The role of a governess can be fundamentally important to a family household. Not to be confused with a nanny, a governess is primarily an educator within the home. The role is normally a live-in position and will be largely structured around the needs of the children for whom she is responsible.
The duties of each governess will vary and are decided in conjunction with the client family beforehand. They may include agreed educational targets, such as learning to read for young children, focussing on certain skills such as learning a foreign language, or working towards formal qualifications such as Common Entrance and G.C.S.E.
However, a governess will usually have a broader remit that involves caring for the health, safety and general well-being of the children. She may be responsible for encouraging their social skills and guiding their development in every other way. Some families have special requirements, requesting that the governess also have a hand in religious education, or travel with them on a frequent basis. The governess’ role usually requires full-time commitment and may involve over 40 hours per work.
Due to the demands of the position a governess will typically have experience in education relating to the age of the children in the client family. They may also have some form of nanny certification and will have worked with children before. They will almost certainly need to possess a positive and calm demeanour, be kind but firm, confident and fair with discipline and patient. In most instances they should also be sufficiently fit to lead children’s activities, or carry infants, for example.
The may need to have a flexible approach and a willingness to accommodate the client family’s needs, which will vary with each household. In return, as well as compensation which reflects the level of responsibility and number of children in the household, governesses usually receive their room and board, access to a family car and holiday.
At Perfect Household Staff, we thoroughly qualify and vet all governesses to ensure that they are the ideal people for each client family. If you are considering hiring a governess and would like to discuss the matter in further detail, please call us on (0) 207 960 6292.