Amslee Institute Survey Identifies Top Issues Facing Nannies and Family-Employers

Nannies seek top dollar with limited childcare credentials while families seek Nanny Poppins for $10 per hour

Amslee Institute's 2019 Nanny Survey Results Image

​​Working relationships and qualifications are the top issues, but nannies and family-employers face non-traditional work environment challenges including safety, privacy and job duties. According to Amslee Institute’s Nanny Survey 2019, 74 percent of nannies believe only three years of experience are needed to be a professional nanny. Moreover, 63 percent of nannies do not have a college degree and eight percent feel experience is the only qualification needed to be a professional nanny. Working in a non-traditional environment, 33 percent of nannies have felt unsafe and 67 percent would not report infidelity.

Unlike other professions, being a professional nanny in the United States does not require educational or childcare degrees, advanced training, internships or any designated skills or experience. “Traditionally, nannies in the United States have been trained by other nannies and nanny agency owners through workshops because there are no government regulations or standards,” shares Elizabeth Malson, president of Amslee Institute. “Comprehensive online programs are now available and provide nannies greater access and flexibility to invest in quality training and continuing education.”

To qualify for top jobs, a professional nanny historically invested in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. These options required a significant financial investment and time commitment for a two- or four-year college program in an industry with starting wages at the federal and state minimums. Meeting collegiate standards with faculty-taught classes, Amslee Institute provides comprehensive online Childcare Diploma and Certification programs. These nanny-specific programs are designed for in-home childcare and require a lower financial investment than traditional college courses and take no more than 12 weeks to complete.​ 

What Differentiates Sitters and Nannies?

Families often equate nannies and sitters, failing to understand the difference in childcare skills. Families viewing childcare as a supervisory position requiring little training or experience offer $8-15 an hour and are best served by sitters. Families who view in-home childcare as an extension of the child's education and development are more willing to pay $15-30+ per hour and seek nannies with specialized skills and training. These families seek a childcare provider who can invest in the social, physical, emotional and intellectual development of their children. Distinguishing the job responsibilities between child supervision and child development differentiates sitters from nannies.

Amslee Institute found that 59 percent of nannies believe families seek candidates with college-level training (Childcare Diploma and Certification, Early Childhood Education Associate or Bachelor Degree). Nannies report that their family-employers support childcare training and continuing education with 52 percent of families currently paying for training, 31 percent of families are willing to pay for training and only 17 percent are not willing to pay for training.

What Defines a Professional Nanny?

There is no standard definition for "professional nanny." In general, 75 percent of nannies surveyed feel family-employers respect the nanny profession but nannies often do not feel respected in their individual employment situations. Unlike certified nursing assistants, beauticians and teachers, all of whom must have a license or defined credentials, being a nanny does not legally require any training. Thus, families are not able to easily identify quality in-home childcare as there is no standardization of terms including nanny, professional nanny and family assistant. Adding to the confusion, several organizations offer professional nanny certifications without requiring training, references or proof of childcare experience. Thus, hiring a "professional" nanny may not satisfy families and declaring oneself a "professional" nanny may not help nannies achieve their desired compensation.

Is It Safe to Be a Nanny?

Most nannies feel safe working in the family's home; however, 33 percent of nannies report feeling unsafe on the job. Verbal or emotional abuse was the most commonly reported issue (27 percent), followed by being physically threatened (11 percent), discriminated against (11 percent) and sexually harassed (nine percent).

Do Nannies Keep Family Secrets?

Although confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements are increasingly common as a condition of employment for nannies, families without these agreements still expect a certain level of privacy. Regarding extra-marital activities, 67 percent of nannies would not report infidelity even with first-hand knowledge and only 33 percent would confront the spouse or partner engaging in infidelity.

Privacy issues also arise from the nanny’s position in the family structure. Nannies and family employers often struggle to maintain boundaries as they build a familial-style working relationship. When asked about their preferred relationship with the family, 39 percent of nannies want to be treated as an equal in the family, not an employee. When the same group was asked which best describes their relationship with the family employer, 76 percent of nannies feel they are treated as a family member or close friend. Casual friendship was selected 11 percent and an employee relationship was selected 13 percent. The close relationships often blur the bounds of privacy and professionalism.

What Household Work is Part of the Nanny’s Job?

Every nanny job is customized to a specific family, creating different duties and levels of responsibility. Nannies sign up for childcare but less than half (48 percent) of nannies feel their fundamental responsibilities include housekeeping skills (such as laundry, dishwashing, vacuuming) not directly tied to childcare. Only 14 percent of nannies feel their responsibilities include pet care, grocery shopping or other family services.

Nannies often struggle with expanding job responsibilities and frequently have difficulty getting compensated for additional work. Families may ask nannies to work longer hours and/or complete tasks that were not originally defined in the job description. When this occurs, a discussion between the nanny and family-employer is essential to ensure complete understanding and alignment on the scope and compensation of the job.

About the Amslee Institute Nanny Survey 2019

The Nanny Survey 2019 identifies and helps families and nannies manage the unique challenge of in-home childcare. Capturing the responses of more than 64 nannies in the United States during the month of October 2018, the Nanny Survey 2019 is shared with the childcare community to increase engagement and communication in a positive manner that advances in-home care of children.

For more information about the survey, visit Amslee Institute also offers families a free, Ultimate Guide on How to Hire a Nanny. Supporting families and nannies, Amslee Institute routinely publishes childcare articles.

About Amslee Institute

Amslee Institute provides comprehensive childcare programs that earn diplomas and certifications based on a curriculum specifically designed to advance the skills of nannies and sitters. Amslee Institute is licensed by the Department of Education, Florida Commission for Independent Education, No. 5951, and is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Amslee Institute partners with industry-leading agencies to help families connect with Amslee graduates. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Lynn Ziefle
Phone: 941-773-9020

Source: Amslee Institute

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About Amslee Institute

Amslee Institute provides childcare training and certification programs with job placement services for Nannies, Babysitters, Au Pairs, Youth Leaders, Camp Counselors, and others who care for children.

Amslee Institute
5391 Lakewood Ranch Blvd N , #Ste 203
Sarasota, FLORIDA

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