What Is a Nanny?

Nanny is a qualified and/or experienced childcare professional looking after children in a family’s home. Most families are looking for career nannies who are committed to working for the same family for several years.

A qualification in early childhood education or education is strongly recommended for any nanny position. Qualified nannies earn better salaries than unqualified nannies.

We require a minimum of two years of work experience with children to work as a nanny. Many families request more than 5 years of work experience.

Most nannies work full time, 40-60 hours per week. Some nannies work in a very demanding role 24 hours a day for 5-6 days per week. A rota nanny works a rotating schedule typically with another nanny, for example, one week on and one week off. Our nanny jobs are typically for 40-50 hours and 5 days per week.

A sole charge nanny plans the children’s routines independently and a shared charge nanny works alongside a parent, another nanny or staff member.

Most nannies work with babies, toddlers and other young children. As children grow and go to school, many nanny jobs become either part-time jobs or nanny-housekeeper jobs. However, many families need nannies until their children are teenagers as driving children to school and activities is typically a part of the role.

We offer both live-in and live-out (also called daily) roles. A live-in nanny lives in the family home and has at minimum their own bedroom and sometimes also a private bathroom.

We also have junior nanny positions available. A junior nanny is either a newly qualified nanny without much work experience or an unqualified nanny with 1-2 years of work experience.

A nanny-housekeeper is a nanny who also does housekeeping as part of her duties. Nanny-housekeepers typically work in families where children are in nursery or school for a few hours or days each week.

Male nannies often call themselves Mannies. Male nannies are also very welcome to apply for our positions.

Where Can You Work as a Nanny?

We regularly offer nanny positions in the following countries and areas:

  • United Kingdom
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Asia
  • Middle East

Occasionally, there are also families in other countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. We post these jobs on our website and social media.

We do not typically place nannies in the U.S. due to the visa restrictions. We would also advise against taking a short-term nanny job in the U.S. as these families tend to want you to work on a three-month tourist visa which is against the law.

Your Duties as a Nanny

A nanny’s main responsibilities are the safety, well-being, care and development of children. Families expect nanny to teach the children good manners and etiquette. Most families are looking for a caring, trustworthy, flexible, active, creative and organised nanny who can cook healthy and well-balanced meals, plan and implement educational activities and discipline the children according to the family’s parenting style.

Childcare duties typically include:

  • Implementing daily routines for children
  • Entertaining the children with age-appropriate educational activities (indoor/outdoor)
  • Preparing healthy and well-balanced meals and snacks for children, including preparing bottles for babies and care for feeding equipment
  • Dropping off and picking up children to/from nursery, school and activities
  • Arranging playdates and outings (park, library, playgroups, museums, etc.)
  • Helping children with homework
  • Helping children with tasks, such as bathing/showering, getting dressed and personal hygiene, and encouraging the children to tidy up their rooms and to look after their belongings
  • Planning and supervising rest, bed and nap times
  • Reinforcing appropriate discipline for children
  • Changing nappies and potty training, if age-appropriate
  • Caring for children when they are sick and administering medicine with parents’ consent, if necessary

Nursery duties can include:

  • Preparing for special occasions, such as children’s birthday parties
  • Washing dishes, including loading and unloading dishwasher after meals
  • Keeping kitchen tidy and clean, including sweeping and mopping floors and emptying the rubbish
  • Loading and unloading children’s laundry into the washing machine and putting washed clothes away
  • Ironing for children
  • Making and changing children’s beds
  • Keeping children’s bedrooms, bathrooms and play areas tidy and clean
  • Cleaning children’s toys and looking after their belongings
  • General organising (children’s toys, wardrobes etc.)
  • Packing children’s suitcases for travelling
  • Travelling with children
  • Shopping for any items that the children might need
  • Planning children’s schedules and booking activities and appointments for them
  • Maintaining a ‘nanny log’ for parents (reporting meals, activities, medicines, behaviour, etc.)
  • Regular meetings with the parents to discuss the children’s care and development as well as the employment

Nanny-Housekeeper’s duties can include any tidying, cleaning and organising in the house, including doing the parents’ laundry and sometimes cooking for the parents also. They can also run errands, such as shopping for groceries and other items and picking and dropping off items at, for example, post office or dry cleaners.

The duties vary in families as each family has its own requirements. Some may already have a housekeeper or other staff and may not need you to do the children’s laundry or ironing, for example. Other families welcome a nanny with a ‘can-do’ attitude who can pitch in and help busy parents with other, personal assistant type chores, such as running errands.

Sometimes the duties include travelling with the parents and the children. In these cases, the particular duties a nanny is expected to perform during the trip should be agreed ahead of time.

Working Hours, Time Off and Holidays

Working hours for nannies depend on the contract (the family’s needs) and the laws of the country they work in. Our nannies mostly work 5 days and 40-50 hours per week. Typically nannies have two days off per week.

Most nannies work from Monday to Friday, but some are required to work on weekends either occasionally or regularly. Flexibility is increasingly required as many parents work in roles where their own working schedules change or they travel a lot.

Sometimes nannies may be required to have sole charge of the children overnight when the parents are away from the home, even for a few days at a time. This is called proxy parenting and it is not required in all nanny roles.

As a nanny, you will receive paid holiday according to the employment law of the country, typically around four weeks per year plus public holidays.

When you apply for a job through us, you can specify what type of hours you are willing to work.

Salary and Benefits

The salary a nanny receives varies in different countries and is dependent on many factors, such as

  • Location
  • Hours
  • Duties
  • Qualifications
  • Work experience and skills

Salaries typically vary from 10 euros to 15 euros per hour. For junior nannies, salaries are usually around 8-10 euros per hour. For example in the UK, salaries are typically advertised as weekly for live-in positions and hourly for live-out positions. We typically advertise our salaries as monthly.

Live-in nannies earn slightly less as their salary includes room and board.

Salary is always taxed according to the tax system of the country you work in. Pension and social security contributions are also deducted from your salary.

We will always negotiate the best possible salary for you with each family. Often, a family advertises a certain rate but can offer more for an exceptional candidate.

Most of our families will pay for a nanny’s flight to and from the destination country. If the contract has a probationary period, sometimes families require the nanny to pay for their travel to the family’s home but will reimburse the nanny after the probationary period is over and the nanny agrees to work for the family long term.

Some families also offer additional benefits, such as a mobile phone for work use or another mobile plan for your phone, flights to and from your home country for your holiday or travel insurance.

Room and Board for Live-In Nannies

As a live-in nanny, you will receive full room and board throughout your employment. This means that your accommodation is a private room within the family home, and you will receive all meals every day, even when you are not working.

You cannot be required to share a room with children. The room must have a bed, adequate storage space and a window.

You may, of course, use the kitchen, living areas and bathroom. Sometimes there may be a private bathroom for you also.

There are some families that offer separate accommodation for nannies, either adjacent to their home or elsewhere.

What Does It Cost to Become a Nanny?

Our service is completely free of charge. We charge the families for our service, so we can offer a free service to all job seekers.

Sometimes you may also need to pay for your own travel to your destination country. Most families will pay for your travel.

We also strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. In some countries, you can get basic medical treatment when you are a resident in that country. However, it is advisable to have additional travel insurance to cover your belongings and any emergencies, such as serious accidents or illnesses that may require medical transportation to your country of origin.

If you are applying to work in a country that requires a visa (i.e. Australia, China), you may need to pay for the visa costs yourself (although sometimes the family pays). We are happy to advise you on the visa process. In some cases, the family may offer to reimburse you for the visa costs after you have worked for them for the agreed period.

Contract of Employment

We will draft a Contract of Employment for you and the employer family to sign. The contract must be signed before you book your travel to the country where you will work.

The contract we provide is very detailed (10+ pages) and we will make sure that it covers all important aspects for successful employment. The contract is typically a permanent contract with a probationary period of 1-6 months and a notice period of 1-2 months, unless the family needs just a temporary nanny for a fixed-period contract.

We will also provide you with written instructions as well as personal support before, during and after your placement.

Requirements to Apply for Our Nanny Positions

Citizenship in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland OR you already have the appropriate visa to work as a nanny

We do not accept non-EU applicants without a visa to the country they wish to work in. Most families are just not willing to wait for the visa process. In many countries, it is also very difficult to get a visa for a non-EU applicant as there may be a requirement that no EU applicants be available. Due to the number of enquiries we get from non-EU applicants, we are not able to answer all queries.

Minimum age 18 years; no maximum age

Many families may have their own preferences regarding a nanny’s age, but we do not discriminate based on age!

Good language and communication skills

To communicate efficiently with children, you must speak their language fluently. For most of our positions, this language is English.

Many of our families require a Finnish speaker to improve their children’s Finnish language skills. If Finnish is your working language, then you will still need to speak English or another language in the destination country quite well, although maybe not fluently.

These days, families are increasingly asking for bilingual or multilingual nannies. Any additional language skill is seen as a bonus.

A qualification in childcare (EU level 4 or equivalent)

Most families require a qualified nanny. If a qualification is not required, we will typically mention this in the job advert.

If you speak Finnish, check out our blog post about nanny qualifications. The Finnish qualifications we accept are ‘lähihoitaja (lapset ja nuoret)’, ‘lastenohjaaja’ and any university qualification in midwifery, early childhood education or education.

A minimum of two years of full-time experience working with children

Many families require more experience, some may accept less experience with excellent qualifications. For junior nanny positions, you will need 1-2 years of work experience if you are unqualified and preferably a minimum of six months if you are newly qualified.

The work experience should ideally be from a private family. In many cases, we can accept nursery experience also. Experience as an Au Pair does not usually qualify as full-time work experience.

An up-to-date first aid and CPR course

If you do not have an up-to-date first aid and CPR course, then you may still apply, but you should book yourself on a course as soon as possible. First aid and CPR is an essential skill that all nannies should have!

Driving licence is a requirement for most positions

There are also some positions that do not involve driving. Those are typically in city locations where public transportation is good or most places are within a walking distance.

Commitment to work for 1-2 years (and preferably 3+ years)

Most families are looking for long-term nannies. Your contract will most often be a permanent contract with a notice period of 1-2 months, but families prefer career nannies who like to stay in long-term positions. Sometimes we have also temporary nanny jobs with contracts for a few weeks or months, but temporary positions are quite rare.

Possible visa requirements

There are additional requirements for countries requiring a visa (Australia, China etc.). We typically inform you of those requirements in our job adverts and also advise you on applying for a visa.