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.  

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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 www.international-nanny.institute! We can’t wait to have you on board!

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Why should I enrol in a Healthy Living course?

In any career, continuous professional development is vital. Completing ongoing training helps you grow as a professional by gaining new knowledge, reflecting on your experience and mastering new skills to take back into the workplace.

Professional development also demonstrates your passion and commitment to your sector and shows you are dedicated to your chosen career.

When working with young children in private, domestic households, earning an OCN-London approved qualification via our course, Healthy Living, caregivers can ensure they are getting ready for a professional childcare placement.

With a growing public awareness of, (and interest in) health, there are a range of different courses and qualifications available for those interested in healthy lifestyles.

The International Nanny Institute Healthy Living course has many unique benefits and features that make it the perfect fit for nannies and others in the domestic childcare field. 

Tailor-made for nannies

With an array of different courses related to caring for children available, it can be difficult to know which to choose.

The International Nanny Institute Healthy Living course has been carefully curated by a team of experts who are committed to maintaining high standards and staying up-to-date in the field of childcare.

Our experts specialise in a range of different fields and include practical advice as well as academic information. Our courses have been designed with nannies in mind, so they will be well suited to the day-to-day work of keeping children and their families active and nourished.

Learn to support children’s wellbeing

As society has a renewed interest in children’s wellbeing, it’s a great time to ensure that your knowledge is up to date.

We all want the best for the children in our care and while we aim for them to grow up to be healthy and happy, it’s not always easy to know how to achieve this. 

Our ONC-London certified Healthy Living course will help you build up the knowledge and skills necessary to support children and their families with healthy eating, physical activity and all round the best wellbeing practices.

Improve your own wellbeing

When caring for young children, caregivers often forget that their personal needs are also important.

Our Healthy Living course is designed to encourage nannies to consider their own lifestyle while also learning how to support children and their families in making positive choices around exercise and nutrition.

Healthy Living gives students a chance to reflect on their personal wellbeing and inspires them to take small steps towards improving their own sense of wellbeing through managing stress, eating well and getting enough physical exercise.

Broaden your skill set

Being a nanny can be a demanding job that requires a broad set of skills.

Completing our internationally certified Healthy Living course is one way to showcase your understanding of proper nutrition, age-appropriate exercise, and ability to provide children with the building blocks for living a healthy lifestyle. 

Demonstrate a specialism

As the nanying industry evolves, more nannies are specializing in different areas. Some nannies support families with sleep routines while others specialise in newborn care or working with multiple children at once, but increasingly there is a need and demand for nannies who are able to support children in the process of developing healthy lifestyles.

As many families begin to focus on their children’s physical and mental  health, our internationally certified Healthy Living course is a fantastic way to demonstrate that you have developed your skill set in this area, setting you apart from other applicants for jobs.

Healthy Living Course. International Nanny Institute

The Healthy Living course consists of 4 weekly, in-depth training sessions supplemented with a test for checking your understanding.

We also offer an interactive group forum so you can discuss what you are learning with other students in your cohort. This forum can help foster understanding, learning and personal development on a deeper level.

Healthy Living is taught as an online course  100% online and it will take about 60 hours to complete over 8 weeks, giving you a window of time to complete the course and leaving you in control of how and when you study.

If you like what you’ve read about our Healthy Living course and think it might be a good fit for your professional development, visit our website at www.international-nanny.institute!

We can’t wait to have you on board!

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Why should I complete an OCN-London Certified Course?

The internet is a great tool for professional development with plenty of blogs, information sites, videos and even courses available. So if you are thinking about taking one of the International Nanny Institute’s courses designed specifically with nannies in mind, you might be wondering how being certified by OCN-London benefits you. Here are some of the ways that our accreditation by OCN- London benefits you as a student and as a nanny:

Quality assurance

All of the courses at International Nanny Institute are certified by OCN-London, a UK national not-for-profit awarding body that creates and awards qualifications. OCN-London qualifications are internationally recognised and ensure that you will receive recognition for your learning from a nationally recognised Awarding Organisation. OCN London quality assures the content and assessment of courses developed in this way and issues a record of achievement to learners who successfully complete the accredited bespoke course. This benefits learners in many ways, for example:

  • There is extensive quality assurance by a national awarding organisation of both course content and assessment
  • OCN London works with providers to ensure that bespoke course that are tailor made to meet learner requirements
  • Learners who successfully complete a course receive from OCN London a record of achievement.

Developed specifically for nannies

Whilst our courses are quality assured and accredited by OCN London, they are written by professionals in the field. OCN-London has partnered with us to develop qualifications that meet the specific needs of our students. The International Nanny Institute  courses have been written by a team of experts who are committed to maintaining high standards and staying up-to-date in the field of childcare. Having worked as nannies themselves, our experts apply their academic knowledge to your role as a nanny, which ensures you are provided with relevant, practical advice.  This means that the courses have been tailor-made for nannies and will also be well suited to their day-to-day work.

A record of your achievement

OCN-London makes sure that all students receive a meaningful certificate acknowledging the completion of the course they have attended. This ensures that you maintain a record of your achievement for yourself and to evidence your qualification to others.

Internationally recognised

OCN-London is an internationally recognised accrediting board, which means that wherever you go in the world, your qualification will be recognised and taken seriously. This is especially relevant for nannies who move or travel worldwide, but can be just as important for nannies staying in their home country too. With so many different qualifications available, having one accredited by an internationally recognised board like OCN-London can help to reassure employers that you have studied and earned a credible and worthwhile qualification.

If these benefits make you feel that studying with the International Nanny Institute to gain an OCN-London certified course is right for you, then find out more about our courses here.

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Why should I get certified by the International Nanny Institute?

The International Nanny Institute is a leading education centre that provides practical and comprehensive domestic childcare-related courses online. We design our courses to train and educate nannies, au pairs, babysitters and childminders. Maybe you have just discovered us, or maybe you have been considering enrolling in one of our courses for a while and are wondering what the benefits of being certified by the International Nanny Institute are. Well, here we list the reasons why  being certified by us is the right  choice!

Designed with nannies in mind

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With an array of different courses available across the internet, it can be difficult to know which to choose. The International Nanny Institute  courses have been written by a team of experts who have worked as nannies themselves, this means that the courses have been designed with nannies in mind and will be well suited to their day-to-day work. Not only are our courses full of academic information from experts in child development, nutrition, paediatrics, SEN and more, but they are also directly applicable to your work as a nanny in a  way that more general childcare courses may not be.

Study online

All International Nanny Institute courses are easily available for study on your home computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, making it easy for busy professionals to continue their education and study at their own pace. This flexibility allows you to complete your studies during your free time in the evenings, on the weekends or even during your commute. 

Set your own pace

Our courses consist of 4 weekly, in-depth training sessions supplemented with a quiz for checking your understanding. We also offer an interactive group forum so you can discuss what you are learning with other students worldwide. Our forums can help foster understanding, learning and personal development on a deeper level. All of our courses are taught online and take about  60 hours to complete, but students are given an 8-week window for each course, leaving you in control of how and when you study. We don’t set the deadlines, you do!

Stay up to date

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We have produced a range of courses covering a wide base of topics, so there’s sure to be something you will find interesting and relevant.  We are passionate about keeping child care providers up to date with important topics and want to help them follow the latest best practice, so we’re always developing new courses in response to current needs. Checking back or subscribing to our email is a good way to ensure that you don’t miss out on new courses that could keep your professional knowledge up to date.

Build your career

The International Nanny Institute is passionate about empowering and raising the standards of domestic child carers as professionals in their fields.  We believe the nanny profession is a meaningful, worthwhile career and want to help nannies to develop and reach their own career goals. To help achieve this aim, we are constantly developing courses and programmes that will help you to take control of your career and meet your personal, professional and academic goals. Our courses also help you to stand out from other applicants, landing you more interviews, more often.

Boost your confidence

When you feel up-to-date with your professional knowledge and skills, and in control of your career journey, you feel more confident. In a profession where you often need to take control and set your own goals, targets and schedules, confidence is key. Studying with the International Nanny Institute can help to raise your confidence allowing you to feel secure when performing your role.

If you think studying with us is right for you, find out more and register for a course or programme today. Come and visit our website at www.international-nanny.institute today! We can’t wait to have you on board!

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The Role of a Nanny: Communication

Positive Communication Between Nannies and Nanny Parents

Relationships between Nannies and Nanny parents can be difficult to navigate with a host of potential issues to overcome. Most of these issues can be prevented or resolved by using clear and effective, positive communication. In fact, positive communication is one of the most important tools a Nanny can have.

Why work in partnership

A Nanny and Nanny parents need to work in partnership for the good of the children involved. When caregivers and parents work together towards similar aims, outcomes and day-to-day experiences are better for everyone; the children, the parents and the nanny. Working in partnership helps provide consistency for children, which makes them feel safe and secure and in turn helps them to learn and develop.  It is crucial for caregivers and parents to develop solid and secure partnerships when working together to care for young children. 

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How communication supports working in partnership

Good communication allows both parties to set and maintain clear expectations for their relationship. When it comes to nannying, communicating clear expectations helps both the nanny and the parents to build trust in one another, feel comfortable and ultimately helps to ensure that care provided to the children remains consistent.

Nobody knows a child better than their parents and parents are their children’s first educators, so in order for children to thrive, nannies will need to draw on this knowledge. In addition, nannies are professionals who are often trained in child care child development, so in many circumstances parents will often need to draw on nannies’ knowledge and experience too. This partnership works best where there is a two-way flow of information and mutual respect.

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Daily communication

On a day to day basis there is actually quite a lot for Nannies and Nanny parents to communicate about. Some nannies will be working alongside parents, whilst others will have a handover, or a period of transition from parental care to nanny care, to help make the transition easier for the children.

A good handover requires clear communication from both sides. Nannies can ask questions to gather the information they need for example, “Did he sleep well? “What time did he wake this morning?” or “What did she have for breakfast?” They can also use this time to begin setting expectations for the day. If a parent is heading off to work, it may help them to know what their little one will be doing during the day. For example, a nanny may say “we’ve planned a picnic in the park at lunchtime” or “we’re going to have a playdate with his friend Martha this morning” so that when the parents are at work they have a concrete idea of what the activities their children are engaging in.

Some nannies use daily diaries to communicate the basics, which often include what types and how much food has been eaten, what time and how low the children have napped or when the baby’s nappy has been changed, whilst other nannies and caregivers are happy to relay this information in person. Different methods will work for different families and different nannies, it’s important to find what works best for your own situation.

Apps and texting can also be ideal methods of communication, allowing the nanny to send quick photo updates throughout the day.  but you should only have more important conversations face to face as apps and texting mean that things like gesture, body language, facial expression and tone of voice are missing so meaning can get muddled.

Difficult communication

There will be times as a nanny that you need to have a more difficult conversation with parents and throughout the relationship, positive communication will be vital. For example, it might be that the child has displayed some difficult behavior, injured themselves or you may have concerns about their development that you need to raise. These kinds of conversations should always take place face to face in the absence of the children. In these types of situations, when nannies and parents need to communicate about more difficult topics, a nanny should try and select a time where the parent is not rushed and is able to listen without distractions. If the situation warrants it, it may be worth arranging a meeting time in advance.

Nannies should always try to ensure that a conversation doesn’t become a list of complaints. This is not to say that you should sugar coat information, but it’s important to recognise positive qualities the child exhibits as well. If you have had a day of difficult behavior, then you should be truthful about that, but there is often good alongside bad behavior so try to acknowledge this during the conversation.

Where you have developmental concerns about a child, remember that a parent will find this difficult to hear and take care to approach this sensitively. Nannies should never attempt to make any kind of diagnosis themselves as they are not medical professionals. Instead, tell the parent what you have observed or experienced, why this concerns you, and what you’d like to do going forward. For example, you may feel that a child has delayed speech so you might tell the parent that you can see they understand the majority of what you say, but they aren’t really trying to form words and they don’t have as much expressive language as you would expect for their age.  You might also state that this could be concerning as speech is a key area of learning, and gently suggest that the parents mention it during the child’s next visit to their pediatrician.

When discussing an accident or incident, nannies should report these occurrences shortly after they happen as opposed to waiting until the parent arrives home. This gives parents the opportunity to express if they would like you to get medical attention, but also can be useful to mentally prepare them for a black eye or visible bumped head when they arrive home.

Positive communication between nannies and nanny parents is the key to a successful working relationship and to achieving better outcomes for children. You can learn more about this vital skill at the International Nanny Institute. Our OCN-London approved course, Working as a Nanny, helps students understand what will be expected of a professional nanny. This includes the kinds of tasks you can expect to fulfill, and explain the types of responsibilities you’ll be taking on. We also offer tips on securing employment and developing a positive, healthy relationship with your next family.  

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Different Types of Nannies

When looking for a nanny, each family has different needs and each nanny fulfils a slightly different role.

Families have varied characteristics, such as the number of children, ages of the children, dietary restrictions, hobbies and activities, parenting styles and boundaries, as well as any special needs.

In all cases, quality childcare is always a top priority for both a family and a nanny because children must be in a safe environment at all times.

Below we describe some of the different types of nannies families hire to meet their requirements: 


The nanny helps to develop the children’s potential through educational games, play and entertainment.

A nanny is someone who is fully invested in a child’s development and well-being. They are typically a daily fixture and are very involved in the children’s everyday lives.

It’s a nanny’s responsibility to create daily schedules and engage in activities to ensure the healthy mental, physical, and emotional growth of the children they care for.

A nanny will be responsible for a variety of tasks relating to the children, including but not limited to choosing the clothing, dressing, bathing and washing, preparing healthy and nutritious meals, scheduling play dates, organising age-related outings and general supervision at all times to ensure the children are safe.

The nanny also helps to develop the children’s potential through educational games, play and entertainment.

Rota Nanny

Rota nannies are usually required to work 24/7 when on duty on a rota system. For example, 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off.

Rota nannies might have different work hours depending on the family’s needs, but it is most likely to be 24/7 and the rota can extend between 1 week and 4 weeks. Rota nannies usually start after having previous experience as live-in nannies 

Live-In and a Live-Out Nanny

Being a live-in nanny does not mean working longer hours or days than the law allows.

Live-in nannies are those who live with the family in their home for part of the week or can live with the family full time.

Live-out nannies are those who commute to work each day and, after finishing their duties, return home each night. The family must provide a suitable room and usually full board to a live-in.

Being a live-in nanny does not mean working longer hours or days than the law allows. This is, sometimes, a misunderstanding.


A nanny-guard is an individual with training and experience in security.

A nanny guard is a nanny with added security training and skill to protect a child from acts of harm that may be intentional or unintentional.

They undergo rigorous training and testing to be able to act in certain situations.


A nanny’s duties can include light housekeeping relating to children.

A nanny-housekeeper covers both housekeeping chores and nanny duties. The housekeeping chores are done whilst the children are in the nursery or school.

However, the most important aspect of this position is to ensure the children’s well-being and safety at all times.

A nanny-housekeeper usually works with school-aged children and can work live in or live out.

Whereas a nanny’s duties can include light housekeeping relating to children, a nanny-housekeeper goes beyond the mere children’s duties and does all the housekeeping chores. 

Holiday/Travelling Nanny

Some families tend to travel a lot and require an experienced full-time nanny to accompany them and carry out nanny tasks when travelling.

A travelling nanny is required to travel with the family, depending on the family’s needs. Some families tend to travel a lot and require an experienced full-time nanny to accompany them and carry out nanny tasks when travelling.

Parents may need to work, they may want some free time, or they may need some extra help, so they need the nanny to take over or lend an extra hand.

A travelling nanny usually works on a 24/6 or 24/7 schedule, and it is usually temporary. A travelling nanny can work either with the parents or sole charge. 

International Nanny

An international nanny has extensive experience working with different families in different countries.

An international nanny is experienced in living in and has the competencies and resources to relocate easily.

This nanny can work full time, live in or live out and, in other cases, on a rota. 

Maternity Nanny

Nanny helps the mum in introducing new milestones.

A maternity nanny tends to take over a maternity nurse. They are hired to continue helping with the habits and routines that were set by the previous maternity nurse.

They help the mum in introducing new milestones, such as weaning and sleep coaching. A maternity nanny has training and extensive experience working with young babies.


This position entails covering all the nanny duties and implementing educational elements to help children thrive in academic matters.

A nanny-governess works as a nanny and a governess, this means that apart from the general duties and tasks a nanny has to carry out, they work with the child/children and family with an emphasis on education.

Whereas a nanny-governess covers more duties and a governess, this position entails covering all the nanny duties and implementing educational elements to help children thrive in academic matters.

A nanny-governess, as governesses do, has an educational background and the ability to teach. 

Nanny-PA (Personal Assistant)

A nanny-PA takes on additional duties to the general nanny tasks. This is usually done to support the parents or children when the nanny is not actively caring for the children.

PA’s duties usually revolve around the personal and social needs of the parents or children.

This position requires organisational, administrative and time-management skills, as you are caring for a child/children and managing the day-to-day aspects of the home.

International Nanny helps families identify the best childcare set-up for their family and works hard to find the best homes for the best nannies.

We have a broad range of profiles and strive to recruit professional and career nannies.

We are committed to raising the standards in domestic childcare and have a thorough application and recruitment process because we work with candidates who are vocational and see this profession as the career it truly is.

Besides the agency, and to better equip candidates with the interest and vocation to grow and develop as successful nannies, we also offer training and accredited courses through the International Nanny Institute

For more information, visit our website at https://www.international-nanny.com/ to find out about our open vacancies and more about International Nanny.

Feel free to visit our institute at https://www.international-nanny.institute/ to learn more about becoming a professional nanny.

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