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From Fran Fine to Maria Von Trapp and Mary Poppins, the nanny has become an iconic figure within popular culture. However, these days, being a nanny to the world’s wealthy is about much more than breaking into song and solving problems through lateral thinking – it’s a lucrative career that requires a comprehensive set of skills and specific experience.
As a leading nanny agency in London, the Tiger Private team knows exactly what to look for when recruiting for private nannies in London, UK and further afield. If you are looking for a career as a live-in nanny, or short-term placements travelling with a family, having the following skills and attributes — all of which go beyond general childcare — will go a long way.
Just like most private household roles, longevity is key to a successful nanny career. Most of our clients are looking for someone long-term who can contribute to the stability and trust in the household. Therefore, we are usually looking for multi-year placements, where you can demonstrate a range of responsibilities, including ongoing childcare, school drop offs, organising and accompanying children to playdates and generally being the point of the contact for children when their parents aren’t available.
If you do have a few shorter stints, it is worth explaining why this is so – whether you’ve undertaken short-term placements as a travelling nanny or there have been unforeseen circumstances, it is better to clarify instead of allowing for assumptions.
It is essential that you have excellent references that can be checked before signing a contract. Ideally, you would have 2-3 written references from your most recent employers that can be confirmed by a consultant, as well as a verbal referee – this can be someone who has written you a reference, but is also happy to be contacted by the client directly. It is rare that you will be offered a role without these, so you must ask your former employers for a short note confirming your employment and experiences within their household.
A childcare qualification is a great foundation on which you can build your nannying skills and can often bridge the gap should you not have substantial experience in the industry already. In the UK, the most recognised qualifications include a diploma from the Council for Award in Childcare and Education (CACHE) or the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC).
If you are already working in the childcare industry and wish to complete or build upon your qualifications, a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is a great option as it is based on practical experience. Possessing a valid first aid qualification and current DBS check are also of huge benefit.
With such busy schedules, nothing is ever set in stone for a UHNW family. Therefore, you need to be prepared to be completely flexible as a nanny, rolling with the punches as required. You may be required to hop on a last-minute flight to Europe, perform duties outside of your remit or simply stay later than your shift, all while ensuring you provide the highest level of care to your charges. As working in a private household is an extremely personal endeavour, you must also be willing to adapt to the changing dynamic of the both the family and wider household.
A nanny to a UHNW family is often part of a larger private support team that can include a private PA, housekeeper, chef, house manager, butler and/or chauffeur. Therefore, experience working in a team environment is vital, as it demonstrates your ability to collaborate, work through conflict and build trust. This does not necessarily need to be in a private household, but showing an understanding of the nuances of this type of working environment is positive.
A private household role requires a delicate balance of friendliness and professionalism and being a nanny is no different. You may form a close relationship with your charges, but it is essential to remain professional at all times – at the crux, you are an employee of the family, not a friend. It is also vital to remain discreet, respecting the privacy of your family by treating all interactions with the utmost confidentiality.
Tiger Private can help you find your next nanny or maternity nurses role. Get in touch today!