What it takes to be a nanny in 2020

Published: 08/07/2020

Like any industry, the global nanny market is continually evolving. This year in particular, we are seeing changes in the types of positions and what families are looking for, largely driven by the impact of CV-19.

Whether you’re a nanny looking for a new job, a parent looking to hire a nanny, or a babysitter, nursery nurse or teacher looking for a career change, here are some of the trends we’re seeing across the industry.

1. Nannies are no longer flying solo

With parents working more and more exclusively from home, the working environment for nannies has changed. Nannies (particularly sole charge) have gone from little or no supervision during the day while the parents are at work, to what may (unintentionally) feel like constant supervision. This can cause tension if not managed carefully. While the most successful nannies have carefully honed skills which mean they are sensitive enough to know when to step in and step out and how to let go of the small stuff if things don’t go as planned, the current WFH situation can test even the most experienced nannies and laid back parents.

myTamarin says: Open and honest conversation about expectations and boundaries between parents and nannies, as well as feedback is more important than ever.

2. Matching based on subjective criteria leads to 2.5x longer placements

Childcare agencies typically suggest candidates based purely on objective criteria (e.g. availability, experience, and geographic proximity), which means the more subjective criteria often go ignored. In the new world we’re living in, matching based on criteria such as personality, values, communication and parenting style, is more important than ever. If you’re not feeling the chemistry in the first place, chances are it’s not going to work out for the long-term when you’re living and working in close proximity day after day.

myTamarin says: Questions such as “what things did you like/annoyed you about your last family/nanny” or asking about family and upbringing can help uncover some of those more subjective preferences and characteristics.

3.   A pitch in attitude will go a long way

While most nannies are team players, they are generally used to working within the scope of a specific role and duties -- for example, a nanny will spend most of her time with the children and be required to do some light child-related domestic duties and a nanny-housekeeper may spend less time with the children and more time cleaning, cooking, washing, etc. -- the lines are becoming blurred in this current environment –- parents are stepping in and handling some of the nanny’s duties or may be asking nannies to pitch in and help out with things they wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. Those team player traits are needed more than ever.

myTamarin says: Flexibility is key on both sides and having the willingness and ability to work effectively with other adults within the home and share the burden is a highly needed skill.

4. Is temp to perm the new norm?

Rather than going straight into a permanent search, more and more families are starting off with temporary cover while they take their time to find the right permanent nanny. What we’re finding in many cases is that the family are coming to love the temporary nanny and end up offering them the permanent role There are benefits to this approach for both sides as it really does give you the opportunity to figure out if you have that chemistry and it’s a good match before committing. Temporary jobs are a great opportunity for people who are just starting out as a nanny, or transitioning from a different sector of childcare, to build some relevant experience.

myTamarin says: Nannies who are hanging out for that perfect permanent position, should be open to temporary positions as you never know how it will turn out.

5. A nanny’s online presence is as important as her CV

The days of purely hiring through CVs and written references are long gone. The more thorough agencies and employers are going to do at least two verbal reference checks with previous employers and will also check out a nanny’s online presence too. Yes, nannies are allowed a social life, but need to be able to balance this with maintaining a professional presence and demonstrating their love and suitability for childcare.

myTamarin says: At the most basic level, the right social media profile picture will help. We're also seeing that nannies who are really serious about standing out from the crowd are starting to create their own childcare/nanny specific social media pages to help build a professional brand.       

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