The 8 Essential Skills You Need For A Career In Nannying

ICI UK - Skills For Career Nannying

A nanny is someone who provides childcare and other household duties for families. The job requires a lot of skills and knowledge from cooking and cleaning, to child education and healthcare.

1. Patience

Patience is perhaps one of the most important skills for nannies. As a nanny, you will spend hours and hours with children so you will need to be able to handle their mood swings and behaviours without losing your temper or becoming outwardly irritated. This can be particularly hard when working long hours or dealing with difficult children, so it’s crucial you are an inherently patient person.

2. Communication

Another important skill for nannies is strong verbal communication. This means both speaking and listening. You must be able to communicate well with parents to understand the specific needs of their children. If you’re unsure, it’s best to always ask questions to get all the information you can about the child you’re taking care of.

You also need to communicate effectively to the children. You’ll need to assert your authority, but work with them, not against them. It’s important that you don’t speak to the children in a patronising tone as they won’t be as receptive.

3. Organisation

Being highly organised is important, especially if you are juggling multiple children.

A day in the life of a nanny involves a long list of responsibilities from cooking and cleaning, to dropping kids at school and feeding babies on schedule. A good nanny will carefully plan each day out and ensure that all duties are completed on time.

4. Creativity

Children need entertaining. As a nanny, you need to have a range of games and outing ideas up your sleeve to keep the kids happy. But you also need to be creative and think your feet – every child is different and will engage in different activities. Creative nannies will be able to tailor their games to suit the child’s personality.

5. First aid

One of the most important skills for nannies is CPR and first aid. Every nanny should know how to administer first aid to children and infants of all ages, help choking children and deal with injuries like cuts and burns. Parents will always be looking for nannies with these skills so they can have piece of mind that their children will be adequately looked after. Talk to your local council — or research online — about where you can get first aid qualifications.

6. Problem solving

Problem solving is all about evaluating options when facing a complicated issue. This may occur often while working as a nanny and you will be expected to solve problems on your own, without calling and disturbing your employee.

Part of your role as a nanny will include assisting the learning and development of babies and toddlers, and helping older children with their homework. So, you’ll need a good understanding of child development in order to problem solve with the children. There are plenty of books on understanding child development and teaching, but the best way to gain these skills would be through a qualification. The Nanny Diploma from the International Careers Institute UK gives you the skills to support the language, creative and cognitive development of children.

7. Cooking and nutrition

Not all nanny jobs will require you to cook, but having these skills will be advantageous and open up more opportunities. Even better, a good understanding of nutrition will put you in good stead with health-conscious mums and dads.

8. Household duties

Again, depending on the type of nanny job you acquire, you may be required to do some housework. Even if you aren’t, kids do make a lot of mess, so being able to clean up after them and wash their clothes after they spill is a great skill in the eyes of prospective employees.

What other skills might I need?

ICI UK - Skills For Career Nannying

Beyond these essential skills, families will be looking for a nanny with a good personality and great interpersonal skills. Many parents seek a nanny who is reliable, trustworthy, compassionate, and has a great love of children — so finding a reference who can vouch for you is a big help when applying for jobs. It’s also advantageous to have a driver’s licence. This will open you up to nanny jobs that with older kids that require picking up and dropping kids at school and after-school activities.

Where can I learn these skills?

Many of these skills are self-taught or are already embedded in your personality. But, to really tick all the boxes when applying for nanny jobs, a qualification in nannying will ensure you’re the best-suited person for the job. The International Career Institute’s Nanny Diploma teaches you all you need to know about the health and safety of young people, child psychology, child development and learning, and more.

So what are you waiting for? Start learning now and you’ll be on your way to a career in nannying in no time. Contact us at ICI to ask any queries you may have.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.