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Do you have what it takes to be a great nanny?

A nanny is more than a babysitter! Nannies are expected to participate in the social, emotional, and intellectual development of their charges, and will work with the child(ren) on such areas a language development, potty training, social manners, homework, and more. Most families request that a nanny make a minimum commitment of one year to the job. This is to make sure that the children have continuity in their childcare. Candidates who do not feel that they can commit to a year might consider other types of childcare work until they are comfortable with the commitment.

Before you apply to become a nanny you should ask yourself the following questions to judge your suitability for the work:

  • Do you truly enjoy working with little children?
  • Are you patient? Can you handle 8-10 hours on a stretch with a small child, perhaps with no other adult companionship? Are you reliable and trustworthy?
  • Are you flexible enough to perform your childcare responsibilities according to the family's rules?
  • Are you a self-starter with initiative who can organize his/her day to accomplish all required tasks, while not neglecting your charge(s)?
  • Are you a team player? A nanny contributes to the smooth running of a household. From time to time, you will have opportunities to 'go the extra mile' and perform a service for your employer that was never written in your job description. This could be offering to take a car in for an oil change or setting the table for the evening's dinner party when your employer is running late. Do you 'go the extra mile'?
  • With children, things do not always go according to plan. Are you adaptable and flexible enough to change your routine to accommodate the sick child, for example, or the lost sneakers when you are on a deadline, without becoming upset?
  • Are you punctual and reliable? Parents rely on a nanny's punctuality so they can meet their other personal and professional commitments.
  • How do you react emergencies? Good nannies are calm and competent in a crisis.
  • Do you have good communication skills? Are you comfortable addressing both childcare and duty or schedule related issues with your employer? Mature and open communication skills are a priority.

Being a nanny is hard work, but very rewarding. Make sure you are ready for the realities.