How to Excel at Your Nanny Job

Photo by george ruiz via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by george ruiz via Flickr Creative Commons

by daniela escobar

I don’t like when people think nannying is not a “real job.” As someone who has held numerous positions, from staffing the front desk at hotels, to customer service, to sales, and you name it, believe me, being a nanny is not the easiest one. It is very gratifying, fun, and unique, but easy? No. This job is emotional, challenging, and often awkwardly intimate, but the great nannies who are in the field for the right reasons know the benefits outweigh the hardships, and never cease to find new ways to excel in their positions. Find suggestions for career excellence listed below to rejuvenate your performance and recharge your nanny batteries.


Put yourself in your MomBoss’ position and really think about the quality of your work. Would you be happy with a nanny like you on your payroll? Would you hire yourself? Be honest. See what areas you can improve upon and make the changes you know you need to make in order to take your performance to the next level of excellence.


The extra mile is never crowded. Sometimes going above and beyond when nobody expects it is the best way to make a great impression. It does something for your NannyFamily as well as for you. For example, if you know your MomBoss’ birthday is coming up, take the time to make her a present from the kids. If you see the newspaper or a package at the front door, bring it in. Small things can make a huge difference.


How you do make yourself irreplaceable? You get involved. Have your heart in it. (Almost) anyone has what it takes to look after a child, but to be a great nanny you have to involve yourself in the lives of your charges, and truly understand and do what is best for them in every situation, even if that means it hurts. That will set you apart.


Stand by your beliefs.  Of course you want to be flexible with your NannyFamily, but you have to set your boundaries. Don’t be afraid to say “no” when a line is crossed (and you know lines can be crossed so easily in this line of work), but always strive to be flexible enough to think of alternative solutions that can work for all parties. For example, if your DadBoss asks you to work on your day off so he can run some errands, ask if there are some other ways you can help him accomplish his goals without sacrificing your own (much-needed) personal time.

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Two people can be in the same relationship and yet see it in two different ways.

This simple concept is sometimes so difficult to truly realize. Communicating your thoughts, ideas, and experience is a professional skill. Make sure to be honest and ask questions if you have any doubts. Remember, you have a huge responsibility on your hands. No question is too small.


Every now and then, ask your NannyFamily for a formal sit-down review. This will help you better understand how you are doing in your position and whether or not you are meeting their expectations. Your bosses will love the fact that you are looking to improve in your role. Not only that, this presents the perfect opportunity for you to bring up the issue of getting a raise, negotiating new or existing terms in your contract, and just reconnecting on a deeper level to show your commitment to your NannyFamily, your charges, and your career.

What thoughts do you have about excelling at your nanny position that aren’t already listed here?