Good evening everybody!
With as many people that want to get into the nanny industry, some aspiring nannies can find it hard to bridge the gap from random babysitting gigs they have had over the years into more professional nannying positions. Though there are some situations where the stars align and a family takes a chance on you, there are certainly things that you can do/sell yourself on to help you break into this industry with a little more ease than if you had attempted to let the stars align themselves. Check out these tips below to help get you started!
1. Take some continuing education/childhood development courses - For many families, a nanny is seen as more desirable if they have some teaching, child development or related background even if you've only had babysitting experience. If you are trying to make a name for yourself and be seen as more professional, either enroll in some college classes on the side or find local meetups, events and classes that can provide you with additional certifications. When you present these to a family, they are more likely to be impressed with your willingness to stand out above other babysitters/nannies.
2. Talk to some local professional nannies through social media groups or find ways to connect in person - Connecting with other nannies in your area can help with having some helpful conversations about how they started their nanny career. At Chicago Collegiate Nannies, we offer regular Sitter Event Nights where we bring together and allow our nannies to network and chat about everything related to nannying! Finding a strong community to connect with can not only give you some great ideas on how to improve your skillset from being a babysitter and may even lead to job opportunities if you meet the right person.
3. Offer a "trial sit" to a family when you first meet them - For some families that may be more reluctant to hire you with minimal experience, offer to do a "trial sit" with their kids while they observe. This can give you an opportunity to display your skills while allowing them to watch firsthand. Be sure to outline what a "trial sit" would include, how much you charge per hour, etc. up front so that expectations are clear. Our agency offers trial sits to families when they sign on to our agency and it can really put the family at ease before making a final decision to hire when they have the chance to watch our nannies in action!
4. Find opportunities to offer your services to people that are not in your family - Since family members are more likely to paint your skills in a better light because they know you, it is good to get experience working with families outside of your own family (i.e. cousins, nieces/nephews, siblings) as it increases your reputability to work for others. Asking families outside of your own to give you constructive criticism as your are building on your experience will also be crucial as this can help you in future professional nanny positions.
5. Get creative with gaining experience - Never worked in a daycare? Never been a camp counselor? These are also great positions to take on if you are building on your professional experience that may not be be a professional full time nanny position, per se. Whether you take on a part time or summer position, branch out and find opportunities in your community (or even abroad!) that can help you hone in and sharpen your childcare skills.
We hope that these few ideas and tips you choose are ways to guide that process of breaking into the nanny industry. Be sure to think creatively and give one (or more) of them a try! Thanks so much for reading our Nanny Tip of the Week and we look forward to bringing you another great nanny tip next week!
Photo Credit: Philippe Put (https://flic.kr/p/abd7Za)