Nanny Jobs: 10 Facts for a Rewarding Career in Baby Care

nanny jobs involve caring for and teaching children

Nannies take care of the basic needs of children and babies. These needed include bathing, dressing, feeding, playing with them. 

They may help children prepare for kindergarten or help older children with homework. Nannies usually work full-time for one family in the family’s home. Sometimes they live with the family.

    If you love taking care of babies and children, nanny jobs are easy to get into. 

    Nanny Job Duties

    Nannies read and play with babies and toddlers to introduce basic concepts, such as manners.

    For example, they teach them how to share and take turns by playing games with other children. Childcare workers help preschool-age children prepare for kindergarten.

    Young children learn from playing, solving problems, questioning, and experimenting. You use play and other instructional techniques to help children’s development.

    For example, they use storytelling and rhyming games to teach language and vocabulary. They may help improve children’s social skills by having them work together to build something in a sandbox.

    Childcare workers may watch school-age children before and after school.

    They often help these children with homework and may take them to afterschool activities, such as sports practices and club meetings.

    Nannies Wear Many Hats

    Nanny jobs are for people who are nurturing, resourceful and keep order in what could be chaos. They wear many hats happily.

    First, they must be a security guard monitoring activities of the child or children.

    They have to wear the hat of admin assistant who schedules, organizes and keeps the routines intact.

    Nannies are also part cook, who prepares meals and snacks. They have to be part counselor and look for emotional problems and soothe the children.

    Nanny Job Search Tools

    Nanny Resume Samples

    There are a ton of nanny resume samples out there, but these three are a good starting point. Be sure to use language that families can understand.

    See More Resume Samples Based on Job Title

    ATS friendly resume template

    How to Become a Nanny

    Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

    Employers often prefer to hire workers with at least a high school diploma and, in some cases, post-secondary education in early childhood education.

    States do not regulate educational requirements for nannies. However, some employers may prefer to hire workers with at least some formal instruction in childhood education or a related field, particularly when they will be hired as full-time nannies.

    It’s a good idea to be CPR Certified and know first aid. You can find a class in your area through the Red Cross. The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) offers a nationally recognized accreditation for family childcare providers.

    This accreditation requires training and experience in the field, as well as a period during which the applicant is observed while working with children.

    Getting Nanny Experience When You Have No Experience with Babies

    As a nanny, you will be judged based on your experience with children and being CPR certified.

    States do not have educational requirements for nannies. But families may want workers with some child development education.

    So how do you get experience as a nanny? If you don’t have work experience as a nanny, you’ll want to find volunteer work with babies and children.

    Contact your local hospital to be a baby cuddler to babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. You have to be at least 21 years old, commit to volunteering for a length of time and be in good health.

    You can also build your experience by offering free or low-cost baby babysitting services. Start with friends and family and friends of friends.

    Make sure to get references from people you regularly sit for.

    Read These Books to Learn More About Being a Nanny

    Nannies Have These Qualities

    Communication Skills

    Childcare workers must be able to talk with parents and colleagues about the progress of the children in their care.

    They need good speaking skills to provide this information effectively and good listening skills to understand parents’ instructions.

    Decisionmaking Skills

    Good judgment is necessary for childcare workers so they can respond to emergencies or difficult situations.

    Instructional Skills

    Childcare workers need to be able to explain things in terms young children can understand.

    Interpersonal Skills

    Childcare workers need to work well with people in order to develop good relationships with parents, children, and colleagues.


    Working with children can be frustrating, so childcare workers need to be able to respond calmly to overwhelming and difficult situations.

    Physical Stamina

    Working with children can be physically taxing, so childcare workers should have a lot of energy. Nanny Job Requirements Job requirements include:

    There are more than a million childcare-related jobs in the United States with 177,000 job openings annually.

    • Nanny should be confident in all aspects of infant/baby/toddler care.
    • Have knowledge of indoor and outdoor, age-appropriate, enriching activities (such as games, arts and crafts, etc.) that will encourage growth and development. Experience with preemies and/or multiples is a plus.
    • Nanny will be responsible for all daily care, including dressing, putting children down for naps, diapering, hygiene (bathing, teeth brushing, etc.), preparing and cooking meals for the children, washing dishes and cleaning up after meals with kids, cleaning bottles, organizing/tidying children’s rooms, playrooms and keeping common areas clean and tidy.
    • The ideal candidate will encourage curiosity, be positive, enjoy creativity, and be flexible.
    • The goal in the household is that children are supported, cherished and experience joy.
    • Safety and security of the children should always remain a priority.

    Where Nannies Work

    Childcare workers, including commercial daycares and schools held 1.2 million jobs in 2018. About 19% of these workers were in private households.

    Child daycare services26%
    Self-employed workers25%
    Private households19%
    Elementary and secondary schools; local  8%
    Other  8%

    Work Schedules

    Family childcare providers may work long or unusual hours to fit parents’ work schedules. In some cases, these childcare providers may offer evening and overnight care to meet the needs of families.

    After the children go home, childcare providers often have more responsibilities, such as shopping for food or supplies, doing accounting, keeping records, and cleaning.

    Nannies may work either full or part-time. Full-time nannies may work more than 40 hours a week to give parents enough time to commute to and from work.​

    Nanny Salary

    The median hourly wage for childcare workers was $11.17 in May 2018. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.53, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $16.55.

    Nanny Specialties

    Nannies can specialize based on the care they give or the age of the child they prefer to work with.

    If you want to work with babies, you may only stay with a family for a year. Here are a few examples of different specialties you could consider.

    Newborn Specialist

    This is a specialized and trained nanny who focuses on caring for a baby who is 12-16 weeks old. Parents usually hire this nanny to provide overnight care or 24-hour care.

    The nanny also supports the mother’s breastfeeding efforts and looks for signs of postpartum depression.

    Temporary Nanny

    If you don’t want to commit to a family for an extended time, you can specialize in being a temporary nanny. Think Mary Poppins. They may provide care when the regular nanny can’t be with the family.

    Multiples Specialist

    This is when a nanny has a lot of experience caring for twins and triplets or more. They take nanny jobs with families of multiples.

    Nanny Job Outlook

    The employment of nannies is projected to increase slightly by 2% percent from 2018 to 2028.

    Professional Organizations

    International Nanny Association

    Tracey Lamphere

    Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

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