Transferable Skills from Nannying

Working as a nanny is a great way to gain work experience and learn new skills that you can apply to a broad range of jobs, no matter what you ultimately want from your career. Nannies often provide full-time care for children and may need to undertake additional household duties, but part-time roles are also available, or jobs working with older children who need less supervision. This flexibility means that people who want to work with children will often be able to find a perfect position to meet their needs.

Whether you want a nannying role as the first step towards a career as a childcare provider, or you want to apply your talent part-time while pursuing a career outside the childcare industry, nannying offers many opportunities for professional development and to learn the "soft skills" that are a priority for employers. 

Here, the experts at Nannies Matter discuss some of the attributes that every nanny should have, highlight the skills you can develop through working with children and offer suggestions to help you demonstrate the value of your experience when writing a resume or job application.

What are "soft" skills?

Working as a nanny can be very rewarding, not only because you will support children as they learn and grow, but also for your personal and professional development. You can also spend your employment learning and developing valuable transferable skills that can help you find future opportunities, whether in nannying, related industries like teaching or child development, or completely unrelated sectors.

The phrase "soft skills" generally refers to those attributes that help you to work efficiently and get along with other people, rather than technical skills that may be specific to one industry. 

These might include:

  • communication skills

  • organisation and time management

  • teamwork

  • leadership 

  • attention to detail

  • working under pressure


  • flexibility and adaptability

All of these are viewed as important skills by employers. If two candidates have similar technical abilities, education or work experience, their ability to demonstrate leadership or be a team player could make a significant difference to their suitability and may determine who gets the job. They are also valuable in many roles and almost every industry, which makes them transferable from one position to another.

You may also be able to gain practical or technical skills that are transferable to other roles. For example, some roles may require qualifications or certifications in early childhood education or first aid - in fact, nannies must have up-to-date first aid training if they want to register with Ofsted, and while this is not a requirement, there are good reasons for doing so. You do not need any qualifications or experience in child development to take a job as a nanny, but some clients prefer to work with nannies who have both.

What skills can I learn working in childcare?

All of the soft skills listed above can be acquired or developed through a role in childcare. By thinking about your experience through the lens of these skills, you should be able to find examples of where you have applied them successfully. Here, we will provide some specific suggestions to help you get started.

Creative problem-solving skills are a must for a nanny, especially if you are caring for multiple children or have additional responsibilities to manage (like housekeeping or diary management). The ability to stay calm and work through the unexpected challenges children often pose can prepare you for even the most chaotic working environment. If you want to include this on your CV, provide a specific example that allows you to emphasise the positive outcome of your approach and the satisfaction of your client, the child's parents.

Depending on the expectations of the clients or parents you work for, you may need to carefully manage the child's schedule and this is often an excellent demonstration of good time management. For example, nannies may be responsible for getting children to school on time, providing transport to and from after school activities, arranging playdates, preparing food at mealtimes and managing other household professionals, all of which can show not only your strong organisational abilities, but a talent for leadership. Alternatively, working as part of a household staff where someone else is in charge can illustrate your commitment to being a team player.

Much as these skills are transferable to other positions, they may also be applied to nannying if you have developed them while working in a different industry. If you are considering a career change and want to move into childcare, consider how the skills you have developed throughout your work in other fields might enable you to communicate effectively with children, promote positive behaviour and support social development, demonstrate patience and care, find creative solutions to problems, and keep the household organised.

If you are seeking a job as a nanny, you can browse our vacancies, call us on 0800 121 4881, or use the contact form on this page to apply. You can also read our guide to learn how to create a great CV for nannying roles.

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