Being a live-in nanny isn’t for everyone, but for the right caregiver working as a live-in nanny can be an extremely rewarding experience.

Live-in nannies are hired by parents to provide care for the family’s children in their private home. Live-in nannies are responsible for the complete care of the family’s children while on duty and for undertaking all tasks related to providing that care, including preparing nutritious meals and snacks, keeping the children’s areas neat and clean, and doing the children’s laundry.

Live-in nannies provide a nurturing care environment, and strive to ensure that the children experience a fluid transition into their care as they focus on meeting the children’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs.

But live-in nannies have to do more than simply care for the children. They also have to be skilled housemates who master the idiosyncrasies that come with living in their employer’s home. Live-in nannies must work with parents to create healthy boundaries and ensure that they take time away from their work family to recharge and refresh. Since those boundaries can be easily overstepped if nannies and parents aren’t cautious, live-in nannies are at a significant risk for becoming burnt-out.

While some people believe live-in nannies are hired to provide 24 hour care seven days per week, that’s simply not the case. Like live-out nannies, live-in nannies work an average of 40 to 60 hours per week, depending on their employer’s care needs. However, since live-in nannies reside in their employer’s homes, their work hours may extend later into in the evening and require overnight or early morning care.

Nannies tend to be the highest paid caregivers, and according to the 2012 International Nanny Association Nanny Salary and Benefits Survey, full-time live-in nannies in the United States gross, on average, $652 per week.

For nannies who wish to work intimately with parents in providing attentive childcare to the family’s children, a live-in nanny job can be a rewarding experience. Unlike in daycare centers, nannies are employees of the parents for whom they work and can work closely with the parents to develop a care plan that is most suitable and beneficial to the children.

For nannies who secure free room and board in addition to earning at least minimum wage for each hour worked, and in some states also earning an overtime differential for every hour worked over 40, working as a live-in nanny can be a financially rewarding experience. Nannies should receive, at minimum, a private bedroom and bathroom and three meals per day.

Live-in nannies typically make at least a one year commitment to the families for whom they work, which means that before taking a live-in nanny job a nanny should be certain that the family is a good employment match. Nannies seeking a live-in arrangement should conduct phone, in person and working interviews with the families they are interested in pursuing employment with. In addition to considering compensation, location and living quarters, live-in nannies must ensure that their parenting styles and lifestyles are compatible with that of the parents since they will be sharing a home.

10 Interesting Live-In Nanny Trends

The nature of the in-home childcare industry has undergone significant transformation throughout the decades. Years ago only wealthy people were able to secure the services of a nanny and the nanny was considered to be a household servant rather than a valued member of the household staff, as is the case today. While there are still strides to be made for domestic workers, today’s live-in nanny is viewed as a household employee and has her own set of worker rights.

Consider these areas where changes have occurred since live-in nannies have been recognized as household employees.

  1. Worker Rights. Live-in nannies are now protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As such, they are entitled to be paid at least minimum wage for each hour worked. In some states, live-in nannies are also entitled to an overtime differential.
  2. Employee Status. Live-in nannies are no longer considered servants, and aren’t even considered independent contracts. Live-in nannies are employees of the families for whom they work.
  3. Education. The modern nanny takes on educational duties for her charges and is often viewed as one of a child’s first teachers. Live-in nannies provide educational opportunities designed to enhance their charges intellectual development.
  4. Child Development. Today’s nannies often come with a college degree in the field of child development or early childhood education. Even without a degree, most nannies have a solid understanding of child development.
  5. Certifications. Current CPR and first aid certifications are considered standard certifications for a nanny to have. Other nannies, particularly night nannies who deal with newborns, will often have received special education that incorporates newborn nursing knowledge.
  6. Mobility.  Nannies do a lot more driving today than they did years ago, and are often charged with taking children on play dates or to t-ball practice, so it is vital that a nanny be a safe driver. Often, the live-in nanny employer will provide a vehicle for the nanny to drive, as well as add her to their auto insurance policy.
  7. Monitoring. Nanny cams are common today, not just as a security device to check up on the nanny and children, but also as a way for parents to stay connected to their children during the day. With additional available applications, these devices can also serve as a way for parents, children and nannies to communicate directly with the push of a button.
  8. Specialties.  Nannies who have extensive experience working with newborns or special needs children may develop specialty skills that are useful for providing a specific type of childcare. These nannies can carve out quite a niche working in their specialty area.
  9. Gender of Caregivers. Though the nanny industry is largely female-oriented, hiring male nannies is becoming a growing trend. In 2012, the world renowned Norland College admitted its first male nanny into its degree program.
  10. Industry Organization. Nannies and nanny agencies across the country have worked to develop professional standards for the in-home childcare industry.  Organizations like the International Nanny Association and The Alliance of Premiere Nanny Agencies offer education, support and information to the public and those within the nanny industry.

While the in-home childcare industry will continue to evolve, live-in nannies can set themselves apart as professionals by providing the highest level of customized and attentive care.