4 Tips for Being a Parent-Pleasing College Nanny

By Kailey Walters on July 17, 2017

If you’re searching for a job once school starts up again, you might consider becoming a college nanny. There are a variety of reasons why being a nanny for little kids is a good fit for many college students — but while you may think it’s an easy job, it’s also important to keep in mind the expectations that parents have when you’re looking after their children.

When you put yourself out there as a potential nanny, make sure to consider the following tips and thoughts that parents will most likely have about their child’s new, part-time caretaker.

A flexible schedule

Being a nanny is not like having a regular job with a set schedule of working hours. Parents may need someone to watch their children at varying hours of different days throughout the week.

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For some college students, having a flexible schedule may be a little difficult with all of the classes, extracurriculars, studying, and homework to be done. However, it’s certainly not impossible. You may be able to schedule your classes at a certain time of day, perhaps at night, to make yourself available if you are needed in the mornings or afternoons. Also, you may have opportunities to get homework and studying done on the job if you have down time and the parents are alright with that.

Your level of maturity and responsibility

Generally, compared to high school students, college students are more mature and responsible. When parents set certain guidelines, they are looking for someone who will follow their rules without fail.

As you’ll be entrusted to look after their children, you’ll definitely want to leave a good impression on the parents by always arriving on time, treating the kids kindly and appropriately, and complying with any other specific rules they may establish. Doing so will further prove that you are a good fit for the position and leave parents with a sense of security, knowing that their children are in capable, responsible hands.

Your prior experience with kids

Naturally, parents are bound to lean more towards students who have had experience taking care of, or at least being around, kids than those who haven’t.

If you have worked with kids before, perhaps as a summer camp counselor, lifeguard, or even an assistant teacher of some sort, that experience gives you a leg up. While you may not yet be a parent yourself, you’ll be able to show that you know how to work with kids and act appropriately around them.

In that vein, parents won’t have to worry about you doing or saying anything inappropriate in front of their children. They’ll also be assured that you know how to be patient and keep your cool in trying situations, as children can often be unpredictable and sometimes act out. And, if ever an emergency were to occur, you should have a good idea of how to handle it while keeping the kids safe.

Your ability to be a mentor and a role model

This isn’t necessarily a requirement of a nanny, although it’s certainly a valuable quality that will have a lasting impact on the child and on you as well.

In any case, parents will certainly look for someone who can make their children feel comfortable and who can connect with them. Knowing that you’re a college student, parents expect that you put school first — and probably hope that you can set a good example for their kids by being academically motivated.

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Seeing as you’ll be looking after and spending so much time with the kids, you’ll need to establish a good, trustworthy relationship with them. Of course, that type of relationship takes both time and effort — you can’t realistically expect to earn your young charge’s trust as soon as you walk through the front door.

To kindle that relationship, engage in conversation with the children and get to know them a little bit — ask about their interests, what’s going on in school, etc. You can also tell them about yourself and what your goals and aspirations are. You never know; they may come to see you as an inspiration because of what you’re studying in college, or perhaps they could be influenced by your work ethic and attitude towards your passions.

As long as you treat them with respect and care, the kids will most likely come to see you as a confidante as well. You can rest assured that they’re comfortable around you and view you as an older friend or mentor, and not as some stuffy, overbearing babysitter. Earning the children’s trust in this way is definitely one of the most valuable and rewarding aspects of being a nanny.

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