Employment Prospects


There are approximately 1.2 million child care workers employed in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Approximately 25 percent are self-employed. Mid- to upper-income parents who seek in-home child care for their children usually employ nannies. These opportunities are generally available across the country in large cities and affluent suburbs. Most nannies are placed in homes by placement agencies, by employment agencies, or through government authorized programs.

Starting Out

Most schools that train nannies offer placement services. In addition, it is possible to register with an employment agency that places child care workers. There are many agencies that specialize in placing nannies. Some agencies conduct recruitment drives or fairs to find applicants. Online agencies and newspaper classified ads also list job openings for nannies.

Prospective nannies should screen potential employers carefully. Applicants should ask for references from previous nannies, particularly if a family has had many prior nannies, and talk with one or more of them, if possible. There are many horror stories in nanny circles about past employers, and the prospective worker should not assume that every employer is exactly as he or she appears to be at first. Nannies also need to make sure that the specific duties and terms of the job are explicitly specified in a contract. Most agencies will supply sample contracts.

Advancement Prospects

More than half of the nannies working in this country are under the age of 30. Many nannies work in child care temporarily as a way to support themselves through school. Many nannies leave their employers to start families of their own. Some nannies, as their charges grow older and start school, may be employed by a new family every few years, which may result in better-paying positions.

Other advancement opportunities for nannies depend on the personal initiative of the nanny. Some nannies enroll in college to get the necessary training to become teachers or child psychologists. Other nannies may establish their own child care agencies or schools for nannies.

Tips for Entry

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:, or

Professional associations also offer job listings at their Web sites. For example, the Association for Early Learning Leaders provides job listings at

Become credentialed by the International Nanny Association in order to show employers that you've met the highest standards established by your industry.

Conduct information interviews with nannies and ask them for advice on landing a job.