Do we really need a nanny? Do I have to provide accommodation for a nanny? Will my children be safe with the nanny I've chosen?
If you are finding it increasingly difficult to juggle work and look after your children, maybe it's time you find a nanny to help! Here at Find A Babysitter.com.au we have all the need-to-know information to help guide you in finding a nanny.
So to answer all these questions we'll be delving into what a Nanny is, what they do, what you can expect and on an important note, and what they expect.
From a little bit of backstory, to the differences between a Nanny, Au Pair and a Babysitter, we will do our best to give you all the information and answer all of your questions on a sparkling silver platter.
Oh, and for those who are thinking, 'you know what? I think I could do this as an occupation', then you're in luck - because we'll cover all you need to know about becoming a Nanny in Australia!
Nannying is typically considered to be a full-time job, with similar hours from one week to the next. A nanny has to be skilled, devoted and nurturing towards your children as they will be spending plenty of time with them.
A nanny's main focus is to keep your children safe while you are away, much like other forms of child carers. Choosing a nanny with plenty of experience will give you a reassuring peace of mind to focus your attention on other important matters.
Being a nanny isn't as straightforward as being a babysitter either, with a nanny required to do much more than what a babysitter would be required to. Unlike babysitters, Nannies can be expected to help your children with homework, create daily schedules and even transport them to and from school if need be!
Nannies will often have attained some form of childcare qualifications and overtime will develop a special bond with your children, all whilst not replacing you as a parent.
The occupation of nannying itself is nothing new and can be quite a professional and rewarding job. The profession is deeply ingrained in pop culture with the much loved sitcom The Nanny showing viewers all around the world how a nanny can be a rich and fulfilling experience for everyone.
What can they do?
Unlike a babysitter, a nanny is expected to be more involved with your children's day to day lives, when you are unable to. This could mean taking your children on adventures to the zoo and even helping them with their homework. Sounds great, right!
Because your nanny will be fully invested in your children's learning and leisure time activities, they can be required to complete tasks in lieu of the parent. Such things may include organizing playdates for your children, dropping them off at school and preparing lunches for them.
Sometimes a nanny will also be happy to take care of other household tasks for you, such as doing your laundry, cleaning the dishes or even making the kids beds.
Remember to keep in mind that a nanny's duties may change from client to client and what they are required to do depends on two factors; the age of your children and how much experience they have themselves.
So whether you think they are doing too little or too much, keep discussions open and provide adequate feedback regularly so everyone remains happy and on the same page! The key point here is to make sure you're crystal clear in defining the scope of your Nanny's role, and make sure they are compensated for accordingly.
What can't they do?
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, what a nanny's limits are depends completely on the individual's age and experience, plus what your needs are as a parent.
The primary focus of a nanny is your children and whatever direct cleaning household responsibilities stem from looking after them. So your children will always take priority over extra cleaning tasks.
Most likely a nanny will not fulfill such duties as washing your car or trimming your hedges, but will consider completing some extra household tasks as long as they are paid for it.
If you are unhappy or feel as though your nanny doesn't live up to your expectations, an open honest discussion needs to take place before deciding what the relationship will look like going forward.
What's the difference?
The terms nanny, babysitter and an Au Pair do sound similar at first, but they all are quite different from one another. Each job title comes with it's own range of roles and responsibilities, with of course room for some overlapping.
An Au Pair is probably the most unique out of the bunch because they typically move from overseas and live in your home. An Au Pair will live in your home, but that does not mean it is a full-time job for them to look after your little ones. It would be considered they invest 10-40 per week into fulfilling the requirements, whereas a babysitting might only be once a fortnight.
As compensation for your Au Pair looking after your children, you are expected to provide them with board, meals and some form of pocket money; all for their devotion towards your children.
A babysitter is similar again, but is often younger and would be expected to be available a casual basis and has little professional skills or qualifications in watching children.
What can they expect of me?
Usually, a nanny is someone who you hire to work on a full time basis and possibly part time depending on your needs. Because of this you can't be expected to do too much, as the nanny will take care of most things.
You should make sure your nanny has all the relevant information regarding the children and knowledge of any potential household hazards - as they will be spending plenty of time there!
Your nanny should be made to feel welcome and part of the family, so remember to be inclusive and treat them as an extended family member, after all they will be building a special relationship with your children and helping them become the amazing people they are destined to be!
Also don't forget to remind your nanny to have regular breaks during their 8 to 10 hour shift. These long hours caring for children can be quite taxing, so they should grasp any chances they get to relax.
Can they be expected to do housework?
As mentioned above a nanny might be expected to do some forms of housework, although this needs to be tailored to each situation. Typically a nanny is open to fulfilling some household duties outside the direct result of the children, but taking the kids to the park will always trump this need.
Employers should be open and forthcoming with what they expect their nanny to be able to accomplish and of course anything is open for discussion. Some tasks a nanny might be required to do include washing, changing beds and vacuuming.
If you are worried about how clean your house is, perhaps ask your nanny to arrive early, so they begin to occupy the kids and you can get the house mickey mouse before you leave!
How much does a nanny cost in Australia?
The cost of a nanny can vary on an individual basis.
The factors you should be considering when trying to work out a fair payment for both you and your nanny should be things like; how old are they? How much experience do they have? How many duties are included in their job?
Once you can answer these questions and have a formal discussion with the nanny of your choice, the price of nannying will work itself out.
What is widely considered to be a fair price for a nanny that you personally found ranges from $20 to $30 per hour. This rate is more than what a babysitter would get paid, because you are paying for a higher level of service.
Some nannies or their agency may already have a price in mind, which might change depending on whether they are paid by the hour or by the shift. If this is the case and you have any questions regarding the payment just ask them, we're sure they won't bite!
What do I look for?
When looking for your ideal nanny you need to look for someone who is nurturing, trustworthy and is able to keep your children entertained.
Of course trust is one of the most important things when choosing a nanny, because after all you want to know your children are in safe hands when at home or being driven around. So make sure they have a valid license and background check.
Also it's important to look for someone who has relevant qualifications, this may help your children's development and education, as opposed to someone who isn't.
You should make sure you look for someone who is willing to meet all your needs or requirements, but also knows what they are doing.
A short interview process either in person or via the phone would address any and all concerns you would have regarding the nanny.
However, we can't answer all these questions for you, you need to work out all your family's needs and then find someone who fits into that special place!
How can I get a babysitter or nanny?
At Find A Babysitter, we have a profiling system in place for each person who wishes to find employment as a babysitter, Nanny or Au Pair.
All you have to do is to come to our website, put your postcode, enter babysitter in the type of work search field, and your availability. Straight away you will have profiles of many people looking for work and who are ready to be contacted right there on your screen!
They provide a short bio about themselves and what they're looking for, which is able to give a snapshot into the kind of person you can imagine with your children.
It's an incredibly handy way to make a first impression, and can help you create a shortlist of people to contact.
Once you have your list, we recommend that you check their references and any certifications that they may hold such as first aid*.
*If the person you are interested in has not done first aid, it is common for parents to pay and send the babysitter to a first aid course to ensure peace of mind in case something happens.
What if I decide I don't like the person I've hired?
Sadly, some decisions that we make don't always turn out the way we had planned and end up being regretted. Whether it's a new coffee table or gym membership - the same can be said when hiring a nanny.
This of course, would be disappointing to both hear as the nanny, but also deliver as the employers; so it needs to be handled sensitively.
The needs of your family may change over time which could require an part time nanny, babysitter or none at all. So when you make the decision to hire somebody, guidelines need to be agreed on as to how much notice they would require if they were no longer needed.
If the reason is more simplified and you simply don't like the way your babysitter is working, don't worry, Find A Babysitter has plenty more wonderful carers to choose from!
I love the sound of being a nanny, how can I get involved?
Think being a nanny is for you? That's fantastic news!
We're excited that you've chosen Find A Babysitter to advertise your new calling.
Before we give you all the details, it's important to note that there are some things you need to make sure you have before you can consider signing up to be on Find A Babysitter.
As you would be looking after children, we request that you have certain credentials on hand to ensure their safety and peace of mind for your employer - the parent.
At Find A Babysitter we request that you have a Working With Children Check (WWCC) to show parents when they interview you. However we know that the requirements vary from state to state, especially if you are an overseas visitor looking for Au Pair work.
The best course of action we can recommend is to apply online to see if you are eligible to acquire a WWCC in the state you are moving to, as it is a handy card to have!
When meeting with potential employers, some of them may ask if you have a Police Check. Although this is not always necessary, a Police Check is another handy document to have with you.
Do I need any qualifications to be a nanny?
When parents are looking for a nanny, it is important to note that most professional nannies will come equipped with some form of childcare qualifications, but it's up to you to decide what you need.
Most nannies will either have a Certificate 3 in Childcare or if you are after something a little more professional a Diploma of Early Childhood.
These qualifications will need to be combined with a warm demeanor, an interest in educating the children and ability to be well equipped to handle emergency situations.
You may also be required to have first-aid training to coincide with your childcare qualifications.
The only thing nanny's need to keep in mind is what we mentioned in the above paragraph about having a valid Working With Children Check (WWCC) and a Police Check document.
Also sometimes for nannies the best qualification is to have good references from past pleased customers!
What should I do when nannying?
So, the parents have left for work and now your work day has begun looking after the children, what should you do?
Being a nanny requires you to know the children you are looking after inside and out. It also requires a lot of control and routine, which may change on a daily basis.
This means cooking meals, doing shopping, cleaning the house, transporting the kids and potentially helping out with homework. So be prepared to keep a diary or planner with you all the time and schedule your days accordingly.
This requires you to think ahead and knowing the house layout like the back of your hand. If you come across anything potentially hazardous during your time in the home take the initiative to remove it out of reach of the children.
Also think ahead for the type of children you are caring for. Most parents will detail any special requirements of medications needed to look after their child, but it doesn't hurt to double check and know this off by heart as well.
As a nanny you may also be required to discipline the children from time to time, but need to do so effectively and without inflicting physical harm.
Apart from these common sense tips, remember to be a positive and supporting influence in the kiddies lives that you are nannying!
What shouldn't I do when nannying?
The team at Find A Babysitter is delighted you have now landed a job as a nanny, but we also want to make sure you don't lose it straight away! So here are some handy tips to keep in mind on what you shouldn't be doing on the job.
When you are on the job nannying it's important not to have friends over, never leave the children alone in the house or spend too much time watching television; as your priority is watching the children, not the tv!
Another thing to keep in mind these days is uploading photos of the children you are looking after onto social media. They may be doing something cute or funny, but you should never put up photos of other people's children without their consent.
Finally, even though you are spending plenty of time with the children it's important to try and not get overly attached to them, which means still keeping them at some distance. This will help you out personally if you decide to part ways with the chosen family or if the children end up not requiring care anymore.
What if I'm chosen to do the job but decide I don't want to do it anymore?
When applying for a job there has to be a mutual agreement between both parties that if requirements change the other party needs to be notified with an appropriate amount of time.
Maybe you thought nannying was for you but you realise it's not and you want a change. Be sure to contact your employer before your next shift or when you have nothing scheduled and discuss your options.
Not to worry it's simple to get out of, we can also help remove your profile if you're certain you never wanna come back.
We hope that after reading this all your questions regarding 'what is a nanny' have been answered. We know that the roles of a nanny can often be blurred with the roles of an Au Pair and a babysitter, so we hope we have cleared that up for you.
You should now be able to clearly decide what type of carer your child/children require and if a nanny is going to suit your family's needs.
Don't forget a nanny is someone you can rely on to look after your kids on a full time basis while you are at work or have other engagements. Your nanny will look after your kids as if they were their own, while you can remain assured as you go about your daily schedule!
Sounds like a pretty great person in our eyes, so let us introduce you to them today!