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A nanny is a child care expert. A nanny's workplace is in a family's home and his/her job is providing one-on-one attention and the best possible care for the family's children. The position may be full-time or part-time, and the nanny may or may not live with the family. The nanny's role is to provide support to the family by serving as a loving, nurturing and trustworthy companion to the children. A nanny should have special child care skills and a deep love and understanding of children.
A nanny is responsible for the complete care of their employer family's children. Nanny jobs include duties such as caring for the child's basic physical needs, meals, laundry, planning of activities, outings, and trips if appropriate, providing behavioral rules and disciplining when appropriate, intellectual support, language training and providing transportation when required. Housekeeping may or may not be included in the nanny's responsibilities depending on the family's needs. A nanny must be able to communicate well with both children and parents. Depending on the individual family, the nanny may be treated as an employee, a friend or as a member of the family.
The International Nanny Association has adopted basic guidelines for nannies including:
Although training and experience may vary, all qualified nannies share a genuine love and respect for children
Every family has its own special needs and child care requirements. Does your family need a nanny who lives with you and shares your home? Would you prefer a nanny who lives out? Do you want full-time child care , or does your schedule or budget order the need for a part-time nanny? Do you expect the person who works in your home to take care of your child/children and also clean the house?
Keep in mind that a nanny's primary responsibility is child care; the nanny may or may not be willing to do light housekeeping. You must develop a list of priorities to help you pick the best nanny for your family. What qualities are important to you? Flexibility? Eagerness? Autonomy? A good sense of humor? Do you want someone young and active who actively plays with your children? Would you prefer someone older with more life practice? Be clear about what specific skills your nanny must have. Does the nanny need to be able to swim, drive a car, cook, help with homework, care for a child with disabilities? Should the nanny know first aid and CPR?
Pay and benefits for nannies vary widely according to geographic region and the nanny's qualifications and experience. Beginning salaries for live-in nannies just starting in the field usually range from $250 to $400 weekly. A trained nanny can expect a salary of from $350 to $1,000 weekly. Find out more about Nanny Pay here.
A nanny's work week typically includes 40 to 60 hours, with two days off each week. Nannies who do not live with the family and work part-time may be paid an hourly rate of $7 to $20, or make a weekly salary for full-time of $350 to $1,000. A lot of live-in nannies benefit from the benefits of free room and board, which typically includes a private room and often a private bath, two weeks of paid vacation each year, paid major holidays, often health insurance and the use of a car. Benefits for live-out nannies, other than room and board, are usually the same as for live-in nannies.
Of course, a nanny should expect to pay Social Security and Federal income tax on earnings. (A nanny's employer is also required by Federal law to pay the employer's portion of Social Security tax on salary, and most states require payment of state unemployment taxes.)
Many training programs exist for nannies in the United States. They usually include classroom courses in child development, diet, family dynamics, security, play activities, first aid and CPR, and may also involve interaction with young children under instructor supervision. In the U.S., nanny training ranges from 6-week training programs to one-year certification programs, to college programs that offer associate's or bachelor's degrees in Early Childhood Education.
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