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Part of the family: PACEY research provides an insight into life as a nanny

PACEY conducted research earlier this year that reveals that job satisfaction among nannies is overwhelmingly high.

Almost all (96%) of nannies surveyed find their job rewarding, and nearly three-quarters (74%) plan to still be working as a nanny in 12 months time.

The findings come at a time when the early years sector is facing a recruitment crisis. The survey of 219 nannies was conducted by PACEY to better understand the demands of working as a nanny and how the role has evolved.

The research demonstrated how highly qualified nannies are, with 81% holding an early years qualification and the vast majority of these (83%) qualified to Level 3 (EYE). In addition 71% have opted to be Ofsted-registered and 90% believe that qualifications and CPD are important for their career.

The majority of nannies PACEY spoke to have already worked in the early years for some time before choosing this career path. A high number of respondents worked as day nursery staff (46%); childminder or childminder assistant (31%); pre-school staff (22%) and teaching assistants (22%).

But despite being an evidently highly qualified workforce, out-dated perceptions of nannies appear to have created barriers to their professional status. Only a quarter (25%) of nannies felt families viewed them as professionals.

15% felt they are regarded as simply babysitters, while 39% said they were treated more like a family member.

Unsurprisingly, nearly seven out of 10 respondents (68%) want increased recognition of their professionalism and equality with other early years settings.

Paperwork and red tape are the main reasons that early years professionals are choosing to become a nanny over other careers in childcare. 60% cited this, while 52% said the pay and conditions as a nanny were better and 43% said work life balance was more favourable.

But the role as a modern day Mary Poppins apparently isn’t all about looking after little people. In fact only around one in ten (11%) actually spend all of their time with children. 57% spend three quarters of their time, while 26% only spend half. The nanny role is varied, in fact the top five tasks they are expected to carry out are:

  1. Preparing food for the children

  2. Tidying

  3. Organising activities and outings for the children

  4. School pick up and drop offs

  5. Laundry

Regardless of the day to day activities; there are financial rewards with 46% having received a pay rise in the last year and 28% in the last six months.

Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive comments: “This survey has given PACEY a really valuable insight into a growing proportion of our membership base. Given the pressure that the early years sector is under, and with a recruitment crisis being played out, it is encouraging to hear how rewarding a role as a nanny can be. It is evident that more needs to be done to showcase the breadth of the nanny role. There are a large number of highly qualified childcare professionals who have chosen a career as a nanny but are still incorrectly viewed as babysitters, and that needs to change.”

Read our blog on a day in the life of a nanny.