The Job and What's Involved

Nannies work in private homes caring for their employers' children. They are responsible for all aspects of childcare, however, their duties will vary depending on the number and ages of the children in their care.

As a nanny, you would often look after babies and very young children, and your duties would include:

- Dressing
- Feeding
- Bathing
- Changing nappies

When working with older children, you would be involved in teaching basic social, reading and writing skills. You would also take children on outings and keep them entertained through play.

You could work as a maternity nanny, helping families care for newborn babies. This would usually be for a short period, during the first few weeks of a babies life.

You would work in a private household and your hours could be longer than a standard working week.

You might live with your employer and their family. However, there are opportunities for day only positions.

Full-time nannies can earn between around £12,000 and £18,500 a year. With experience, this could reach £28,000, depending on the factors mentioned below.

Salaries will vary depending on the nannies' geographical location, qualifications, and whether or not they are employed directly by a family or through an agency.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

You may be able to start work as a nanny without any qualifications. However, many employers and employment agencies will prefer you to have a childcare qualification.

You can find job opportunities throughout the UK and overseas. Vacancies are advertised through agencies, as well as in the national and local press.

Education and Training

A range of full- and part-time courses are available that can help you prepare for work as a nanny. Many include a placement, but where this is not the case it will be helpful for you to gain some experience, for example as a volunteer working with children.

You could increase your chances of getting paid work as a nanny if you have a Certificate in First Aid For Those Caring For Children, or Paediatric First Aid.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

Once you are employed as a nanny you could work towards the Children and Young People's Workforce Certificate and Diploma (levels 2 and 3).

Course entry requirements will vary, so you need to check with individual colleges for details.

The Early Years and Playwork Qualifications Database website gives you further details of courses recognised by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) as meeting the national occupational standards for under-eight day care.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A nanny needs:

  • An interest in the social and personal development of children.
  • The ability to establish close and trusting relationships with parents, carers and children.
  • A creative approach with a good imagination.
  • The ability to plan and organise stimulating activities.
  • A responsible attitude to work.
  • The ability to cope with unexpected situations.
  • An awareness of health and safety and food hygiene.
  • Patience, tolerance and a sense of humour.
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure.
  • Energy and stamina.

Your Long Term Prospects

As a qualified and experienced nanny, you may be able to move into child minding or nursery nursing.

With additional training, you could go on to become a children's nurse.

Get Further Information

National Childminding Association,
Royal Court, 81 Tweedy Road,
Bromley, Kent BR1 1TG
Tel: 0845 880 0044


Council for Awards in Childrens Care
and Education (CACHE), Apex House,
81 Camp Road, St. Albans Hertfordshire AL1 5GB
Tel: 0845 347 2123

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