Don’t feel bad if you’re wondering just that – a career nanny? Most people hardly know what a nanny is, let alone a career nanny. To put it simply, a career nanny is someone who nannies as a career (surprise!); like a teacher or an accountant, or a lawyer, it’s her profession. She isn’t nannying in the mean time, while she waits for something better to come along. She is a nanny; it’s what she does. But what does a nanny even do? Great question! A nanny is not a full-time babysitter – shocker, I know. Nannies typically balance a lot more than just making sure the kids eat and are safe. It requires a lot of skill and patience to be a caretaker, educator, chauffeur, housekeeper, schedule-maker and keeper, meal planner, chef, an errand-runner, and so much more, not to mention your own HR department.
Yeah, you heard that right…Nannying is one of the few professions where no one is looking out for you. Working with a nanny agency to find a position and help negotiate benefits is extremely valuable, but it isn’t the same as having a team of people backing you on a regular basis with company rules and such. I had to learn how to speak for myself and fight for the things I want as a professional, which can be very difficult when families do not recognize nannying as a profession (and most don’t).
As a career nanny, it is important to recognize your worth and communicate the importance of consistency of pay. Most families won’t even consider offering guaranteed pay*, PTO or paid holidays because, although a nanny is an employee of the family (and should be paid legally through a payroll service that deducts taxes), the family doesn’t consider themself a company. But don’t most professionals receive a salary and PTO from their employer? Why should nannies be any different?
Business aside, nannying is an amazing career. I get the opportunity to shape young brilliant minds everyday, while learning new skills and perfecting my creative talents (which is more like a puddle of Pinterest fails so far). There truly is nothing I would rather do than spend time with giggly, wild, adventurous kiddos. They make life so much more exciting! And I value the lifelong relationships I get to build with those kids who I love like my own. Nothing compares to it.
*like a salary, but based on an hourly wage that requires employers to pay overtime at a rate of time and a half for any hours worked over 40 in a calendar week