A blog by Annemarie – Founder of the Australian Nanny Association
At the Australian Nanny Association, we’ve noticed a change in the market over the past year. The growth we’ve seen has been exciting, but it brings its challenges to people wanting to begin work as a nanny and to families looking for a nanny’s help in the home.
Prospective or New Nannies…
If you are a school leaver or looking for a career change into the nanny world, a great way to start is by undertaking some studies covering early childhood development or the basics of childcare.
Volunteering and babysitting also help to build your resume and gain trust with local families. These are the same people who will be your references later on when you begin to grow your career into more permanent work.
It can sometimes be hard to find that first job, as everyone is looking for someone with experience. Roles to consider to get your foot in the door might be those of a Mother’s/Parent’s Helper or a Junior Nanny. Often in these cases a parent is around, and you work as a team. This is a great opportunity to gain experience. Typically, as you gain this experience, and build trust with a family, the parent will be more comfortable leaving you to work more independently with the children while they do other things.
Nanny Agencies are typically seeking at least 2 years of experience from candidates. However, sometimes other relevant skills or education can appeal to agencies and families, and the process for applications can vary. It’s often worth contacting your local agency for a chat, introducing yourself, and even pre-registering. This can sometimes lead to them exploring your suitability for families looking for more of a Parent Helper or Junior Nanny.
Right now, as the economy starts to rev back into gear, and we find that parents who were required to work from home during lockdowns have a new interest in the support of a professional nanny. Nannies were in high demand during the work at home lockdown periods. Families who might not have used a nanny in the past have realised the potential benefit of having a nanny to compliment their parent team, which has meant more demand than ever.
It is currently a nanny’s market. This means there are more open jobs than available nannies. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of a job description with a list of duties. This provides applicants with clarity and an understanding of what is expected in the role. Nannies who have taken the time to study and held long term roles are able to pick and choose the jobs they want and negotiate pay.
Families seeking good quality nannies may be finding it difficult to secure their ideal candidate. In times like this, further consideration is needed on pay rate and flexibility – working around candidates if possible and considering the option of a less experienced candidate. In the latter scenario it is best to spend time training your new nanny with a combination of supervision and orientation to your home, the children, and your expectations.
You may need to cut back on the household chores and focus on the importance of childcare to secure a suitable candidate. Keep in mind that when a nanny is caring for children there may not always be enough time in the day to finish all household tasks, just as happens when you as the parent are home with the children. There are good days and challenging days.
The Australian Nanny Association is here to support all involved with the nanny community, and we welcome new candidates and families joining the industry. Our agency members are happy to have a chat and discuss your potential, your needs, and possible solutions that may suit you.
Experienced nannies also have a wealth of information for those new to the industry, and there are many support groups on social media that you can connect with to learn how to get yourself set up within the industry.