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IF YOU are interested in helping children develop, and you can create trusting relationships with parents and youngsters, a job as a nanny could be ideal for you.

Nannies work in private homes caring for their employers’ children. They are responsible for all aspects of childcare.

However, their duties will vary depending on the number and ages of the children in their care.

In this job you will need to be creative, to organise interesting activities for the children. You will also need patience, tolerance and a sense of humour.

You may be able to start work as a nanny without any qualifications. However, many employers and employment agencies will prefer you to have a childcare qualification.

A s a nanny, you would often look after babies and very young children, and your duties would include: dressing, feeding, bathing and changing nappies.

When working with older children, you would be involved in teaching basic social, reading and writing skills. You would also take children on outings and keep them entertained through play.

You could work as a maternity nanny, helping families care for newborn babies. This would usually be for a short period, during the first few weeks of a baby’s life.

In a private household, your hours could be longer than a standard working week. You might live with your employer and their family. However, there are opportunities for day-only positions.

Full-time nannies can earn between £12,000 and £18,500 a year. With experience, this could reach £28,000, depending on various factors.

Salaries will vary depending on geographical location, qualifications, and whether or not the nanny is employed directly by a family or through an agency.

There is a Children and Young People’s Workforce Certificate and Diploma, at levels 2 and 3. Many courses include a placement, but where this is not the case it will be helpful for you to gain some experience, for example as a volunteer working with children.

Course-entry requirements will vary, so you need to check with individual colleges for details.

You could increase your chances of getting paid work as a nanny if you have a Certificate in First Aid For Those Caring For Children, or Paediatric First Aid.

The Early Years and Playwork Qualifications Database website gives you further details of courses recognised by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) as meeting the national occupational standards for under-eight day care.

You can find job opportunities throughout the UK and overseas. Vacancies are advertised through agencies, as well as in the national and local Press.

As a qualified and experienced nanny, you may be able to move into childminding or nursery nursing. With additional training, you could go on to become a children’s nurse.