"How do I become a nanny?" - We get this question asked a lot, so here are a few things you should know if you are considering becoming a nanny.
Nowadays there are lots of childcare related courses out there, before you choose to do any of them, please do your research and make sure it is well recognised. Some courses can be rather pricey, but you really need to think about it as an investment. Having the right qualification will open doors for you and allow you to get jobs more easily. It's also a great idea to read a few "parenting books" to become familiar with different methods. Remember there is NO one size fits all approach when it comes to looking after children.
Having good experience is VERY important! Most agencies will require you to have at least 3 years of childcare related experience. Starting out can be tough. It probably is a good idea to volunteer in a school or nursery or even in your local playgroup. You could always start doing some baby sitting for your neighbour or work as an Aupair for a couple of years.
"Should I become Offsted registered?" - This is another question we get asked a LOT (next week we will cover the exact process of it, but for now let me just answer the question...) Although it is completely up to you, my advice would be to do it! We have noticed that more and more clients of ours require an Offsted registered nanny and with the new Tax Free Childcare Voucher scheme starting in January 2017 that number will only go up. Remember; the registration process takes around 12weeks!!
Before applying for a job make sure you have a NI Number as your employer will have to pay your tax. Also remember to be able to work with children you will need an Enhance DBS and an up to date Paediatric First Aid Certificate.
Hours and Salary
Full time nannies tend to work looooong hours - an average 50 - 60+ hours/week. Your salary will very much depend on your qualifications and experience. Although it is tempting to compare salaries - it's not always a good idea. It is important that you are aware of the going market rate, however if you've only been nannying for 3-4 years it probably is unrealistic to expect to earn the same money as someone who has been a nanny for 10+ years.
Genuine Interest in Childcare
The most important thing is to have a genuine passion for childcare! Looking after children 10 hours a day, 5 days a week can be very rewarding, but incredible tough at the same time. It is a huge responsibility and at times very stressful. Many people think that nannying is a quick and easy way to make some money, but just remember, children CAN sense it if you're dishonest and not really interested in them. Money should never be the main inspiration behind choosing this career. People tend to forget that, but nannying really is a PROFESSION and you should take it very seriously!