The Job Description of a Nanny


A nanny is a child care professional who provides supervision for infants, young children not yet in school and those who are in school but who require attention during times when the child’s parents are at work or adult functions.

Job Responsibilities

  • The nanny’s primary responsibilities are those of caring for and assisting with children’s daily activities including, but not limited to, schoolwork, extracurricular activities, the development of social skills and learning self-discipline. The ability to perform routine child care activities is essential, and the utmost attention to detail and attitude are highly important. A nanny must also be flexible with her work schedule, especially for last minute on-duty calls at night, on weekends, and in certain instances, out-of-town travel or vacation. Being a nanny means you are a trusted adviser, and once a level of trust has been formed between nanny and family, a successful candidate will oftentimes be seen as an actual family member. Therefore, the ability to keep a family’s personal information confidential is absolutely critical. A nanny should also be in good physical and mental health as the hours can be long and the work physical.

Job Opportunities

  • Nanny positions are often found in a newspaper's classified section, on nanny websites and through agencies. If you decide to pursue employment through an agency, certain tests and certification may be required. It is also strongly suggested that, should you be chosen by a family, to ask the agency representing you for references. There is nothing wrong with doing this as the family will most likely be checking your references as well.

Qualitative Requirements

  • A successful nanny will first and foremost be a problem solver. Having creative skills such as singing, playing an instrument, being able to paint and tell descriptive, colorful stories is helpful. A nanny should also be a firm, but fair, disciplinarian with strong communication skills and good, positive energy

Educational Requirements

  • At minimum, a high school diploma is required. In certain instances, a Child Development Associate certificate may also be a requirement.

Average Compensation

  • According to, the average nanny working in the U.S. earns an annual salary of $31,200. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the industry as a whole should see an increase in its workforce of approximately 18 percent by 2016.

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