The last couple of years has brought about changes to every business sector. And we’re seeing significant changes in our industry that are bringing about a new breed of nanny, and we’re calling them ‘New World Nannies’.
What is a New World Nanny?
New World Nannies are doing their best to adapt to the new world. They have taken stock of the challenges presented by the pandemic and the economic slump and reshaped their approach to the sector.
From tactical fixes, like virtual nannying, to broadening their search to include nanny shares or part-time contracts. They’re shaping themselves to the opportunities the current market presents.
Why Is This Important?
The basic dynamic of the sector is that families demand childcare, and nannies supply childcare. If childcare demand changes, so must the services that nannies supply.
And demand has changed, and just like any service sector, the product – childcare provided by professional nannies – has to adapt to stay relevant. And good communication is vital in helping both parties through the changes.
The changes in the sector are leading to nannies, on occasion, lacking guidance or being kept in the dark over where they stand. And – in the saddest of circumstances – losing their role to perhaps cheaper options.Laure Greene – An experienced nanny and nanny consultant.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
We should remind ourselves that the changes are through necessity and not childcare fads and fashions.
Families are more likely to be working from home (WFH). And, at worst, making ends meet with significantly lower income – and with the fear of even more challenging times ahead.
And now, families and nannies are facing a rise in living costs, leading to many families re-appraising their childcare arrangements.
So Where Do Our New World Nannies Fit In?
We asked both families and nannies whether they were more or less likely to consider/offer seven types of nanny roles that present more flexibility:
- Temporary Contract
- Virtual Nannying
- Nanny Share – Nannies caring for the children of two or more families’ children at the same time
- Live-in – while this isn’t a typically flexible role, it does provide the family with more flexibility
- Term Time Only
- School Holidays Only
The graph below shows whether nannies and families are more or less likely to consider each of the abovementioned roles. If the bar is above the midline, they are more likely to. And less likely if it’s below the mid-line.
Families (green) and nannies (yellow) seem aligned until you get to live-in and school holiday-only roles.
What This Means (for New World Nannies)
Part-time & Temporary Contracts
Both families and nannies are warm to the idea of part-time roles. Families can reduce their reliance on childcare (potentially driven by WFH) while nannies can use online sites, like ArmyofNannies.com, to help construct flexible work schedules with multiple employers.
New World Nannies Insight: Consider how you can build complementary roles with multiple families and potentially numerous nannies. Create childcare networks that help you work in a more agile manner.
We were surprised to see this scoring so low. OK, so it’s not a full-time childcare solution, but it has its place, especially for specialist nannies and ad hoc consultations.
Check out our blog, 5 Tips to Virtual Nannying, for guidance on approaching virtual nannying.
New World Nannies Insight: Build this skillset into your repertoire; it may come in handy, and it will undoubtedly be something that grows over time.
Probably the most contentious nanny role at the moment. Without going into the watch-outs with this approach, it’s increasingly popular with families. And we have a great blog that covers those here
In a challenging economic environment with more WFH, that’s no big surprise. What’s encouraging is that the nannies we reached are also more open to the idea of a nanny share.
New World Nannies Insight: This takes work to make it work but, with planning and excellent communication, it can be a strong childcare position for an experienced nanny. Please, read the blog above. And get advice from nannies who are already making a go of this type of role.
Here, we see the first significant difference between nannies and families; nannies are unwilling to consider it, but families are slightly more partial.
The mismatch is likely driven by families preferring nannies to remain in their ‘bubble’ (or less out-and-about). However, many nannies are not so keen on being directly attached to the family – especially with the risk of lockdowns and movement restrictions. They need their space.
New World Nannies Insight: There could be an opportunity for new world nannies. If you’re willing to live in, you’ll likely be searching for roles in a less competitive environment.
Term-time only and School Holidays Only
Term time is pretty equal, with nannies and families showing marginal negativity. But school holidays-only roles show a significant mismatch between nannies (not for it) and families (for it).
Families’ enthusiasm for school holiday contracts is likely driven by WFH families requiring extra help during the school holidays. WFH days are disrupted when school isn’t in term, so help is needed.
Conversely, nannies struggle to make a career/livelihood from ‘holiday only’ contracts. This drives a divide between what families are willing to pay and what nannies need to get paid to make childcare a viable career.
New World Nannies Insight: If you can find term and holiday roles to complement each other, you’ll be well placed and well rewarded. Especially school holiday contracts can come at a significant premium. But be aware, this will likely involve travel as we head to more normal times. And this kind of commitment has a significant impact on life outside of nannying.
A Discussion with Savernake Nannies Exploring the Blog
Please note that Savernake Nanny Agency sadly closed during the pandemic.
New World Nannies Are Here To Stay
We hope this rolling research helps families and nannies understand how the nannying landscape is changing and where tensions exist.
And we hope this piece helps ‘New World Nannies’ plot their career course. The sector is changing, but if you can embrace it and adapt, there is an opportunity to do well in this challenging climate.
Look at the market and determine where you are willing to go and stand out. Then, build a career path and CV based on that plan.
We are Army of Nannies
Army of Nannies is an online nanny-finding platform that helps nannies and families find each other.
Complete your free profile and get introductions where you can see where it works and where you need to dig a little deeper.
To create your free search profile, visit armyofnannies.com
How We Conducted This Research
The research ran from September 2020 for four weeks and secured over 100 nannies and family responders from the UK. It was an online survey alongside in-depth interviews and opinions from industry experts.
Interviews have been held regularly across 2020-2023 to ensure the trends remain relevant.
New World Nannies Press
If you want a deeper understanding of the results, please contact email@example.com, and we’ll get back to you.