Nannies/child carers are responsible for the care, wellbeing and education of infants, toddlers and children in the home.
Nannies/child carers usually earn
$20-$26 per hour
Source: PORSE, Nannies Plus and Trade Me Jobs, 2018.
Pay for nannies/child carers varies depending on their qualifications and experience, and location.
- Unqualified nannies/child carers with less than one years' experience usually earn minimum wage.
- Qualified nannies/child carers with more than one years' experience can earn up to $22 an hour.
- Nannies/child carers who look after newborn babies can earn up to $26 an hour.
Nannies/child carers who live with the families they work for usually receive free accommodation and food.
Sources: PORSE; Nannies Plus; and Trade Me Jobs 'Salary Guide', 2018.
- PAYE.net.nz website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Nannies/child carers may do some or all of the following:
- feed, wash and dress children
- plan and supervise the children's daily activities
- play and do learning activities with children
- care for sick children in the home
- keep records of children's learning and development
- do everyday household tasks such as cleaning and laundry
- plan and prepare meals for children and family members
- drive children to and from early childhood services, school or other activities
- supervise and help school-aged children with homework.
Skills and knowledge
Nannies/child carers need to have:
- knowledge of children's learning and development
- the ability to relate to and care for babies, toddlers and young children
- the ability to positively guide children's behaviour
- knowledge and understanding of the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki
- first aid skills
- a good knowledge of nutrition, as well as cooking skills.
- may work part time or full time for one or more families.
- may work in their own homes, or in the homes of the children they care for. Some may live with the family they work for.
- spend time working indoors and outdoors in a variety of conditions, and often drive babies or children to activities in their local area.
What's the job really like?
Helping children learn through play
"I just love nannying to bits!" says Leanna Miratana, who started nannying at the age of 17, and has since completed her Bachelor of Education (Teaching) in Early Childhood.
Leanna works one-to-one with children, using the early childhood curriculum to set goals that relate to their interests. "One of the boys I look after is really interested in water, but had no interest in books, so when I wanted to introduce words and letters to him I put them into the water so we could play with the letters together."
The practical side of the job
"You also need to know some very practical things as a nanny," says Leanne. "It's important to know some first aid, how to change a nappy, and what kinds of food the children should eat. I learned all these things at the nanny college when I first became a nanny.
"I've taken huge steps in this industry, and I believe anyone can do it. Now I want to study more – maybe child psychology so I can understand children better. If your heart is really in this work, you can achieve anything you want."
There are no specific entry requirements to become a nanny/child carer. However, most employers prefer you to have a qualification such as a New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3 or 4) or a New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5).
Nannies/child carers can earn a qualification while working.
Most employers require you to have a full driver's licence.
- Ashton Warner Academy website - information on nanny and early childhood training
- PORSE website - information on nanny and early childhood training
The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.
No specific secondary education is required for this job, but health education, home economics (food and nutrition), music, dance and drama, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking combined and te reo Māori to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.
Nannies/child carers need to be:
- organised and responsible
- good at solving problems
- skilled at communicating and listening
- motivated and patient
- firm, fair and consistent.
When you're dealing with children you need to have very clear communication skills because they're learning everything you say to them. You also need these skills to work with the whole family.
Useful experience for nannies/child carers includes:
- work with children, such as babysitting
- nursing work.
Nannies/child carers need to be reasonably fit and healthy.
Find out more about trainingCheck out related courses
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for nannies/child carers increasing
Demand for nannies/child carers is average, but expected to continue to increase.
The increased demand for nannies/child carers is due to:
- expensive living costs, which mean both parents need to work
- parents preferring in-home care to early childhood centres
- shortages of places in city early childcare centres.
Demand has increased the most in Auckland, Christchurch, Hawke's Bay, Queenstown, Tauranga and Christchurch.
According to the Census, 10,548 nannies/child carers worked in New Zealand in 2019.
Full-time work difficult to find for nannies/child carers
Nannies/child carers usually work part-time and it can be difficult to find full-time work due to parents only being funded for 20 hours a week childcare.
Nannies/child carers with qualifications, experience, good references and a full driver's licence are more likely to get a job.
Types of employers varied
Nannies/child carers may work for:
- nanny and in-home child care agencies
- babysitting agencies.
- Barnardos, 'Annual Report 2017', 2017, (www.barnardos.org.nz).
- Collins, S, 'Childcare Workers Speak Out Against "Factory Farming" of Children', 18 December 2017, (www.nzherald.co.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Annual Percentage Change in Advertised Job Vacancies, December 2016 to December 2017 Quarters', 23 January 2018, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
- Nanny Education Organisation of New Zealand website, accessed January 2018, (www.nanny.org.nz).
- New Zealand Now website, 'Preschool Care and Education', accessed January 2018, (www.newzealandnow.govt.nz).
- Piper, D, 'Youngest Pupils Impacted by Auckland Teacher Shortage', 27 January 2017, (www.stuff.govt.nz).
- PORSE website, accessed January 2018, (www.porse.co.nz).
- Shribman, A, Nanny Education Organisation of New Zealand, Careers Directorate – Tertiary Education Commission interview, January 2018.
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
- Stats NZ, 'More Toddlers in Formal Early Childhood Care', 19 December 2017, (www.stats.govt.nz).
- Stats NZ, 'Childcare in New Zealand 2017:September Quarter-Sample Error Tables', 19 December 2017, (www.stats.govt.nz).
- Stuff website, 'What sort of Early Childhood Education are Kiwis Getting?', 17 August 2017, (www.stuff.co.nz).
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Nannies/child carers may progress to work in early childhood centres. They may work as untrained staff members, or complete training to become early childhood teachers.
Nannies/child carers may specialise in working with:
- newborn babies
- babies aged four months and above
- twins and triplet babies
- young children with disabilities.
Last updated 5 May 2021