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In-Home Childcare: Becoming a Nanny

By on Jun 27, 2018
In-Home Childcare: Becoming a Nanny

It is common knowledge that a child's mind develops fastest in the first years of life. Given that is true, there are few careers that carry more weight and importance than that of caregivers and nannies. Becoming a nanny isn't easy, but it is easy to see there is perhaps not another job worth the effort. Many nannies do not become nannies because it's a job. They don't become nannies because it will pay the bills. People become nannies because it is a calling. Something within them that insists on becoming a part of this long-standing tradition of care, compassion, and excellence.

Wish I Knew Before

As with all professions, nannies can often take their first jobs with misconceptions and misunderstandings. Further, inexperience can lead to being taken advantage of by the families they work for. For instance, some clients will want you to be a housekeeper in addition to a nanny. For some nannies, this might not be a problem. They might feel uncomfortable in moments of downtime simply relaxing in someone else's home and welcome the idea of helping out around the house. For others, being a nanny is hard enough, and it the family they work for wants a housekeeper they should hire one. Know your stance before you walk in the door. In fact, know where you stand before you sign the contract.

Further, take every opportunity to get greater training and education. Not only does this keep the children in your care, but you also have a higher chance of demanding a higher income. Certification can be a big deal depending on the state you are in, and even something like a certification as a paraeducator can help you make the case that you are worth more money than the average nanny. Also, getting a degree or two under your belt in something like early childhood education can make all the difference when you are negotiating a salary.


While getting a degree is, of course, a good thing for you and the children in your care, an education does not necessarily mean going back to school. Spending that kind of money is not necessary. Depending on the state you are in, there are most likely nanny trainings available to you. Take advantage of every single one of them if you can. They all will give you valuable information, valuable both to the children and your pocketbook.

Not only is education not exclusive to college, it's not exclusive to classrooms at all. Nannying has a great professional community. We really are just a family of people trying to help one another. None of us get rich off being a nanny. We do what we do for a reason that is personal and undeniable. With that in mind, check out any associations you can within the profession that you can. Being a member of these organizations and associations gives you more information to use with the kids you care for, but membership also looks great on a resume. Check out the end of this article for links to some of the most popular associations in the nannying profession.

Let's Talk Money

Being a nanny is a privilege, and most days it feels that way. To watch young people, grow before your eyes and know that whoever they become you had a role in shaping that person is a feeling almost no other profession can offer. That said, it's not all sunshine and roses. Finances are a true concern for a nanny. Not only are you managing what is, at least to start, a modest salary, you are often doing it on your own. There are no Human Resources to call if your check is short. No one to take care of a mistakenly filled out W-4 form. So what should you expect financially as a nanny?

First of all, know that the people who hire you are your employers. While they are often referred to within the nannying community as "clients," but in fact, they should be held to the standard of an employer. They should withhold your federal and state income taxes, which should be reflected in your paychecks. Never accept cash. You are both breaking the law when you do without making up for it when you file your taxes. In the same vein as demanding a paycheck, keep them. Either digitally or on paper, keep a record of your pay. Not doing so can come back to bite you in many ways.


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