How to become a Nanny

Nannies care for children as employees in private households.

Personal requirements of a Nanny

  • Patient and mature with a willingness to accept responsibility
  • Good organisation skills
  • Able to work with young children
  • Able to work unsupervised
  • Good communication skills
  • Reliable
  • Able to multi-task
  • Flexible and resourceful

Education & Training for a Nanny

You can work as a nanny without formal qualifications, but employers usually require Year 10. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in early childhood education and care or school age education and care. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a nanny through a traineeship in Early Childhood Education and Care or School Age Education and Care. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Nanny

Nannies may perform the following tasks:

  • care for babies or young children by feeding, washing and dressing them, as well as by supervising their play and learning activities
  • plan creative play and learning activities and organise meal and sleep times
  • develop and/or maintain appropriate routines
  • communicate with parents to ensure their preferences regarding child care are maintained
  • safeguard children against potential dangers, such as swimming pools, kitchen utensils, poisons and stairs
  • take children to school, kindergarten and other activities
  • plan and prepare nutritious snacks and meals for children and possibly the family
  • care for and maintain children's belongings, bedrooms and play areas
  • take sole charge of children for extended periods while parents are absent from home
  • arrange and supervise outings
  • apply first aid and take appropriate action in cases of accident or emergency
  • perform light housekeeping duties when applicable, such as laundry or meal preparation.

Working conditions for a Nanny

Nannies employed full time may be required to live in their employers' homes. They may also be required to work in the evenings and on weekends.

Employment Opportunities for a Nanny

Employers and agencies have a strong preference for applicants with recognised qualifications and references. Opportunities for qualified Australian nannies are available overseas, especially in the United Kingdom, Europe, the USA and Canada.



A governess supervises and tutors children (including school-age children) in educational programmes within private households. These positions are usually in remote locations.

Mother's Helper

A mother's helper assists new mothers with the additional work involved with the arrival of a new baby. They also care for other children, clean and cook meals.

Additional Information
To work as a nanny you must obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate and a Working with Children Check. You will also need extremely good references.
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