Nanny Age Categories
Nannies come from every walk of life, in every shape and size – and of course, all ages. When considering hiring a nanny, it is worth considering the pro’s and cons of various age categories to find the best fit for your family.
18 to 21 YearsNannies of this age are usually fresh out of college. They may have taken only the first of their childcare qualifications, such as an NVQ2, so remember to ask them about this and if they are wishing to progress in their career, as they might be looking to attend college as well as working for a family. 18 to 21 year olds may have gained some experience as a Mother’s Help or by working as a nursery nurse in a day nursery, but generally speaking they are looking for their first job as a nanny for a private family.
- Pro’s: Young nannies are ‘mouldable’ in that they are keen to learn and willing to do most things a family needs in order to perform well in their first job. Because they are young, they are keen to put into practise what they have learned at college and also tend to have energy. They are also much cheaper than older, more qualified candidates.
- Cons: Girls of this age will not have had much experience and will also be expensive to insure to drive a car.
22 to 30Nannies in this age category are generally more experienced and may have had one or two nanny posts already.
- Pros: Nannies who are over 21 will be cheaper to insure to drive your car and will be likely to be more experienced drivers, which is obviously much safer for the children. They are also in the height of their career and unlikely to be thinking of a family of their own quite yet.
- Cons: They are more likely to be having a busy social life themselves and may turn up to work tired. They also tend to be more ‘money-orientated’ so could leave if a position comes along which offers them a higher salary or more fringe benefits.
30 to 40The biggest difference with nannies of this age is that they are very likely to be married and may well have a family of their own. Be careful to ask how this will affect their duties to your children.
- Pros: Nannies are mature and experienced and have possibly also had invaluable first-hand experience looking after their own children. If working for a family who have or are expecting a new baby, they will have a lot more insight into how the mother is feeling as well as maternal instinct for the children. If they have their own home and are settled in the area, they are less likely to leave the job.
- Con’s: Whilst nannies that have their own family are happy to commit to their employer on a day-to-day basis, if an emergency occurs in their own household, they are likely to put their own needs first. If a nanny in this age bracket doesn’t already have children, the likelihood is that she may meet Mr Right, or become pregnant and either leave or claim maternity benefits as your employee so this aspect is worth considering when you employ them.
50+Older ladies often make excellent and loyal nannies for families with babies, where a caring, patient, and reassuring presence is needed.
- Pros: Older nannies may well have had their own families and will have ‘seen it all before’. They will have insight and understanding and are less likely to be panicked by illness, accidents, tantrums, or teenage dramas. They are also more likely to want to choose a family they have a rapport with and stay with them for many years.
- Cons: Older ladies may not have so much energy to run around after small children or the ‘get up and go’ to play boisterous games with small children. Similarly, they may not have so much understanding of things that older children may be into, such as the latest computer games or instant messaging system. If nearing retirement age, older nannies may decide to give up work, so this is a question worth asking at interview stage.
All age brackets come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages to consider – but if you can prioritise what your family is looking for, and ask the right questions at the start of the hiring process, there is someone out there for everyone.