By: Rachael L. Lubin
I recently had a social media acquaintance reach out to me asking how they could get into the nanny industry. “Phew!”, I thought, “What an interesting time to change career fields. It’s so tumultuous!” But the more I thought on it, the more I realized that this period of change can really be a time of rebirth for those seeking out meaningful work. With the global nanny industry already seeing changes in the types of positions available, I decided to spend some time thinking about the advice I would give to someone brand new to the industry. The following is how I believe they could best make a successful start.
- Understand your own Working Style. You have to know yourself well in order to successfully work in such close proximity with children and families. One of the biggest areas of change being reported in the nanny industry is more and more employers exclusively working from home. Which means the working environment will be going from one with limited direct supervision, to (possibly) continuous direct supervision. This also means nannies will need to learn carefully honed skills like: when to “step-in and step-out” of situations when parents insert themselves into the child’s day (and simultaneously your workday), and how to let go of the “small stuff” when things don’t go as planned. For more information on Working with Stay-At-Home/Work-From-Home parents, please watch INA’s Webinar “Working When Parents are Home”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkSfk3eV6rE *Full Disclosure: I am one of the guest speakers on this Webinar.
- Get some Education. While requiring a college degree seems to be one of the emerging trends in post-COVID nanny positions, a nanny can set themselves apart by completing many kinds of coursework. A Bachelor’s degree with a teaching credential is going to be highly coveted for the next few years as Private Educator jobs are rapidly increasing in numbers. Completing nanny-specific education and trainings will also make your resume stand out: there are multiple online nanny training companies, newborn care specialist courses, etc. Community colleges often have online child development classes at a very fair price. Carving out your own ‘niche’ in the industry through your education is a powerful way to show you are serious about getting into a new field.
- Put in the Work. Most nanny agencies ask for at least a year of relevant childcare experience, with many of the top agencies preferring two or more years of direct nanny work. If you are truly starting from scratch, taking on a few regular babysitting clients is a good way to build a reference list, and gain experience with multiple age groups.
- Have a Professional Presence. As in many career fields, nannies are both the person and the product showing up to the interview. Reputations in the nanny industry need to remain above board; and although nannies are absolutely allowed a personal life that isn’t child-centric, or even child-friendly, knowing that you will be background-checked, reference-checked (sometimes up to 5 references are needed!), and social media-checked, should let newcomers know that child-caring is a serious industry! Many nannies are standing out by building a personal ‘brand’ with their own websites and social media pages. Joining and participating in professional organizations such as the INA, will also show that you take this career seriously and are invested in your future.
- Possess a Pitch-In Attitude. Nannies need to be prepared to become of a household team. This means possibly rotating out non-child laundry, unloading clean dishes, vacuuming out the nanny car, wiping bathroom counters, etc. It is important to understand your personal scope of practice, and what tasks you will and won’t perform, but when there are multiple adults working in the home, and the possibility of more Pandemic-related “shelter” orders, being able to effectively and happily work with adults is a needed skill.
- Continue the Journey Beyond a Signed Contract: Connect to a nanny community in your area. Attend continuing education events. Be a leader and build up a nanny community if there isn’t one near you. Don’t attempt this career field in isolation! There are a seemingly unlimited amount of resources online now, from Facebook-based nanny support groups to inspiring and creative Instagram feeds, and entertaining TikTok accounts… connect with people who understand the rewards and sacrifices of this profession!
Rachael L. Lubin – (Houston, TX) Rachael is a Certified Professional Governess through the English Nanny and Governess School, a Credentialed Nanny through the International Nanny Association, and currently sits on the INA’s Board of Directors. For the past seven years, she has specialized in working with “Families Going through Major Life Transitions” across the USA and Canada. She has attended over a dozen trainings and conferences during that time, including NannyGuards, Nannypalooza, interNational Nanny Training Day, and various parenting workshops. Prior to starting her career in personal service, Rachael worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters and taught English in China. Rachael currently is a full charge nanny in Houston, Texas. Rachael has been a member of the INA since 2013 and joined the Board in 2017. Please see the Committee Appointments list for a list of committees for which Rachael is the chair.
* THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHORS AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE OFFICIAL POLICY OR POSITION OF THE INTERNATIONAL NANNY ASSOCIATION. THE CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG POST ARE INTENDED TO CONVEY GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND NOT TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE OR OPINIONS. THE CONTENTS OF THIS POST SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS, AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR, LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE IN ANY PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCE OR FACT SITUATION. THE INFORMATION PRESENTED IN THIS POST MAY NOT REFLECT THE MOST CURRENT LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS. NO ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN IN RELIANCE ON THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS POST THE INA DISCLAIM ALL LIABILITY IN RESPECT TO ACTIONS TAKEN OR NOT TAKEN BASED ON ANY OR ALL OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS POST TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. THE INTERNATIONAL NANNY ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDS THAT AN ATTORNEY SHOULD BE CONTACTED FOR ADVICE ON SPECIFIC LEGAL ISSUES.