At Nannies on Call, we regularly get mothers applying to become nannies and often, these mothers do not have any childcare experience other than raising their own children. They become frustrated when we tell them that they do not have enough experience to work with us and we hear things such as, “You’re telling me that raising my daughter for the last 4 years isn’t enough experience?” or “I have raised 3 children and 2 grandchildren and have over 20 years of experience – why isn’t that good enough?!”
While we believe that these mothers do have a lot of terrific practical experience, unfortunately, working for another family is very different than raising your own children; it comes with a whole different set of skills, expectations, and values. Having experience with these situations is important when becoming a nanny or babysitter and this is why practical experience is not quite enough.
So what are mothers with practical experience to do? Here are a few things to consider if you are a mother trying to transition to nannying:
Volunteering. Have you volunteered at your children’s school? When my daughter was little, she went to a parent-participation preschool. I spent many hours in the preschool volunteering and we also had monthly education nights where experts were brought in to teach us about discipline, crafts and development. All of this would count towards professional childcare experience.
Babysitting. Have you taken care of other people’s children on a regular basis? Could you get a reference letter from one of the parents?
Coaching. Have you ever coached your child’s soccer, field hockey, or hockey team? This is great experience and often gives you the chance to get a coaching course under your belt, too.
Tutoring. Have you ever tutored children other than your own?
No matter how you gain your professional experience, mothers need to think outside the box. Consider where have you gained childcare experience outside of your own family and then tailor your resume accordingly.