Being a nanny isn’t easy. Children are exhausting: they have boundless energy, limitless questions, and a heat-seeking missile’s instinct for danger. Even the most delightful seven-year-old is liable to ask why you haven’t got a husband yet, point out the spot on your chin or inexplicably take their top off and start dabbing in Sainsbury’s.
Kids also have yet to learn how to control their emotions – meaning that whether they’re sad, angry, hungry or tired, you’re going to know about it.
Live-in nannies have an even tougher gig. On the plus side, you enjoy the luxury of having your housing paid for by your employer. But sharing a roof with your tiny charges (and their parents) also means that you have to project a saintly aura of responsibility and respectability at all times. Forget about sleeping through your alarm, swearing at the TV or coming home tipsy after a night out: if you live with the family you nanny for, you’re likely always in nanny mode.
And so nannies should, of course, be paid properly for their work. But an advert posted online to recruit a nanny in London has drawn international attention for its astronomical salary – and the celebrity-level perks involved in the job.
The ad was posted on childcare.co.uk by a London-based woman with four children aged two, five, seven and 15. She explains that the successful candidate will receive a salary of £100,000, have access to a Michelin-star chef at every meal and be able to drive the family’s “multiple cars, including a Porsche, Range Rover and Maserati”.
The anonymous woman and her husband also own homes in Barbados, Cape Town and Atlanta, and “are often absent due to work and social commitments”. As a result, applicants must “be comfortable with flying regularly, as they may be required to travel internationally up to three times a week, depending where the children are”.
But before you start pulling up your CV on Microsoft Word, the job isn’t all jet-setting glamour and luxurious benefits. The family’s four children are home-schooled, notes the ad, and require “constant attention and supervision, even when they are with their teachers”.
The successful candidate “must be willing to work six days a week, 7am to 8pm” and are also required to have a degree in child psychology, no children of their own and a minimum of 15 years’ nannying experience. Training in self-defence is essential – although the parents are prepared to pay for lessons if the perfect candidate isn’t already qualified.
In addition, the person who gets the job will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, meaning that they can’t talk to friends or family about certain elements of their job. And while the parents say that they “do not mind” how the nanny spends their time outside of the home, “binge drinking or drug taking will not be tolerated and will result in instant dismissal”.
Even if you jump through all these hoops, you still might not make the grade. The most important part of the application process, say the parents, is that their children like you. “Therefore, there is a non-negotiable 2-week paid provisional period, where the nanny is required to live with us in one of our homes, so we can test the water.”
If you’re interested, you can check out the full job listing here.
Images: Rex Features