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There are few careers out there as rewarding as one working with children. Whether you are a teacher, a social worker, a nursery nurse or a child-minder, there are a number available that allow you to be part of the learning and growing of young people, which can be equally as rewarding for you too.
In todays climate there has been a spike in the number of parents working from home, as self-employment figures rise in the UK. On top of this we have also seen recent figures showing that more mothers than ever before are now in fulltime employment. As a result of these changes, we are seeing a higher demand for skilled and dedicated nannies to take care of the day-to-day responsibilities of looking after children.
But what exactly is a nanny, and is it the right career path for you? In this post we are going to be looking at exactly what is required to become a successful nanny, as well as what the job entails, and what’s in it for you!
What Is A Nanny?
Although the two roles entail many similar aspects, being a nanny is fundamentally different from being a childminder. When you become a nanny for a family you are employed by them, unlike childminding, which involves setting your own rates as a self-employed worker. We have spoken all about what becoming a childminder entails, so let’s take a look at what you can expect from being a nanny.
First and foremost, the most important part of being a nanny is that you have a genuine passion for working with children. This is an absolute must as this kind of career is challenging and will present new and different hurdles from one day to the next.
The second thing to note is that whilst being a nanny can be extremely difficult at times, it is also one of the most rewarding and honouring careers you can choose. Alongside watching the children in your care learn, develop and grow, you are also able to become part of their family.
Unlike a childminding role, many nannies spend a significant amount of time each day within the home of the family they work for, with many even living in to offer round the clock support. This level of inclusion means that you get to know not just the children, but the rest of the family too as many live-in nannies also cook, clean and even take care of the family pets!
Becoming A Nanny In The UK With Ofsted
Much like any career, particularly those involving close work with children, there are certain things you should do in order to be able to safely carry out your job to the highest potential.
Unlike childminders in the UK, nannies are not legally required to register with The Office For Standards In Education (Ofsted). However, we do highly recommend that those looking to become a nanny do register with Ofsted, as this will give parents peace of mind that the person looking after their children are dedicated, knowledgeable and safe to do so.
Without registering with Ofsted, anyone could become a nanny, but with competition high and child safety being of top priority, it will be much more challenging to get a role as a nanny without the Ofsted registration in place.
How To Become Registered As A Nanny With Ofsted
If you want to take the next step towards being a nanny, then you may decide that registering with Ofsted is the best move. Although registering yourself as a nanny with Ofsted incurs a £103 fee, you will almost certainly benefit from being on their register as more work will come your way.
For the hiring family, going with a nanny who is Ofsted registered will also provide them with a financial contribution, making it even more likely that you will be hired if you do opt to register yourself.
If you’re ready to get registered, here is what you will need first:
You will need an enhanced DBS criminal record check, you can find out more about this on the gov website.
You will need to be qualified in first aid. Check your local area for courses that you can attend, these usually do not cost too much.
You will require at least a level 2 qualification in childcare OR relevant training in the common core skills.
You will need to hold public liability insurance
About You: What Skills Do You Need To Become A Nanny?
Alongside a passion for working with children and young people, and a genuine interest in the wellbeing and development of others, there are other certain skills that you should possess in order to become a good nanny. We have listed those essential skills below:
Patience – remember that you will often be working with very young children, perhaps more than one so patience is something that you will need to have in good amount.
Kind and sensitive – you will need to be approachable to children, and this means being kind and sensitive to the daily problems and upsets that may arise.
Good communicator – You will need to be understanding and friendly, as well as being a clear communicator. The need for easy communication between nanny and child is paramount, as is great communication with parents, as they will want to know all about their children’s day.
Ability to work well under pressure – If you are looking after one or more children, as well as cooking, cleaning and minding the pets you will need the ability not only to multitask but to perform well under pressure.
Resourceful – Children can be pretty spontaneous, so the ability to be resourceful and keep children entertained will take you a very long way in this career.
Adaptable – Whether you are with a family for a month or 5 years, there will likely be many changes that occur within the home and you need to be both flexible and adaptable to changes in order to make the most out of your role.
These are just a few of the most important skills required to be a good nanny. Of course we appreciate that each family, and child, is different and so what may work for one might not work as well for the next, which is why an adaptable approach is so important.
A Day In The Life: What Does A Nanny Do?
As we have already said, no two families are the same and some may require much less input from you as a nanny than others. You will either be a live-in nanny or a live-out nanny, and this will determine whether you have accommodation at the home of your family or not.
If you are a live-in nanny then the likelihood is that your tasks are much broader than those who just work during the day or on a part-time basis. To make it simple, below we have listed many of the tasks that may be required of you whether you live in or out of the employer’s home.
Dropping children off to nursery or school
Helping children with homework
Doing educational activities after school or during the daytime
Taking children to appointments
Making meals and drinks for the children
Tending to the children at bath time, washing and dressing them
Reading stories with the children
Putting the children to bed
Keeping children entertained throughout the day
Tending to the children during the night if they wake up
Feeding the children
Cleaning the home
Feeding, walking and playing with family pets
Running errands such as food shopping
Remember, this list is not exhaustive of all the tasks expected of a nanny, and some may be required to do more or less than this depending on the family’s situation. It is due to the nature of the work that most families will require a nanny who is fit and in good enough health to perform these kinds of tasks.
What’s In It For You: Why Become A Nanny?
We understand that it can be pretty daunting to take on a role with such a huge amount of responsibility, however with that being said it is also one that offers incredible personal benefits.
The feeling of becoming part of someone else’s family is one that is very rare to come by in most other jobs, and it is an incredibly rewarding feeling. Job satisfaction aside, you can also develop some incredibly important life skills that you can carry on to future roles. Working as a nanny can be a great stepping-stone to more advanced childcare jobs, as it provides you hands-on training and experience as well as the opportunity to improve on relevant qualifications.
As a nanny you will benefit from having an employer meaning that unlike with childminding, you won’t be responsible for dealing with your own taxes or other self-employment matters, leaving you to get on with what you love.
Do You Need Qualifications To Become A Nanny?
If you have decided that a career in nannying is for you, but you have no official qualifications it can be pretty daunting to know where to begin! There were hundreds of thousandsof people in the UK alone working in the early years sector in 2018, so the demand truly is there for experienced and skilled individuals who have a passion for working with children, but with such high demand also comes a level of competition.
Like with any career, the more qualified you are the better your chances will be of obtaining the job you’re after! So what’s the case when it comes to getting a job as a nanny?
Earlier we briefly touched upon this, but the fact of the matter is there is currently no legal requirement for nannies in the UK to have any formal qualifications. However, that being said it certainly pays to be qualified in such a competitive and sought after market, and when better to start than right now?
Why Get Qualified To Become A Nanny?
We know what you’re thinking, if you are not legally bound to get relevant qualifications in order to work as a nanny, then what’s the point? Whilst it is true that you can obtain a career as a nanny without training or qualifications, it goes without saying that most parents or guardians will be looking for particular skills and knowledge in the person they appoint to look after their children.
Gaining some basic qualifications in some cases can make up for a lack of hands on experience, and can help boost your chances significantly when it comes to the competition. With child safety and security more important than ever before in today’s digital age, employers will want to feel confident that the person they are letting into their homes is trustworthy, dedicated and reliable, and gaining qualifications can be a great way to demonstrate that!
So to recap, no you do not need qualifications to become a nanny in the UK. However, those looking to get hired as a nanny without experience or qualifications may find it a real challenge to stand out during the application process.
Which Nanny Qualifications Are The Best?
As the demand for high quality childcare is on the rise, so is the number of childcare qualifications available. There are hundreds of different courses out there that you can take which can provide knowledge, key skills and experience to those looking to work alongside children. So, how do you know which are worth it and which aren’t?
A good rule of thumb when it comes to any childcare qualifications is to look out for official awarding bodies. In this case, CACHE qualifications are considered to be the best out there for anyone seriously considering a career working in childcare.
CACHE, or the Council for Awards in Children’s Care and Education, is an officially recognised awarding body for early years care and education qualifications. The qualifications under this body are widely considered to be the best in the sector, and so those looking to work with children either as a nanny or in another capacity should consider one of these qualifications.
Of course, there are other routes to consider, with places such as City and Guilds also offering childcare qualifications, and many opting to get their qualifications through NVQ’s and placements, there certainly are options for everyone!
Qualify As A Nanny With The Online Learning College!
We are proud to say that we have worked closely with CACHE for a number of years to provide our students with only the best childcare qualifications. As a result we have helped numerous individuals take those much-needed first steps towards their dream career working with children, and helped many others to build on already established skills to progress up the career ladder into more specialist childcare roles.
So, what childcare courses do we offer at the OLC, and which will help you on your way to becoming a qualified nanny? We have listed below our top qualifications that can help provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to step into a nanny role.
CACHE Level 2 Certificate Introducing Caring For Children and Young People
CACHE Level 3 Award In Childcare And Education
CACHE Level 3 Award In Preparing To Work In Home-based Childcare
CACHE Level 4 Certificate For The Early Years Advanced Practitioner
Along with the above qualifications, we also offer a range of ABC awards in things such as diet and nutrition for children, nursery management and child psychology, offering you a range of opportunities to add to your portfolio of skills and knowledge.
Who Are Our Qualifications Aimed At?
Deciding which qualification is for you will depend on your current level of knowledge, as well as your availability. Our CACHE Level 2 and 3 qualifications in childcare are equivalent to the NVQ, allowing you to work with children between 0 and 7 years of age. This would be an ideal option if you are just starting out and need to pick up the core childcare skills to pursue a career as a nanny, and the entire course is held online so can easily fit around other commitments.
If you have already been working as a nanny but want to perhaps improve your skills or are looking to go into a nursery management role in the future, it may be worthwhile considering one of our more advanced courses such as the CACHE level 4. This course includes both online assessment as well as practical tests and is considered to be significantly more involved.
The benefit of studying with us is that we try to be as flexible as possible, allowing learners to get through modules in their own time. It is for this reason that we offer 24/7 access to learning resources and provide each of our learners with a specialist tutor to provide support and advice as and when needed.
Some of our qualifications require a certain level of knowledge, and criteria can be found on our website for each course. However, whether you are a young student or an adult learner, we have designed our courses to benefit a range of people.
Final Thoughts: Is A Qualification In Childcare Your Next Step?
It goes without saying that whilst qualifications can be a huge contributing factor when it comes to getting that dream job, most employers will be looking for a range of experience and knowledge. Whilst our courses are very in-depth and will provide you with a good knowledge of your chosen field, we would always recommend that you try to gain hands on experience alongside studying to better your chances of employment.
That being said, a good set of qualifications can provide security to an employer that you are passionate about what you do and are dedicated to being as informed as possible, which can work in your favour if there is some tough competition!
If you are interested in finding out more about any of our childcare courses, then why not get in touch for an informal chat with one of our team? You can contact us here, with any and all course queries, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!