The Rewards and Challenges of Being a Professional Nanny

Being a professional nanny is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice that offers unique opportunities to make a positive impact on children’s lives. However, like any profession, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Whether you’re considering a career as a nanny or are already an experienced caregiver, here are some valuable insights into the joys and hurdles of this profession.

The Joys of Nurturing

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a professional nanny is the joy of nurturing and witnessing a child’s growth. From their first steps to their first words, nannies often become an integral part of a child’s life, providing them with love, care, and guidance. The bond that forms between a nanny and a child can be incredibly fulfilling, and it’s an honour to play a role in shaping their future.

Making a Positive Impact

As a professional nanny, you have the power to make a lasting impact on a child’s life. You have the opportunity to instil values, foster creativity, and encourage their personal and intellectual growth. The knowledge that you’re helping to shape the next generation can give you a sense of purpose and fulfilment that few other professions can match.

Building Meaningful Connections

Working as a professional nanny often means becoming an extended member of the family. You develop deep connections not only with the children but also with their parents and caregivers. These relationships can be incredibly rewarding, as you become a trusted confidant and support system for the entire family.

Flexibility and Variety

Professional nannies often enjoy a level of flexibility and variety in their work that is hard to find in other careers. Each day brings new adventures, challenges, and opportunities to learn and grow. From planning engaging activities to exploring different environments, nannies have the chance to create a dynamic and diverse work experience that keeps them on their toes.

Overcoming Challenges

While being a professional nanny is rewarding, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Navigating the complexities of child behaviour, dealing with tantrums or sibling rivalries, and managing different family dynamics can be demanding. However, these challenges can also serve as opportunities for personal growth and development, as you learn to adapt, problem-solve, and create a harmonious environment for the children under your care.

Balancing Work and Personal Life

Finding a healthy work-life balance can be a challenge for professional nannies. The nature of the job often requires flexibility in scheduling, including working evenings, weekends, or holidays. Managing your own self-care and personal commitments alongside the demands of the job is essential to prevent burnout and maintain your overall well-being.

Continuous Learning and Professional Development

The field of childcare is ever-evolving, and as a professional nanny, it’s crucial to stay updated on the latest best practices, child development research, and educational techniques. Seeking opportunities for continuous learning, attending workshops, and connecting with other nannies can enhance your skills and expertise, making you an even more effective caregiver.

Being a professional nanny is a rewarding and challenging career choice. It offers the opportunity to make a positive impact on children’s lives, build meaningful connections, and experience the joy of nurturing young minds. While there are challenges to overcome, the rewards far outweigh them. By understanding the unique dynamics of the profession and continuously investing in your personal and professional growth, you can thrive in this fulfilling role. 

If you’re passionate about working with children and are ready for a career that combines love, care, and personal development, becoming a professional nanny may be the perfect path for you. To learn more about becoming a nanny, enrol in our online course Working as a Nanny and unlock the full potential of your career as a professional caregiver. This comprehensive course is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in this rewarding and fulfilling role. By enrolling, you’ll gain valuable insights into child development, learn effective communication strategies, and discover proven techniques for managing the challenges that come with being a nanny. Our course also offers guidance on finding a healthy work-life balance and continuous professional development opportunities to keep you ahead of the curve. Invest in your future as a professional nanny and embark on a journey filled with joy, growth, and meaningful connections. Enrol today and begin making a lasting impact on the lives of children and families!

Working as a Nanny

Navigating Visas for International Nannies 

At International Nanny, we take pride in connecting premium families with outstanding nannies worldwide. As an agency specialising in international placements, we understand the complexities of visas and work permits. In this blog post, we will provide valuable insights into the visa process, explain our approach to work visa sponsorship, and shed light on the workings of legal visas for nannies.

Visas and Our Approach

When it comes to visas, it’s essential to clarify our stance on work visa sponsorship. At International Nanny, we do not sponsor work visas for nannies. This decision is rooted in the intricate legal requirements and complexities involved in sponsoring foreign workers. Hence, we understand that sponsorship is a tedious and arduous task that families are not willing to endure, and, to avoid any frustrations, we are clear from the beginning about the challenges posed. In this regard, we focus on candidates who can legally work in the destination. This means that the nanny already has a passport for the destination or work permit that is accepted in the country of work.

Understanding Legal Visas for Nannies

Securing a legal visa is a crucial step for nannies planning to work internationally. While specific visa requirements vary across countries, there are two common types of visas for nannies:

  1. Tourist Visa: A tourist visa allows nannies to accompany families on short-term trips. However, it generally does not permit employment. Complying with the regulations of each destination country is essential to avoid any legal issues.
  2. Work Visa: A work visa is the key to legal employment for nannies in a foreign country. The availability and requirements for work visas depend on the immigration policies of each country. Typically, it is the responsibility of the employing family to initiate and navigate the work visa application process. 

Supporting Families and Nannies

Although we do not sponsor work visas, International Nanny remains dedicated to assisting families and nannies throughout the recruitment and contract process. Our role revolves around providing guidance, resources, and expert advice to both parties involved. We help families understand the necessary steps for legally hiring an international nanny, ensuring compliance with local immigration laws.

Specific destinations are easier than others when granting visas and, hence, nannies need to understand the location of the job offers they can apply for. 

Gaining international nanny qualifications

Gaining an internationally recognised or well-established qualification, such as the course provided by the International Nanny Institute, will equip you with the knowledge and know-how to develop and grow in your nanny career, but it will not grant you work permits where you are not legally allowed to work. 

International Nanny is an ethical company, and we believe in transparency and honesty.  Whereas our motto is to help nannies find the best families, we also want to communicate the country-specific limitations one can face. 

5 Practical Tips to Help Nannies Save and Earn

You have to face it: there will be times that you will be getting a job that does not pay much. “Why not leave?” would be other people’s first opinion of it, but you know it’s not that easy. It could be because you have already been attached to the family, or the job, despite the pay, gives you a big career advance such as opportunities to learn and to broaden your network. 

So what are you to do in a situation like this? There are 2 practical answers: Save and Earn. Let us give you 5 tips on how nannies can save and earn!

  1. Prepare Your Own Coffee
Tips to help nannies save and earn. Prepare your own coffee.

There are some of us who rely on caffeine to function. We are lucky if our employers allow us to use their coffee. However, there will be a point when doing so is embarrassing, especially if you are a heavy coffee drinker. So what do you do? Stop resorting to Starbucks or any other coffee joint! Get yourself a travelling coffee mug and prepare your own coffee from home!

  1. Bring Your Own Food and Limit Dining Out/Dine Out Smart
Tips to help nannies save and earn. Make your dinner.

Bringing your food not only helps you with your budget, but it also practices your creativity in coming up with delicious yet economical meal plans! You can search the internet for meals that are hearty and practical. You can even create bento boxes that are fun to look at and create! Bringing your own food gives you control over your weekly budget.

When it comes to dining out with your buddies, why not go for other activities such as hiking, biking, or having picnics at the park? Stop partying if you can’t afford it!

  1. Do An Online Garage Sale
Tips to help nannies save and earn. Garage sale.

Gather the things that you are no longer using but are still in good condition. Live by the saying that one person’s dustbin be another’s treasure! There may still be people that can benefit from the things that you are no longer using. Take a good photo of them and post them on your social media site! Arrange meet-ups, pop-up store, or even do shipping!

  1. Do A Savings Challenge
Tips to help nannies save and earn.

For guidelines and ideas, you can check Pinterest! These savings challenge can vary from a penny-a-day progression to a dollar-a-day commitment. All you need is a big enough jar to hold the coins or bills and a strong sense of temperance to stop yourself from getting the funds halfway through! These challenges can even earn you up to 600 USD! 

  1. Blog or Offer Freelance Work
Tips to help nannies save and earn. Write a blog.

There are websites where you can offer your writing services for a price. You can write tips on how you go by as a nanny, or consolidate life hacks that you have proven useful in your everyday life. This is a nice way to release stress at the same time, earns you a good amount! Establish a blog and learn SEO. There is an endless opportunity in writing online!

Saving and earning on the side is a good thing to get by while doing what you love.  Remember to save and earn with the tips we have listed above!   

International Nanny Institute

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Great sleep tips for babies, toddlers and young children

Sleep is one of the biggest concerns reported by parents with young children and one of the most common reasons that parents seek help and advice from their nanny.

It’s not hard to see why this might be; taking care of small children can be exhausting at the best of times but a lack of sleep or broken sleep makes it even harder and this can really begin to take its toll on families.

Many parents will turn to some of the countless books, sleep training programs and expensive products on the market in order to “train” a baby to sleep for longer stretches so that they can too.

The notion of Sleep Training can be controversial and something that we as nannies should encourage parents to research in-depth for themselves. Here are some tips that might help you to support families to get more sleep.

Have realistic expectations

First and foremost, we need to have realistic expectations! The fact that sleep “issues” are one of the most commonly reported concerns for parents with young children should give a bit of a clue!

Children who wake in the night are the rule, not the exception to it. In fact, most adults don’t “sleep through the night” in a solid 12-hour block, so it’s pretty unreasonable for us to expect children to.

Although it does not make it any easier to deal with a lack of sleep, sometimes reminding parents that night waking is perfectly normal can remove the emotional burden of the situation.

Just like adults, babies, toddlers, and young children wake at night for a wide variety of practical reasons.

They could be hungry, thirsty, need the toilet, be too hot, too cold, have had a bad dream, have a tummy ache, be uncomfortable and so on.

When adults wake for these reasons we are usually able to take some kind of action to fix the problem, for example getting ourselves a glass of water, going to the toilet or calming ourselves down. Babies and small children don’t always have these options so they call out to their caregivers for help.

Sleep tips for babies, toddlers and young children

Some of these problems can be remedied perhaps by leaving a drink near the bed that a toddler can help themselves to, providing extra blankets near the bed for an older child or using a nightlight for little ones who may be scared of the dark.

However, babies, toddlers and young children often need help to meet their needs in the daytime so at nighttime this is no different.

When we think about human history and consider sleep from an evolutionary perspective, it is quite normal for young children to need their parents at night; our ancestors slept communally and shared “watch” duties at night time in order to keep everyone, including babies, safe (Worthman and Melby 2002) Humans’ evolutionary past has left its mark on brain and so is natural and normal for human babies to want to be close to their parents.

With all this in mind, we can approach children’s sleep with a more realistic expectation. We can still try to improve sleep because it is important that parents are able to get the rest they need too, but our expectations may need to be adjusted.

Work with children’s circadian rhythms

Circadian rhythms or the ‘biological clock’ is designed to regulate the timings of sleepiness and wakefulness as we go through 24-hour periods. We looked more in-depth at this in our article on children’s natural sleep rhythms which may also help you to improve your understanding of children’s sleep.

The cycle of light and dark throughout the day and night has a profound effect on our circadian rhythm. In the darker, winter months many adults feel a bit lethargic and down, whilst longer summer daytimes often see children rising far too early. However, if we work with the effects of daylight we can help children and ourselves sleep better during the nighttime.

Sleep tips for babies, toddlers and young children

It is daylight that helps to set children’s natural circadian rhythms and sleep-wake schedules, so using this to our advantage is a way that nannies can support families with babies, toddlers and young children’s sleep.

Exposure to natural light in the daytime, particularly in the late afternoon can help to improve children’s sleep. Nannies can take children outdoors during these times, perhaps on a walk or to play at the park, and monitor whether this makes a difference to children’s sleep.

Avoiding artificial light before bedtime can also improve children’s sleep because blue light, such as that in most of our homes and electronic devices, signals to the body that it’s time to wake up, and it is disruptive to the production of hormones needed for sleep.

For children, many of the nightlights marketed use blue-light, so nannies can encourage parents to consider swapping to a nightlight using red tones of light instead. 

Ensure rich, sensory input throughout the day

Sleep tips for babies, toddlers and young children

When we run around frantically from one activity to the next we are certainly in danger of overstimulating babies, toddlers and young children. Overstimulation gets a lot of press when thinking about children’s sleep.

However, it is also worth exploring whether babies, toddlers and young children are struggling to sleep because they have been under-stimulated. Young children need adequate rich, sensory input during the day in order for them to sleep well at night 

Spend more time outdoors

Sleep tips for babies, toddlers and young children

Spending time outdoors is good for children and adults, and one of the ways that it benefits us is that it promotes good quality sleep.

Along with exposure to natural sunlight, spending time outdoors can help to burn off excess physical energy (even for babies who aren’t walking, as the body will work harder to regulate temperature and so on) and fresh air affects the types of hormones and chemicals in our brains, which in turn can lead to better sleep.

Use the senses

There are plenty of ways to use the senses to help children to fall asleep, and get back to sleep if they wake.

Nannies can help to educate parents on these, and depending on the extent of their role may be able to implement some of these techniques.

We’ve looked at ways to use light to help children fall asleep, but sound can be comforting too; many families have great success using white noise with babies, but toddlers and young children can benefit from white noise, nature sounds, lullabies or audiobooks too. These things can become a signal for children that it’s time to sleep. 

Essential oils can be useful too, perhaps try baby massage, or a foot rub using relaxing essential oils like lavender.

Sleep tips for babies, toddlers and young children

The smell of certain oils can help to relax and calm children ready for bed.

Nannies can also consider the materials that children are sleeping in; pyjamas and bed sheets can make a big difference at this age so can the temperature and humidity in the room.

Here different things will suit different children so you may need to experiment.

Be their village

Sleep tips for babies, toddlers and young children

There is a lot of information available for parents and nannies to weigh up on the subject of children’s sleep. Reframing our expectations of sleep for young children and bringing it in line with what is biologically normal, rather than simply reflecting our cultural expectations can be especially helpful

When we do this, it becomes apparent that most children do not have a ‘sleep problem’, just that biologically normal infant sleep is culturally inconvenient.

In many homes, both parents are required to work outside of the home and run busy lives,  so the focus shifts onto getting the baby to sleep so that normal family life can continue to function.

Humans were never meant to raise children alone, the well-quoted proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” is biologically true. Unfortunately, most parents now find themselves away from family, and lacking a village or tribe to share raising children with.

Nannies, therefore, find themselves acting as a crucial support to families struggling with children’s (albeit normal) sleep patterns and trying to juggle the rest of their busy lives.

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A nanny’s guide to making a good first impression

Making a good first impression is really important.

No matter what industry you are in, the way you carry yourself on the first day of work matters.

This is especially true of the nanny industry where your employer is trusting you with their most precious and irreplaceable possession, their children.

Being a nanny on his or her first day of work, you might be wondering if you are ready for your new job, and to work with a new boss.

You might have thoughts like  “Do they still think I’m right for the job?” or “I hope they won’t change their mind” or suffer from imposter syndrome, where you feel out of your depth and hope that no one will find out! All of these things are common, understandable, and completely normal but it’s up to you to overcome them.

In spite of how you may be feeling on the inside, you still need to make the right first impression on the outside. Here are some of our tips for how to do just that:

Dress appropriately

This does not mean that you have to wear your Sunday best. Sure, you are dressing for a job; however, your job is likely to include physical activities especially if you will be taking care of a toddler.

You need to wear something that you can move comfortably in, think about how the clothes will feel and look as you run after a child, kneel down, and sit on the floor.

a good first impression

Some families like their nannies to be smart, while others prefer a much more casual approach, this is something that you could ask about ahead of time.

Even if your employers say that casual clothing is fine, remember to check that the imagery and language on any clothing are appropriate.

Take along some activities

Whilst you don’t necessarily want to go in with a school-style lesson plan, you may want to take a couple of activities along to help bring some structure to your day.

You could also prepare a list (it would be better if paired with colorful photos) of arts, crafts, or activities that you can show to the parents or the child. From this, they can help you to create a schedule of activities, and build anticipation for the coming days and weeks. This shows that you’re interested in the child and family as individuals and that you’re planning ahead!

a good first impression

Another good tip is to bring along your favourite children’s book on the first day and read it together with the child. This gives you the opportunity to spend some quiet time together, and get to know each other and is also a good way of gauging their ability to read if they’re at an appropriate age to do so. 

Greeting the Child

Respect is vitally important in nannying and if you want to get respect from a child, often you have to give it first! Greet the child in the same way that you greeted his or her parents, showing that you value them too.

Introduce yourself to the child in a friendly way such as, “Hi (their name), my name is (your name). Nice meeting you!”

You will need to use your interpersonal skills to make a judgment as to the child’s personality.

If they seem confident or easygoing then get started with a game or a chat, asking them lots of questions to allow them to talk about themselves and their interests.

If the child is more introverted or shy, do not force interaction. If you do this, the child might further withdraw himself or herself from you.

a good first impression

Instead, just keep calm and place yourself in their shoes; strangers can be scary, intimidating, or confusing to young children. Don’t rush into trying to play with them instead stay nearby and maybe start an activity where they can see.

Most children will build up their confidence and come over and join in at their own pace. This shows that you are confident in your own ability as a nanny and that you’re able to be very caring and respectful of a child’s needs. 

Ask Questions

Often on the first day or trial day parents or maybe even the previous nanny will be around. You can use this time to gather the information that you need to be able to do your job well and feel confident in your new role.

Ask open-ended questions like “tell me about your usual routine” or “can you talk me through your family’s values” and listen carefully to the answers.

a good first impression

You may want to ask specific questions about the children too so that you can get to know them better. Some nannies hesitate to ask questions because they feel like it is too forward or that it makes.

Most parents enjoy talking about their children, and they will appreciate that you are taking the role seriously and that you are interested in their family.

Take the initiative

This is not to say be bossy but you do want to show parents that you’re able to take the lead a little and get on with the day.

Perhaps after you have played at home in the morning, and been shown where everything is you can suggest taking the children to the park in the afternoon.

a good first impression

Perhaps if you’re taking care of a newborn you can mention that you have done some research and found local classes for when the baby is 3 months old.

All of this will boost the parents’ confidence that you are interested in and committed to the role and reassure them that you don’t need to have every detail spelled out to you because you are confident and capable.

A good first impression

When nannies think about making a good first impression they often focus on the parents and what the parents think of them which does make some sense since it is the parents who pay the nanny’s wage, but really most parents are happy when their children are happy so it’s vitally important to create a good, lasting impression on the child you will be taking care of.

Taking their wants, needs, and personality into consideration and thinking of them first, above anyone else, is how you make a good first impression and make the best start on your nanny career journey! 

If you want to get off to a good start in your professional career as a nanny, you need to have experience, but also accreditation of your nanny skills.⁣

⁣If you want to know more about our programme, send us a direct message and we will help you make the best decision you can make.⁣

International Nanny Institute

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What makes a ‘Professional Nanny’

Uncovering the Essential Characteristics of a skilled Nanny

Roles vary significantly from country to country and family to family, which makes it difficult to define the role of the professional nanny. As a result of this lack of clarity, many people consider themselves qualified to take on the role of a professional nanny when in reality they are not. Here we look at some of the experiences that do NOT qualify you to be a professional nanny:

Taking care of siblings or babysitting

Taking care of siblings or babysitting for friends or relatives is something that sparks an interest in a career in childcare for many people. Of course this is a good thing and can be a good base to build on but it is not adequate experience from which to take on professional nanny roles.

Often babysitting takes place when children are already in bed sleeping, or it may be a much more short-term arrangement where parents’ expectations are fairly low.

For example, a mother may employ a baby sitter to play with her kids for a few hours while she finishes a work project. Here she would expect the children to be kept safe, but she may be in the house or nearby, and not expect the babysitter to support children’s development, plan activities for them, cook meals or work with them on a long-term basis.

Some of the skills you may develop from this experience are:

  •  Basic childcare skills
  •  Trustworthiness
  •  Responsibility

Some skills you may need to develop further:

  •  More advanced childcare skills
  •  Knowledge of child development
  •  Improved communication with parents/care

Having your own children

Other people draw this idea that you don’t need to be qualified to look after children from the notion that parents are not qualified yet have to look after their own children.

This is a flawed idea on many levels; Firstly because it equates professional childcare with parenting, which is disparaging to both parties, childcare and parenting are distinct roles, and secondly because it seems to suppose that parenting is easy. Ask any parent and they will tell you that having kids can be really hard work.

Having your own children and taking care of them as they grow up, experiencing the highs and lows of parenting is a wonderful experience and there are plenty of skills from this that you can bring to a career as a professional nanny.

Nanny-parent-child relationships take many forms and nannies have been described as mothering-by-proxy, shadow mothers or third parents. (Macdonald, 2011).

However, being a parent does not mean that you are ready to work as a professional nanny as there are several fundamental differences between raising your own children and professionally caring for someone else’s.

Some of the skills you may develop from this experience are:

  •  Patience and resilience
  •  Understanding of family dynamics
  •  Empathy with other parents

Some skills you may need to develop further:

  • Advanced knowledge of child development 
  • Working with families as a professional
  • Communicating with parents

Working in a nursery 

Working in a nursery or preschool environment is often a very demanding role. Expectations are high as you may be caring for many children at once and there are often strict regulations to comply with.

The skills that you learn through nursery work include talking to children’s parents and working in partnership with them to support children’s development. Most nurseries and preschools will also help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of child development and teach you how to plan activities that meet children’s individual needs.

Working in a nursery however does not prepare you completely to work as a professional nanny as working with children and families in their own homes requires a unique and specialised skill-set that is quite different to providing group care in a nursery setting alongside colleagues.

Some of the skills you may develop from this experience are:

  • Planning activities for children based on their age, stage of development, interests and needs.
  • A good working knowledge of child development
  • Communicating well with parents

Some skills you may need to develop further:

  •  Working with children and families in their own homes
  •  Dealing with sibling dynamics and working with multiple ages of children at once
  •  Working with newborns and very young infant

Being a teacher 

Being a teacher demonstrates a good level of education, commitment to children and skills in planning and assessment, all of which can be transferred into a career as a professional nanny.

However, being a teacher in and of itself does not qualify you to start a career as a professional nanny as there are many more skills that you will need.

Some of the skills you may develop from this experience are:

  • Planning educational activities 
  • Making learning fun for children
  • Assessing children’s developmental needs

Some skills you may need to develop further:

  •  Carrying out care routines 
  •  Working in a home-based role
  •  Working with newborns, infants and toddler

Being an Au-pair 

For some nannies, being an au-pair is an excellent stepping stone. Working in an au-pair’s role allows you to gain valuable experience of working with children and engaging in family life.

Although au-pairs live in the family home and work with children in this setting, they are often used for babysitting more than sole-charge care, and may not have responsibility duties  such as designing routines or planning activities that support children’s development.

Some of the skills you may develop from this experience are:

  •  Working with children
  •  Working in a home based role
  •  Carrying out care routines

Some skills you may need to develop further:

  •  Sole charge working
  •  More in-depth knowledge of child development and how to support this
  •  Planning appropriate routines and activities

Teaching language classes 

Teaching a language class is a fantastic way to gain experience working with children. It also helps you build up your knowledge and understanding of how children learn languages.

It’s likely that in teaching a class you have also gained some skills in managing children’s behaviour such as rewarding and promoting positive behaviour and discouraging negative behaviour.

However, teaching a class for a short period of time is totally different to being a sole-charge carer children throughout the day and whilst many of the skills you have developed will be useful and transferable, there are many others that you will still need to develop.

Some of the skills you may develop from this experience are:

  •  Making learning fun
  •  Behaviour management
  •  Supporting children’s language development

Some skills you may need to develop further:

  • Working with children and families in their own homes 
  • A holistic understanding of child development
  • Communication and partnership with parents 

What parents expect from a professional nanny

There are several different kinds of nanny and parents’ needs and expectations will vary from role to role. However, as a general rule, expectations of a professional nanny are pretty high.

When hiring a nanny, parents are entrusting someone else with their children’s safety, emotional wellbeing and development, so it stands to reason that they may have demanding expectations.

A professional nanny will need to be able to plan and arrange safe, fun learning opportunities that suit children’s age and stage of development, and are based around their interests.

In order to do this they will need to be able to observe and assess children’s development in relation to the typical and expected sequence and rate of child development.

Parents will also expect a professional nanny to know how to plan and prepare healthy meals and snacks, carry out age appropriate care routines (such as making up bottle feeds safely, planning weaning, changing nappies, supporting sleep and rest times) and have up-to-date Paediatric first aid training so that they know how to respond and keep children safe in emergency situations.

Professional nannies will also need to show good organisational skills, time management skills and be able to communicate well with both parents/carers and children themselves. Sometimes a professional nanny may need to work in partnership with other agencies

What qualifications should a professional nanny have

Despite legally not requiring any formal qualifications, eighty-two per cent of nannies responding to the SIRC (2009) survey reported having a childcare-related qualification and in interviews and focus groups with nannies it was apparent that nannies viewed qualifications as an important part of their professional identity. Parents too are increasingly looking for nannies with qualifications.

Gaining qualifications in the field of childcare requires study and effort but through this, you are able to gain the knowledge and skills that you need to do your job properly.

Studying how children learn and develop means that you will feel confident to plan activities that will be stimulating to children of different age ranges and will help to support their development across different areas of learning.

Having the skills that you need to keep children safe means that you are able to carry out your role on a day to day basis as well as respond appropriately in an emergency.

Our International Nanny Institute provides practical and comprehensive childcare related courses designed to train and educate nannies, au pairs, babysitters and childminders.

We offer reasonably priced online training, which allows our students to study any time and anywhere.

Our courses are designed by a team of experts including psychologists, nutritionists, teachers, paediatric nurses and SEN specialists who are committed to maintaining high standards and staying up-to-date in the field of childcare.

The International Nanny Institute is passionate about empowering and raising the standards of child carers as professionals in their fields.

If you would like to complete a childcare related qualification, designed especially for nannies with us, browse our course catalogue now.  

International Nanny Institute

5 ways to ensure you hire the right nanny

Hiring a nanny was once only something for the elite, but today it has become a much more common childcare solution, with families understanding the value that a nanny can provide.

Not only can a nanny offer more personalised care, in the family home, but with multiple children, a nanny can often work out to be relatively cost-effective too.

Hiring a nanny is an important decision with serious consequences for family life, so to ensure that these are all positive it’s crucial to select the right candidate. Here are five ways to ensure that you hire the right nanny.

Hire through a trustworthy source

Many people rely on their friends for recommendations when finding a nanny, but this is not possible for every parent. Luckily, you can go to a nanny agency that has a good reputation.

They will help you find a nanny according to your needs and can even create a contract to govern the terms of service. This will make sure you find a nanny that will be a good fit for your family so that you feel confident leaving your children in their care.

Ask the right questions

While hiring a nanny, you should ensure that you ask the right questions while interviewing. This will help you to decide whether the person is right for the job or not.

You can ask questions about their expectations of the role, their experience working with children, their aims and values and get to know them better as a person.

5 ways to ensure you hire the right nanny

Consider the nanny’s educational background

Hiring a nanny is a very important decision as your children will spend a lot of their time with them.

Some nannies have qualifications in education, childcare, or child development which many families find reassuring as they know that the nanny will be prepared to work with their children and plan appropriate activities.

If the nanny is well-educated themselves, they are more likely to be able to help your children with homework. You should consider the candidate’s education and whether this will be a good fit for your family before hiring them.

Do reference checks

Checking references should be an important part of hiring a nanny, you should carry out at least 2 childcare related reference checks; if the candidate has worked as a nanny before then you should contact their previous employers and check the information about the role that they have provided you with.

You can also ask about the nanny’s performance and strengths.

5 ways to ensure you hire the right nanny

Have a trial before hiring

A trial day is a good option where circumstances allow for this. A trial day should always be paid, to show respect for the nanny’s time, but it is a good opportunity for you to get to know a candidate better, observe their behavior towards the children and how they handle new situations. This can help to give a better overall sense of someone’s abilities and working style.

Hiring a nanny can be a complicated process but, you can consider asking the right questions, observing their behavior, and running background checks to make sure the candidate is suitable and trustworthy.

We at International Nanny conduct two thorough background checks. We also carry out an extensive interview of the Nanny and undertake further reference checks as necessary. We assist parents when they hold interviews with potential candidates by preparing questions for them and staying present whenever needed. This all helps to ensure that you select the best Nanny for your children. 

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5 things to consider when creating a nanny contract

Contracts are essential in any nanny-family relationship. At first, it can sound intimidating and complicated but having a contract in place is invaluable especially in situations when something unexpected arises.

If something goes wrong, a contract can ensure that fair treatment is given to both parties.

Creating a contract does not necessarily need a lawyer’s presence but you do need to make sure that the contract is fair and have both sides, the employer and employee, agree with the terms for it to be effective.

So, what are some of the key issues to consider when drafting a contract?


5 things to consider when creating a nanny contract

This is the most important factor in every working contract, so it’s important to be clear on exactly what the nanny will be paid and by when.

You should set down in the contract what a nanny’s normal working hours will be, if and when overtime will be paid and at what rate.

You contract should be clear about holidays and sick days, how many are allowed, whether they are paid or unpaid adn all of this should reflect employment law in the main country of residence.

Another area you will need to consider is tax and insurance, which will again need to reflect the relevant employment law. In some countries the employer is responsibly for paying taxes, in others it is the employees responsibility to file taxes.

You should also state in the contract whether there will be a trial period of 15 days that can serve as a probationary period, this is a good clause to include for both parties as it allows you both to change your mind if it becomes apparent early on that you aren’t the right fit for each other.

In the contract, you should also state when the nanny will have a  performance review where they can renegotiate their salary.

House Rules 

5 things to consider when creating a nanny contract

The nanny-family relationship requires lots of trust and respect from both sides since it is such an intimate role; a family is letting someone into their house and their lives and a nanny is becoming an integral part of the family, sometimes living in the same house, but certainly spending many hours in the family’s home.

Establishing clear expectations, and setting them down on paper, is really important.

The contract is a good space to clearly describe your expectations of your nanny, and what the nanny can expect from you in return.

  • For example, will there be a room or space intended solely for the nanny?
  • Are visitors allowed during work hours?
  • What are the house rules on drinking?

These are all important matters that should be considered and written into the contract.

Childcare Expectations

5 things to consider when creating a nanny contract

A nanny’s contract needs to contain a detailed outline of their roles and responsibilities.

In the contract you need to be clear not only about the hours that will be worked but what the nanny is expected to do within those hours.

  • Will the nanny be driving the child to school and doctor’s appointments?
  • Is housekeeping included in their duties?
  • Do you expect the nanny to care for other children when your own child has a playdate?

All of these expectations must be made clear in the contract otherwise the nanny has the right to refuse additional duties.


5 things to consider when creating a nanny contract

A nanny should be given benefits such as paid sick leave, maternity leave and contracted holiday.

They should also have pay premiums for days they are expected to work during national holidays (keep in mind that these days are supposed to be for rest and relaxation but nanny’s are often required to work, so this should be recognised)

  • If the family is going on a vacation, will the nanny be required to travel with them?
  • And how will this be compensated?

All of this needs to be considered and included in a Nanny contract.

End of Contract

5 things to consider when creating a nanny contract

The nanny contract will also need to stipulate how and when a contract will end.

  • You will need to consider the following questions:
  • If the nanny decided to leave, how long should the notice be?
  • What are the grounds for termination?
  • When is the nanny let go without prior notice?
  • Is there a severance pay in any particular circumstances?

All of these stipulations will need to reflect employment law in the relevant countries.

It is needed by both parties to hold on to their right and safety.

If you are a family looking for a nanny, then you need to create a contract between yourselves and your nanny in order to protect the rights and safety of all involved.

You should have the potential candidate involved in drawing up the contract so that it is democratic and fair. 

Remember, this contract is considered valid as long as both parties agree and sign it.

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The Benefits of CPD Certification 

Here at International Nanny Institute, all of our courses are accredited by the CPD Certification Service which is the largest and leading independent CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors.

To be accredited by this service the learning content of our qualifications has been scrutinised to ensure integrity and quality. The learning activity has also been judged to have reached the required Continuing Professional Development standards and benchmark/

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is a well-known and well-established brand that has been working with training companies, professional bodies, conference providers, academic institutions and corporate organisations throughout this time to support individuals seeking CPD learning activities.

You may be wondering how a qualification supported by the CPD certification service might benefit you. Here are some of the ways:

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Stay up to date

Qualifications certified by the CPD certification service must demonstrate that they contribute to candidates refreshing their knowledge and keeping their skills up to date.

Training with the International Nanny Institute helps ensure both academic and practical qualifications do not become outdated, and allows nannies to continually upskill throughout their career. 

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Fill knowledge and skills gaps

Our training courses at International Nanny Institute are designed specifically with nannies in mind, to support their day-to-day professional work with children and families.

This makes it simple for you to focus short term on specific knowledge gaps and missing skills.

Our accreditation by the CPD certification service can leave you assured that there will be a recognisable improvement to your proficiency, as all of our training courses have been scrutinised as part of the accreditation process to ensure that they provide value to the learner.

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Increase your confidence

CPD can help to increase nannies’ confidence, and knowing that our qualifications have been examined to ensure that they provide adequate challenge will allow nannies to embark on a training course with the knowledge that their professional capabilities will improve and evolve.

This in turn, will increase your confidence that your skillset will thrive through any industry, or role, changes.

Showcase your learning

Another benefit of completing training that has been accredited by the CPD certification service is that it enables nannies to clearly showcase their further learning and development, which can help create a competitive advantage within the job market.

Boost your employability 

Completing our CPD certification service approved courses  is a great way to show potential employers that you take your responsibilities as a nanny seriously, and that you are committed to continually upskilling and developing your professional knowledge.

Our CPD certification service accredited courses will help you stand out from other nanny candidates seeking similar roles, getting you more interviews more often.

All of our courses here at International Nanny Institute are accredited by the CPD certification service, so you can embark on any course that interests you knowing that it will add value to your skill set and meet your professional needs.

If you think one of our courses might be a good fit for your professional development, visit our website at! We can’t wait to have you on board!

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The importance of being a qualified child carer

It’s a huge misconception that you don’t need to be trained or qualified to work with children. Part of this view comes because regulation in the childcare sector has been historically lacking, though this has changed significantly in recent decades and in some countries childcare is now one of the most highly regulated industries.

Other people draw this idea that you don’t need to be qualified to look after children from the notion that parents are not qualified yet have to look after their own children. This is a flawed idea on many levels; Firstly because it equates professional childcare with parenting, which is disparaging to both parties, childcare and parenting are distinct roles, and secondly because it seems to suppose that parenting is easy. Ask any parent and they will tell you that having kids can be really hard work.

People pay for professional childcare because they recognise that it is a demanding full-time job, and one that can’t be done well whilst distracted with other things. During the Covid-19 pandemic many parents were forced to take on the role of childcare alongside their own jobs, and sometimes homeschooling too, and most of them will tell you that it was barely manageable. So, having established that childcare is not easy, and is a full-time job in its own right, why is it important to be qualified?

Qualifications offer you value

Gaining qualifications in the field of childcare requires study and effort but through this, you are able to gain the knowledge and skills that you need to do your job properly. Studying how children learn and develop means that you will feel confident to plan activities that will be stimulating to children of different age ranges and will help to support their development across different areas of learning. Having the skills that you need to keep children safe means that you are able to carry out your role on a day to day basis as well as respond appropriately in an emergency.

Engaging in continuous professional development not only helps you to upskill, it helps you to take ownership of your own career too and develop a sense of professionalism and fulfilment. Undertaking qualifications can help you to specialise in different areas, take on lucrative, higher earning roles, and invest in yourself.

Qualifications offer parents value

Parents all want the best for their children and that includes ensuring that they are well cared for, and their development is supported appropriately. Parents who choose a child carer with qualifications will get more value from their child carer as they will be better equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to care for children safely, and in a developmentally appropriate way, but also to observe children’s milestones and learning, and encourage their development in a range of different ways.

Qualifications offer children value

At the heart of what we do as childcarers is love, respect and wanting the best outcomes for children. Studies have shown that well-qualified child carers make a significant difference to children’s development in the Early Years (EPPE, Sylva et al 2004) so by gaining qualifications, and keeping our knowledge up to date through continuous professional development we are able to improve children’s development.

Qualifications demonstrate your value

Completing child care qualifications is a great way to show potential employers that you understand what motivates children and know how to support their development appropriately. It also shows that you take your responsibilities as a child carer seriously, and that you are committed to continually upskilling and developing your professional knowledge.

If you would like more information, you can send us a direct message or go to the bio where you will find a link to our courses.

Start your learning adventure now!

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