Tag Archives: nanny

Guest Post: The case for male nannies

Guest writer Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time she likes reading about education, and children’s welfare, as well as visiting sports events.

If you would like to contribute a guest post please send me a message!

Ask anyone: would you hire a male nanny?

(Stereo)typically, you might get two completely opposing responses: “Why not?”, or “No way”.

A mother asked this question on a forum- because her search to find her son a part-time “manny” position during the summer break was quite futile. She got a lot of emails, and while the discussion is really interesting, it came down to some common responses:

  1. Yes, I have an older active boy, and a male caregiver would be a perfect fit
  2. No, I have daughters, and I’m terrified of sexual predator

This is sexism at play. Women (and men) openly wonder why a man would want to deal with kids at all. It’s all rooted in a stereotype: men don’t belong near children and they don’t know how to handle them.

So, what are we teaching our kids?

“It’s a shame really, because how are we supposed to nurture our boys into being good fathers when the world is telling them they shouldn’t be near children?” one mom asked.

By the way, do you know that women show greater distrust towards male nurses or male beauticians, and also female pilots, mechanics, surgeons or bus drivers?

What Male Nannies can offer

  1. According to some theories of child development, children 3 to 6 years old go through a phase where they identify with people who they perceive share their gender. This would explain a rising demand for male nannies for preschool aged boys.
  2. Kids need role models of all genders, both boys and girls. There are often families where kids don’t have all these role models in the home and a nanny can provide another role model, of another gender.
  3. In some cases a male nanny will be more physically inclined in their play than a female nanny and may be better suited to children who prefer robust, physical games.

People who have hired male nannies report how their kids loved spending time with them as much as with their female nannies. It’s not gender-related, since the men who choose to nanny are, of course, also nurturing and caring.

Double-check

Safety is of utmost importance, no one wants to risk anything with either female or male caregivers. Instead, opt for agencies, such as this British governess agency, they go the extra mile to check their candidates.

You can stop expecting something terrible to happen- do the research and background check for ANY person that will come near your children.

It’s important to stay open-minded. Not all people fall into categories. Confirmation bias is strong, I know, but try to see the bigger picture.

If your child prefers or needs male energy, there are knowledgeable, qualified male caregivers out there who won’t turn your house and kids into a mess. Kids might as well enjoy them!

Qualities and qualifications

Anyway, what does a nanny do? A wide variety of tasks, including, but not limited to preparing meals, cleaning the house, carpooling, entertaining children, and of course, caring for infants and teaching them basic skills.

They have to love working with children of all ages, show integrity, be loving and caring, nurturing, warm and cheerful. But also alert and assertive. Attuned to their own emotions, and naturally open.

If you happen to have all these qualities as a person, and also have some qualifications and references, it really shouldn’t matter if they are a male or a female.

Nannies should just be good at what they do and kids have to love them. It’s that simple.

The bias is so strong that “mannies” have to prove themselves a lot more. And oftentimes, they are paid less.

They may be a minority, but a lot of them have a tutoring background or have a college qualification. As the owner of the Manny agency said: “They know how to have fun, and how to discipline when needed.”

He adds: “It feels strange writing the ways in which a male nanny can help a household, I didn’t even bother to add that a male can clean or that they know their way around a kitchen because it just seems insulting to everyone involved and should be a given”

Raise awareness

It’s important to discuss this issue of “cultural uneasiness” and raise awareness. We cannot act out of fear. We have to make informed decisions.

Men have the equal right to belong in childcare, it’s not exclusively a woman’s job. If men are fixed to macho jobs, we may conclude that women should be fixed to “feminine” jobs. And that is not something we want either!

As this brilliant article concludes: “For my part, I know I can’t control what my son thinks, but I can change what he sees, and I want him to see a world in which, yes, women and men can both hold high-paying executive jobs. But they can both teach preschool and babysit him, too. [Male babysitters] are awesome.”

  • Opt for a person who meets your child’s needs and fits your lifestyle, not for gender.
  • Don’t question whether a man is capable of loving and caring for an infant/ child, especially those that choose this to be their calling.
  • This is almost 2020. The reason this myth is still alive is not because it’s true, but because only a few people dare to question it.

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Filed under General, Guest Post, Thoughtful

What is the difference between a nanny and a babysitter?

I feel frustrated if someone says I work as a babysitter or au pair. I used to, when I was a teenager. But now I have 2 university degrees, over 15 years experience in my industry, and a focused and specific knowledge about the care, education and development of young children. Surely it’s obvious that a job a teenager can do is not the same thing an educated professional does?

A child and her nanny

But it’s not obvious to many, causing confusion amongst both parents and carers. In-home private childcare is still a largely emergent market in Australia. Though countries like England have had nannies as well as babysitters for long enough to develop a clear sense of the different care they provide, in Australia we are still learning about how to best utilise all the options available for private childcare.

As with any industry, not knowing exactly what you want from an employee can lead to dissatisfaction all round. Parents can end up feeling unsure about what they can ask of their carers or what their responsibilities as employees are, and carers may feel conflicted about their role and what is expected from them.

If you want to hire someone to care for your children or want to work in the private childcare industry, arming yourself with the knowledge to find the right fit between family and carer should be your first step.

Click here to read my article,

‘What’s in a name?’

for simple and clear definitions of a babysitter, an au pair, a mother’s help, and a nanny.

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Check back at Babysitter Search for my monthly contributions to their blog, as well as other great articles and tips.

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3 Comments

Filed under Around the Web, General, Tips and tricks

#1. Top 10 things you don’t need for your baby.

mayan changing table

I’ve worked in lots of homes with lots of babies. Different families have different styles, both in the way they run their home and in the way they approach parenting. I’ve used these stints amongst varied parenting and household styles to experiment with and explore which of the thousands of possible baby accessories are most commonly used and which are the most necessary and useful. It’s not the same list.

#1 Thing you think you need but don’t:
Change Table.

Plenty of seasoned parents will tell you they’re an unnecessary expense. It’s not just me. You can change a baby on the floor, on the bed, on top of a chest of drawers. As time goes on you’ll find yourself changing them in the backseat of the car, on the kitchen table, and as they get older while they try to run away. All you need for these changes is, at best, a change mat with raised edges, and at least, a soft but firm surface. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Baby Product Advice, General, Tips and tricks