A nanny is someone who gives child care. In most cases, this care is offered within the family structure. During ancient times, nannies were almost always servants within large families and were directly responsible for the welfare of the young children. They were also accountable for the house, the food, and many other household responsibilities.
Nannies were generally women and were either hired out or stayed at home with the children as a means to earn a living. In most cases, they had very few rights and even less social approval than the parents. As a result, a nanny was subjected to many harsh conditions. They were expected to work long hours, for long periods of time, and were sexually abused by the owners of the home. Because of these circumstances, many nannies found themselves trapped within an economic situation where they had few options.
Nannies today may include housewives, single mothers, disabled or retired persons, working parents, foster parents, or anyone else who has a physical need for child care. They provide a skilled resource to meet that physical need. As a result, they are also called caregivers or voluntary workers. Regardless of their situation, all nannies share some common characteristics that make it possible for them to communicate effectively with their clients.
First, all people seeking employment in child care should have a genuine love for children. The relationship between a nanny and a client should be a warm one that conveys trust and compassion. This type of love is crucial to establishing a positive relationship between the nanny and the parent. Without genuine love, the caregiver may lack the necessary skills to effectively take care of a child and may not communicate effectively with the child.
Nannies should display a high degree of professionalism
All nannies should display a high degree of professionalism. After all, this is an occupation where you provide full-time job satisfaction and set your own hours. Many nannies live off home and provide part-time work during the day. Some others work only during the night and only during the weekend. Regardless of how many hours they work, all nannies should be professional and present themselves as cheerful and genuinely concerned caregivers.
Third, all nannies should receive formal training in basic social and behavioral etiquette. This is important, especially for those in positions such as nursery nurses, where the caregiver interacts with young children daily. A professional nanny will know how to behave with parents, infants and toddlers, in particular. It is important that these skills are learned, since it is often difficult, if not impossible, to try and modify undesirable behavior without some sort of training. This ensures that all caregivers are able to provide an equally safe and healthy environment for children.
Exhibit Reasonable levels of competence
Nannies should exhibit reasonable levels of competence in the areas of medication, domestic tasks and physical needs. Depending on the role required, some nannies will fulfill all of these roles well. Others may struggle with certain aspects or be unable to perform them at optimal levels. Nannies that have difficulty performing domestic tasks may be able to focus on providing consistent care in general, but their level of skill with medications can vary.
Finally, all good nannies will possess a thorough understanding of child psychology, leaving them well-versed in the methods of caring for many children, many of whom require special care and attention. Nannies that have formal training will also have significant life experience working with children, particularly young children, and will be well-versed in all areas of child psychology. They will be aware of the many challenges facing families, including academic, emotional and behavioral problems, and will have vast experience in assisting families to transition from their young days to adulthood. Many nannies will have gained a great deal of experience working with disabled, mentally challenged, and disadvantaged families, thus making them well-versed in the experiences that different families face over many years and life cycles.
Having established these important elements, the final recommendations are to ensure that any nanny applying for a job is able to demonstrate that they meet the requirements described above. All good nannies should undergo pre-employment testing, including drug screening and criminal history checks to verify the applicant's character and suitability for the position. If the nanny passes the initial screening then she can expect an interview followed by a thorough, on-site employment agreement.