An Insiders Guide to being a Career Nanny
An Insiders Guide to being a Career Nanny (and proud!)
We caught up with Louise, Career Nanny for over 14 years, on what makes aspects of the job stand out, and why you should never feel alone within what can be, an isolated industry.
I have been working as a professional nanny for the past 14 years. During my career I have worked in different countries, as well as different parts of the UK and I have gained a greater understanding of the needs of the children, including what the families need.
Currently I am working for a wonderful family in Colchester, Essex part time for two lovely children. I enjoy working with children and helping them develop in many ways and it is important to encourage children in all aspects of their lives and be supportive.
I have found throughout my career that nannying is not seen as a professional career and many people see us as ‘just a babysitter’ or an ‘Au pair’. Some even confuse us with childminders. I have on many occasions defended the career and explained the differences between the different titles.
I feel things are changing as more and more families are opting for career nannies because they want to give their children the best start in life.
The only advice I can give to fellow nannies is to keep doing the great job you are doing and just explain to those who are not aware of what we all do. Those people that you educate will be surprised with the outcome.
If you are lucky enough to work for families who are aboard or like to travel, you will have many opportunities to see parts of the world you may not experience if you were not in that position. I have been very fortunate and have worked for a family in New Jersey, USA and a family in Monaco. Both positions allowed me to travel and gain new experiences. It is a great opportunity for most Nannies who are looking to travel, as I did.
As I gained experience over the years I have made it clear in a caring way that I have my own interests and activities outside of my job. I would be there for the children and the family when they needed me but not always on duty. Most families understand and if you are flexible with them, then they will be with you too. It works both ways.
Nannying can be quite lonely at times, especially when you move to a new job in a different location. It can take a little while to build a network of nannies but with social media being a big part of our lives, and many groups you can join on Facebook etc. it is a great way to meet new people.
It is always good to find out about clubs and activities that are taking place locally because as a nanny, you have to be prepared to spend sometime on your own and therefore you need to be self-motivated.
If you find things to keep you busy and fill your time, you will limit the feeling of loneliness.
There are great organisations such as ANA The Association of Nanny Agencies and BAPN The British Association for Professional Nannies. ANA not only supports nanny agencies but nannies too. For nannies looking to change their career, it is not always easy, as we work in a different industry to most. It is not a career where you can be promoted and move up the ‘career ladder’. Some of you may wonder where you can go from here.
Some nannies may decide to open up their own nanny agency and go down the route of helping others and this is what I decided to do with a business partner on board. It was not easy to set up as it was difficult to find the right information and due to changes in circumstances we had to close the business. This was a fantastic opportunity and gave me a great understanding of how the business worked. As a result from this I was approached by Best Bear to help support the start up of new agencies, this continued for 2 years until Best Bear closed. ANA saw there was a need for this support and the service will continue with the support of the association.
New Nanny Agency Support Advisor for ANA