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Want to Be a Live-In Nanny? Read This First

I worked as a live-in nanny for three years and enjoy sharing my experiences with other aspiring nannies.

The pros and cons of being a live-in nanny!

The pros and cons of being a live-in nanny!

You've obviously came here because you're interested in becoming a nanny. Well you've come to the right place. I myself was a live-in nanny for 3 years and it was truly the best job I've ever had.

It takes a special kind of person to become a nanny. You have to love taking care of kids and love being around them. Kids can be rambunctious and overly excited and you should be physically able to be around that on a daily basis. Obviously, if you're looking into becoming a nanny, then you do love children.

If hired, you will be in charge of a parent's most prized possession. Their children. This can be a demanding and sometimes demoralizing job. You will not only be working for the parents, but for the children as well. You ever had a two year old tell you what to do? Well this can and will happen. You can't take care of someone else's kids the way you take care of your own. Different families have different rules and structure that they adhere to and you will also have to adhere to those rules as their nanny. The way you're used to running your house could be completely different than how your nanny family will run theirs. If you're going to be a nanny, you must conform to the way they operate their household.

The Upside to Being a Nanny

Like I said, being a nanny was the best and most rewarding job I've ever had. The rewards for this position are endless.

In most instances you will get all-expenses-paid travel to your new nanny position. If you live in Florida and the job is in California, the hiring family will and should pay for all of your traveling expenses.

Most families provide their nanny with a vehicle of their own to transport the kids around and for your own personal use. All maintenance, fuel, and insurance are usually provided by the nanny family.

In most cases, you will be in charge of buying food and household goods. Your nanny family will provide you with the necessary funds for these purchases. You can choose to eat what they buy or use your own money to purchase the food that you like to eat.

You travel where the family travels. Some families take lavish vacations and they may require you to come with. They will pay for all travel, food, lodging, and entertainment. Anything extra will surely be at your own expense.

Difference Between a Live-In and a Live-Out Nanny

The difference between a live-in and live-out nanny is simple. Each of them can have their own unique benefits. A live-in nanny is basically there at the family's beck and call, 24 hours a day. Although you will have a set number of hours you will work in a day, generally they will vary based on the family's needs. If you only want to work a set amount of hours in a day, then this is something you should definitely bring up during the interview process. If you don't state this upfront then a family can take advantage of your willingness to stay on and work extra hours. Basically, a live-in nanny's on-duty time will always fluctuate, whereas a live-out nanny may only be required to work a set 40 hours a week and allowed two off days.

A live-in nanny will always have more responsibilities than a live-out nanny. Even though you've discussed the number of hours you can work, you will undoubtedly find yourself finishing up your job well past those allotted hours. You will be living with children, your job will never stop. It helps to have an active social life, that can take you out of nanny mode during your off times.

A live-out nanny gets to go home at the end of their shift and they are free to do whatever they like. When you're a live-in nanny you will still have to abide by the family's rules and you will always have limited privacy. But hey, at least you don't have to pay rent and in most big cities rent can be super expensive. Surprisingly, live-out nannies make a little more than live-in nannies, because they do have bills to pay.

Salary and Benefits

A live-in nanny can make $18 to $20 an hour, which averages about $700 a week. You don't ever have to pay for room and board and you have a car that you don't even have to buy gas for. Most nanny positions offer you health insurance as well.

Live-In Nanny Requirements

Here's a list of requirements:

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  • Most families are looking to hire a single person with no kids of their own.
  • Some families don't have a specified age in mind, but the majority are looking for 21 and older individuals.
  • You should have some prior experience in child care like babysitting or daycare work. You must provide references from people who you did babysitting work for.
  • You have to be able to pass a background check.
  • You should have at least a high school diploma.
  • You will for sure need a valid driver's license.
  • Some families prefer you to already have a current Passport.
  • Some families require you to have your own vehicle for you to use to transport the kids and run errands. Usually the family will pay for the gas, maintenance, and even the insurance.
  • Be willing to travel with the family.
  • You should know how to cook. Although some families will only require you to fix meals for the children, it's good to have some cooking skills.
  • You should know how to swim. I didn't know how to swim and I still don't, but the kids already knew how to swim before I got there. They knew all about water safety as well. I got lucky, but knowing how to swim is super important in most families.
  • CPR certification is sometimes required and it will look great on your resume. Some families will pay for your training once you get there.
  • You should be physically able to take care of active children. You will do a lot of running, playing, and jumping.
You can find a nanny job in almost any big city.

You can find a nanny job in almost any big city.

Where to Find Nanny Positions

There are multiple sites to apply for nanny positions. All you have to do is google "nanny jobs" and you will be amazed by how many openings there are. I personally got my nanny job from and I had a wonderful experience with them. They take both parties through rigorous steps to ensure that everybody is reputable and qualified. There are multiple sites available out there, just take your time and do your research.

Searching for nanny jobs can be fun and interesting. There are not many jobs out there where you can pick whichever city you would like to live and work in. When it comes to picking a nanny job, you should choose whichever city is right for you. It's important to pick a city you would feel comfortable and safe in. Having your pick of any city in the world to work can be a dream to most, but to some it came be quite overwhelming. You should look for an active city with lots to do. This will not only benefit you, but it can also make your nanny job a lot easier. Choosing a big city will also allow you to meet new people and other nannies like yourself. After spending a full week with children, believe me you will want some adult time to yourself. In the end you must choose what's best for you and your needs.

Cooking is one of the many responsibilities you may have as a live-in nanny.

Cooking is one of the many responsibilities you may have as a live-in nanny.


A nanny's responsibilities can vary from job to job. Some nannies have very little responsibilities and they usually only have to take care of the children. Most of the time a nanny's responsibilities will consist of anything that has to do with the children.

  • Cleaning: In most cases you will only be responsible for cleaning up after the kids and yourself. Doing their laundry, making their beds, picking up their play areas, washing dishes, and maybe some other light housework.
  • Cooking: It depends on the family's preferences. Some families have both parents working and in that instance, you may be asked to prepare meals for everyone a couple of nights a week.
  • Tutoring: Helping the kids with school work and creating fun activities like arts and crafts. Kids love arts and crafts and this part of the job can be a lot of fun for you as well.
  • Organizing: Kids are busy these days, so it would be part of your job to sit down once a week with the parents to get the children's schedule together. School, doctor's appointments, soccer practice, birthday parties and play dates all have to be planned out. It will be your job to make sure that the child is at all of these places on time.
  • Running Errands: You will be surprised by how much time you will spend in your car as a nanny. You may have pick up a tutu for a recital way across town and soccer cleats way on the other side of town. You will be dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, shopping for groceries, picking up prescriptions, and even getting the cars serviced when the parents are unable too. Running errands will make up a big part of your day.
Be sure to ask questions before you accept an offer!

Be sure to ask questions before you accept an offer!

Questions to Ask the Family

Don't be afraid to ask questions. You're about to pack your bags and move in with strangers in a new city. You have every right to know exactly what you're getting yourself into. I've compiled a list of questions that you should ask during your interview.

  1. How many kids would be in my care and what are their ages? I didn't want to take care of an infant, so I sought a position for kids ages three and up. It was just a personal preference and infants are more of a responsibility. Taking care of school-age children can allow you more time throughout the day to take care of other things more freely.
  2. How much does the nanny position? Usually they will disclose this in the job ad, but it helps to hear it straight from them and possibly negotiate a better salary.
  3. What will be my main responsibilities? You really need to know this ahead of time, because your duties may not correlate with the number of wages they're offering to pay you.
  4. How many hours will I be required to work and what will be my off days? My nanny position required me to start work at around 8 am and most of the time I worked until 8 p.m. The boys had soccer and football practices that lasted late into the night. I rarely got my weekends off. Both parents worked on Saturday and the boys would have games every weekend. It's super important to set your days off, because you will need them.
  5. Will I have my own room and do I have my own TV? Having a TV in my room was very important to me. The family didn't have one in my room when I got there, but the day I arrived we went out and they purchased me a new one.
  6. Will you all provide a car for me to use? It is a must to have adequate transportation at your disposal in order for you to perform your duties in a proficient manner. I was not only given a truck to use daily, but once the job was done, my boss let me keep it.
  7. Do you have animals and would I be responsible for their care as well? The family had a chocolate lab and I love dogs, but I'm semi-allergic to them. The dog just couldn't be in my room for long periods of time or else I would get welts on my skin and itching burning eyes. Luckily, their house was big enough that I only had a couple of allergic reactions. I loved that dog though. It's important to ask, because your nanny family will not get rid of there pet to accommodate you and they shouldn't have to. Asking ahead of time can prevent a disaster. Can you imagine a non-pet lover having to take care of an animal that they are afraid of or just don't like? If they owned a pet snake, that would be a job that I would definitely leave right on the table.
  8. Can I have guests come over during my downtime? You have to ask this because you are a guest yourself. It wouldn't be nice to have people that they don't know roaming through their home without you asking them first.
  9. How long will this position last? Some nanny positions last around two to three years You need to know how long you will have a job. Kids grow up and a nanny may not be needed at some point. It's best to know ahead of time, so that you can physically and mentally prepare yourself to change jobs when that time comes.
  10. Did you all have a nanny before me? This is an important question. If they did have a nanny before you, then they are more familiar with the whole process. They are used to sharing their home with a stranger and tend to be more flexible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment below. Best of luck and happy nannying!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


tarkishat (author) on June 23, 2017:

Hi Katleigh,

Thanks for the advice. I will go back over it and make the necessary changes.

Dani Merrier from United States on June 23, 2017:

This was a really informative and interesting article; I enjoyed reading it! I love working with kids, but I don't know that being a live-in nanny is right for me.

A well-intentioned, warm-hearted tip if you don't mind: read through this again out-loud. You have excellent information, but some of the sentences seem a little clunky.

Overall, great work. I hope to see you grow here on HubPages!

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