Didn’t know Princess Diana was a nanny, did ya? Well, maybe you did. Technically, she wasn’t a nanny, but she was well on her way. Then, she married that one dude. That’s okay, the world got two really handsome princes out of the deal and, oh, look at her four beautiful grandchildren! I would call what Princess Diana did a Mother’s Helper, not a nanny. However, she was also working in a preschool, gaining experience and demonstrating remarkable instincts with small children. Well, obviously. She became a wonderful mother. Inside Edition Article About Diana’s Nanny Job
Career Paths for Real Nannies of the Sacred Code
This is the first post in a series. Each one will consider at what point a potential nanny might enter the profession and the preparation I recommend. Disclaimer: This is only my opinion! Each of you is a unique individual. For example, if your parents owned a family daycare and you started working in it as soon as you were legal, you might need a different path than a high school graduate with only babysitting experience. That’s why I suggest reading the entire series.
Also, everything about a nanny applies to a manny. Daily Mail’s Article on Norland College’s Male Students
How to Become a Real Nanny of the Sacred Code
- Straight Outta High School & the Early Childhood Education Path
- Adult with Some Life Experience & Specialized Schools
- Adult with Education/Experience in a Different Field & Various Online Classes
- Kicking It Up Yet Another Notch: Newborn Care Specialists, Special Needs Nannies, Montessori Nannies, Governesses, and Household Manager Nannies
What is the Sacred Code? I created this fictional designation based on the real life practice of friends recommending nannies who’d worked for them and nannies letting their friends know when new jobs were opening up. A couple hundred years ago in England it was common for noble families to pass around nannies as needed. For example, the nanny who raised Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon also nannied that lady’s daughters, the future Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret. Her name was Clara Knight. Wasn’t the Queen an adorable toddler? The odd coloring is due to the method of photography in the 1920s.
The Code itself is based on three universally human virtues all nannies ought to possess.
Loyalty, Sincerity, and Compassion.
For more on what goes into making awesome nannies, pop over to Norland College’s Code of Professional Responsibilities
The Nanny’s Path Through High School
So you’re in high school and your friends are wanting to be doctors and lawyers and investment bankers. And you think that’s insanely boring. Let your friends be doctors and lawyers and investment bankers while you go find something a lot more fun to do. You become a nanny. And not just any nanny. A freakin’ awesome nanny, the kind the doctors and lawyers and investment bankers can’t raise their children without.
Back in the day, we had a saying.
Behind every successful woman there’s another successful woman.
Or man. Her manny. But you get it, I’m sure.
Here in the United States, the Nanny has only begun to receive the prestigious recognition she deserves in the past thirty years. Throughout history, this was not the case. Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s nanny was probably a princess, a future king of France was nannied by a duchess, and don’t even get me started on King Henry VIII’s nanny!
Real Nannies of the Sacred Code is a post on historical context.
Don’t let anyone define what a meaningful career is for you.
You define you.
Gaining Experience & Learning Necessary Skills
Lots of teenagers babysit for extra spending money. That doesn’t mean they’d make great nannies one day. You need to go above and beyond. Volunteer to help out in Sunday School, at non-profit organizations like the Salvation Army, ask to shadow a preschool teacher, a party planner, a maid service like Merry Maids, or a professional chef at work, find a real nanny and ask her to mentor you, help a friend or family member who has babies and/or toddlers.
Side Note: Nannies do not clean houses, but you need to know what’s involved in doing so. Learn respect for this also important job. Same goes for chef. A Nanny supports and empowers a family. If the Housekeeper suddenly becomes ill just before a dinner party, for example, and you can quickly clean up the guest bathroom, your employers will be rightfully appreciative. They should pay extra too.
In high school, your priority needs to be developing an awesome resume which reflects a lot of experience with children and the necessary skills for properly caring for them. Ask for Letters of Recommendation! Check out this resume and advice from one of California’s most prestigious nanny agencies- Elizabeth Rose resume.
Besides work, you can also take extra classes. Sadly, a lot of high schools no longer teach Home Economics. You don’t need to face adulthood without knowing how to do your own laundry, however. Find someone who is awesome at doing these things and ask them to teach you. Also, you can find instruction at special schools, and other community education organizations, Michael’s Crafts, and non-profits like the Salvation Army.
- CPR and First Aid
- Karate and Self-Defense
- Defensive Driving
- Cake Decorating, Sewing and Crafts
- Cooking and Nutrition
Besides the skills, this demonstrates to a future employer that you have initiative and dedication. Complete BABY AND TODDLER COOKBOOK at B&N
Choosing a School
Okay, so now it’s time to decide what to do after graduation. First of all, I suggest you take your time. Rushing into a certain college because your boyfriend is going there too can waste you a lot of time and money that you will have to pay back for years to come, for example. I recommend staying close to home for a couple of years while you decide what it is you really want to do.
Bearing in mind individual experiences vary, I suggest looking into community colleges and universities closest to where you live now. You can even work in a daycare while taking Early Childhood Education classes in the evening or online. You can get a certificate in ECE in about a year. Rockingham Community College ECE Program
A certificate in Early Childhood Education will provide you with a solid foundation for becoming a nanny. Back in the day, a few colleges provided specialized nanny courses. I didn’t see any when I researched for this post. Sadly, the United States just isn’t set up for the nanny profession so well as the United Kingdom. The year at regular college will also provide you with life experiences as a new adult away from your parents. You will have time to decide if this is really the path for you.
I also recommend a potential nanny under the age of twenty get a certificate in Early Childhood Education because a special nanny school does not provide credits which transfer to a regular college if you change your mind. So if you decide to become a preschool teacher instead, sorry outta luck if you went to nanny school. Sure, it would be great experience, but an ECE is actual credits that can go to an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Besides the ECE certificate, I suggest an online class to train you in the things a nanny needs to know, but preschool teachers don’t. Nanny Training is one example and I haven’t thoroughly checked it out. Make sure to compare any online course you take with what you’ve already taken. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure it’s legitimate and read reviews.
There you have it, the career path out of high school. Did you know Princess Diana corresponded with her former employer for years afterwards? She was so considerate! Gosh, now I feel bad. I haven’t communicated with mine since my last charge graduated high school. Oh, dear.
Next Week: Adults with Some Life Experience and Specialized Nanny Schools
Last Week: 3 First Steps to Hire a Real Nanny