A day in the life of a Nanny
How did you get into nannying?
I began my career working in a school for children with special educational needs.
A few years later, a local family were looking for a full-time nanny and this was when my nannying career began. Over the past 8/9 years, I’ve worked for several different families and worked as a House Parent at an independent boarding school. I have been working with HNW and UHNW households for almost three years.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to become a nanny?
Don’t be put off if you’re not the most experienced or qualified candidate, a large part of the job is about personality and fit. Take time on your CV and ensure you include all relevant experience to get noticed for an interview. It can be daunting working in a fully staffed private household, but you must be confident in the knowledge you’ve been chosen by the family.
Each job has its challenges, move with them, and remember being out of your comfort zone allows you to grow and achieve.
And what key skills do you think you need?
Patience, resilience, professionalism – and a good sense of humour!
A first aid / paediatric course is essential.
How would you describe the daily routine?
Working as a rota nanny is physically and mentally demanding. You’re working on a shift for 7 or 14 days, being on call 24/7, before returning home to rest and then starting the cycle all over again. The flip side is the long break at home and working for half a year.
Your priority is to keep the daily routine as consistent as possible and being adaptable to the ever-changing schedules of the family.
A typical day:
- Getting the children up, toileting them, etc
- Bringing the children down for breakfast, this is usually prepared and served by the chefs
- Getting ready for the day, picking appropriate clothes/outfits, ensuring good hygiene, and making sure the child looks presentable for the family’s required standard
- During any down time / when the child is at school or napping, there is a range of admin, such as booking appointments, scheduling activities, planning flight arrangements for upcoming trips, running errands, liaising with other staff members, approving meal plans for the children, buying clothing/gifts and everything else in between!
- Evenings – picking the child up from school / bringing home after an afternoon activity, eating together with other siblings (either at home or taking the children out for dinner), ending with a relaxing bath routine and bedtime stories before tucking them up for the night.
Pros and cons to being an UHNW nanny
Experience luxuries and travel which are out of the ordinary – flying via private jets, being driven by chauffeur, and staying in some of the most luxurious places in the world.
Working in a larger private household – you can socialise with other staff.
You are expected to work long hours, typically 12-14 hours a day. If one of the children is up in the night, you will be expected to be too. You must also be expected to come in at short notice i.e., if plans change, etc – the family expects a high level of service.
How would you compare working as a nanny in the country vs city?
It’s essentially the same role but working as a nanny in the country couldn’t feel more different than city! I’m a country girl at heart and am based in the country – but having worked in both environments, I would pick a city role every time.
My previous role was for a family on an idyllic country estate, being the sole nanny for multiple children but life looked very different. A large proportion of the day was spent driving to various activities, doing the school runs and weekends doing plenty of outdoor pursuits – spent riding, shooting, playing outside. It was gorgeous through the summer but hard work in the winter.
My new role is in central London is at a faster pace. There’s far more choice – where to buy Granny’s birthday present, where to go for lunch with the children, which park to play in and what to do at the weekends.