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How to become a Nanny

nanny careers

What does a Nanny do?

Nannies work in private homes caring for their employers’ children. Responsible for all aspects of childcare, their duties may vary according to the number and ages of the children in their care. Babies and very young children need dressing, feeding, bathing and changing. Older children need to be taught basic social, reading and writing skills. Nannies often take children on outings and keep them entertained through play. Maternity nannies are employed to care for newborn babies in the first few weeks.

What's the working environment like working as a Nanny?

For nannies working in private households, hours tend to be longer than a standard working week of 35-40 hours, and time off can vary.

Most nannies live with the family they work for, but there are opportunities for day only positions. Nannies spend much of their day alone with small children.

What does it take to become a Nanny?

As a nanny, you will need:

  • an interest in the social and personal development of children
  • imagination and the ability to plan and organise stimulating activities
  • to be responsible and aware of any potential dangers
  • patience, tolerance and a sense of humour
  • to be able to cope with unexpected situations, and to stay calm under pressure
  • the ability to establish close and trusting relationships with parents or carers
  • to be physically fit, with energy and stamina, as the work is active and can be tiring.

Nanny Career Opportunities

In addition to working in the UK, there are also opportunities to work overseas. Positions are advertised through agencies and in the national and local press.

Nannies with the qualifications mentioned in the Entry and Training sections may move in to nursery nursing positions. See the nursery nurse profile for more information.

The DFES Children's Workforce: Qualifications website gives details of early years, childcare and playwork qualifications which Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) recognises as meeting the national occupational standards for under eight day care. Please see the Further Information Section.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Nanny that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Council for Awards in Children’s Care and Education (CACHE)
Beaufort House
Grosvenor Road

National Childminding Association
Royal Court
81 Tweedy Road
Tel. 0845 880 0044

Professional Association of Nursery Nurses (PANN)

DFES Children's Workforce: Qualifications