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January, 2015 | Sleeping Angels Co.


Traditional vs. Modern Nannies

The concept of keeping nanny dates back to 19th century where the role was restricted to providing a nursery of children or being a full-time employed service provider to a single family. The nursery comprised of several rooms with children from different families taken care by a nurse or group of them. However, in the more prestigious and elite class families, nannies were employed (mostly verbally) on a full-time basis by these families to specifically take care of all children. This arrangement often meant that more than one generation of children of a particular family was brought up by a single nanny. However, the role of nanny today is much flexible and diverse due to change in cultures, preferences and other social and demographic factors.

Traditional Nannies:

The idea of keeping a full-time nanny, often called a ‘live in nanny’ is fading fast as not many families wish to keep a 24 hours nanny in their home, as was the case many years ago. A ‘live in nanny’ often demanded a separate apartment and a car to perform all the duties which usually included washing clothes, making up the room, prepare children meals and acting as a pick-and-drop- facility for children to and from school and other places.

The relation of these nannies with the households was majorly based on trust and experience of the nanny in providing care for children. Once a nanny was employed by a particular family, she was to be with that family probably for the rest of the life. There was no concept of performing a background & education check and reviewing the credentials of the nanny to ensure that the service provider is registered and qualified. With the passage of time, nannies used to become an integral part of the family and were given equal respect and consideration like other family members.

Modern Nannies:

So what are modern nannies and why are they better than the traditional ones? Unlike in the past, nannies now can work only for few hours a day, providing a ‘back-up’ service to parents when none of them is available to take care of their child. The role can also take the form of being a ‘maternity nurse’ and a ‘night nanny’ where the former works with newborns and the latter work for few nights per each week until the child is, say, 5 years old.

Therefore, parents need to be absolutely sure that the modern nanny meets all the modern criteria before being asked to provide service to the love of their life. Among other things, a nanny must:

  • Be an educated person
  • Be a Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and First-Aid Certified
  • Be Experienced in Sleep Training
  • Have a clean background record
  • Possess excellent past / current references
  • Good social media presence and knowledge
  • Excel in the first language of child

It is highly recommended that families, who wish to hire a service of nanny, under whatever arrangement, should assure themselves that they get the service of professionally qualified and an experienced nanny who will provide the children with the best of service, care and attention possible.

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Qualities To Look For In A Nanny

Hiring a nanny can be an intensely stressful experience—no matter how many background checks and interviews you perform, it is hard to shake the feeling that you are essentially leaving your child with a stranger. However, this process can be made much simpler if you set out with an idea of the types of qualifications, experience, and other requirements that you feel are necessary benchmarks for any worthy candidate.


  • Degrees or certification in fields related to child-rearing, such as child development, early education, general child care, and the like.
  • First aid training:
  • Babysitter training (This can be taken with the Red Cross)
  • Advanced Child Care Training (This can also be taken with the Red Cross)
  • RIE training. The RIE method emphasizes respect for babies, their emotions, and experiences and facilitates better communication between caregiver and child.
  • Though not a necessity, proficiency in an activity in which your children are interested is always a bonus. If your child enjoys playing the piano or playing soccer, or is an avid artist or reader, finding a nanny that shares these interests will heighten the affinity between child and caregiver and give your offspring a practice partner.


It is important to remember that if you want a younger nanny, such as a woman in her early twenties, it is unlikely that she will have the kind of experience an older individual. For younger candidates, look for extensive babysitting experience, with clients who will offer references, or work in a daycare or childcare facility. Having or working toward a degree that has some bearing on child-rearing is always a plus. Older candidates should have a little bit more experience under their belt—perhaps previous nanny experience, cleaning rugs, extensive outside training, and years of work history in childcare-related fields.

Miscellaneous Requirements

Obviously, your nanny should be able to pass a background check, have a clean driving record, and be able to pass a drug test. Other than that, there are several personality traits that may make one candidate more desirable than another:

  • Negotiable
  • Sensitive
  • Playful
  • Active
  • Responsible
  • Honest
  • Patient
  • Authoritative
  • Similar interests
  • Bilingual, if this is something in which you are interested. Learning a second language early on in life has been shown to be beneficial later.
  • Creative
  • Funny
  • Practical

Finding Candidates

If you are having trouble finding worthy candidates, consider engaging the help of an agency, like Sleeping Angels, that will connect you to experienced, talented individuals.

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