While all nannies are unique, there are four general types of nannies that you may encounter during your nanny search. As you look at different nanny candidates, consider which type of nanny they may be. Doing so may give you a glance into their backgrounds, motives and qualifications for working as a nanny.
1. The Career Nanny. The career nanny is a nanny who is making a career out of working as an in-home child care specialist. A career nanny may or may not have formal nanny training, but generally has some type of educational background or interest in early childhood development. Career nannies tend to have extensive experience working in private homes and are typically passionate about their work. Sometimes a career nanny will develop a niche, like working with multiples, newborns, special needs children or children of divorce. Career nannies may be closely connected to other nannies and be involved in nanny groups, nanny support groups or professional nanny organizations. Many career nannies will have more experience working with babies and young children than their employers. For this reason, if you’re considering a career nanny you’ll want to evaluate if you are open to a parenting partner that will regularly share tips, advice and suggestions.
2. The Transitioned Nanny. The transitioned nanny is a nanny that transitioned to being a nanny from another related profession. Transitioned nannies may include nannies who were first preschool teachers, elementary school teachers, pediatric nurses or family psychologists. Transitioned nannies are likely to have the appropriate skill set for working with young children, but may lack the experience working in an in-home environment. When considering hiring a transition nanny, you’ll want to be clear about your expectations, allow her time to assimilate to working in a private home, and tweak her skill set to work in the in-home environment.
3. The Stepping Stone Nanny. The stepping stone nanny is a nanny that is working as an in-home child care provider until she figures out what she wants to do next. Stepping stone nannies may include nannies who have completed a degree in early childhood education and want to work as a nanny until they find their ideal teaching job or perhaps a high school graduate considering a degree in early childhood education who wants to test the waters of working with young children first. Stepping stone nannies may also include nannies with previous nanny or childcare experience who are looking to utilize their experience while in between jobs. Stepping stone nannies don’t typically view being a nanny as a career, but rather a stepping stone to doing what they really wish to be doing next. If hiring a stepping stone nanny, you’ll want to be sure your stepping stone nanny will commit to at least one year of employment, or whatever other timeframe you require.
4. The Granny Nanny. The granny nanny does not refer to a nanny’s age, but rather her experience in raising her own children and her desire to help others raise theirs. Granny nannies may not have any formal childcare training or experience, but instead rely on the experience of raising their own children. Many granny nannies look for nanny employment after being laid off from a job, out of a desire to leave their current career and pursue something new, or as something to do during their retired years. Since parenting wisdom and styles changes from generation to generation, if you’re considering hiring a granny nanny, you’ll want to be sure she is familiar with current safety recommendations and practices (like putting healthy babies on their backs to sleep).
While not all nannies will perfectly fit into one of these four general types, chances are that you will be able to identify a category that your candidate fits into best. During the hiring process, keep these categories in mind to help you find the right fit for your family.