Day in the life of
Nanny – Emily Lau
I’ve been a professional nanny for nearly a decade now. I have my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and am a certified teacher. I accepted a position as a nanny right out of college and I’ve never looked back.
My typical day
On a typical day, I arrive at the family’s house and prepare breakfast for the kids. After feeding them and cleaning up, we play for a while and then head out on an outing or have friends over for a play date. We sometimes eat lunch at the house and other times we enjoy a picnic lunch that I’ve packed, but we are always back at the house by early afternoon for naps and quiet time. I usually have a decent amount of free time while the kids are napping, but sometimes I help with the kids’ laundry or do dishes while they sleep. Once they are up we get a snack and then play games or do an activity together. I make sure the house is completely tidied up by the time the parents get home and I give them a brief report of the day before I leave.
- Being able to get out and about during the day. I love taking the kids to story times, the zoo, museums, parks, bowling alleys, libraries, etc.
- A salary that is high for the childcare field. Most daycares in my area don’t pay over $10/hour but I’ve made anywhere from $14-22/hour as a nanny. I have been able to maintain a salary as high or higher than I would make as a teacher.
- Being able to partner with a family in raising their children. I have developed strong relationships with the parents I’ve worked for and the children I have cared for.
- The ability to bring my daughter to work with me. I had my first child almost three years ago and she has been coming to work with me since she was six weeks old. It allows me to be with her full-time, saves me the expense of childcare, and has been a blessing to both my family and my nanny family as she has become very close friends with my nanny kids.
- Meals provided. Every family I have worked for has told me to help myself to the snacks and meals in their home during my working hours.
- I have been given SO many hand-me-downs over the years. I’ve received home decor, kitchen appliances, clothing, baby and kids’ clothes, baby supplies, a sandbox, a swing set, and even a treadmill.
- The ability to take vacations with my nanny family. When I travel with a family, they cover all of my expenses, pay my regular salary, and compensate me for additional time worked and nights spent away from home.
- Not having coworkers. I am an extrovert so I do miss having people around all the time. I have learned to be very proactive in getting out and meeting other nannies to do things with.
- Long hours. Many nannies work ten hour days since they arrive before the parents leave for work and stay until after they get home. Nannies don’t get lunch breaks and it can be hard to schedule appointments and such.
- Often having to educate prospective employers about what is typical for a nanny. I’ve had to explain to several families during interviews that I expect two weeks of PTO, paid holidays, mileage reimbursement, etc. I’ve also had to explain that families are responsible for withholding taxes from my paycheck and providing me with a W2 at the end of each year. It is very important to have a written contract to keep expectations clear and to protect both parties.
- It can be hard to find the right fit. Each nanny and each family is unique and working for a family that doesn’t share your values and parenting style can be a train wreck. I’ve learned to be very open and honest during the interview process so that if I’m not the right fit for a particular family we can both move on and find a better match.
care for children in private households and provide support and expertise to parents in satisfying children's physical, emotional, intellectual, and social needs. Duties may include meal planning and preparation, laundry and clothing care, organization of play activities and outings, discipline, intellectual stimulation, language activities, and transportation.