Health & Care

A nanny is someone who is paid to look after young children or babies in their home. Do you love the idea of looking after babies and young children and prefer to develop a close relationship with one or two children?

Work Activities

There is more than one meaning to the term 'nanny'. Let us be clear that we are not talking about the glamorous grandmother who takes care of her grand-children in the home as this is a labour of love, nor are we talking about a female goat who has her own kids to worry about.

We are talking about the person who is unlikely to be a relative who cares for the children in their own home and may be known as a nanny or mother's help. Nannies often work long days and may be expected to carry out babysitting duties some evenings. Some nannies are offered accommodation in the family home. Some nannies get to travel the world with the family.

Duties may vary from family to family but a nanny can expect:

  • To discuss with the parents and carers how the children should be raised and feedback on the day's activities and raise any concerns.
  • To organise and supervise the children's daily routines
  • To prepare nourishing and appetising food that is appropriate for the age of the child, from preparing bottles of milk for babies, through weaning to meals that small children can eat.
  • To maintain a hygienic environment for the protection of babies and children.
  • To change nappies and to supervise toilet training, when appropriate.
  • To keep children safe at home and away from home by checking for hazards and teaching the children how to recognise risks and avoid danger.
  • To have some understanding of childhood illnesses and to take children to medical appointments.
  • To organise activities that stimulate the children's imagination and encourage them to learn about the world around them.
  • To help the children's socialisation by taking them to group activities and social events outside the home.
  • To read stories and encourage the children to talk and listen.
  • To keep the nursery clean and tidy.

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills required for nannies

  • You need to be kind and patient
  • You need to be able to forge good relationships with children and their parents or carers
  • You need to be able to accept responsibility and be confident in making decisions as you may be caring for the children by yourself
  • You should be interested in how children learn and develop.

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers

Parents and carers employ nannies.


Qualifications and training provided

There are no minimum entry requirements set out, but experience or a qualification in childcare would be an advantage, and may be essential for particular vacancies.

CACHE offers many qualifications for people who wish to work with children. As an example, the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce could be a suitable qualification. Entry requirements are 4 GCSEs A*-C/9-4 or a Level 2 Diploma or equivalent.

Norland is a well-established institution which trains nursery nurses. For entry to the BA (Hons) Early Years Development and Learning course, you need 5 GCSEs A*to C/9-4, including English and Maths, plus 3 A levels at grade C or equivalent.

There are apprenticeships in childcare, but they are more likely to be in the setting of a nursery.

It is likely that you will need evidence that you are of good character, so you will probably be asked for personal references and a certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS certificate), stating that there is no evidence that you have committed a crime that would make it inappropriate for you to work with children.

A clean car driving licence may be required.

'The Lady' magazine is well-known for carrying vacancies for nannies.

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