A Career in Child's Play

Article excerpt

Byline: Michelle Rushton

What does a career as a nanny involve?

Nannies work in private homes, caring for their employers' children. They are responsible for all aspects of childcare, and their duties vary depending on the number and ages of the children.

Babies and very young children need dressing, feeding, bathing and changing, whereas older children need to be taught basic social, reading and writing skills.

Nannies often take children on outings and keep them entertained through play.

Maternity nannies are employed to care for newborn babies.

Most nannies live with the family they work for, but there are opportunities for day-only positions.

What personal skills do you need?

You need to enjoy spending time with children, and have an interest in their development. You should also have a good imagination and be able to organise stimulating activities, while being responsible and aware of dangers.

Patience, tolerance and a sense of humour are a must, and you should be able to cope with unexpected situations, and stay calm under pressure. You need to be physically fit with plenty of energy and willing to work long hours.

What training do you need?

There are no qualifications required in order to work as a nanny. However, most employers and employment agencies prefer candidates with relevant childcare qualifications There are a number of full-and parttime courses that offer preparation for careers in nannying and often include a placement. Voluntary work with children is also a useful way to gain experience. …