How to become an au pair or nanny

Learn what it takes to become a professional nanny or au-pair for affluent families living abroad, while earning up to $100,000 per year. Where to find jobs, required qualifications and more.

Do you want to change your job this year? Maybe find one that lets you travel more? Do you enjoy working with children?

If you can do all of the above, make a lot of money in the process. Welcome to the world of VIP Nannies and Au-Pairs.

In this guide I will be a VIP tutor, au-pair or Nanny jobAnd – in the process – why you want to work in this industry (or maybe not).

Nanny Job Guide for 2024

Babysitting for the Rich: VIP Au-Pair

If you’re still not convinced this whole thing is possible, go to Google and do a quick search for ‘VIP nanny agency’, or check out salaries for nanny, governess and tutor jobs.

You will find that a salary of £1000 or $1400 per week is quite common for a full-time position.

But, if you want to reach the coveted 6-figure bracket of English teaching, tutoring, and nannying jobs, you’ll need to do a little extra research on specific positions, and understand exactly what the work entails.

Nanny, Au Pair, Governess, Tutor

All these terms describe the same role. Paying to look after other people’s children while living (and travelling) with the family. These jobs are for both women and men.

The highest paying jobs for UHNW (Ultra High Net Worth) families are typically tutoring or nannying children in private, overseas positions. It is a very simple concept.

Wealthy families understand that English is a valuable language for their children to learn.

They know their children will have better opportunities to study or work abroad or be more comfortable traveling if they speak English well.

For families who do not have English as their first language, but DO have the financial resources to pay for higher-education, A private tutor or nanny from the United StatesCanada, or the United Kingdom is often the answer.

A local English nanny or tutor working with their children 40-50 hours a week can give these VIP kids a kind of immersive experience that makes them fluent quickly, and eventually they grow up speaking English with a clean accent, like a native. .

For many wealthy families abroad, this is a very prestigious matter.

The Life of a Professional Nanny

Work as a nanny overseas

A day-to-day experience for a nanny involves getting up in the morning to take charge (or charges), wash, dress, feed breakfast and go to kindergarten or nursery, then perhaps take a break.

In the afternoon maybe a walk, sports, a short trip and then in the evening to get the baby ready for bed.

A tutor (or ‘governor’) can focus more on after-school sports, games, homework support and reading, while speaking English at all times. And, of course, tagging along on all family vacations.

The benefits of this type of work include the obvious great pay (full time work usually starts at least £1000 or $1400 per week), worldwide travel to luxury resorts (Maldives, South of France and Dubai are popular choices for this type of wealthy family). And the occasional bonus too. Sounds pretty good, right?

Where do rich families live?

This is actually very easy to answer. The highest paying positions for tutors and nannies working for VIP international families are usually:

  • Russia (mostly Moscow and St. Petersburg)
  • UAE (includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi)
  • South of France (Monaco and surrounding areas).

Naturally, this list is not complete. Although the areas listed above are the most common, more specific locations will include locations London Or New York (international families who have moved there but have not yet acquired native-level English), Paris, Lagos, and more.

Most major international cities will have some sort of market for VIP nannying or tutoring, it’s just a question of looking in the right places.

The bottom line is; Almost all of these types of positions involve travel and relocation. If you want a job like this make sure you are really ready to do an overseas contract and prepare yourself accordingly.

Okay, so you love travel and adventure and you love working with kids. What is the next step?

Qualifications and relevant experience

It’s important to be realistic here – you’re unlikely to get a wealthy VIP employer to pay you $100,000 a year to work with your family if you have zero experience or qualifications.

Time to go and get some! Qualifications for a nanny or teacher will vary. A nanny applicant ideally has a degree in early years, early childhood education or similar to earn a higher-level salary.

However, it is possible to do shorter nannying courses and certificates. a CACHE certificate UK-based nannies would be a good start, but there are a wide variety of options – go to Google to find a nanny course near you.

You will ideally also undergo some sort of background check (many agencies will ask for this) and a first aid certificate would also be helpful.

For tutors, two years of teaching English to your target age group, as well as a TEFL, TOEFL or CELTA certificate is usually sufficient. You can take these courses in school or online. A degree in education, languages ​​or early childhood education would be preferable.

A full education qualification will allow you to maximize your salary potential.

You will also need to show at least two years of work experience. Better in the long run; A year or more in a stable position shows families or employers that you are reliable and committed and a good fit for their family.

Families don’t want a nanny or tutor who quits after a month or two, unless they specialize in summer placements.

You’ll need references from previous employers (not necessarily VIP), so check you have someone ready to speak to the agency or potential new boss.

As a general rule of thumb, the better your qualifications and experience, the better chance you have of finding a VIP nanny or tutor position.

Prepare an exceptional resume/CV

The first thing to put on your CV is your qualifications and experience (as above). Family employers will also usually prefer a photo to ‘visualise’ how you might fit into their life, so smile in your CV photo and wear something smart and sensible, clean and professional.

Your CV should include some personal information about yourself (but keep it professional, this is not the place for sentimental childhood memories) and information about any extracurricular skills you have.

The highest paid nannies and tutors usually have musical or sporting ability or the ability to speak a second or third language on top of English. Anything you can think of here (piano, yoga, chess, Spanish) that you could theoretically teach a child is a bonus.

When it’s all put together, your CV should be a maximum of 2 pages (no longer, cut out information that isn’t relevant). Write a cover letter email introducing yourself, add some photos of you working (or just spending time) with children, attach your CV, copies of your qualification certificates and your references and your application ‘package’.

Where to find great nanny jobs

Where to Find Nanny Jobs

Now that you’ve prepared your application package, you need to start shopping for the right positions.

As always, the Internet is a great place to start. Both job sites and agencies can be your friends here. Job sites like Jobs in childcare VIP agencies hold various positions.

Alternatively, go to Google and use search terms like ‘VIP nanny jobs’ or ‘VIP tutoring’ to access individual agencies. Your best bet is to upload your CV and documents to job sites or email them as a package to individual agencies.

Browse around job sites and agencies, finding out what kind of terms are on offer. Look at the schedule, responsibilities, and pay attention to the charge’s age and work requirements and see if you can find a position that particularly peaks your interest.

What are the downsides?

We talked about ‘quality’ above; This is probably a good moment to mention the dreaded ‘con’. Working with family can go either way. You have a fantastic employer or a terrible one.

Rip it up:

a) You are comfortable and confident that this is a real job (99% chance of it, but just in case). Talk to real people during the process, and do as much background research on the agency/position as you can.

b) Be prepared for the possibility that people where you are going may not speak good English, a different culture, homesickness.

c) You are aware of the possibility that the children you nanny or tutor may misbehave, behave badly or be generally unpleasant.

These are possibilities you need to be aware of, but that doesn’t mean working for family is a bad idea. Conversely, a good employer with well-raised children can lead to a happy working life that pays you fantastically, and I know many people in this situation.

It’s important to be aware of potential pitfalls, approach this type of work with an open mind, and be prepared to back off if the situation isn’t what you expect. If your interview goes well, try and lock in a fixed tryout to give you time to figure out if the position is right for you.

Interview process

If an agency or employer likes your profile, a professional interview is the next step. Your job interview will be either in person (if local) or (more likely post-Covid) on Skype, Zoom or a similar video-conferencing platform.

Make sure you are on time! It is highly unprofessional of me to be late for your interview, so don’t make this basic mistake.

You also need to be well dressed and properly prepared. Make sure your WiFi connection is good and make sure no one is interrupting you on the phone or in person. Have discreet lighting and keep a pen and paper nearby to make notes.

If your interview is for a specific position (rather than a typical ‘welcome to our agency’ interview), think about questions you might want to ask to show some genuine interest in the role).Oh, and remember to smile!

Nanny trial period

So if you’ve put together a good CV and successfully landed an interview, it’s time for the final step – a trial period.

If you are a local you will usually make your own way there. If it’s a long way (or overseas) a good employer will usually arrange this and pay for it for you along with any visas you need.

The trial period must always be paid; Discuss this with the person you work with. Key tips for your trial will include:

a) Do not be late under any circumstances! Better to get there 15 minutes early and book.

b) Be prepared – take books and games appropriate for your charge or student’s level, as well as outer clothing for yourself if you find yourself outdoors.

c) Dress appropriately, stay clean, don’t wear too much perfume or aftershave and – again – smile!

At the end of your first day, ask your employer for feedback if you get the chance. Remember that the trial is as much for you as it is for the employer to see if you are comfortable. So if you don’t like the position, don’t sign up for it – others will!

And if you are offered a job, make sure the agency you work with provides you with a contract and that the terms are clear and concise, especially with regard to pay, schedules, working hours and holiday conditions.

Good luck!

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