The Requirements For This Nanny Job Are So Insane That Most Superheroes Couldn't Fill It
I have the greatest respect for nannies. As someone who isn’t that great with kids, I am constantly in awe of those who can — and willingly — entertain wee ones for hours on end. However, I’m not sure even the best nannies I know would be suited for this now-viral nanny job, because the listing for it features requirements that I wouldn’t expect actual superheroes to have, let alone mere mortals. I’ll be honest: Between this job and the ghost nanny job, I would take the ghost nanny job, no question. At least I feel somewhat prepared for that one, thanks to every book and story I’ve ever read about nannies nannying in haunted houses.
Like the ghost nanny job, this one was originally posted to Childcare.co.uk, a site that connects nannies in search of employment with families in need of nannying services. This particular family has six members; the four kids are ages 2, 5, 7, and 15 (so, we’re looking at a pretty big range of ages here). This, in and of itself, isn’t unusual — but it starts to get real… uh… unique, real fast. The family, you see, splits their time between four different places — they have homes in London, Barbados, Cape Town, and Atlanta — and appears to be quite well off; they’re offering £100,000, or around $128,000, per year.
The list of requirements for qualified candidates, though? That’s another story.
What they’re essentially looking for is what Rebecca Reid at The Telegraph calls a “supernanny.” Writes Reid, “The super-rich want high-flying supernannies; think MSc from Oxbridge, the ability to ski, horse ride, and successfully coach little Amelia or Otto ahead of school entrance exams.” She points to an advertisement posted by Gwyneth Paltrow in 2011 as a real-life example: As Reid writes, Paltrow asked for candidates to “possess a classical education, be fluent in at least three languages, play two instruments, be passionate about sailing and tennis, and enjoy art history or martial arts.”
And that, it seems, is what this particular family seems to be looking for in their potential new live-in nanny. Here are the things successful candidates will have, according to the Childcare.co.uk listing:
1. A Degree In Child Psychology
I mean, to be fair, I can sort of understand where this one is coming from; having a background in child psych indicates both that you like kids and that you understand them. Indeed, in the United States at least, a lot of developmental and child psychology degree programs (the one belonging to my alma mater, for example) incorporate work with a college or university-run daycare for hands-on experience. The issue, of course, is that it sort of adds an economic barrier to folks who might otherwise be great nannies; not everyone can afford this kind of education. Nor, for that matter, is a child psych degree a guarantee that you’re a good caregiver.
2. No Children Of Your Own
Also fair, I guess; the family want to make sure their kids are your top priority. And, honestly, given the demands of this particular job, if you did have kids of your own, you’d probably need to hire your own supernanny to make sure they’ve got someone looking after them while you’re busy looking after your charges.
3. A UK Driver’s License
With no strikes against you. Again, this one also makes sense; nannying generally involves ferrying the kids around to and from school, appointments, extracurricular activities, and so on and so forth. However, as a bonus, the family has “multiple cars … which are available for the candidate to use” — and those cars happen to include a Porsche, a Range Rover, and a Maserati. At least you get to accomplish your errand-running duties in luxury.
4. 15 Years Of Experience, Minimum
That’s… a lot, but OK. What I want to know is whether the experience has to be gained after you finish your child psych degree, or whether it’s OK to have, say, started babysitting while you were a teenager, gotten your degree somewhere in the middle there, and then entered the full-time nannying industry to finish off your experience.
5. A Level Of Comfort With Extremely Frequent Flying
I assume this means you also have to have a passport, although that part isn't specifically laid out as a requirement in the listing. Due to the fact that the family has four homes in dramatically different locations, though, the listing does not that applicants “must be comfortable with flying regularly”; traveling internationally “up to three times a week, depending [on] where the children are” might end up happening. This strikes me as quite unusual... but then again, I'm not super rich.
Writes the original poster, “My husband and I are often absent due to work and social commitments” — so you’ll probably need to be someone who needs little guidance from supervisors in order to successfully perform your role.
7. Governess Skills
The kids are home-schooled and “require constant attention and supervision, even when they are with their teachers.” Once hired, the nanny will be required to “participate in lessons where appropriate” in order to “help further their studies outside of the classroom.” That child psychology degree will probably come in handy here — although now I’m wondering whether a degree in education or early childhood education might also be suitable instead. Hmmm…
8. A Well-Developed Palate & Appreciation For Fine Food
The parents would “prefer our nanny to eat with the children at every meal,” although this requirement also apparently “isn’t mandatory.” That said, though, these meals will be prepared by a Michelin star chef, so...yeah.
9. A Workaholic Mindset
Your work schedule as a nanny for this particular family will run from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., six days a week. I hope one day off per week is enough for you to recharge. (The family is cool with however you like to spend your free time, as long as it doesn’t involve binge drinking or drugs.)
10. A Place To Go When The Family Wants “Quality Time” Together Without You
I’m particularly puzzled and fascinated by this particular section, which immediately follows the “My husband and I are often absent due to work and social commitments” thing: “When we are home,” the family writes, “we like to have time alone with our children. Therefore there will be periods where we ask our nanny to take leave to allow us to have quality time as a family.”
If the nanny is a live-in nanny, does this mean they can be effectively kicked out of the house — where they live — for days on end? Where are they supposed to go? What if they don’t have an alternative home (because why would you pay rent when your living space is provided by your job)? What if they don’t want to travel during that time because they spend so much time traveling for work? Are they just supposed to couch-surf? I have so many questions.
11. Training In Self-Defense
There’s a little wiggle room on this one, though, so at least there’s that — if a candidate is otherwise perfect but doesn’t have self-defense training under their belt, the family says they’ll provide and pay for it.
12. A Non-Disclosure Agreement
You’ll be required to sign one as a condition of your employment. For “privacy reasons.”
I do have to say, though, that as bananas as much of the listing seems to me, I do appreciate the fact that the parents are transparent about what they’re looking for. “I feel it is best to be upfront — the role is demanding,” the original poster writes. What’s more, in an edit to the listing that was added after the whole thing went viral, they noted, “If you do not have ALL the necessary qualifications, skills and experience for the role then we would politely request that you do not even bother making an application as it is a waste of our time and yours.” I mean, sure, that’s a little brusque — but at least it’s clear.
Would I apply for this job? Hell no. Besides not being even remotely qualified for it, I just can’t get over some of the requirements — and some of the details. (Even if a Porsche or Maserati were available for me to drive on a daily basis, I would probably be too afraid to set foot in either vehicle for fear of destroying something that is more expensive than anything I will ever own.) But hey, if you fit the bill, go ahead and apply — just be warned: As of Aug. 20, the listing had received over 300 applications, only a “small handful” of which are qualified, according to the family.
That said, though, if you are actually Mary Poppins, I’m sure you’ll fit in just fine.