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Nanny Careers

A nanny is an important figure in many children's lives. Usually, nanny's look after the children while the parents work so their job responsibilities change every single day. If you're cool with sticky fingers and keeping a flexible schedule, then you're in for a wild ride.

As a nanny, you'll probably be responsible for getting the children to their responsibilities, whether that's school or extracurricular activities. You might have to pick them up from school and those other activities as well.

Your hours as a nanny depend on the family that you're working for. Some people might only need you for part of a day each day while others will need you from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. We weren't kidding when we said a wild ride.

What Does a Nanny Do

Childcare workers provide care for children when parents and other family members are unavailable. They attend to children’s basic needs, such as bathing and feeding. In addition, some help children prepare for kindergarten or help older children with homework.


Childcare workers typically do the following:

  • Supervise and monitor the safety of children in their care
  • Prepare and organize mealtimes and snacks for children
  • Help children keep good hygiene
  • Change the diapers of infants and toddlers
  • Organize activities or implement a curriculum that allows children to learn about the world and explore their interests
  • Develop schedules and routines to ensure that children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtime
  • Watch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring the problems to the attention of their parents
  • Keep records of children’s progress, routines, and interests

Childcare workers read and play with babies and toddlers to introduce basic concepts, such as manners. For example, they teach young children how to share and take turns by playing games with other children.

Childcare workers often help preschool-age children prepare for kindergarten. Young children learn from playing, solving problems, questioning, and experimenting. Childcare workers use play and other instructional techniques to help children’s development. For example, they use storytelling and rhyming games to teach language and vocabulary. They may help improve children’s social skills by having them work together to build something in a sandbox. Childcare workers may teach math by having children count when building with blocks. They also involve the children in creative activities, such as art, dance, and music.

Childcare workers can also watch school-age children before and after school. They often help these children with homework and may take them to afterschool activities, such as sports practices and club meetings.

During the summer, when children are out of school, childcare workers may watch older children as well as younger ones for the entire day while the parents are at work.

The following are examples of types of childcare workers:

Childcare center workers work in teams in childcare centers that offer programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start. They often work with preschool teachers and teacher assistants to teach children through a structured curriculum. They prepare daily and long-term schedules of activities to stimulate and educate the children in their care. They also monitor and keep records of the children’s progress.

Family childcare providers care for children in the providers’ own homes during traditional working hours. They need to ensure that their homes and all staff they employ meet the regulations for family childcare providers.

In addition, family childcare providers perform tasks related to running their business. For example, they write contracts that set rates of pay, when payment can be expected, and the number of hours children can be in care. Furthermore, they establish policies about issues including whether sick children can be in their care, who can pick children up, and how behavioral issues will be dealt with. Family childcare providers frequently spend some of their time marketing their services to prospective families.

Nannies work in the homes of the children they care for and the parents that employ them. Most often, they work full time for one family. They may be responsible for driving children to school, appointments, or afterschool activities. Some live in the homes of the families that employ them.

Babysitters, like nannies, work in the homes of the children in their care. However, they work for many families instead of just one. In addition, they generally do not work full time, but rather take care of the children on occasional nights and weekends when parents have other obligations.

How To Become a Nanny

Education and training requirements vary by setting, state, and employer. They range from no formal education to a certification in early childhood education.


Childcare workers must meet education and training requirements, which vary by state. Some states require these workers to have a high school diploma, but many states do not have any education requirements for entry-level positions. However, workers with postsecondary education or an early childhood education credential may be qualified for higher level positions.

Employers often prefer to hire workers with at least a high school diploma and, in some cases, some postsecondary education in early childhood education.

Workers in Head Start programs must at least be enrolled in a program in which they will earn a postsecondary degree in early childhood education or a child development credential.

States do not regulate educational requirements for nannies. However, some employers may prefer to hire workers with at least some formal instruction in childhood education or a related field, particularly when they will be hired as full-time nannies.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many states require childcare centers, including those in private homes, to be licensed. To qualify for licensure, staff must pass a background check, have a complete record of immunizations, and meet a minimum training requirement. Some states require staff to have certifications in CPR and first aid.

Some states and employers require childcare workers to have a nationally recognized credential. Most often, states require the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition. Obtaining the CDA credential requires coursework, experience in the field, and a period during which the applicant is observed while working with children. The CDA credential is valid for 3 years and requires renewal.

Some states recognize the Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) designation offered by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. Some of the requirements needed to obtain the CCP are that the candidate must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, have experience in the field, take courses in early childhood education, and pass an exam. The CCP accreditation requires renewal every 2 years through the CCP maintenance process.

The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) offers a nationally recognized accreditation for family childcare providers. This accreditation requires training and experience in the field, as well as a period during which the applicant is observed while working with children.


Many states and employers require providers to complete some training before beginning work. Also, many states require staff in childcare centers to complete a minimum number of hours of training annually. Training may include information about basic care of babies, such as how to warm a bottle, and customer-service skills.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Childcare workers must be able to talk with parents and colleagues about the progress of the children in their care. They need good speaking skills to provide this information effectively and good listening skills to understand parents’ instructions.

Decisionmaking skills. Good judgment is necessary for childcare workers so they can respond to emergencies or difficult situations.

Instructional skills. Childcare workers need to be able to explain things in terms young children can understand.

Interpersonal skills. Childcare workers need to work well with people to develop good relationships with parents, children, and colleagues.

Patience. Working with children can be frustrating, so childcare workers need to be able to respond to overwhelming and difficult situations calmly.

Physical stamina. Working with children can be physically taxing, so childcare workers should have a lot of energy.

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Average Salary for a Nanny

Nannies in America make an average salary of $25,552 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $35,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $18,000 per year.
Average Salary

Best Paying Cities

Average Salarydesc
Boston, MA
Salary Range27k - 41k$34k$33,553
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range24k - 44k$33k$33,210
Portland, OR
Salary Range24k - 42k$32k$32,053
Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range23k - 39k$31k$30,608
Portland, ME
Salary Range24k - 36k$30k$29,917
Washington, DC
Salary Range22k - 36k$29k$28,953

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Nanny Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Nanny. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Nanny Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Nanny resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Nanny Demographics



87.4 %


9.3 %


3.3 %



63.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.8 %

Black or African American

9.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


64.8 %


11.5 %


4.4 %
See More Demographics

Nanny Education


9.6 %



44.2 %

High School Diploma

26.7 %


15.7 %
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Top Skills For a Nanny

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 27.4% of nannies listed meal prep on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and instructional skills are important as well.

  • Meal Prep, 27.4%
  • CPR, 17.9%
  • Daily Activities, 6.4%
  • Child Care, 5.5%
  • Communication, 3.8%
  • Other Skills, 39.0%
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Best States For a Nanny

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a nanny. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Oregon. Nannies make the most in Washington with an average salary of $34,746. Whereas in Massachusetts and Vermont, they would average $33,505 and $33,358, respectively. While nannies would only make an average of $32,141 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Nanny Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Idaho

Total Nanny Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Nanny Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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3. Starting Point
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