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      Top 5 Things to Know About Working in a Private Household


      December, 2018

      Perhaps you’ve come across some of our job vacancies and wondered what working for a high profile family entails and whether you’d be suited to it. Working as a nanny, governess or tutor for a private household is a unique experience, comparable to no other. Successful candidates can expect to have their perspectives broadened through experiencing a very different type of reality.

      Whilst the customs and expectations of each private household differ somewhat, there are some key cues to jot down in your nanny notebook ahead of starting a new position.


      This will alter based on the family you are placed with and the culture and country in which you are working. You may be placed with Royal Family in the Middle East or a celebrity family in L.A. Before arriving with your family do your research on cultural traditions and expectations and also reach out to one of our team members with any questions to ensure that you feel well prepared for your start date.

      Appearance, hygiene and conduct

      Some employers may prefer that you don’t wear make-up or use hairspray. The same goes for nail varnish and extensions. It’s important to ensure that you are well groomed and dress both appropriately and practically for your day to day duties. It is vital to maintain an attitude of grace and poise at all times whilst on duty despite any challenging circumstances. A key point to be mindful of is taking off your shoes upon entering the family home. Many high profile families prefer you to leave your shoes at the door.

      When to be seen… and when not to

      This may sound like a strange one but working in a private VIP household will require you to use your intuition and discretion in knowing when to be seen and heard and when to fade into the background.  This may feel awkward at first but you’ll get used to it, promise! An unavoidable truth of the job is that there’ll be times when you feel majorly like a spare part.  Often you’ll be required to be present ‘just in case’ you’re needed.  I found humour to be the best way to tackle these ‘feeling like a gooseberry’ moments.Seek out opportunities to offer your time and kindness to projects and initiatives in your local area. This could be getting involved with the village festival or assisting with a charity event. This is a wonderful opportunity to do something meaningful and positive as a family.

      Meeting your ‘colleagues’

      High profile families usually have an extensive team of people working for them, including security, housekeepers, drivers, cooks etc. You may be working on a rota system with another nanny who teaches the children other languages. It is important to build good working relationships with your colleagues to create and maintain an environment which feels enjoyable and comfortable to not only work in, but thrive in.

      Be travel ready

      As a nanny for a high profile family it’s wise to be travel ready at all times as schedules can change at the drop of a hat. You may start the week on the outskirts of Moscow and by Wednesday you are landing in the Maldives. Being flexible and adaptable to new environments is a crucial part of being a high profile nanny. It’s your job to be best prepared for any eventuality and in being so allowing the children in your care to feel comfortable with change.

      We hope that this blog post has given you an informed insight into the behind the scenes workings of a private household and what you could expect if you were to pursue a career with Great British Nannies. Stay tuned for more of the same.

      If you would like to find out more please get in touch, we love to hear from you!

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