If you want to be successful as a nanny, it’s important that you are selective when choosing a placement family. Sure, you will rarely have endless choice, but by the same token it is not necessary, or wise, to take the first position that comes up.
The right decision could lead to long term work and the chance to really embed yourself as ‘part of the family’. In contrast, a wrong decision could be stressful and disruptive for both you and the family you work for.
It’s a good idea to approach your search for a placement with a clear idea of which aspects are negotiable and which are non-negotiable. Also think about where your strengths lie: you’ll be much more comfortable doing what you’re good at than struggling in those other areas.
Here are some of the factors you might consider:
- What is the youngest age group you’re comfortable and experienced working with? Are you happy to work with entirely dependent babies, or would you prefer to work with children who are already mobile?
- Do you want a permanent position, or something temporary? How long are you prepared to commit for? Do you have a minimum period? Are you prepared to do casual work in the short term?
- What geographic area do you want to work in? Do you have ‘no go’ zones?
- Would you be happy to work in a nanny share arrangement (whereby you are caring for the children of two families in one of their homes)?
- What about night nannying (of newborns)?
- Are you passionate about outdoor play? Would you expect similar enthusiasm in your client family?
- Similarly regarding excursions: would you like to be able to take the children out, or prefer to stay at home?
- Would you be comfortable using the family car, or prefer to use your own?
Of course it’s not always possible to anticipate all the factors that might affect your selection of a placement. It is usually a good idea to do a trial day and bill the family for a casual day in which you, the parents and the children can all test each other out.
The non negotiables are to be paid fairly and legally. Contact the ATO and the Fair Work Commission to find out your legal rights and obligations.