Nannies take care of the children living in a private household providing assistance in most caregiving-related tasks. They help parents satisfy a child’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and social needs, as well as providing children with the necessary tools to properly develop their skills as they grow up.
Nannies offer personal care in order to promote children’s development, growth, and well-being. However, their duties will depend on the family’s requirements, the children’s age, and needs, as well as other characteristics that will make each Nanny’s job a completely different experience.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Nanny are required to complete.
- Watching over and supervising children when parents are not around:
- Organizing recreational activities (e.g. games, sports, arts and crafts, play dates, and walks);
- teaching children good manners;
- assigning age appropriate chores (e.g. taking out the trash, making their beds, or feeding their pets) to develop skills and responsibilities; and
- instructing and assisting children regarding daily hygiene habits.
- Taking care of infants and toddlers:
- Bathing, dressing, and changing their diapers;
- feeding infants and toddlers at the proper time;
- knowing if children have allergies; and
- putting them down for naps.
- Encouraging and modeling appropriate social behavior:
- Developing interpersonal and social skills;
- instructing children about safe behavior (e.g. crossing streets, avoiding unsafe objects, and asking adults for help);
- encouraging the intellectual development of children using games and books; and
- mediating during conflicts between siblings or friends.
- Exercising and maintaining discipline:
- Establishing rules and boundaries of appropriate behavior;
- supervising children’s activities to ensure good behavior; and
- enforcing appropriate disciplinary measures when children misbehave.
- Assisting in house chores and tasks:
- Discussing with parents the non-child-related tasks they will be in charge of;
- preparing and serving meals and snacks;
- designing a daily chore schedule for children;
- cleaning children’s rooms when necessary;
- assisting children with their homework; and
- buying food and running errands.
- Transporting children from one location to another when necessary.
- Meeting with parents regularly:
- Discussing children’s behavior, development, and issues;
- reporting on any irregularities regarding children’s behavior;
- receiving special instructions regarding children’s care when necessary; and
- maintaining a daily activity log if required by parents.
- Providing specialized care when necessary:
- Administering prescribed medical treatment to children when necessary;
- providing first aid and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when necessary;
- assessing and responding to emergencies in a timely manner; and
- taking children to a Physician when necessary.
- Assisting in the emotional well-being and development of children.
- Preparing and serving meals and snacks.
- Organizing and participating in games, readings, crafts, and walks.
- Ensuring the children’s safety and well-being.
- Disciplining children in a way approved by their parents.
- Taking children to school or any other outdoor activity.
- Maintaining a daily log if required.
The average Nanny salary in USA is $39,603 per year or $20 per hour. This is around 1.4 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $28,000 while most experienced workers make up to $55,000. These results are based on 789 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to create a clear, communicative, and nurturing environment for children; and
- using tact, patience, and good judgment when communicating with parents.
- Strong sense of empathy and compassion:
- Demonstrating sensitivity to individual needs of children;
- displaying an inherent ability to make others feel cared about; and
- being able to work within a multicultural environment, showing consideration and respect to a diverse range of children and families of all backgrounds and abilities.
- Optimistic, energetic, fun-loving attitude, and a strong ability to motivate others.
- High levels of creativity, initiative, flexibility, and responsiveness:
- Adapting well to changing demands; and
- using creativity and imagination to develop new insights and to apply new solutions to problems.
- Strong leadership skills:
- Demonstrating exceptional supervisory skills and providing complete safety and comfort to children;
- being a role model; and
- being able to model healthy adult-child relationships and encourage positive discipline.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Prioritizing and planning work activities as to use time efficiently; and
- multitasking; being able to work under pressure in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
Nannies can work for agencies specialized in providing this type of services to parents, but they can also be hired directly by the parents living in the same community as the Nanny. Some parents hire Nannies only in special occasions (e.g. when they have a commitment or must travel and can’t take their children with them), while some other hire them on a regular basis, to work a few or several days a week.
Agencies hiring new Nannies usually require their candidates to have completed secondary education, being legal residents of the United States, speaking and understanding English, as well as having a driver’s license and a clean criminal record. Additionally, it is usually preferred that candidates go through a special training program. Said programs are offered by agencies, such as Newborn Care Specialist Association (NCSA). Applicants also have the option of joining the International Nanny Association (INA) and take the INA Nanny Credential Exam in order to become certified Nannies.
Some agencies also require applicants to be certified in first aid assistance and CPR. Furthermore, a water-safety certification, especially if working in a house with a swimming pool, or an Infant Care Certification will improve the applicant’s profile. Such courses are offered by the American Red Cross, the YMCA, or the NCSA. However, the most important aspect agencies take into consideration when hiring new Nannies are references and experience. Most applicants obtain these references and experience from previous jobs by providing child-caring services when hired directly by parents. This manner of informal work is usually done inside a small community where the parents know the Nanny from previous encounters.
Some Nannies work for a specific number of hours during the week, depending on the needs of the parents, whereas some others are hired to live in the household in order to provide constant assistance in the caring of children. In most cases, the live-in Nanny receives regular meals and accommodation as part of the payment and works from 40 to 60 hours a week.