Of course, there are many factors to consider if you are aiming to secure a high-paid nanny role
You will need to be well experienced and qualified. The higher salary bracket nanny positions generally require a minimum of two to three years’ childcare experience, and you will need to provide references from long-term employers/ families you have worked with. Your qualifications should be related to childcare, nannying or Early Years. CPR/ First Aid training will also be looked upon favourably (in fact, nannies should ideally stay up to date on good practice for child development and safety protocols throughout their working tenure). A driving licence may also be required, and if it is then you should be a confident driver. A criminal background check is also typically mandatory. Some families may ask for additional training courses or certificates to be completed prior to starting work.
It is also important to consider what exactly a specific role entails. Careful attention should be paid to the location of the work and the weekly schedule - days and hours. It is also worth noting that many nannies are expected to be flexible according to the children’s and the family’s needs - and that this may include evenings, weekends or holidays. You should be sure of your nanny responsibilities; light housekeeping duties or cooking may be required in addition to childcare. Communication skills are key. Nannies are expected to come up with a good variety of engaging activities for the children in their care and to maintain a fundamentally safe environment at all times.
The benefits of working in such a position can be manyfold. Most high-paying nanny roles offer candidates paid time off and sick leave and costs covered for work related travel, transport, visas, food etc. The work is likely to be varied and interesting. And, naturally, salaries are high, often north of £40,000 or $50,000 per year.
• High salaries – Typically we find that nannies are paid higher than those working in other childcare positions, giving you have the enjoyment of working with children and also a great opportunity to save money
• Flexible hours – We also find that many nanny jobs allow for flexible hours; perfect for those who have other commitments or need to work around their own schedule.
• Variety of tasks – Naturally every nanny needs to take care of her charge (s) as the first port of call. But on top of this nannies may be asked to do anything from light housekeeping and meal preparation to helping with homework and taking care of pets. It won’t get boring!
• Opportunity for growth – Another huge plus for nanny work is the opportunity to gain experience in child development and hone your skills! This can lead to some wonderful future career opportunities.
• Nannying can get stressful – Caring for multiple children at once isn’t always easy - especially if they are young or have special needs. Potential nannies should take time to make sure they understand this before committing to a position.
• Limited benefits – Most nanny jobs (and particularly those outside the US) don’t come with any type of benefits package such as health insurance. Potential employees should check and double check what exactly is included alongside their salary; including paid time off, sick leave, and cover for travel or food expenses. Visas may also be required for international nannies.
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How do you define a governess?
Naturally, you need to have a lot of experience, and be able to show that you are the best candidate, able to connect with the family and understand their needs. You need to be flexible and adaptable as each family is different. A typical day as a vip nanny can vary greatly, so you need to be prepared for anything. VIP nanny jobs are not as easy as they seem. You have to be able to deal with demanding parents and children who may not always be cooperative.
And there is a lot of competition for VIP nanny jobs. It’s tough at the top - we occasionally hear stories of families poaching top candidates from their friends (blood is thicker than water, apparently), and even private employers buying their children’s school teachers out of their contracts to take them home for themselves (presumably leaving their classmates in the lurch!).
And it’s undeniable that being employed in one of these ‘jet set’ nanny jobs comes with perks. As well as the enormous salaries on offer, VIP nannying includes travel and often has better working conditions, as the employing family is keen to make sure that their top candidate stays with them for the long haul. Working for a wealthy family can allow you to save a huge amount of money, even enough for a housing deposit or down payment in a single year
And many of you have been asking us how to get these jobs and how to receive the dizzying pay cheques that the VIP positions come with.
So how do you, as a candidate, command these types of salaries? Pay for vip nanny jobs is usually very good, but it can vary depending on the family's budget. So how do you find the best paid jobs? How can you become this kind of candidate? What can put you in the very top bracket of nannying and governess work?
And there are questions you will have to ask yourself, to ensure that one of these positions works for you:
-Are you looking for a long-term or short-term position?
-What are your qualifications?
-Do you have enough experience working with children?
-How many hours per week are you available to work?
-Are you willing to travel?
-What is your hourly rate?
-Are you open to a rota position?
Have a look at the JIC list of the 10 ways to best position yourself for a VIP, high paying nanny, governor, governess or childcare job below. Read carefully, and enjoy!
1. Look the part
From deciding you want to be a top-level nanny or tutor, from the interview through to the trial and then to taking the job on full-time, you will need to look the part. For you to play the role of top notch tutor to the rich and famous, you need to immediately come across as a £1000+ per week candidate.
And how do you do that? Well, you should always be sensibly dressed in clean, new clothing. Get into the habit of dressing well, both in and out of work. You never know when you will meet prospective clients or useful contacts. If you haven’t got nice shirts, blouses or trousers then get some. Invest a little in your appearance - a nice watch or some good shoes can go a long way to showing that you are used to these working conditions (and this kind of salary). Everything should be well ironed and should go together.
Your smart dress should be accompanied by a suitable work hairstyle. Do your best to keep your skin healthy and your breath fresh. Hygiene is a must; pay particular attention to your hair and nails.
Your perfume or aftershave should be according to work regulations (some employers will forbid it) and should never be a strong ‘in your face’ fragrance. Look at how you present yourself for work and ask yourself - would you pay £1000 per week, for you? Because if you wouldn't, nobody else will!
2. Have a suitable CV
Now that you look the part, you need to make it clear that you are the right person for the job on paper. It goes without saying that great candidates who end up in fantastic jobs tend to start the whole process with a great CV. Your CV should be exceptional - both in terms of content and formatting. So first of all, swot up on our blog on how to write a great CV here. And if you haven’t got any qualifications relevant to childcare or teaching English (or your native language), you’ll need to get some. More on that later.
Top Tip: Remember that the most successful applications tend to include supporting photos. Spend time on making the photos that go with your application superb.
3. Give an excellent interview
As a top notch and top salary bracket candidate, your excellent CV should naturally be followed up by an excellent interview.
Key takeaways should include your organisation (on time, suitably dressed, good wifi connection), a great smile and attitude, and being creative and prepared.
Top Tip: Stand out interviewees always have something to show or demonstrate in their interviews, be it photos, arts and crafts, demonstrations of videos or work with children of previous clients or otherwise. This is worth spending time on.
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There should be an underrunning element of care and general punctuality in your dealings with the agency and ultimately with the family. Spelling and grammar should be faultless in any written communication. Respond to emails and communication timely, even if you aren’t interested and you are turning down the position. Your professionality and organisational skills should shine throughout the process. Become Mr (or Mrs) Reliable, Punctual and Professional, rolled into one. This is how you become a candidate that the agency comes to when a huge salary position comes in.
Many top notch salary positions will come with an element of ‘you get what you’re paid for’. By this we mean that first of all, you may be required to move abroad for the position. The highest paid jobs are generally found in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, London, New York and Switzerland. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but you will of course be expected to be ‘on location’. Even if you are working as a rota nanny you will spend at least half of your time in your work environment. Needless to say, part-time positions and online work do not fit into this salary bracket.
On top of this, the candidates paid the highest wages will generally be expected to travel when the family requires, and possibly to agree to a schedule with slightly longer hours or days off that change. VIP families may require last-minute changes to their plans. You should be ready to be flexible at work and to take plans with a pinch of salt. Be aware that in any case, you should always be careful with your contract. The hours can be long and irregular, so you need to be flexible. We strongly recommend reading our blog post on how to check your nanny governor or governess contract before signing anything.
6. Language skills
The ability to be a nanny or governess who combines all of the above with language skills can go a long way to increasing salary. You should have flawless knowledge of your native language (or the language you are working in) so that you can teach it practically, progressively and effectively. If this doesn’t apply to you, you had better get studying.
Language skills are important
If you have a second (or third) language that you are able to pass on and teach to charges, even better.
Note that musical ability and specific sporting talents are also a huge plus when applying for VIP nanny or governess roles. If you want to sit on the top shelf you had better start using your free time productively and wisely. Get off Netflix and get stuck into reading, studying, and self-improvement.
7. Experience and qualifications
It should be obvious that your qualifications and experience will have an effect on how good a candidate you are. However, the right certificates might not be as niche, difficult to obtain or as lengthy a process as you might expect. Your qualifications should ideally be in either childcare, teaching or languages, but some employers will consider governor or governess candidates with a CELTA or TEFL as well as a degree in something sporty, related to language or psychology or similar. Tutors can have a variety of qualifications as long as their experience and recommendations are sound.
Naturally, your prior work experience will have an effect on your salary. It is extremely difficult to go straight from your degree, Au Pair or babysitting job straight to the big paycheque jobs. It is preferable to take a stepping stone approach: do your qualifications, then take jobs and always aim to stay in them long enough to make an impact. Thanks to market demand you can generally expect to hit the top salaries with as little 3-5 years’ experience if the rest of your CV fits the bill. If course, it is equally important to be able to build a good rapport with the children in order to provide them with the best possible care.
Top Tip: Always try to complete your contract unless force majeure (re: Coronavirus) or breach of contract means it really is impossible. It’s important for your CV and recommendations.
8. The right mindset and attitude
As well as looking the part on paper (and in person) you will really need a ‘can do’ attitude for VIP and high salary nanny and governess jobs. This applies to your application process as a whole and also the interview process. You will need to be confident and believe in yourself. You will need to have a lot of energy and patience, as well as a good sense of humour! The best mindset to have for this type of position is one that is fun and active, whilst remaining well organised, flexible and being a good problem solver. You will need to be able to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions to problems that arise. Remember that discretion is essential, as you will likely be privy to confidential information about the family. And of course, your attitude will require a sprinkle of:
Hang in there!
Dealing with these unexpected situations may indeed call for a sense of internal toughness. For example, you may experience homesickness if you are working away from home. Your schedule may change unexpectedly, or the children you work with may be badly behaved. You will need to be able to keep your chin up when the going gets tough and to dig deep in difficult situations if you really want to hit the top nanny or governess salary bracket.
10. Know your worth
So, if you feel comfortable and confident with all the above and believe in yourself, you really are destined to make the big bucks. When you feel you are a top level candidate, you may even wish to offer your own terms to families on a ‘take it or leave it basis’. It’s true that if they want you enough, they will probably agree, or at least make a comparable offer.
However you should be extremely careful not to overvalue yourself, which can leave you red faced and upset the agency you are working with. Do not burn any bridges by coming across as unreasonable and avoid treading on the toes of your agency by being demanding. Whilst it is important to know what you want, your demands should be justifiable, either through what you can bring to the table, or previous or similar job offers.
And if you think you tick the above boxes but you can’t commit to a full time job, perhaps part time or summer positions can work for you. VIP families often seek a travel nanny or governess for the summer months when their kids are off school to top up their learning. You may find roles catering to this in France, Spain, Cyprus or otherwise. Sign up to our email alerts list to make sure you are always filled in on the latest roles available.
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Want to read more about working in the VIP nanny and governess industry?
How about an interview with a trainee Norland Nanny, from the nanny agency trusted with taking care of British royalty?
How about a UK school teacher who decided to take the plunge and quit her job in the UK, and hasn't looked back since?
The blog is aimed at individuals looking for help securing a high paying nanny job and the views of the author are not necessarily those of Jobs in Childcare.
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