How do I become a nanny? I love children.
Nannies come from a vast variety of backgrounds and occupations. Nannies are overwhelmingly female. Women who have raised their own children often find satisfaction in nanny employment. Many nannies have no formal training; however, a substantial number of the nanny candidates entering the job market have received specific training in early childhood topics. Many high schools in the US offer students training in early childhood development, often supplemented by apprentice job experience in a day care setting. There are approximately 400 community colleges offering associate level degrees in early childhood development. Currently, qualified nannies are the highest paid child care providers in the US, with live-in nannies earning $18K - $35K per year before taxes, and the live-out nanny $20K - $50K and even higher in unusual circumstances.
Nanny training programs also exist. The International Nanny Association maintains a list of many nanny programs. There is no formal U.S. nanny accreditation process at this time, although the INA has a nanny credentialing exam process.
Anyone interested in becoming a nanny should become Red Cross certified in Infant/Child CPR and First Aid. Many employers will request that you certify good health, particularly freedom from HIV/Hepatitis and TB. Non-smoking nannies are highly preferred. Anyone considering this career needs to consider that they will be working with small children generally 45-50 hours per week with no other adults present. Lack of adult interaction often causes premature job burnout, causing the children to suffer through the instability of changing caregivers. Many professionals recommend the book The Professional Nanny by Monica M. Bassett as a good starting place.
Most families and nannies will not consider a candidate younger than 18. Many agencies establish higher minimums. Most entry level positions accept previous babysitting experience, with references, and some course work in early childhood development as the minimum perquisite experience. Candidates without this type of experience are often guided to daycare centers to work for a year or two to gain necessary experience and training.
Qualified candidates follow a number of routes to secure nanny employment. Many candidate utilize services like this to list their availability and to search open jobs. Many also apply through nanny referral agencies - a directory of these staffing agencies is included at this website. Some nannies respond to "Help Wanted" advertisement in local newspapers or free online resources such as Craigslist.
Candidates seeking jobs with individual employers [not through a staffing agency] are advised at all times to be very conscious of their personal safety when applying for this type of work. There are many scammers and sexual predators online counting on the anonymity of the internet to find gullible victims. Families on the other hand MUST understand that if they are hiring directly they MUST perform thorough, careful reference and background checking themselves.
NannyNetwork.com provides a sample family:nanny agreement at their web site. Advice on how to secure employment may also be found at the NannyNetwork.com Nanny Library.
Safety Advice for Online Nanny Job Seekers
Information on Background Checking a Nanny
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