a Nanny takes a lot more dedication/commitment. Being a Nanny, you have a closer relationship with the children and their families. This means, the family are likely to want to see commitment of at least one year. As Nannies would understand, it’s important that the children have a consistent figure in their life throughout their early stages of development. Nannies aren’t an exception. Along with the commitment to a long term placement, that could mean living away from friends and family for a long period of time, you will be asked to commit to 8-10 hours per day to cater for the children’s physical and emotional demands. It’s important to understand that being a full-time nanny isn’t a career choice that should be made without consideration. It can be very demanding and will take specialist skills to be one of the top earners. That’s why there is such a difference in salary between standard childcare and live in nannies. 


The best Nannies understand that it’s not just your time that’s being committed when you take on the role. The best will take every opportunity to participate in the children’s development, while understanding that assisting parents in the upbringing of their parents can be a delicate process. It’s not uncommon for Nannies to spend more waking hours with the children than their parents, this means they have a huge emotional impact on the children and their development. This is a huge responsibility to take on and can be very stressful for inexperienced care providers. There are many responsibilities that need to be considered, including the risk of injury, their personal safety when out of the house or commuting to and from school in your care. Parents can be more sensitive about injuries (scrapes or bruises) that children can pick-up in a Nanny’s care. 

If you think you have what it takes & want a more specific understanding of the qualifications and experience needed to become a live-in nanny, you can read more here:

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