a vast range of challenging, exciting and
profitable nanny jobs available in the
international market. Jobs can range from
temporary positions through to families looking
for long term commitment and can be based
literally anywhere in the world! There are also
jobs which may be based in a specific location
such as London but will involve a few months of
international travel each year. Many nannies
only work in international assignments as they
can provide huge benefits such as tax free
salaries in some instances and a good quality of
lifestyle. We understand that deciding to take a
job abroad can be a big decision as it will mean
leaving your friends and family behind and
launching yourself into the unknown so please do
read the advice below and of course feel free to
directly who will use her years of international
nanny guidance to give you an honest, realistic
and informative view.
What are your motivations for seeking
People are often motivated by different factors
which may include a desire to experience a new
culture, to experience an adventure, to earn
money quickly, to enhance your CV.
What do you hope to gain from the
Working internationally can be a huge challenge
personally but also a very rewarding one
providing new skills such as self assurance,
improved personal confidence and heightened
social awareness. It is also likely that your
childcare CV will be enhanced by the intensive
nature of international work and the challenges associated with it.
How long do you envisage yourself working
overseas and how close would you like to be to
If you have never worked overseas and would like
to give it a try without committing to anything
long term then a
holiday nanny position may
be ideal for you. We usually have holiday
positions, particularly at peak UK school
holiday times in locations across the world.
This would give you a good idea of what it feels
like to be away from home and have
responsibility for children in a foreign
environment. If you are wary of being too far
from home initially an assignment in Europe may
be beneficial due to its proximity to the UK.
Where have you travelled to before and for
Have you ever travelled alone?
Do you enjoy visiting new countries and learning
about new cultures even if they have very
different cultural attitudes relating to
religion, drinking alcohol etc?
How would you feel being far away from home,
family and friends?
How would you feel moving to an environment
where you know few people and would have to
establish new friends?
Taking into account the questions above and
using Camilla’s experience of international work
useful personal qualities tend to be
independence, strength of character,
flexibility, real awareness of location and
situation, self assurance, confidence, patience,
quick thinking, ability to adapt quickly to new
surroundings, strong social skills, calm,
non-judgemental. However one of the most
important things is for the nanny to be totally
motivated and excited by international work and
the new experiences it will provide.
Are you a very confident nanny?
Working internationally can present a whole host
of issues with your charges not encountered in
UK roles so things such as safety, security,
hygiene standards, weather (very hot/very cold)
can be very different to in the UK. Also if you
are working with children of a different
nationality particularly who do not speak
English as a first language you may have to work
harder to establish and maintain a good working
relationship however many nannies find this can
be an enjoyable challenge. It is also worth
considering if you would feel comfortable
undertaking proxy parenting in a foreign country
whilst parents travelled overseas.
What are your views on religion?
If you choose to work in a location such as the
Middle East where religion, cultural and social
differences apply you must be prepared to be
respectful to the culture you are living in. If
you have strong personal views on religion you
should consider this when choosing a family as
when you work internationally it is imperative
that you are respectful towards the family’s
stance on religion, morals, ethics etc and how
they are bringing up their children.
(world clock and weather for each location)
Working in different locations will present
different lifestyle, cultural and social
environments. Below are generic guidelines only!
It must be remembered that every role and family
is totally unique and their requirements will
Middle East: Usually positions with a
Middle Eastern family are very formal, you may
need to work alongside a local nanny or indeed
other nannies and Governesses as it is not
uncommon for teams of nannies to work on a rota
basis in one household. Houses are usually fully
staffed so nanny duties will be purely child
related as cooks, drivers etc will usually be
employed. You may need to wear a uniform and
consider that English will often not be your
charges first language. The weather will be very
warm and there are strong cultural differences
to observe and be respectful towards such as
conservative dressing, strict rules towards
alcoholic consumption etc. Salaries are often
very high and there is a good community of
British nannies to become involved with.
Caribbean/Australia/Islands: Life in
the Caribbean or indeed Australia tends to be a
lot more relaxed than in the UK so usually
nannies work in an informal and relaxed
environment. A tropical beach lifestyle is often
the norm and many days will involve outdoor
play, trips to the beach, swimming. Language
barriers are unlikely to be present here.
Salaries can be high and countries such as
Bermuda and the Bahamas have a strong British
nanny community. There are not too many cultural
differences or traditions to observe and many
nannies will be responsible for cooking and
laundry. It is usually easy for nannies to drive
in these countries.
Russia: Russia is currently a very big
market for British nannies and Governesses and
typically pays very high salaries. It is
possible to find both formal and informal
families to work with and it is likely other
staff will be employed. Many positions are based
in Moscow and many parents are eager for their
children to learn English. Positions in Russia
tend to be very well paid and the salary goes a
long way as the cost of living in Russia is not
as high as in the UK. There is a strong
international nanny community in Russia so many
nannies achieve an active social life. Language
classes are easily available and a prior
knowledge of Russian tends not to be requested.
The climate is quite extreme with winters being
incredibly cold and summers rather warm.
Europe: Different countries across
Europe can present different nanny
opportunities, for instance you can choose
between city, beach or mountainous locations!
Europe provides a big Holiday Nanny market in
addition to the regular contract or ongoing
nanny positions as there will generally be
positions in ski resorts in the winter as well
as summer positions often in beach resorts. It
is possible to find both formal and informal
families and language barriers often apply so
many families are looking for Nannies and
Governesses to teach English. It is usually easy
for nannies to drive in Europe and there are
often good nanny communities. Many nannies enjoy
the proximity to the the UK.
South America: South America is a large
area but in many locations safety can be an
issue and heightened safety precautions may be
needed. You will probably find if you work for a
South American family they will have security.
The Latin culture is very vibrant and family is
very important. Many families are large and the
culture is warm and welcoming. In most roles you
would expect to work alongside other staff and
probably wear a uniform. Salaries tend to be
lower here but the cost of living is also lower.
Asia: Generally countries in Asia can
be quite loud, chaotic and have different
health, safety, hygiene etc standards to the UK.
Salaries can be lower than in other locations
but Asia can provide a truly exciting adventure
and an opportunity to integrate into another
culture. Cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong
have good nanny communities and the formality of
the household will differ with each family –
some may be roles in fully staffed households
whilst other roles may be more informal. Driving
in Asia can be a challenge.
Whatever location you decide on Camilla’s
Nannies will ensure we provide you with
detailed, honest, reliable guidance to help you
make an informed decision.
Type of family
It is strongly recommended that you spend a
considerable amount of time thinking about what
type of family you would like to work with.
Consider the following:
Would you like to work for a British ex pat
family or a family of a different nationality?
There are two distinct types of family who often
seek a British nanny through a UK based nanny
agency; a non UK nationality family or a British
family who are living overseas as an ex pat.
In the case of a foreign nationality they are
usually attracted to the professional, educated
nature of British nannies and their ability to
instil manners, etiquette and English language
skills into their charges. Knowledge of early
years development and the UK educational
curriculum and system is often requested. It is
more common for such families to have a formal
relationship with the nanny who is often part of
a team of household staff. In this instance you
would have to think about how comfortable you
are with wearing a uniform and working alongside
other household staff who may not speak English.
Some very high profile international families
seek a British nanny as well as some Royal
families particularly from the Middle East.
Although these roles sound very exciting and
will often mean you encounter interesting, high
profile people and situations it is worth
carefully considering the realities of the role.
High profile and royal families will often have
very busy lifestyles and you may need to be very
flexible with regard to diary management, last
minute travel and personal time off. You may
have to take charge of the children in very high
profile situations, such as at public events and
there can be a lot of pressure on the nanny to
ensure the children’s well behaviour. You are
likely to come into contact with other high
profile individuals and must be able to work in
a calm and professional manner in such
There can be lots of waiting around in airports,
entertaining bored charges, dealing with jet lag
both from your own perspective and that of your
charges, dealing with paparazzi at airports and
in public locations can be demanding and require
you to be calm, patient, aware of security risks
etc. However, once all these things are
considered you will also usually be highly
supported with drivers, cooks, maids, security
and it can be a fascinating insight into another
world providing glamorous and fun involvement
with the family and wonderful life experience.
Even in formal positions nannies often become
very close to the family and maintain a lovely
relationship with them once their position ends.
In the case of British families working overseas
they usually seek a British nanny to maintain a
sense of national identity for their children
and some nannies find it easier working
alongside British parents as they may take a
more familiar approach to their children and the
family-nanny relationship. The relationship can
be more informal and there will be no language
or cultural barriers to work with. Sometimes
they can help you integrate into life overseas a
little easier as they have experienced it
Would you like a formal or informal
In a formal household you will probably need to
wear a white uniform usually consisting of a top
and trousers provided by the employer and it is
highly likely you will work alongside other
staff such as drivers, cooks, maids. Many
nannies who thrive in fully staffed formal
households do so as it is easy to draw the
distinction between work and free time and by
working alongside other staff the nanny usually
has a very clear remit for her work eg in most
formal households a nanny will perform only
nursery duties and childcare whilst a Governess
will only perform educational duties.
However in a more informal household nannies are
more likely to feel part of the family and have
additional duties such as laundry and cleaning
relating to the children.
Are you happy to work alongside other staff
such as other nannies, drivers, cooks etc?
It is very important to remember that most staff
overseas are unlikely to be able to speak
English so you may encounter some communication
difficulties as you are often expected to work
together eg, arranging children’s pick up from
after school activities with the driver. However
many nannies can find this fun and part of the
international nanny challenge!
What age of children would you like to care
for and for how many children?
Naturally every role differs so much but it is
worth considering whether you would like a large
household with lots going on or more of a one to
one baby role. Remember that with children of
school age you may well get a lot of time off in
the day when they are at school but this can be
an advantage or disadvantage dependent upon
personal preferences. Having a lot of time alone
in the day can become boring in a new place
where you may have few friends but some nannies
enjoy this free time.
Are you happy with sole, shared or mixed
This is a key consideration with all nanny roles
but also important when you will be working in a
foreign environment. You may be working with a
family of a different culture who takes a
different approach to childcare to that of which
you have been exposed to before and whilst it is
important you are respectful towards the
families attitude to their children it is
imperative at the interview stage you fully
understand the home set up, grasp the culture,
beliefs to ensure if it is a shared charge role
you could maintain a positive working
Would you prefer a room in the house or self
Ensure you think about accommodation as if it is
your first time overseas you may feel safer or
happier in the house surrounded by people
however other nannies may be more excited by the
prospect of separate or self contained
accommodation as it will provide greater
Would you be prepared to drive in a foreign
Driving in a foreign country can be a challenge
in itself let alone with a car full of charges
so do think this consideration through
seriously! Some international roles require no
driving whilst others do but bear in mind it is
possible to find international nanny roles with
Would you be prepared to travel with the
Travel tends to be a requirement of most
international roles. It can be very exciting and
busy but also involves long hours and a large
degree of flexibility from the nanny so be sure
to think about if you would find the travel
exciting or rewarding.
Time to settle!
One of the most important factors with
international work is that you must allow
yourself time to settle in and build a trusting
relationship with the family and children. If
you accept an international position when you
first get there not only will you have to adjust
to the family but it will take time to adjust to
the climate, culture, money, water…everything!
Allow yourself at least a good month to settle
in as the first month will be the hardest, most
busy and emotionally charged month when you are
more likely to feel nervous and homesick!
Camilla’s Nannies will always be in close
contact helping you to settle in and providing
guidance on actions to take to make your arrival
in your new role go smoothly. Any minor problems
that do arise in the early few weeks can often
be easily rectified and sorting them early can
reap great rewards in the long run. Remember
that the probationary clause in the contract is
also for the benefit of the nanny and gives you
a realistic period in which to settle in to the
role. Most nannies find with each week that
passes they grow more in confidence and enjoy
the challenges presented to them.
Interview with Camilla
regarding her international work experience.
How did you find your job?
I initially worked as a holiday nanny in the
Swiss ski resort of Verbier whereby I was
looking after different children each week of
all ages and nationalities. It was a really fun
experience and made me consider looking for an
international post. I found my international job
in Argentina advertised on www.nannyjob.co.uk by
an Italian agency. I was very lucky as the agent
was visiting London so I had an early Sunday
morning interview. The agency sent a CV, some
pictures of me and my introduction letter to the
family and I had a telephone interview with the
mother. Then the family booked my tickets to
Argentina for one week later, the recruitment
process was very quick in my situation! I was
working in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a well
known model looking after 4 children aged 12
months, 3 yrs, 7 yrs and 10 yrs and my role also
involved lots of international travel. I went
out there on a fixed 6 month contract which
ended up being extended.
Were you nervous?
I was extremely nervous as I had never been to
South America before and I had not met the
family but I was seeking a challenging adventure
so it was also a mix of nerves and anticipation.
As I was working for a very famous person in
South America I was nervous about what the job
would entail and what the family would be like.
What was it like when you first arrived?
I was very tired from the night flight but when
I landed I was more calm and excited than
nervous. I was met by the family’s driver and
the drive to the house was really interesting as
it was my first glimpse of Buenos Aires.
How did you make friends?
I only had one contact in Buenos Aires but I
found some opportunities to meet people via some
nanny groups on social networking sites,
contacts of friends, other nannies employed in
the area or employed by friends of the family
and also by looking for ex-pat clubs in the
local English newspaper.
What was the day to day job like?
My role was very exciting as every day was
totally different but if we were based at home
in Buenos Aires it was more routine based and
involving waking the children at 7am, ensuring
they had breakfast with their parents, taking
them to school with a driver. I spent the
morning at home playing with the baby then took
her to nursery and every afternoon I had free
time whilst the children were at school. In the
afternoon I picked them up from school, took
them to their after school activities, helped
with homework, bathtime, dinnertime and bed.
If we were travelling it was a very different
story. I had to be totally flexible and on the
ball! Travelling through airports with four
children and paparazzi present can be difficult
at first! We always stayed in five star hotels
or private accommodation but there were always
lots of things to consider like travel cots,
getting baby milk heated in hotels, if hotel
bathrooms were suitable for bathing the baby
etc. I was very lucky and travelled to many
places such as Miami, Bahamas, Chile, Patagonia,
Milan, St Moritz. I had to care for the children
at some high profile events and met some high
What were the best bits of the job?
The best part of my job was that it was a
fantastic life experience and I really enjoyed
looking after my little charges! I got to live
in a safe environment in a wonderful city and
experience a new culture first hand. It was an
added advantage working for such a high profile
family as it was a glimpse into an exciting
world and I got to assist at magazine shoots
etc. I enjoyed working in a fully staffed home
despite the language barriers and really enjoyed
all the travel.
What were the worst bits of the job?
The hardest part of the job for me was the long
hours and sometimes the language barrier as I
did not speak Spanish. I also sometimes missed
my family and friends and felt a long way from
Would you recommend being an international
I would definitely recommend being an
international nanny as it is a fantastic life
experience. It is worth considering the
realities of taking a post overseas very
carefully as it can be quite a daunting,
challenging experience but if you are committed,
motivated and positive it can be a wonderfully
enriching experience. You will have wonderful
memories of a new place, nice family and
hopefully make some friends along the way!