What a day looks like for the most requested nannies


  • Norland College has been training nannies for almost 130 years.
  • These days nannies are trained in everything from safety to emotional regulation.
  • Here’s what the life of a Norland nanny is like and their favorite babysitting tips.

Liam Willett’s workday begins at 7.45am, when he wakes the boys up and gives them breakfast. Then, off to school for the 4-year-old and the park for the 2-year-old. Later, while the little one is napping, Willett takes care of the ironing, dinner preparation and organization, before getting on an electric cargo bike for school pickup. Then it’s recess, followed by dinner, when Willett talks to the boys about their day.

Although his routine resembles that of a stay-at-home parent, Willett isn’t the boys’ father, he’s their nanny.

Willett, who works with a London family, is one of the first men to graduate from Norland College, a prestigious British school that has been training elite nannies since 1892.

Norland nannies, or Norlanders, are renowned for their skills. Nannies take a three-year academic course covering everything from self-defense to nutrition.

In their fourth year, they work full time as a paid nanny, with support from the school. After graduation, Norland nannies are placed with rich and famous families, with a starting salary of around $ 53,000 plus living expenses.

The life of nanny Norland

The nanny’s role varies depending on the needs of the family she works with, says Julia Gaskell, 57, a former Norland nanny who now works as the head of the board, agency, alumni and alumni. school training.

Some nannies, like Willett, work closely with a family during office hours. Others provide 24-hour child care for children of parents who have to travel to work. And others help parents for the first six weeks to three months after bringing their babies home.

“You need to have sufficient income to be able to employ a Norland nanny,” Gaskell told Insider. However, some families with three or more preschoolers find that nannies aren’t much more expensive than child care costs, she said.

Each year, around 100 nannies graduate from Norland, but the demand for their services far exceeds the supply of nannies: there are 11 vacancies for every nanny trained in Norland, according to the school.

Norland is growing, in particular to focus on recruiting potential nannies from under-represented backgrounds. In 2019, the school graduated its first two male nannies, including Willett, and this year it introduced a gender-neutral uniform option.

Work as a team with parents

Willett often finds himself troubleshooting with the parents of the boys he feeds. He has been in his position for two years and he feels comfortable giving advice to parents and following theirs.

“Parents and I have formed a brilliant working relationship that values ​​the skills we all bring to the table,” he said. “Communication is, in essence, the basis on which the relationship between parents and nanny is formed.”

Willet, one of the first male nannies to graduate from Norland College

Liam Willett was one of the first men to graduate from Norland College.

Courtesy of Norland College


Training put to the test

Willett said of his extensive training that the course that benefited him the most was emotional coaching, an evidence-based approach to dealing with a child’s emotions when they are feeling overwhelmed.

“Using emotional coaching techniques to make sure a child knows they are supported, loved, understood and respected while explaining that not all behaviors are okay is a proven approach,” he said. .

Recently, her older brother has become a bit rowdy at school. When the professor told Willett about it, he was able to talk to the boy about it. The child was no longer misbehaved, he said.

Misconceptions about the nanny

Gaskell bristles at the misconception that nannies are servants. Norland nannies are highly skilled professionals, she says. Often, they form close bonds with the children they supervise; this is reflected in Norland’s motto “Love Never Fails”.

Willett says that although Norland’s nannies have a consistent training, each brings a slightly different presence to the family they work with.

“Each nanny is an individual and has their own unique set of skills, values ​​and interests. It is important that these skills and values ​​closely match those of the family to ensure chemistry and the best match in the long run.” , did he declare.

Willett says families who are considering hiring a nanny should think about their core values ​​and look for a nanny who shares them.

Advice from a Norland nanny

Here are Willett and Gaskell’s top tips for parents:

  • Set clear expectations for behavior. “It’s important not to try to ‘control’ their behavior by constantly being on top of them because it’s both exhausting and ineffective,” Willett said. “On the contrary, I have invested a lot of time and effort in making sure the boys are able to effectively manage their behavior on their own.”
  • Have high expectations. “When you ask a child to do something, trust them and expect them to do it,” Gaskell said.
  • Know how to defuse. “If a kid screams, whisper and they’ll calm down so they can hear you,” Gaskell said.
  • Ignore certain behaviors. “Always try to ignore negative behavior whenever possible,” Gaskell said.


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