Types of Nanny Job

A professional nanny is a man (often called a manny) or woman who cares for children in the child's home. Qualifications are not required to take up a job as ac nanny however we believe professional nannies should have training in childcare or experience gained as a mother's help or junior nanny, a first aid certificate, a DBS check and nanny insurance.

Sole charge nanny

A sole charge nanny works alone, usually while the parents are out at work, and has full control over their charge's day. When in sole charge a nanny usually expects to be the one making decisions when on duty, even if the parents are on the premises i.e. working from home.

Shared care nanny

A shared charge nanny works alongside the parents, or more rarely another nanny or governess. They may not have the final say over activities but step in as and when necessary to keep the children occupied or to undertake specific tasks.

Live in nanny

A live in nanny has accommodation provided for them, usually as part of the family home but this may occasionally be separate accommodation. This should be a private bedroom as a minimum, and a live in nanny does not have to leave at weekends. Live in nannies may be exempt from National Minimum Wage legislation is they live as part of the family and join in chores and leisure activities. They are not exempt if their accommodation is self-contained (has a separate entrance) or if they have to leave when not on duty.

Live out nanny

A live out nanny commutes to work and provides their own accommodation. This is the most common type of nanny job.

Nanny share

A nanny share is when a nanny works for two families at the same time, caring for the children together. Caring for three or more families is not possible as a nanny, it requires registration as a childminder. In a nanny share the families usually have an agreement with each other and a salary is negotiated for the care for both families rather than with each family.

NB some payroll companies may define working for two or more families in a week as a nanny share. If the children are not cared for together this is simply having two or more part-time jobs.

Junior Nanny

Not to be confused with an au pair (a foreign national who lives with a family to learn the English language and experience British culture, receiving pocket money in return for help with childcare and household chores), a junior nanny is an unqualified or inexperienced nanny who may start with a shared charge role. Pay for junior nanny positions is often well below what an experienced, professional nanny would earn but must be at least minimum wage for live out jobs and more than an au pair for live in jobs. Unlike au pairs, junior nannies can have sole charge of preschool aged children for extended periods if the parents feel they are competent.

Mother's Help (also Father's Help, Parents' Help)

This is a type of shared care role with some sole charge, assisting the parents with childcare and the running of the house in general. Whereas a nanny will only deal with the children and jobs related to the children, a mother's help may take on more household duties, run errands or cook for the whole family. Traditionally these jobs were with larger families where parents needed an extra pair of hands and were taken by teenagers hoping to build a career as a nanny. These jobs can provide valuable experience, particularly with young babies, but will often pay less than a professional nanny job. Recently there has been a rise in mature mother's helps, or surrogate grannies, who may be paid at a higher rate to reflect their experience but are happy to pitch in with both the children and the house.


A nanny/PA takes on administrative and other tasks for the parents or older children as well as fulfilling a traditional nanny role. This is most common where the parents are high profile or run their own business and only require part-time care, or want their nanny to be able to run errands while looking after the children.


A nanny/housekeeper (also known as a nanny/household manager) takes on additional cleaning, laundry and/or cooking tasks in addition to nanny duties. Some employers expect the nanny to undertake household tasks while looking after the children, others offer the household duties as additional hours while the nanny's charges are at school or nursery.


A Governess is usually a degree qualified nanny or teacher who focuses on the children's education, whether academic or social, not their day to day care. They may have specific additional skills such as music or languages, or be able to home school their charges.

Temporary nanny

A temporary nanny works on a short term basis with many different families, covering situations such as childcare emergencies, a permanent nanny's sick, maternity or holiday leave, parental illness incapacity or increased workload, or to provide ad hoc childcare cover.