Becoming a Nanny 101: How to Become a Nanny
This is a big one ya’ll. We talk about everything you’ll need to become a nanny. If you want more information on any of the topics make sure to check out the links to our other articles that go into more detail. Also, to help here’s a table of content, so you can jump around:
- The Basics: Nanny Qualifications
- Step 1: Get Some Childcare Experience
- Step 2: Get Certifications
- Step 3: Learn About Nanny Taxes
- Step 4: Calculate Your Nanny Rates
- Step 5: Write up a Nanny Contract
- Step 6: Advertise Your Nanny Business
- Becoming a Full Time Nanny
- Becoming a High Paid Nanny
- The Nanny Business: Made Easy
The Basics: Nanny Qualifications
Launching into nanny life can be super exciting but honestly a bit overwhelming.
If you’re starting a new nannying business or looking to make the babysitter to full-time nanny transition, you’ve got a lot on your mind. Beyond prepping yourself to care for precious little ones, you’re wondering how to take care of the business side of things.
There are a million questions in your head like…
- What paperwork do I need to start nannying?
- How do I determine my nannying rates?
- Do I need a business license to be a nanny?
- What about nanny taxes?
- Should I have any special training before I become a nanny?
Setting up a legit nanny business takes a bit of effort and initiative, but the payoff is worth it! The first step is getting organized.
Step 1: Get Some Childcare Experience
If you are looking into becoming a nanny, it’s likely that you already have some childcare experience under your belt. It’s okay if you don’t though, here are a few ways you can get some.
Start by offering to babysit for family and friends. They already know and trust you, so they’ll probably hire you. Try to watch kids of different ages for varying lengths of time. This will help give you a variety of experience to show to potential future nanny-families.
Step 2: Get Certifications
As far as certifications go, there are only two that I would consider a must for nannies. CPR and First Aid Certification are essential for any caregiver, but especially nannies that are sole caregivers. Child Safety should be our number one priority as nannies.
I have a whole article about what kinds of nanny certifications are out there. While I don’t think there are specific “nanny certifications”, becoming a Doula or a Newborn Care Specialist would add value to you as a nanny. There are plenty of training courses focused on early childhood education and development at local community colleges.
Step 3: Learn About Nanny Taxes
When it comes to taxes, as a nanny, there are three primary options. You can be a sole proprietor nanny business in which nannying is one of the services your business offers. You can be an independent contractor if you are going to be a Doula or Newborn Care Specialist. Or you can be, what most nannies are, a household employee.
The difference between these options are subtle, but don’t worry, I have a whole podcast episode that explicitly lays out the differences for you. No matter which option you decide best matches your role, you can follow along in my Tax With Me video as I walk you through step-by-step how to prepare to file your nanny taxes.
Step 4: Calculate Your Nanny Rates
Working as a nanny is unique in the sense that every nanny position has different job responsibilities. While most include basic things like feeding, bathing, and playing with the children, every job is slightly different.
With all the variety in responsibilities and experience in the nanny industry, nanny rates vary too. When you are just starting out, it’s important to consider what you bring to the table and own your worth.
While googling local nanny rates in your area can give you a good starting point, I’ve also made a Nanny Rates Calculator to help you figure out what, exactly you should be making. It starts with your local minimum wage and then takes your experience, number of children, and job responsibilities into consideration.
You can gain access to the Nanny Rates Calculator when you sign-up for my nanny newsletter.
Step 5: Write up a Nanny Contract
While contracts sound daunting, these work agreements really make our jobs as nannies easier. A nanny contract will protect you and your nanny family by having in writing what’s expected from both parties.
There’s quite a bit that should be in your nanny contract, so I’ve made a comprehensive how-to article to help you get started.
If you don’t want to even attempt writing your own contract, you can just get mine. It comes with an Interview Questionnaire that will help you get the necessary information from your potential nanny family. You can then edit the contract to fit your needs (don’t forget to make a copy of the document, so you can use it again for future jobs) and print it out.
You can order a nanny contract, which comes with the Interview Questionnaire and Medical Consent Form. Or you can get all of that, plus daily nanny logs, invoice sheets, tax trackers, meal planners and more in the Complete Nanny Binder.
Step 6: Advertise Your Nanny Business
Now, that you have child care experience and your Complete Nanny Binder ready, you can start looking for your first nanny job.
There are two ways you can start looking for a job: agencies or on your own.
When you work with an agency, they match you with families that will be a good fit for you. Nanny agencies work as a middle man for you and your future employers. This is great because they function, in part, as a human resource department for you. They deal with negotiations and payment in a lot of cases.
However, working with an agency does mean that you might make less than if you found a family on your own because the family has to pay the agency (leaving less money in their budget for you).
Another option is to promote yourself! There are so many ways to promote yourself and drum up business for yourself.
To get the ball rolling pass out business cards, create a website resume or Instagram profile for yourself, sign-up for Facebook nanny job groups, post flyers. Do whatever you have to, to make yourself or your brand known.
While word of mouth is hard to get started, once you’ve worked successfully with one family, it’s not hard to spread.
Becoming a Full Time Nanny
Once you have the experience, paperwork, and you land your first job, own it! Be confident.
While you’ll never know everything there is to know about nannying (I don’t even claim that!), be confident in the knowledge you do have.
When a family is looking for a nanny, qualities that are usually listed as ideal include: self-starter, organized, good communicator, punctual, and responsible. These are all qualities you’ve proved to have by getting this far in your nanny business journey, so you can be confident in your ability to provide great care.
If you want some more specific ways to exude confidence and a little pep talk, check out my interview with Sarah from Happy Camper Coaching where she shares insights from her Confidence Camp.
Becoming a High Paid Nanny
While you may love working with children, being a nanny is a job.
If you’re looking to raise your rates, one of the main things I recommend is adding to your list of services. You can add things like:
- Teaching an instrument
- Teaching a sport
- Teach a second language
- Cleaning the house
- Doing laundry
- Grocery shopping
- Cooking or baking
If you’re already doing all of those things and just aren’t making what the Nanny Rates Calculator suggests, then figure out how much money you should be making and ask for it.
If you need help with when and how to ask for a raise (word for word) this article is for you! There’s even a pep talk at the end.
If you are already making your desired rate with one nanny family and still need more money, I’d recommend asking about increasing your hours or finding a family to add as a nanny share.
The Nanny Business: Made Easy
Becoming a nanny isn’t hard. To make things easier on new nannies, I have put together a heap of helpful resources, including the links above.
My goal is to simplify the process of heading down the nanny career path and equip you with the tools you need to become a nannying success.
What are the most exciting and the scariest parts of starting your nannying business?
Comment below and let me know! 😃