Nanny

From Academic Kids

A nanny is defined as "a child's nurse". The traditional nanny was a servant in a large household and reported directly to the lady of the house. Nannies were always female and this remained the case through the 20th Century.

The nanny in a great house ran her own tiny domain, supported by at least one nursery maid. Because of their role in child care, they were somewhat more indulged than junior servants. Nannies may have remained in the employ of the same aristocratic family for years, looking after successive generations of children.

Today, although many families employ part-time babysitters, fulltime nannies in the classic sense can only be afforded by upper-middle to upper class families. A nanny may perform tasks such as:

  • Providing childcare during the hours agreed upon with the employing family
  • Supporting the physical, social, emotional, creative, and intellectual development of children
  • Protecting children from harm and ensuring that they have a safe environment
  • Preparing appetizing and nutritionally-balanced meals and snacks
  • Maintaining good communication with the parents, informing them of each child's development and concerns
  • Maintaining the cleanliness and neatness of the house as affected by the children

Typically women in the 20 to 30 age bracket take up employment as nannies. Nannies typically earn low salaries.

Famous fictional nannies include:

The word "nanny" normally connotes a woman (originating from a pet name for a grandmother or for a female carer), but male nannies do exist, though they often use a different name (childminder for example, or more recently manny) for the job.

A governess, in contrast to a nanny, concentrates on teaching and training children.

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