About Being a Nanny

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Working with children can be the most fulfilling and rewarding experience of your life. Although many people don’t understand just how much emotional satisfaction can be gained from being a nanny, most good nannies are well-aware of it.

Raising children is a long term commitment from which you may not see the results in the short term, but it is life altering – for both the nanny and the child. A competent, effective nanny can have a profound and positive effect on the lives of the children she cares for. She will nurture them, and love them unconditionally. It is the exceptional nanny who realises just how important her role is in the lives of others and the importance of her job.

Occasionally a nanny will go through a crisis with the families they work for, and stick with them throughout. One often hears about a nanny who has been employed by the same family for many years, looking after consecutive of siblings from birth to late childhood. Of course, not all days are diamonds, but obviously she will share a commonality of purpose with the family which results in such successful partnerships.

A nanny’s responsibility does not end with the children. The nannies’ relationship with the parents who – after all – pay her salary is very important. In comparison to other employer-employee relationships this one will have some unique qualities, and is normally a very close one with good communication. The reason is, of course, that parents want nothing but the best for their children and nannies understand this, and will go to great lengths to understand the type of nannying the parents want, and the kind of influences parents would like to protect their children from. Misunderstandings or misinterpretation can happen easily and negatively affect the relationship. The only way to avoid this is to keep communicating and talking about daily happenings, even if they sometimes seem trivial.

If the nanny and parents feel that they cannot communicate effectively, if one party feels that the other party is “not listening” the whole arrangement is in danger of falling apart. Many nannies admit that the most usual reason for quitting a job is because of the parents, rather than the children or the job scope. While of course there will be some situations where the parents are unreasonably demanding, or where the nanny is not able to perform her duties unsatisfactorily, in nearly every case it is because of ineffective communication

A nanny’s primary responsibility is to take care of a family’s children in their own home. A nanny is a professional in the childcare industry and is considered to be an employee of the family. A full time nanny typically works about 40-50 hours per week, or sometimes longer, depending on the needs and arrangement she has with her employer. Part time or ad hoc nannies work varying hours and may do permanent part time work, such as picking the children up from school, making them a snack, and keeping them company until a parent arrives home.

For parents who work long hours, or who start work particularly early, or who come home late, or have a long commute, or who go away on business trips, a full time nanny can be a lifesaver, allowing parents to pursue their careers while keeping a healthy family life at home. Having a nanny means parents can avoid the morning rush to the child care centre. Nannies may live-in or live-out, depending on preferences. Typically a nanny will care for the children in the comfort of their own home as this reduces stress and disruption to the children’s daily lives. Other arrangements are possible of course, and it is not uncommon for parents to drop their children off at the nannies’ home on the way to work and pick them up on the way back. In this situation the nanny may care for children from several families in her own home, and this can have the benefit of giving children more social interaction than they would probably experience in their own homes.

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