For many busy parents, a live in nanny is a luxury when it comes to having their children cared for during the week and over the weekends due to heavy working commitments. It allows parents a lot of breathing space where childcare is concerned and peace of mind knowing that the children are safe at home with a ‘member of the family’.
What does a live in nanny do?
A live in nanny will alleviate all pressures relating to childcare and nursery duties. So all responsibilities pertaining to the child’s health and hygiene will be taken care of by the live in nanny. This includes necessities such as preparing healthy meals and snacks (taking into account any specific dietary requirements), and ensuring that hygiene is a priority.
All duties related to the child are actually the responsibility of the live in nanny, so this includes washing, ironing and folding clothing, choosing outfits to wear and making sure items are stored correctly.
The nanny will always provide the child with a safe environment with which to play, this includes toys that should be sanitary and safe for the child to use at all times. This is particularly important for young babies who are more prone to bacteria and illness.
As well as providing support for the child’s overall health and dietary needs, the nanny will also be tasked with promoting mental well-being through play and activities.
There are multiple things a nanny will do with a child to ensure development on a day-to-day basis. This can include arts and crafts, music, story-telling, early-learning problem solving and other early years activities.
A live in nanny will also be responsible for arranging play-dates which will reinforce and promote their social skills. This usually consists of toddler classes and park visits. The live in nanny will also network with other live in nannies and sometimes meet up to go to the same toddler class.
A live in nanny is not a housekeeper or an aupair. Parents should be mindful of the expectations placed up on their child carer. Duties should really only be focused on the child.
Nannies who are tasked with cleaning the house and cooking for an entire family will not last long in a position, so by respecting duty boundaries it will pay off in terms of nanny longevity.
What is a live in nanny schedule?
A live in nanny will usually work between 10 and 12 hours per day over 5 or 6 days, with their day off usually one day at the weekend. Some families may request a 24-hour live in nanny to provide around the clock support.
Evening babysitting can also form part of the nanny working agreement, but it is important to point out that this should not be taken advantage of. Nannies do need recuperation time, especially those nannies working 12 hours per day over 6 days.
Additional babysitting should always be discussed during contract negotiations and not be a surprise to the nanny when she/he commences employment. This can cause alarm bells in the nanny’s mind and is not a good way to start an employer/employee relationship.
A good working harmony between employer and employee is vital when you are looking for a long term childcare solution. It’s a win-win situation for all parties; the parent benefits from a much more productive employee, while the nanny is happy and comfortable in their surroundings.
Work/life balance is one of the biggest reasons for a fairly high turnover of staff in the world of private childcare. Burnout is inevitable there is not enough rest between the working shifts. Providing a good working environment will ensure that a live in nanny is always working at optimum level when attending to the children.
How much is a live in nanny salary?
The salary of a live in nanny will obviously vary based on location, hours worked, amount of children…the more responsibility means that the salary should reflect that.
Major and affluent cities such as London, Los Angeles, New York will have a naturally higher salary that other cities in their respective countries.
A live in nanny in London working 10-12 hours per day can expect to earn between £650.00 and £850.00 per week, while live in nannies in New York City and Los Angeles working the same amount of hours can expect a salary of around $1000.00+ per week.
It’s worth noting, the most experienced and qualified nannies will command the higher weekly salaries.
Vastly experienced live in nannies working in wealthy non-English/European speaking cities such as Moscow, Almaty, Dubai, Riyadh can cost up to £2000.00 per week, depending on the role.
The salary should also reflect on the nanny’s educational level. Highly trained nannies who have spend thousands completing a degree at Norland College or obtaining an education from Chiltern College should expect a higher than average salary due to the investment in their childcare career.
Parents who are looking to hire a live in nanny should be aware that they will have to pay the nanny’s taxes and national insurance (social security in the U.S) as per any domestic employment contract.
This ensures you are not breaking any laws regarding hiring private staff as the fines and repercussions can far outweigh the penalties.
What accommodation should you offer to a live in nanny
Privacy is important to a live in nanny. Once the shift is complete the nanny should have access to her own quarters which should include her own bathroom and such facilities.
Amenities such as satellite/cable television can be offered if you wish to make your nanny feel ‘at home’ during her (or his!) off-time. An important part of a live-in package should be access to a stable internet connection, this is quite important for nannies who are not native to your country who may wish to Skype/Zoom her family and friends back home.
Some families will include accommodation with a separate entrance to really set professional boundaries and allow the live in nanny to opportunity to unwind without any possible distractions.
Families with larger, country based properties may have converted outbuildings, annex or barns which can be offered to the nanny as part of the employment package.
Again, either of the above should have modern facilities and amenities which allow your nanny to live an independent life during non-working hours, but obviously with it being your house and grounds, it would be important to try and establish some boundaries; such as visitors, curfews and such things before any hiring agreement is finalised.
Annexes and outbuildings are far more preferable for a nanny as it offers more complete privacy when off the job and more flexibility to come and go within reason. A simple rule to follow is, whatever accommodation is offered to a live in nanny, it should be renovated and ready to move in to, as is.
Where can you find a live in nanny?
There is a plethora of nanny agencies to choose from in your local area or nationally. It is always recommended to use a nanny agency local to your area as they usually have the best outreach in that town or city and have met the nannies in person at their office.
A simple google search will allow you to find a nanny agency, you can also ask friends for any recommendations, or reach out to community websites or local Facebook mum groups who would be able to give you their honest thoughts.
A nanny agency will conduct a search based on your initial requirements and needs before presenting suitable nanny applicants who have been thoroughly interviewed and vetted.
Usually, they will filter applicants who are currently on their books before reaching out across multiple Facebook groups to find other possible suitors for the job.
The nanny agency will also undertake full reference checks of the applicant’s previous employers as well as ensuring the nanny has a clear police check certificate in place (DBS).
Up on successful hire through a nanny agency, the parent will be required to pay a placement fee which can equal up to 20% of the nanny’s annual gross salary. For agencies outside of major cities, this number is typically lower at around 15% of the annual salary.
Once you have found the nanny you think is the one, your agency will organise a paid trial period. This gives you opportunity to witness the nanny in action, and to see how your child takes to the nanny.
Things do take time, but during the trial, you will get a firm indicator if the arrangement will work out, or not!
Posting your nanny vacancy online
You can also hire nannies from job sites which specialise in high-end private staff such as nannies, housekeepers, chefs and such. When posting on sites such as ours, you reach a high-end community of experienced professionals.
Unlike generic job sites or ‘big’ job sites, our own job site for domestic professionals only markets to specific types of professionals with certain amounts of experience and education. Bigger jobsites open their doors to a bigger, less experienced market from all countries.
You can post a live in nanny job on our exclusive career site for private households for a one off fee. There are no placement fees, the only fee is the upfront posting fee.
You will then receive applications for your job straight to your inbox which will then allow you to arrange interviews, trials and conduct your own background checks. You will find multiple professional companies who are able to conduct background checks for you very easily. You will find various DBS umbrella bodies through the governments own website for absolute security.
Whichever route you take to hire a live in nanny, you must remember that by employing a nanny you must take responsibility for all taxes, national insurance and pension contributions. This is law in the United Kingdom as well as other countries such as the United States and Canada.
Post nanny hire
Hiring a live in nanny is just the beginning of the process. Relationship development and building trust takes time, naturally, but professional respect should be present from the moment a hire is agreed. One of the main reasons nannies leave their positions is due to lack of respect and taking advantage of a nanny’s time.
Here are some of the reasons a nanny may quit their position:
- Typically, when the workload increase week by week, month by month and the remuneration is static, then parents will have a problem keeping their staff. This applies to housekeepers, butlers, house manager and other staff. One offs are normal, because we are not perfect and sometimes, time doesn’t work to suit us, but when mismanaging a nanny’s time becomes a regular occurrence, it won’t be long before she/he starts searching for a new family.
- It always pays to be absolutely clear on what the expectations are before you commit to hiring a nanny. Many nannies I have spoken to talk about the increasing amount of housekeeping duties which come to the surface not long after being hired to be solely responsible for childcare/educational duties. If housekeeping will form a good portion of daily duties, it would be best to hire a housekeeper/nanny. Many nannies have a formal childcare qualification, and as a result do not see themselves as a housekeeper. Professional nannies do love their job caring for children, but it can be tiring, adding full household duties to the mix will only cause mental and physical burnout in the long-run.
- ‘Money’ is a typical reason why employer and employee part company. As an employer investing in childcare, you should always ensure your offer of employment meets and often exceeds the recommended salary and includes holiday pay. Make a point of offering salary reviews annually, adding additional benefits or including possible yearly bonuses (you can save £15/$15 a week for example).
I hope this honest assessment of employing a live-in nanny helps makes the process of hiring clearer and that you have great success in doing so. If you interested in hiring a professional live in nanny – Visit our career site for household staff where you can connect with multiple domestic professionals such as housekeeper, butlers, nannies and even estate managers, personal assistants and more…