The Covid-19 nanny stories

Published: 24/04/2020

Coronavirus has affected us all in ways that no one predicted and it's been particularly difficult when it comes to childcare.

Nurseries, childminders and schools have been closed since the start of the lockdown and nannies, as well as their employers, have been left wondering if they should continue to work.

So we've invested some time since the lockdown to speak to some nannies to understand their perspectives and what's really going on out there. 

In this post we share the stories of Veronica, Charlotte and Annabelle -- three nannies who made the decision to continue to work through lockdown -- with three very different experiences. 

Veronica’s story

Veronica had been working with her family when we spoke to her, originally as a live-out, part-time nanny. Before the lockdown was fully put in place she was asked by her family to move to the US with them. But because Veronica herself was at high risk due to underlying health issues she understandably did not want to travel, especially if it involved flying. This was accepted by the family.

A week later it transpired that the mother of the family she worked for had contracted coronavirus, but Veronica was not told about this for three days during which time she continued to interact with her. Once Veronica found out she made the decision to continue to go into work as she had already been exposed to the virus, but she was concerned about the risk because the mother was not isolating properly.

Quite soon after, the family asked Veronica to move out of London to live with them in the countryside. Although she was officially a live-out, part-time nanny, she felt she didn’t have a choice as she was told if she didn’t go she’d be out of a job. How would she continue to pay her bills then? Veronica agreed to go with them.

Veronica moved to the countryside with the family, was working full time but was only being paid her original part-time salary. She was keeping note of her hours and had already clocked up 100+ hours of overtime which she hadn’t yet been compensated for.

They were fortunate enough to have a lot of space where they are staying so her work is not affected very much by the parents presence (apart from the additional hours). The biggest challenge for Veronica, was the weekends when the child couldn’t understand why she was still there but couldn’t play with him. 

Charlotte's Story

Charlotte had been working as a live-in nanny for a single parent dad with a 4 year old since July 2018. When we spoke to her, she was working pretty much as normal since the lockdown and had a slightly adapted daily schedule. The main difference for Charlotte was that the dad was WFH which was a bit of an adjustment for both of them. 

As she is asthmatic Charlotte has to be very vigilant and make sure she takes all the necessary precautions to avoid contracting CV-19. The family have also been very mindful of this.

She told us “I am really grateful to be in this position and I am actually making more money as I am doing overtime.” Before lockdown began, Charlotte was asked whether she wanted to go back home to her family, but in the end decided to stay. It seemed like the most financially viable option and she wanted to help the family out as much as possible. 

Charlotte said that the communication between her and the dad had been great and that’s what made the unique situation much easier to navigate. She told us that they sit down regularly and have open discussions which allows them to come to conclusions and solutions together that work for them both.

Annabelle’s story

Annabelle had been working with her family since September 2018 and was on track to finish the job in mid-April. 

Before the lockdown the parents began WFH, something that can be a struggle for both nannies and parents to navigate. However, the family remained very respectful of the fact that they were now in her working environment. 

When the coronavirus situation escalated in March her family offered to put her on paid leave until the end of her contract. This was, of course, much appreciated by Annabelle.

Annabelle was meant to be starting a new position in mid-April, but when we spoke to her, it had been put on hold due to CV-19. The dad wasn’t working and the mum was working from home which meant they didn’t need her. They had told her she could start in July if the situation improved, but they couldn’t give her any guarantee.

What Annabelle was struggling with most is the lack of certainty and control. However, she did feel that both families handled the situation very well. The communication was always very open, and she is grateful for always being kept in the loop. Her previous employers always asked for her input and she felt that they approached the crisis as a team. Her new employers have also been very supportive. “I feel really lucky, I have heard some really awful stories from other nannies who have just been laid off.”

Annabelle said she was happy to work during lockdown as she is not high risk and wants to help parents that are struggling in this situation. However, she understands the risk of being a carrier and adhering to government guidelines.

Her closing sentiment was that “This situation has made me realise how much I love my job as a nanny.” A nice note to end on.

When we last caught up with Veronica, Charlotte and Annabelle ...


Veronica was living in the countryside with the family and still hadn’t been compensated for the 100+ hours of overtime she’d clocked up. Once the situation improves, Veronica will be looking for a new job. She told us that “situations like this can really show different sides of people”.

We asked her what could have been handled differently and she was quick to answer with “communication”. She felt she was never really given any viable options and was forced to make big decisions on the spot without really being listened to.

Charlotte was still happy and continuing to work for her family. They were still having regular conversations and working together to adjust the daily schedule to accommodate their new situation  

Annabelle was hoping and waiting for the situation to improve so that she could start her new job in July. She was continuing to have open communication with the new family and was looking for temporary work in the meantime.

Three very different stories but a very consistent theme: Good and open communication between nannies and the families they work for is essential for a successful relationship. You heard it from Veronica - if the family had communicated with her better she might not be looking for a new job when everything settles down.

We'd like to say a big thank you to Veronica, Charlotte and Annabelle for sharing their stories with us. If you have comments on these stories or a story you’d like to share, contact us at 

You can find out more about how coronavirus has impacted the nanny and parents here.

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