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Nannies care for children as employees in private households. They usually care for one or more children usually in the child's home. This may include feeding, washing,Future Growth Very Strong dressing, supervising learning activities and play, planning and supervising activities and outings, taking children to school, preparing meals and snacks, doing light laundry and housework, and applying first aid if required. In many cases the nanny will have sole responsibility for the children and will be required to communicate with the parents on various aspects of their care.

ANZSCO description: 421113: Assists parents in the provision of ongoing care and supervision for babies and children, usually in the child's home.

Alternative names: Aupair, Family Carer,


  • Governess: A governess supervises and tutors children (including school-age children) in educational programmes within private households. These positions are usually in remote locations.

  • Mother's Helper: A mother's helper assists new mothers with the additional work involved with the arrival of a new baby. They also care for other children, clean and cook meals.

Emily Smith has enjoyed her time as a governess to the three Bell children in remote NSW.
Governesses continue to play an integral role in educating more than 3,200 Australian isolated children.
(Source: ABC News)


Knowledge, skills and attributes

A Nanny needs:

  • to be able to work with children of different ages

  • patience and maturity

  • to be well organised

  • good communication skills

  • to be flexible, reliable and resourceful

  • to be able to work unsupervised


Nanny with child
(Source: The Australian)

Duties & Tasks

Nannies may perform the following tasks:

  • care for babies or young children by feeding, washing and dressing them, as well as by supervising their play and learning activities

  • plan creative play and learning activities and organise meal and sleep times

  • develop and/or maintain appropriate routines

  • communicate with parents to ensure that their preferences regarding child care are maintained

  • safeguard children against potential dangers, such as swimming pools, kitchen utensils, poisons and stairs

  • take children to school, kindergarten and other activities

  • plan and prepare nutritious snacks and meals for children and possibly the family

  • care for and maintain children's belongings, bedrooms and play areas

  • take sole charge of children for extended periods while parents are absent from home

  • arrange and supervise outings

  • apply first aid and take appropriate action in cases of accident or emergency

  • perform light housekeeping duties when applicable, such as laundry or meal preparation.


Working conditions

Nannies who are employed full-time may be required to live in their employer's home and work evenings and week-ends. Depending on the number and ages of the children, the work can be demanding and stressful.

Tools and technologies

With the increase in technology for entertainment (computers, play stations etc.) nannies may need to be aware of these and supervise their use by children.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a nanny without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in early childhood education and care or school age education and care.

The Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and the Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisation throughout Australia.


Did You Know?

The Federal Government estimates there are 30,000 nannies caring for children in Australian homes, excluding au pairs.

(Source: ABC News)

Nanny with children
(Source: The Australian)







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