A career as a governess in a private household can offer exciting opportunities, intense challenges and requires a specific set of skills and qualifications. The unique blend of childcare, teaching, and administrative duties associated with the job makes it a rewarding yet challenging career choice. In this section, we will highlight the top essential qualifications that anyone desiring to become a governess must have.
Education qualifications are a fundamental requirement for anyone seeking to become a governess. Most private families prefer that their governess has a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood or Education fields or similar. In specific cases, families seek governesses with degrees in Psychology, Language, and other related fields or postgraduate-level training.
Some families are open to considering those with vocational qualifications demonstrating excellence in their fields, specifically in music, sports or the arts. The idea is to ensure their children receive instruction from someone with skills and expertise that can be acquired through focused education or training.
Childcare experience is necessary for anyone aspiring to become a governess, and families prefer a working experience that can be backed up by references. Some families may specify a minimum year of working experience as a nanny, primary/secondary school teacher, education support officer or working as teaching assistant. The priority of the employer is to fill the post with someone who has had experience in how important it is to help children learn and grow, as well as someone who has provided outstanding care in the past.
Having a multilingual skill set is a wonderful advantage for anyone interested in becoming a governess. Being able to speak, read and write in multiple languages can be a key factor in ensuring that communication between the governess, children and family members is up-to-standard. Being able to communicate with children in their native language can help the children feel comfortable and support their educational and social growth.
Deportment and Etiquette
Governesses usually work in high-class private households where deportment and etiquette are essential. Hence, families prefer hiring someone who has impeccable manners, speaks correctly and eloquently, and is cognisant of social expectations. It is important to note that most families prefer a governess with some formal etiquette training and protocol to ensure these principles are passed down to the children they serve.
IT and Technology Proficiency
Technology is becoming more prevalent in education and childcare, making technology skills a crucial part of career development for governesses. Governesses must be competent in computer skills, able to operate multimedia teaching aids and programs that support online learning or assessments applicable to the children’s education. They may also be required to manage household and travel expenses or use apps to track children’s schedules and achievements.
Inoculations and Health Certificates
As governesses may be travelling to different locations, vaccination certificates are often required to ensure their health and that of the children are safeguarded. Hence, having updated medical reports with an excellent health track record is essential. Employers also require candidates to provide evidence that they are physically fit and can handle the responsibilities of caring for children.
While the list of essential qualifications for becoming a governess may seem extensive, individuals who meet these qualifications will thrive in a private household environment. With a bachelor’s degree in education, childcare experience, fluency in multiple languages, IT skills, excellent manners and protocols, and good health is a winning combination that will place you in high demand. Becoming a governess requires patience, flexibility, great communication skills, and a desire for continued educational and professional growth. However, for those who have a genuine passion for childcare and education, and are willing to invest their time and efforts, becoming a governess can be an immensely fulfilling, worthwhile and rewarding career option.
If you’re interested in exploring the different roles that are available in the home-based childcare sector then our course Working as a Nanny is for you, here you will learn more about the roles and responsibilities of different posts and develop the skills needed for looking for and securing a job, and for communicating with parents, so you can get your career off to a great start!