A Nanny's Guide to Getting Hired

Do you want a rewarding career with good earning potential?

Choosing a career as a Nanny can be one of the most rewarding and at times, challenging vocations. A good Nanny has a strong desire to nurture, the ability to put the needs and safety of children first, has good values and aspires to provide the highest level of care while also providing a fun, structured and stimulating, child-centred environment.

There are many options available to those wishing to follow a career in childcare. A number of colleges offer both attendance based and distance learning qualifications, many nursery settings offer work experience to those who are wishing to follow a career in childcare. This can be arranged privately or through a college offering work experience as part of the training process.

For those who have already gained experience in nursery settings, as childminding assistants or for example, abroad in hotel based children’s centres or kids clubs, parents may be willing to accept experience in place of qualifications if they feel that you are the best person for the job.

Nanny salaries range from basic rate pay to very generous pay that includes benefits you would be hard pressed to find in any other job. Many parents need to work full time meaning that they need to hire someone they can trust to care for their children while they are out of the home.

What does the Nanny role entail?

Nannies may choose to work on a live-in or daily basis. A Nanny may be required to work on a sole-charge basis or in partnership with the parents where one or more parents work part-time, or work from home or have social responsibilities that mean they are often at home but need additional support due to a busy schedule.

The Nanny may be expected to drive the children to and from school and other activities, therefore a clean driving licence will be required. You may be provided with a car for duty use or in some cases, parents may expect you to have your own transport and will pay you a fee per mile to cover your expenses such as petrol, wear and tear when transporting their children or running errands relating to your job.

A quick online search will reveal the official rates published each year regarding reasonable charges that can be claimed for work related use of your own vehicle, this is usually done on a pay-per-mile basis.

Finding a Nanny position

These days, undertaking a search of available Nanny jobs is easier than ever before. Childcare.co.uk offers a fantastic online search platform and local jobs are available to view at the click of mouse. Simply create an online profile, include a picture and an introduction that prospective families can view, add enough personal information to provide a snapshot of your work history and personal attributes but keep more personal details available for the interview.

Gone are the days of travelling to and from lengthy agency interviews, Childcare.co.uk takes the hard work out of finding work. Families are able to search for candidates based on their own requirements rather than having to rely on agencies to interpret their needs. This puts prospective Nannies in a far better position as families are choosing based on their own specific requirements meaning there is a massive reduction in red tape, waiting times and potential disappointment.

Should Nannies register with Ofsted?

Nannies are not currently expected to register with Ofsted as a condition of working with children. This is only the case if the Nanny decided to offer care based in his or her own home rather than the home of the employer, this would then be classed as Childminding. There are a number of advantages to becoming an Ofsted registered Nanny and joining the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register (in England) or the Childcare at Home Approval Scheme (in Wales), you may wish to consider some of these registration benefits:

✔ Demonstrate your professionalism

✔ Show employers that you are committed to your career

✔ You will undertake some level of childcare training to ensure that you have common core skills knowledge

✔ You will have a current DBS check in place so that parents can feel confident

✔ You will be child and infant CPR trained

✔ You will have an awareness of safeguarding and your responsibilities in this regard

✔ Nanny insurance to protect yourself and the family you work for

✔ Your employer may be able to claim some tax relief relating to childcare costs

The interview

Prospective employers will want to carry out a thorough interview, this could mean that you will be initially offered a telephone interview, followed by a face -to-face interview if you successfully pass the initial stage. Parents may then wish to create a short-list of candidates who will be considered for the final job offer. It is therefore very important to be well prepared for each step of the interview phase. Before applying for any positions, ensure that the following documents are available and up to date:

✔ Current CV and recent photograph

✔ Copies of any qualifications including CPR certificate

✔ A current DBS check

✔ Copy of your driving licence and counterpart if driving is required

✔ Reference letters with contact details (inform referees in advance)

✔ Proof of ID and address (if not presenting your driving licence)

✔ Public liability insurance

✔ Membership to a professional Nanny organisation

Parents may wish to check the legitimacy of any qualifications or other documentation presented, this is quite acceptable as your employer will need reassurance that they are leaving their children with someone who is trustworthy. Written references are always a good way of supporting a CV, parents may wish to read written references so that they have the opportunity to discuss any particular points with past employers if they feel it is relevant to the job on offer. It can be useful to include a couple of character references to help support a good CV and to enhance a job application by showing good all round character. This may be from a previous non-childcare related job, a school teacher or college tutor for example.

When arranging a telephone interview, be sure that if you will be using a mobile phone, you have good reception and you have provided the correct contact number. Speak clearly and be aware of the tone and speed of your responses as it is easy to be nervous and speak too quickly. You may wish to go over some mock questions to prepare yourself for any particular questions that parents may ask you.

When attending the face-to-face interview, arrive well presented with all paperwork in order and don’t forget to prepare a list of questions. This is important as it demonstrates a level of interest in the job and the family. Keep the questions general and avoid discussing benefits, pay or making any requests that may jeopardise a job offer early on. Employment terms can be negotiated once a job offer has been made.

Criminal record checks are essential although the CRB checks have now been replaced by the DBS check, something that parents will expect to see. Public liability insurance is another key element that will demonstrate a commitment to a career as a Nanny. This protects the Nanny and also offers the parents some level of comfort in knowing that if a worst-case-scenario presented itself, all parties are protected.

Accepting a job offer

Once a family has made their decision and has offered the job, it is important that the offer is made in writing. A contract should then be drawn up as part of the hiring process. The contract should detail the job description including the hours to be worked, the days to be worked, duties to be performed and the pay along with any benefits should also be included.

The contract should also include details regarding whether or not the position is offered on a live in or daily basis and whether or not a car is provided for use during working hours. If not, details of the rate offered per mile should be noted. If living in, adequate accommodation should be provided and days off should be clearly noted as the family cannot expect the Nanny to be available outside of the contracted hours unless this is done on an overtime basis, the rate for overtime and additional evening babysitting should be included within the terms of the contract.

When discussing pay, the employer (parents) have a duty to provide certain documentation such as regular payslips detailing tax and national insurance contributions. A P60 should also be provided annually at the end of the financial year and the annual leave arrangements should also be noted. It is not uncommon for families to negotiate that up to half of annual leave is to be taken when it is convenient for the family, and the other half at a time to suit the Nanny. This should be negotiated prior to the final contract being issued to avoid any problems in the future. Any future changes to the contract need to be done by mutual agreement.

Once a family have made offered a job to the Nanny, it is important to keep the lines of communication open, provide requested documents and additional references in a timely fashion and ensure that any agreements are honoured during the hire process. Any issues should be dealt with quickly and reassure the family if any issues arise that may cause a delay. Keeping the lines of communication open at all times will help the family to feel confident in their decision.

Disclaimer

However carefully researched the material in this information guide might be, it is not possible to guarantee its accuracy or completeness. The author and distributor therefore accept no liability for any inaccuracies or any loss or damage arising from the use of or reliance on details obtained from this information guide. Where applicable, individual OFSTED (England), CSSIW (Wales) and Care Inspectorate (Scotland) Inspectors might expect different ways of doing things from others and the ideas contained in this information guide are indicators of best practice only. Please ensure that you check the current government guidelines and requirements relating to the information shared within this guide.

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