Male nannies, or mannies, are gaining popularity overseas and we are starting to see more men entering the child care industry here in Australia.
Mannies offer a similar skill set to nannies but may bring a different dynamic to the home environment by injecting a more energetic and physical approach to child care, which could be especially good for school aged children with lots of energy to burn. Mannies may also be a suit single mothers or parents seeking a positive male role model for their children.
Mannies complete many of the same tasks that their female counterparts do, primarily this involves the supervision and day-to-day care of children, however they may also help with:
- Preparing and serving the children's meals and snacks
- Light housekeeping jobs, such as folding and putting away washing
- Dropping off and picking up the children from school, appointments and after school activities
- Assisting with homework assignments and reading
- Entertaining the children and playing outside games with bikes and balls etc
- Planning and escorting the children on excursions
- Bathing the children and putting them to bed
- General household errands
Families considering employing a manny will probably base their decision on one of the many stereotypes surrounding the very notion of male child carers, i.e. that they are more physical, more outdoorsy and more willing to play rough and tumble.
Some mannies may fit this profile, especially if this is what the family is looking for, however, mannies also provide all the nurturing and emotional tenderness that children need.
While the parents of boys may be more inclined to employ a manny than the parents of girls, mannies work equally well with for boys and girls. With fewer male teachers in our education system, mannies provide children with a valuable opportunity to grow close to and trust a man other than their father.
Employing a manny
The process involved in hiring a manny is the same as a hiring a nanny. You could source and employ someone yourself or use an agency.
If you would like to employ a manny yourself read our article on interviewing a nanny.
You will need to check the background and references of any candidates you are considering and ensure they hold current:
If you would prefer to use an agency click here for information on how to find an agency and ensure it sources the best man for the job.
Regardless of whether you do it yourself or use an agency there are certain terms and conditions you will be required to meet when you employ a manny. Read our article on your obligations when employing a nanny to make sure you have fulfilled all your legal requirements.
For some tips on how to keep hold of your manny once you have found him read retaining your nanny.
Remember that while all of the safety, reference and background checks described above are very important, it is equally as important to ensure the person you employ is a good match for your family and a great carer for your children.