The Bubble Academy Guide to Being a Nanny

Being a nanny is a richly rewarding role in which, as you’d expect working with children, no two days are the same. If becoming a nanny is something you have considered, but you aren’t sure where to start, the Bubble Academy guide to being a nanny is here to help.

What is a Nanny?

A nanny provides childcare services to families inside the family home. They look after children of all ages, from babies to those of school-going age, providing them with educational activities, social interaction, nutritional meals and some additional duties such as housework. Some nannies will live in the family home, while others will come in daily.

What hours does a nanny work?

The hours a nanny works will vary depending on whether they are live-in or live-out. However, they usually begin around 7 – 8am, preparing for the children’s day ahead. A full-time nanny will normally work between 10-12 hours a day, finishing anytime from 6pm-8pm. 

How much does a nanny earn?

Research undertaken by Bubble shows that wages in the UK range between £400 – £550+ net per week for full-time live-in nannies, while those that live away from the family home will earn between £11 and £14+ net per hour.

What does a nanny do?

The duties of a nanny will differ depending on the family’s needs and the children’s ages. However, most nannies will begin their day early to prepare breakfast and any packed lunches required for the day ahead before getting the children up, dressed and ready for the day.

A typical day for a nanny might then involve taking children to school, taking children to fun educational classes, outdoor activities, arranging playdates,  preparing healthy and nutritious meals for the children, light housekeeping related to the children tidying children’s areas (bedroom, playroom) laundry, school. Nannies will also often start the bedtime routine too. This may include bathing the children, reading them a story or even putting them to bed. 

What qualifications does a nanny need?

Becoming a professional nanny doesn’t require a qualification in the UK. However, we at Bubble advise taking the relevant training courses to get yourself certified. The majority of colleges will offer recognised qualifications in childcare, such as the Early Years Diploma, that are perfect for those looking to become nannies, with courses taking anywhere from 6 to 18 months to complete. 

You can also complete Bubble Academy courses to grow your skillset. These have been developed by experts to help stand you in good stead when taking care of children. However, it’s important to remember that these courses are not accredited qualifications, and while they’re really useful to complete, are for educational purposes only.

Ofsted registration is also another factor to consider. It’s not compulsory for nannies to register with Ofsted, however it is possible to register on a voluntary basis. This can benefit parents as it enables them to get help with childcare costs. In order to register with ofsted, you’ll need to have an enhanced DBS check, a minimum of a level 2 qualification in childcare and an accredited first aid qualification. You can read more about this on the government website

What experience does a nanny need?

Most parents looking for a nanny will be looking for the right mix of qualifications and experience. If you have years of experience in looking after children, whether providing after-school care or babysitting or if you’re able to offer professional references demonstrating your ability as a caregiver, this will give you a good chance of securing a job as a nanny. 

If you’re just starting out and looking to gain some practical experience, you could try applying to Regular Help jobs via our app. With Regular Help, you’ll agree to do multiple sits with the same family in a block booking. This is a great opportunity to build  a relationship with a family, have a bit of a taster of a nannying role, and obtain professional references.

How to work with parents as a nanny

Having a great relationship with parents and carers is essential when you’re working as a nanny. 

The best advice we could give  is to ensure you’re always working in partnership with parents. Good communication really is key, so we’d start by recommending doing a handover at the end of each day. Tell them what went well and any success stories, and don’t be afraid to talk about more challenging aspects of the day. This will allow the parents to know all the important information from the day and allow you to address any issues. Working with parents to provide the best childcare for their children will reassure them and build trust in you.

You could also try keeping a daily diary of what happened in the day. This will be lovely for them to read, and will keep parents in the loop, especially if you miss anything during handover. Some parents also like receiving pictures and updates during the day, so that they still feel involved and can see all the fun activities that the children are doing. That said, it’s really important that you always ask parents for permission before taking pictures of their children.

Another idea is to arrange monthly catch-ups without the children around. This is a good platform to talk through anything that isn’t working and is particularly important in new roles.

Ultimately, working with parents to provide the best childcare for their children will reassure them and build trust in you.

Tips for being a nanny

Becoming a nanny is one thing; being a successful nanny takes a lot of hard work. You’ll likely get quite messy, with paint, play-doh and food becoming well acquainted with your clothes, so dress functionally. Setting boundaries for the children and applying them consistently will make your life much easier in the long run. 

Being a nanny can be tough at times, but on the whole it’s a hugely rewarding, fun and challenging career that can unlock incredible opportunities and has great earning potential.