How to Be a Successful Nanny

Being a nanny can be a rewarding career both personally and financially. Nannies with an attractive mix of education and experience can command high wages and benefits. Besides a natural ability to work with children, there are several other factors to learn about how to be a successful nanny.


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    Get training in safety and early childhood education. While a love of children and the ability to work with them may seem like the most important skills to being a successful nanny, many parents look for a nanny who is well educated. At the minimum, take courses in CPR and safety. Look into additional training, such as an Associate, Bachelors or Masters degree in early childhood education.
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    Build experience. The level of experience is often what parents look for most in a nanny. It may be difficult to get started, but look for experience in babysitting, working with children at youth programs and day camps, and jobs in childcare centers or preschools. These jobs can also be a way to get potential clients; if the children and parents are impressed with you, at some point they may want to switch to a nanny for childcare instead of daycare, and you will be one of the top candidates.
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    Maintain a good reputation--not just in your work, but your personal life too. Fair or not, parents may judge you based on your friendships, associations and social activities. Keep in mind that they are entrusting you with their children and want to ensure that they are with a safe and moral person. Refrain from smoking, drinking and using drugs and maintain a clean driving record.
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    Be reliable. Always show up on time for appointments and to work. If you must be late or miss work, give plenty of warning and try to find a replacement if possible.
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    Communicate effectively with your employer. Write reports about the child's daily activities, take pictures or videos of important firsts in the child's development to share with the parents, and leave notes or tell parents about things the child did. Work with the parents to come up with solutions to problems. Ask for advice and approval before changing routines, but take initiative to solve minor problems as they occur. Take time to get the know the parents to learn how to be a successful nanny for them.
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    Develop and nurture a genuine love of children and a sense of fun. This should be a key factor before even choosing to work in childcare, but as with all jobs, the passion could wear off over time. Remember to take time to cherish the children in your care, and have fun with them while teaching and answering questions.
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    Master basic household skills like cleaning, cooking and home organization. While a nanny is not a housekeeper, cleaning up after the children, washing their clothes, and preparing their meals is part of the job. Learn to prepare healthy meals and snacks and present them in fun ways that the children are eager to eat, instead of junk food.

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Categories: Domestic Assistance