What attracts potential nannies to work for celebrity households? Is it the massive bonuses? Or the even larger salaries? From changing diapers, to warming baby bottles, to putting on band aids and pushing swings, the role of the nanny stays the same whether they are working for regular families or celebrity ones. Celebrity families are the same as average families, except with a greater concern for security and attention. Another slight difference might be the lack of never ending funds available for the needs of the child. Being a celebrity nanny may seem like a dazzling career choice but make no mistake, it is no walk in the park. Because of the heightened security and attention towards celebrities and their kids, celebrity nannies have to deal with more demands and stricter contracts than average nannies. Then again, some nannies are making six figure salaries, not including bonuses, all for their abilities, but more importantly, their ability to not divulge personal information about their bosses to the press.
According to Celebrity Staffing Services’ director of reservations Glenda Ross, the average celebrity nanny makes an annual salary of $185 000. Celebrity Staffing Services is a company that provides celebrities such as Will and Jada Pinkett Smitt, Drew Barrymore, Lisa Marie Presley, Jay Z and Beyonce with household and professional staff for both daily life and special events. On top of the gigantic salary come the extravagant bonuses, such as luxury sports cars, magnificent living quarters, designer gifts on special occasions such as birthdays, and a possibility of $10 000 bonuses. For example, first time parents Jay Z and Beyonce would probably employ at least 2 or 3 nannies at a time because of their exhaustive travel schedules and busy itineraries.
Celebrity Staffing Services prides themselves in providing nannies who have chosen their careers by choice, rather than by necessity. Celebrity Staffing Services states that the nanny’s role includes the total care and supervision of the children, along with the preparation of well balanced meals, feeding, bathing and dressing. These caretakers are also responsible for keeping the children on a schedule for naps, meals, and daily activities including arranging play dates with other famous youngsters. They must be willing to do light housekeeping, the children’s laundry, schedule doctor’s appointments, drive them and pick them up from school, help them with their homework all while being mentors, administering proper discipline and developing a loving relationship. The nanny is responsible for correcting unacceptable behaviour as outlined by the parents.
For first time parents or parents of newborns, a baby nurse is called in. A baby nurse is a specialist in newborn baby care. They are responsible for feeding, bathing, changing diapers and providing parental education and support. Baby nurses are not necessarily medical nurses but do have extensive experience with hands-on infant care. Parents may request twin, triplet or quadruplet specialists. Baby nurses are hired for at least the first 14 days after birth and some are asked to stay indefinitely. Otherwise, a nanny is called in to take over.
How do you become a celebrity nanny? First, the potential candidates will need experience. Professional nannies either study it in professional institutes, or start babysitting at an early age and gather experience. Then they must move to either New York City or Los Angeles. While there are celebrities who live outside of these metropolises, the majority of them are concentrated there. Many nannies go to school to develop their skills before getting hired by agencies who place them with celebrity parents. The majority are preferred to be female and multilingual. All caretakers must pass background checks and drug tests, and be willing to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even on scheduled days off, the nanny might be called in to work because of a last minute photo shoot or interview. This can often mean that the nanny is left with no, or barely any social life of their own. Finally, the candidate must be able to travel at a moment’s notice and be prepared to be abroad for up to months at a time. Extreme flexibility in scheduling is required for celebrity nannies. Most professional nannies have university or college degrees. Others may only have high school degrees but make up for it with extensive experience.
While most nannies are female, some families prefer to employ mannies: male nannies. A family may decide to hire a mannie because they think it is a better choice for their family. Mannies are usually chosen by families with active kids and are usually former coaches, physical education teachers, camp counsellors or just athletic college students.
The best quality that a celebrity nanny can have is being tight-lipped. Most nannies are asked to sign anonymity contracts. It is primarily for this reason that celebrity nannies are paid such a high salary. Tom Cruise apparently has the most firm anonymity contract with his nannies. It states that the nannies cannot even state the name of their employer, amongst other extreme demands.
While the nannies’ work environment is the home of the celebrities, professional boundaries must still be kept. Nannies must be okay with the fact that, despite sharing the day with the family, they will not be invited to dine or attend family functions with them. If the nanny lives in the celebrity home, they must accept that there will be certain rooms in the house which may be off limits to them.
But indiscretions do happen. After all, nannies are in close proximity to the celebrities. Robin Williams made his nanny, Marsha Garces his wife. She was already pregnant with his child at the time of their wedding. They had 2 children together. Ethan Hawke left his wife Uma Therman for their nanny. He married his nanny, Ryan Shawhughes and had a child with her. Jude Law cheated on Sienna Miller with his nanny, Daisy Wright. David Beckham reportedly had difficulty keeping his hands off his Spanish-born, former lingerie model nanny. Sharon Stone’s nanny, Erlinda Elemen sued her boss for not paying her overtime, making fun of her Filipino accent and forbidding her to read the bible. Robert De Niro’s nanny, Lucyna Turyk-Wawrynowicz stole a pair of diamond earrings from his wife, Grace Hightower and was later deported to Poland. Sharon Osbourne has admitted to husband, Ozzy Osbourne sleeping with his nanny on the night his son Jack was born.
Star parents can be outright demanding. Celebrity Staffing Services stated that one of their A- list clients had to interview nannies at 2 and 3 am because that was the only time they had available during the day. But for the most part, like any parent, they simply want the absolute best for their children and they are in a position to provide it because of their unlimited bank accounts. Gwyneth Paltrow was looking for a nanny for her 5 year old son Moses, and willing to pay $100 000 a year for the right nanny. She was looking for a nanny who could help her son with Greek and Latin on a daily basis. The nanny needed to be fluent in at least 4 languages, preferably in Greek, Latin, Spanish and French. They needed to be musical and able to play 2 different instruments. To top it off, they needed to be sporty too! Every family has different requirements based on their individual needs. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were looking for nannies. Their requirements stated that the nanny had to speak the native language of the child they would be taking care of, they had to be professionally educated in child development and be willing to travel at the drop of a hat. The power couple was willing to pay up to $150 000 per child.
If becoming a celebrity nanny doesn't seem like it is cut out for you, you can always consider becoming a pet nanny. A pet nanny will not have to burp them, change their diapers or push them on swings and because of that, there is a smaller salary - a mere $65 000!