How can I secure my first job as a Nanny?

Nanny with child

Isn’t it hard trying to get your foot on the first rung of the ladder as a Nanny?

Perhaps you’ve been working for a few years in a nursery and have enjoyed it, but are now looking to progress to a sole charge position as a nanny. It may have been your dream all along and knew that you’d have to ‘serve your time’ as a nursery nurse first. It’s a big step, and a lot of really good nursery nurses underestimate the planning that needs to go into this project before you start.

It goes without saying that the first step should be to register with a good nanny agency. Look for one which is a corporate member of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) there is another blog specifically about agencies, but it is an important step. Town and Country Nannies click here for details

Be realistic. It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be offered a job at £30,000 a year as your first post (unless you are a Chiltern or Norland College graduate) You need to fine a position which will not be overwhelming to start with. I have seen some potentially wonderful nannies fail as they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, by going into a first job which is too demanding. Trust me there will be tears, either yours, the family’s or worse, the children’s. You need to find a position that will give you enough responsibility to give you confidence. Ideally with toddlers, and if you stay possibly subsequent baby(ies) or look for something else.

There are a lot of before and after school positions which are ideal first jobs for new nannies. Especially if the children go to an independent school which they may start at 3 or 4 years old. They receive about 19 weeks of holidays too, so although in term time you may have a gap in your day, it will give you a chance to study and improve your learning, or perhaps to discover a new talent that would be useful to your career  take up Advanced Driving with the Institute of Advanced Motorists, pass the test and get a reduction on your car insurance for life!) Often families want nanny full time in the holidays and you could be working a 50/60 hour week. Often salaries are evened out over the year so you receive the same salary each month. Easier for everyone!

Part time work such as before and after school posts are usually paid a higher rate per hour, and you’ll be surprised how much you can earn. It will be more than your nursery salary and a lot more interesting, too.

So think about which type of job you can start with and be flexible.

Make sure you can cook! A non cooking nanny isn’t going to be offered many positions. You need to learn to cook from scratch, so get a couple of Annabel Karmel’s books from the library and start to practice. Good cooks aren’t born, they’re made and it is only practice.

Polish up your laundry skills. Know how to use a washing machine, how to remove stains and how to use an iron properly. Most of us like wash and wear clothes but if you’re asked to iron school shirts you will need to have some idea.

I hope that you will find this insight into how to start looking for your first job as a nanny interesting, join me over on the Town & Country Nannies Website for more blogs and help to get you started.

Good Luck!

Paula Cornwell

Director, Town & Country Nannies.