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.
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.
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.