Qualities To Look For In A Nanny

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Award Recognition For An Outstanding Nanny

Every year, the International Nanny Association recognizes an outstanding nanny by recognizing one Nanny of the Year. If you think your nanny has done above and beyond what you expect a nanny to do, you can nominate her for this career achievement award. In order to qualify for this award recognition, your nanny must have at least five years of experience as a nanny, a childcare education, and several references.

The International Nanny Association is looking for nannies who are advocates for children and have added value to the lives of the children in their charge. The nanny who wins this award recognition receives the Nanny of the Year award at an International Nanny Association Conference.

Four Qualities Any Nanny Professional Should Have

When you add a nanny professional to your home, you’re trusting the care of your children to someone who until recently, is likely a stranger to you. In order to ensure you’ve selected the best possible nanny professional available, keep in mind these qualities nanny professionals should have.

  1. A nanny professional should enjoy working with children. Observe a nanny to see the level of enthusiasm, warmth, and caring she exhibits around your child.
  2. A nanny professional should be able to add something to the life of your child who is in her care. This can be anything from giving your child a sense of security to teaching your child a new skill.
  3. A nanny professional should have a good grasp of what it takes to care for a child in the appropriate age group. This means that she should not only be adept at changing diapers if your child is a newborn but understand how to soothe him during normal periods of fussiness. She should be able to provide a stable routine and care for your child if he is a toddler and understand the emotional needs of a child that age.
  4. A professional nanny should be able to handle emergencies. In case your nanny ever has to deal with a medical illness or another traumatic event in your child’s life, she should know what measures to take to handle the situation and be able to take care of that situation independently in your absence.

Is It Possible To Hire A European Trained Nanny?

With the advent of TV shows like Supernanny, the public is enamored with childcare given by a European-trained nanny. Although European nannies can seem like an attractive option for families who admire the effective techniques of British nanny Jo Frost of Supernanny, the U.S. Immigration laws make it very difficult for foreign nannies to work in the U.S.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service rarely grants work visas to nannies who want to come work in the States. There are some foreign nannies who travel to the U.S. on tourist visas and then accept nanny jobs. However, this roundabout way of working as a nanny in the U.S. is not legal and subject to fines as well as the possible deportation of the nanny.

An alternative to hiring a European-trained nanny is hiring an au pair. An au pair is a foreign national who comes to the U.S. and provides childcare assistance as part of a cultural exchange program. The au pair program is not a work program.

Not All Laws Applying To Nanny Jobs Are Equal

When investigating what laws apply to you with regard to hiring a nanny, keep in mind that where you live will matter. Nanny jobs in California, for instance, don’t have exactly the same laws as nanny jobs in New York. So whatever state you do live in, make sure you check the employment laws that pertain to you.

If you’re living in California, you have to make sure you follow the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, which guards against discrimination. You must not discriminate on the basis of sex, religion, age, physical disabilities, or ethnicity when hiring or providing housing. Of course, this law is pretty standard in most states.

In New York, Local Law No. 33, the first of its kind in the United States, serves to protect the rights of household employees. The Local Law No. 33 states that any licensed employment agency must provide a written statement addressing the rights household and domestic employees have under the law. A copy goes to both an applicant as well as her potential employer.

Three Ways To Make Nanny Positions More Attractive To Candidates

Hiring the best person you can for a nanny position requires three things: looking in the right areas for candidates, interviewing and screening candidates effectively, and providing a nanny position that a qualified candidate would be interested in. Here are three ways to make nanny positions more attractive to candidates.


Nanny positions are more attractive when there are benefits involved. Start off by including a fair compensation to a nanny, based on her skills and the market rate. Include allowances for overtime pay, sick days, and vacation days. If you can afford it, offer a health package to your nanny, as well.

Bonuses and Perks

Nanny positions are more attractive with bonuses and perks. Bonuses and perks can be any privileges that pertain to the job such as a set amount of time for cell phone use, car usage with mileage expenses covered, and the opportunity to travel on vacation with your family with paid expenses. An annual bonus during the holidays is another option for an on-the-job perk.

Positive Work Environment

Creating a positive work environment for a nanny includes giving your nanny the ability to get her job done effectively. This includes providing an open forum for communication, being honest and clear about the job expectations and requirements, and staying up-to-date on issues that come up with your child or children.

What Kind Of Training Does A Professional Nanny Have?

Some nannies gain experience in childcare through raising their own children. Some nannies get their experience from nanny training programs. If you’re looking for a professional nanny who has had formal training, they are out there. A professional nanny with formal training may attend various schools throughout the United States. Other countries, such as New Zealand and Australia, have similar programs. They can run anywhere from six weeks to a year in length and culminate in a certificate showing completion of the program.

The programs that a professional nanny goes through generally include courses in child development, nutrition, family dynamics, play techniques, and CPR training.

You can get a directory of the programs available from the International Nanny Association if you’re interested in finding a professionally-trained nanny.

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