So you want to be a nanny – how exciting! Building your profile as a new nanny in the UK involves many steps. But it’s worth it as it’s an enriching and gratifying role as you shape young lives and help families thrive.
Here, we explore some critical steps to consider and share helpful resources to help you build your career as a professional child carer.
Building your new nanny network
It’s important to remember that as a new nanny, you are not alone!
The nanny community is supportive and generous in providing advice and guidance. A quick search on Facebook will reveal a host of groups that offer guidance and support.
Our top pick is UK Nanny: It’s a strong and supportive community of nannies that offers events and training opportunities throughout the year.
Here’s a link to their Facebook group: UK Nanny Events
Find a mentor: As you start to meet more experienced nannies, if there’s one you gel with, ask if they would be your mentor. Even if you only meet up every couple of months – for a coffee or virtually – you’ll be able to get some advice from someone who knows the ropes.
New Nanny basic legal requirements and expectation
Ensure you have the right to work in the UK: If you’re not a UK citizen or resident, ensure you have the appropriate visa to work as a nanny.
Background checks: Undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which is a background check to ensure you’re eligible to work with children. While this isn’t strictly a legal requirement, we advise all nannies to have an eDBS. And preferably on the update service.
To secure your eDBS, we have a special offer with Personnel Check where, once you have a profile on our site, you can get a discounted eDBS.
Follow the link to find out more:
Skills and Qualifications
Don’t be intimidated by this. You can build your skills and qualifications over time through Continual Professional Development (CPD).
And there are loads of free courses and training opportunities available that you can find with a quick search on platforms like Facebook.
Childcare qualifications: While not always mandatory, relevant childcare qualifications like a Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (formerly NVQ) will enhance your credibility.
First Aid certification: Obtain a valid Paediatric First Aid certification, which is highly recommended for anyone working with children.
We have a partnership with Safe & Sound that can secure you a discount on first-class training opportunities.
Build your experience over time
Gain experience: Build your expertise as a new nanny by working with children in different settings, such as volunteering, babysitting, or working in daycare centres.
Keep a log (or career portfolio) to keep track of your progress. And add the more significant roles to your CV.
This London-focussed NannySitting group is just one example of a group that can help you find short-term roles.
Find and join the groups that are local to you and engage with families directly.
Networking and building your profile:
Find the social spaces where nannies and agencies come together: Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn have strong communities of nannies you can join and actively support with comments.
Join nanny agencies: Nanny agencies can connect you with families seeking childcare services. They often require you to submit your qualifications and references. Many will be looking for more experienced nannies, but some will be open to new nannies who are enthusiastic and motivated.
Online platforms: Create profiles on websites like ours – armyofnannies.com – to showcase your skills and connect with potential employers directly.
New Nanny Documentation:
Create a professional CV: Highlight your qualifications, experience, skills, and references in a well-organized CV.
If you need a CV template, we have one we can share with you. Just email email@example.com, and we’ll happily share it with you.
Write a cover letter: Tailor your cover letter to showcase your passion for childcare and explain why you’d be an excellent fit for a family.
Keep a Nanny Portfolio: As you build experience and qualifications, keep all your references in one place so you can quickly access and share them with enquiring families.
Top tip: It’s ALWAYS better to share your CV as a PDF. It’s a locked document, and it gives a more professional first impression. And make sure you use a spell check 😊
New Nanny References:
As you likely won’t have much experience, you need to think around the challenge of reliable and meaningful references.
Gather references over time: Gather references from previous employers, colleagues, or teachers who can vouch for your skills and character. Remember, these should be in your Nanny Portfolio.
Make sure you don’t share these too early in the recruitment process, as you don’t want your referees being called too often. This will likely annoy them, and you might lose their support.
Interviewing (It’s just a conversation!):
Prepare for interviews: Be ready to answer questions about your childcare philosophy, experience, and how you handle different situations.
As a new nanny, think about those instances where you have shown your abilities to care for children safely and shown yourself to be both responsible and reliable. And don’t forget to smile 😊
Ask questions: During the interview, ask questions about the family’s expectations, the children’s routines, and any special needs.
Don’t get too nervous about interviews: They’re just a two-way conversation to ensure you fit well together. Think of it as a chat to showcase yourself and learn about the family.
Contracts and Agreements:
Create a contract: Once appointed, work with the family to create a clear contract outlining your responsibilities, working hours, salary, and other relevant details. It’s likely the family will lead this process, but you are very much an essential part of the process.
If the family are using PAYE company – and we recommend they do – they will have a contract for you to adapt.
We ALWAYS recommend NannyPaye as they are a five-star Trustpilot business, and their contract fairly represents the family and the nanny.
Legal obligations: Ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities as a nanny under UK employment law.
Creating the contract is a two-way conversation. Be prepared to push back on clauses that make you feel uncomfortable and ask fellow nannies for advice.
If you have Nanny Insurance in place, you can secure legal advice and support from them.
We have a relationship with Morton Michel that can secure a discount on Nanny Insurance.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD):
Stay updated: Participate in workshops, training sessions, and courses to continuously improve your skills and stay current with best childcare practices.
Keep an eye on Facebook groups – and alike – where you’ll find a constant flow of training opportunities and events to tap into. Again, UK Nanny is also a great resource to find courses and support.
Professionalism and Ethics:
Maintain professionalism: Be punctual, reliable, and respectful in your interactions with the family and their children.
Respect privacy: Always maintain the confidentiality and privacy of the family you work for. Unless, of course, you have child-safety concerns or you have legal concerns.
In all instances, applying common sense and asking for advice is essential and advised. Confidentiality should never undermine your legal rights or protection.
Social media: Be mindful of your online presence and ensure that your social media profiles present a professional image.
Remember that building a reputation as a nanny takes time and dedication. Providing excellent childcare, building solid relationships with families, and continuously improving your skills will contribute to your success in establishing yourself as a trusted nanny in the UK.
Top tip: Families will check your social profiles. If they’re not a great reflection of you as a professional child carer, either clean them up or lock them down.
And that’s a wrap
We’ve covered a lot here., and hopefully, it raises some of the main things to consider.
If you have any questions, please message us from our Army of Nannies Facebook page, and we’ll happily help and support you as best we can.