British American Household Staffing Blog
British American Household Staffing had the pleasure of hosting the Association of Celebrity Assistants, Los Angeles Chapter on March 28th at the Montage hotel in LA. Our California team met with members of the organization for a cocktail hour and presented some expert advice for career advancement in the private industry.
Below are our favorite Top Tips from the event. If you are looking to become a personal assistant or are an experienced PA looking to advance to a higher-level position in a private home, consider the following:
- Learn the difference between a formal and informal household and tailor your resume/behavior/appearance accordingly.
- Clean up your social media. Best practice is to make all accounts private.
- Create good, professional relationships with your recruiters.
- Strengthen Your Resume:
- Be clear and concise with your experience. Limit 1-2 pages depending on experience. Confirm all details (dates, locations, etc.)
- Have all letters of recommendation and contact information for references organized and ready to be verified.
- Leverage the exposure you get to people, places and knowledge and take on tasks outside your wheelhouse.
- Keep yourself busy. Find ways to make your employer’s life easier without being asked.
- Always be on call. Don’t assume off hours unless stated.
- Strengthen Your Resume:
- Schedule international travel accommodations and create travel itineraries.
- Successful HMs are information junkies and a resource to their employer. The more you can offer an employer, the more valuable you become.
- Grow your network within the industry.
- Be discreet, well organized and maintain an almost invisible presence around the home.
- Strengthen Your Resume:
- Inventory the home and work with insurance to appraise the household.
- Have advanced cultural knowledge (well-traveled) and social skills (impeccable social etiquette).
- Identify your weaknesses and strengthen them (HR, law, finance, etc.)
- Strengthen Your Resume:
- Oversee the purchase or renovation of a new property.
When you begin your search for a Personal Assistant, take a general inventory of your needs. Different personal assistants will be experts in particular industries and tasks. So your search should focus on those that will best meet your particular needs. Do you travel often and need someone who can arrange and troubleshoot travel arrangements remotely? Do you own your own business that could benefit from having hands-on support? Could your family and household staff benefit from having a professional to maintain order? Do you need someone familiar with busy, celebrity lifestyles that can provide seamless, on-the-go support?
Whether you are a busy celebrity, need support for your business or family or are organizing your private estate, our recruiters will work to find you a qualified and professional personal assistant to support your life.
By Anita Rogers
The short answer is an estate manager will manage a single principal or family’s high-end estate, and a property manager will manage any size and type of property, including apartment complexes, condos, a large mansion, town house, or a country home.
British American Household Staffing is the preferred household staffing agency for private, high-level residences and discreet UHNW homes worldwide.
What does a property manager do?
A property manager will oversee all external duties related to a property or estate. These include any construction, build-outs and build-ins, and general management of the external structure. They will also oversee and manage all outside vendors, including landscapers, maintenance crews, arborists.
Internal structural issues and duties also fall into a property manager’s duties, including HVAC, plumbing, heating, water supply, and all appliances inside the home. Some property managers oversee interior designers, internal architects, and may work alongside general architects. All budgets connected to their duties are managed by the property manager and they report budgets to the estate’s financial offices for approval, payment etc.
What does a property manager not do?
A property manager will not manage domestic staff, create schedules, oversee hiring, training, and firing of domestic staff and childcare. They usually do not have a close relationship with the principals, and they traditionally work with the family office and other internal financial management services the estate has in their employ.
What does an estate manager do?
The term estate manager can apply to a wide range of domestic, managerial roles. The key factor in determining the status of an estate manager will be their experience managing multiple homes and properties. Qualified managers will have worked for principals with 3 or more properties across the United States and/or abroad.
Many duties of an estate manager are also shared by a house manager, but the difference in these two roles is the scale at which they worked. At BAHS, we only present a candidate as an estate manager if they have managed two or more properties (a mansion, an estate, townhouse, or large luxury loft or apartment building) that requires at least 2 housekeepers and another 5 full-time domestic employees in the home.
In general, an estate manager will oversee 5-15 housekeepers, 2-3 chefs, 1-4 nannies, groundsmen, maintenance staff, a butler or personal assistant and a chauffeur. The position often has the possibility of growing into either Chief Of Staff or Director of Residence.
An estate manager will oversee and manage vendors but not quite to the same degree a property manager. Duties of an estate manager include overseeing and managing budgets with the family office or finance/business office, they will usually have a close relationship with the principal or principals. They will oversee and manage growth, especially in relation to an increase in hiring domestic staff. An estate manager will oversee construction projects and they will have some experience in project management. An estate manager has to understand how to run the estate like a CEO and COO runs a company.
If you are a family with an estate or multiple estates and you are looking to hire a director of residences or estate manager, British American Household Staffing will assess your home and needs and present qualified professionals that meet those needs and compliment your lifestyle.
Some multiple properties or larger estates are overstaffed or badly staffed and incorrectly structured, expenditure is often high, and domestic staff are not being utilized properly or need to be replaced. We have helped replace or reduce the staff in homes while ensuring the estate runs smoothly.
This creates a home environment that is cost efficient, free of stress, and staffed with competent employees that are discreet and committed to long-term positions. We are available to recommend resources for domestic staffing laws in your state and, most importantly, ensure the family is legally protected.
Connect with our office today to begin the process of finding the right household staff.
Are you looking for a new nanny or maternity nurse? Maybe an upgrade in childcare for extra help during this busy season? We have all types of screened and carefully chosen childcare professionals including nannies, governesses, and newborn care specialists.
As summer days begin to shorten, families with children begin to plan for the hustle and bustle of fall. Back to school time is the perfect opportunity to find and hire the right help to support your busy life and booster your children’s success.
Common Types of Nanny and Childcare Professionals
What type of nanny or childcare professional you hire will depend heavily on your family’s individual needs. Common types of nannies for school-aged children are:
Full-Time Nanny - the nanny’s exact schedule depends on the family, but full-time nannies most often care for the children while the parents are at work and/or handling household management beyond childcare consistently every week.
Part-Time Nanny - part-time nannies offer much needed support for busy families that need afterschool or weekend childcare.
Governess or Nanny/Tutor - a nanny/tutor will be able to prioritize educational activities and work with each child’s unique learning styles to foster an engaging environment.
Nanny/Personal Assistant - the nanny that can take on personal assistant tasks, like scheduling appointments and running errands, can be a big help for busy families with older children that don’t need as much attention.
Hiring the Right Childcare for Your Family
Having the right childcare in place will not only support the family’s schedule, it will give added support and structure to each child’s development. To decide what type of childcare is best, consider you and your children’s unique needs:
What are the ages of your children?
Would a nanny specializing in education and tutoring be ideal?
Does your family travel extensively?
Do the children need full-charge care or is a parent/s home during the day?
Would a high-energy nanny that can keep up with busy schedules be best? Or would your children thrive with a calm, quiet presence?
Do you employ other staff in your home and need a team player, or a nanny that works best autonomously and knows what to do with little direction?
Is there a language requirement?
The Benefits of Hiring a Governess or Nanny/Tutor
Many of our families look to hire educated nannies and governesses. We encourage this choice as children learn the most from those around them. We feel a nanny with the training, education and skills related to age-appropriate development including sibling rivalry, positive reinforcement, etiquette, and tutoring is a positive force around children. This support and guidance sets up children for continued success throughout their life.
Only an educated, trained, and skilled nanny will truly understand how to manage these dynamics. Their end goal is always to help children feel loved, valued, gain confidence, encourage education, and help them learn coping skills.
Our team of recruiting specialists can help determine what care is best for your family and match you with qualified candidates.
Still not sure exactly what type of nanny your home needs? Contact our office to be connected with an expert recruiter that can assess your needs and recommend the right nanny for your family.
Because every family’s needs are different, our commitment as your nanny agency is to provide expert service that saves you time, sees that all details are in order, and matches a nanny that compliments your home and unique needs. We believe that if both sides of the placement - family and nanny - are beyond satisfied in their placement, the relationship will be happier, more successful and longer-lasting.
What is the difference between a private chef and a personal chef?
While equally qualified in food preparation and service, a private chef and a personal chef are two different positions in a home.
According to the American Personal & Private Chef Association,
"A private chef is employed by one individual or family full time, and often lives in, preparing up to three meals per day. A personal chef serves several clients, usually one per day."
What are the duties of a private chef?
A private chef’s overall responsibility is to prepare meals for an individual or family. They may live-in with the family to provide on-call service or plan weekly meals according to a set schedule. A common schedule for a private chef is to work mid-morning to evening in the home preparing lunch, dinner and breakfast for the next day. A private chef will also be essential in planning any hosting event in the home and able to implement their expertise in meal planning and execution.
A private chef’s specific duties may include:
- Keeping informed of all food and sanitation rules
- Menu planning based on dietary needs and preferences
- Keeping kitchens clean and organized
- Managing other household staff involved in food prep and serving
- Stocking pantries and refrigerator
- Preparing meals to be reheated by the family later
- Planning and preparing any and all food and drink for events/gatherings in the home
- Preparing healthy snacks that are easily accessible to the family between meal times.
Does your home need a private chef?
Private chefs work 3-5 days a week in one home for an individual or family for a long-term commitment, not for occasional or temporary needs. Busy professionals, individuals with specific dietary needs and families juggling multiple schedules are common households that employ private chefs. Full-time chefs are commonly paid an annual salary with benefits.
Consider the needs of your home when looking to hire a private chef. Do you entertain? Do you have any special dietary needs or favorite cuisines? Most chefs will specialize in a cuisine/s and can offer authentic tastes and experiences. Are there children in the home that may need special meals? Chefs that can anticipate younger palettes and adjust without compromising quality or health are invaluable.
One of the top benefits of hiring a private chef through British American Household Staffing is knowing that your new chef will have years of experience in high net worth and formal homes. Our chefs are all top-of-the-line and understand proper decorum and measures that are needed in your family's setting. They will be able to discern your needs and will follow a strict guideline based on your requests, or will experiment with a variety of cuisines if that is what you prefer.
By Anita Rogers
What is a Personal Assistant?
A personal assistant (PA) is an administrative professional who manages all personal and some business duties of their employer. These duties may include personal appointments, beauty appointments, health-related appointments, children’s schedules, vacation bookings, and all travel-related arrangements, expenses and bookkeeping, etc. A PA may also maintain a personal budget and help get the best deals on all bookings and refunds for travel.
I often hear, a good personal assistant will save you their salary in savings from finding the best deals, to getting refunds from vendors, organizing special treatments for less, using discount sites to get the best luxury deals, and more. This savings is on top of the time and energy you will save from having competent management of your life and business.
A personal assistant may work from your corporate office or from a home office. Some PAs may work remotely one or two days a week, especially if their employer is travelling. Some have strict office hours while others will be available on an on-call schedule. The personal assistants with a more flexible, on-call availability will typically require a higher salary, but are a relief to have when things need to be handled outside of business hours.
In the home, a PA may manage vendors, coordinate staff schedules and training, and oversee any repairs or renovations. In smaller homes, they may function as a house manager and take on more domestic duties.
Key features of a great PA are: discretion and loyalty, reliability, tech-savviness, “hands on” attitude, and the ability to work proactively.
Most importantly, your personal assistant should practice discretion and loyalty. Competency and reliability are also key as PAs are responsible for many details of life and business being completed.
Being a team player is a crucial need for any personal assistant. Not only because no task is too small, but your assistant will be coordinating and sometimes managing the rest of your team.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is an assistant who only works remotely. They may be available for on-site visits to assess projects or problems, but do the majority of their work, as the name suggests, virtually.
The positive side of hiring a VA is the very fact that they work remotely and will not invade privacy or be privy to any personal details beyond their duties and job description. They work autonomously with little need for extensive direction.
The negative aspects are that they are not onsite for emergencies in the home or business. A burst pipe or late housekeeper, for example, may first need to be relayed to the principal before a VA could address the issue.
Ideally, VAs work with a fixed list of tasks or responsibilities to accomplish weekly or daily. Consistent communication is key, but they will be self-motivated and autonomous workers that do not need constant direction or feedback.
What Type of Assistant Should You Hire?
At BAHS, we have found that virtual assistants are more popular with single professionals who are living between several time-zones and are rarely home. These types of clients often need things last minute, including travel booking, moving homes, or issues with last minute travel changes.
The other type of client we see hiring VAs are Bay Area individuals or families who tend to prefer a staff-free home as much as possible. The Bay Area culture is more private in general, disliking live-in staff or full-time onsite help where they can avoid it.
While having tasks managed virtually works for some, the traditional, on-site personal assistant is still the best support for busy individuals and families. Through knowing their employer’s needs and being in tune with the inner workings of the life and business, a good assistant will be able to anticipate problems before they come.
A good assistant can react and solve problems with ease. A great assistant can proactively work to avoid problems all together.
While there is no set standard of educational requirements to be a personal assistant, a college degree in communications or business is common. PAs represented by British American Household Staffing have prior experience working with celebrities and high-level executives.
Our rigorous screening process selects only the most qualified and experienced candidates. Our expert team of recruiters will work with you to find the right match of caregiver to you family’s needs to work toward a happy and long-term placement.
What is a newborn care specialist?
A newborn care specialist (NCS) is a non-medical professional who comes into the home when the baby comes home from the hospital. They generally assist parents from a few weeks up to several months in all aspects of newborn care and provide overnight, daytime, or 24-hour care.
How soon should I book my NCS?
We recommend booking as soon as possible, as schedules can fill up quickly. Best practice is to book when your doctor confirms your due date.
What if I already had my baby and have an immediate need?
No problem! We are generally able to fill emergency or last minute requests for families.
How long should I book my NCS for?
We recommend at least 2 weeks of care. However, some families will request services for up to one year. Once you no longer require a NCS and would like a nanny, please contact us about our nanny placement services.
What if I don’t know how long I want to keep my NCS?
We suggest putting a range. We only require that you fulfill the minimum amount of time that you specify on the contract. In most cases, you are able to extend past what you’ve written on the contract, especially if you are able to give 1 to 2 weeks’ notice.
What type of screening process do your newborn care specialists go through?
All of our newborn care specialists are asked detailed questions regarding their knowledge about child development, infant safety issues, scheduling, and breastfeeding. They must pass a nationwide criminal background check that includes social security verification. We call their personal and professional references and make that information available to you. All of our specialists must have current CPR and a minimum of 3 years’ prior experience with infants. They also have various certifications and attend trainings that cover different aspects of newborn care.
Can I meet the NCS that you match me with before she starts the job?
Specialists are happy to meet if there is time between their assignments. However, if there is not an opportunity to meet her before she begins working, you can speak extensively with her over the phone or Skype and call her references before committing to that NCS and before being charged any application fee.
Do you have specialists who have experience with multiples?
Yes. Many NCSs will specialise in working with a particular populations, such as twins and triplets.
Does “Baby Nurse” mean they have an actual nursing license or degree in nursing?
You may see newborn care specialists referred to a “baby nurses” which denotes a background in nursing. While a specialist may be a CNA, LPN, or have experience working in a hospital’s infant care, it is not a requirement for the role. Newborn care specialists will have a certification from a professional newborn care or NCS organization. Their focus is to provide non-medical care for your baby.
How does a NCS benefit breastfeeding moms at night?
They will bring the baby to the mom for all feedings. When mom is done feeding, the NCS will take the baby and care for its needs until the next feeding, allowing mom much needed rest.
What is the NCS NOT required to take care of?
Your newborn care specialist will not cook, clean, or do household chores. She is only responsible for the baby’s complete care along with duties pertaining to the baby such as laundry, cleaning bottles/breastfeeding supplies, and keeping the nursery stocked and tidy.
Will my NCS help my older child adjust to the new baby?
While the NCS is not responsible for caring for any of your older children, she can help them adjust to having a new sibling in the home.
If my baby arrives on a different date than I wrote on the contract, how will I know my NCS is available for me?
We encourage all NCS placements to include the specialist being on call two weeks before and two weeks after the estimated due date.
How do I begin the process of booking a NCS?
Connect with your local office to speak with a recruiter that can answer any questions you have and begin assessing your needs to match with the right newborn care specialist.
How is the NCS paid?
The family is responsible for paying the NCS directly at the end of each week based on the number of hours she is there. This will be laid out in writing prior to the start date.
Do I need to pay taxes on my NCS?
A NCS is considered an independent contractor. Based on your own state’s rules she may be required to receive a 1099. Find more information about tax and labour laws for household staff.
What accommodations are required for the NCS?
For 24-hour care the NCS will sleep when the baby is sleeping. For overnight shifts, you can request the NCS to stay in the baby’s room or you can choose to provide the NCS with a separate living space with a baby monitor where she can read, work on the computer, or watch TV after her other duties are finished and the baby is sleeping.
Am I required to provide the NCS with meals?
With 24-hour care it is required to provide the NCS with food. For overnight care, it is not required, but if you would like, you can have snacks and drinks available.
Do I need to pay for my NCS’s travel expenses?
Finding the right newborn care specialist for you may mean hiring from out-of-state. The client is monetarily responsible for round trip transportation if the NCS is coming from another state. Some specialists will also travel to your home by taxi, metro, or ferry and will request reimbursement for these fares. Again, this will be laid out in writing and agreed upon by all parties prior to the start date.
Should I tip my NCS?
Yes, tipping your newborn care specialist or baby nurse is customary but not required. Between 10%-15% of the total job assignment is standard.
When I’m using 24-hour care when does the NCS sleep?
The NCS will sleep when the baby is sleeping. She will also be allowed a 4-5 hour break per each 24-hour period in which she can decide to sleep or leave the premises.
Will the NCS put my baby on a schedule?
The NCS will fit into the plan that you want for your baby. Specialists are trained to establish structure early on and adhere to an infant’s natural schedule. When we are in the process of matching you with a specialist, we will discuss the type of care that will be the best match for your family.
Can I have the NCS travel with our family on vacation?
Yes. All expenses for food, travel, etc are the responsibility of the family.
Can someone purchase services as a baby gift for me?
Yes. Family or friends can purchase gift certificates for you. However, the family using the services in their home is required to fill out the application.
When my NCS is finished and I have a nanny starting, can the NCS train my new nanny?
Yes, if schedules permit it is a good idea to have the newborn care specialist train any nannies coming on board as the NCS will know your child’s care best.
Does my NCS get any days off?
Yes. This varies depending on how many hours the NCS works each week and will be agreed upon before the start date. Please refer to the contract for more information.
If my NCS has a day off, can I have someone fill in for her?
Sometimes. This is not always guaranteed and depends on how many of our NCSs are working at the time you need a fill in.
Do NCSs work on holidays?
Yes, some NCSs will work on holidays. If needed, this should be outlined in the initial conversations with your recruiter in order to focus on specialists that will be able to work the desired schedule.
When NCSs work on holidays, do they get paid time and a half?
Yes, the NCS should be paid time and a half for the following holidays:
Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and July 4th.
By Anita Rogers
The number of families employing private chefs has grown in the last decade. What was once considered an expendable luxury is becoming more and more popular and integral to supporting busy families. For most, the convenience and support of having a private chef, as well as the health benefits, more than outweigh the cost.
What are the different kinds of chefs a family or individual can hire?
A chef can work three basic schedules:
1. A full-time chef will work 5 days a week preparing and serving lunch and dinner (and sometimes breakfast for the next day).
This option is the most expensive. The cost would depend on the amount of people the chef is cooking for and the area they are working. In NYC, for example, a full-time chef can cost between $120,000 to $200,000 a year, often with health insurance or other benefits offered.
2. A part-time chef will work preparing either lunch or dinner and serving or just preparing these meals.
This option is usually based on a day rate, whether it is two meals a day or one, and for how many people. Rates average between $400 and $600 a day, rarely with health insurance.
3. A chef who prepares meals in their own kitchen and brings the food to the family or individual’s home and stocking the fridge.
This last option is the most economical as this is based on an hourly rate, ranging from $60-120 an hour. Busy working parents will often choose this option as it allows both professionals to save the time spent on grocery shopping, preparing, and cooking.
What kind of diets do chefs cater to?
There are many dietary requests given to chefs. Some personal chefs can manage all of these requests well, but many will specialise in a particular style or diet. Diets and cuisine specialties may include:
- Low carb
- Low fat
- Low salt
- Gluten free
- Dairy free
- Low salt
- Non processed, fully organic
- Farm to table
Many chef schools, like the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) or Cordon Bleu will teach general courses but have the trainees specialise in a type of cuisine. Cordon Bleu, for example, is centered around French cooking and considered the king of all cuisines.
Some chefs, especially yacht chefs, have had to master Asian, French, American, and Mediterranean. This is out of pure necessity as yacht crew usually follow a captain on many charters of very different types of clients and the requests run the gamut. Yacht chefs are a popular hire for higher end estates or residences as they can cater to large crowds, fulfil almost any request and work long hours, which is often required for large dinner parties. Estate families often hold frequent events and parties and they will often have two or three chefs who cover the week.
Specialty diets have become one of the most popular requests over the past decade. With the new research on diets and weight control, low carb and high fat diets such as Paleo or Keto have proved successful. Recent research into autism, allergies, and ADD has shown low sugar and gluten free diets can help with underlying issues, especially in children. Sometimes a chef will cook gluten free for one child, sugar free for another, and full fat, low sugar for one or both of the parents.
Vegan diets are very popular and more families are requesting a diet consisting of fully non-processed food. A qualified chef will know how to provide balanced nutrition while adhering to vegan restrictions.
Farm to table is also very popular, and this diet is based around seasonal, organic, fresh produce and involves working with specialty butchers, markets, milling flour for homemade bread etc.
A personal chef job description is never easy, no matter what schedule or type of chef is required. The benefits can be enormous and certainly make up for the cost:
- Weight loss
- Minimizing risk of diabetes and some cancers
- Helping manage autism
- Managing hyperactivity in children
- Sleep improvement
- Time saved that would have been spent shopping, preparing, cooking, and serving
If you want to improve your eating habits, your family’s eating habits, if you want to save time and enjoy delicious dinner, or if you love to entertain regularly, consider hiring a personal chef. We at BAHS truly believe the benefits far outweigh the cost.
At one time, the terms “butler” and “house manager” could be used interchangeably in reference to the professional charged with organizing and maintaining a formal home. Over time the definition and basic responsibilities of these two occupations has shifted apart into very distinct roles.
As explained by British American Household Staffing’s founder Anita Rogers when interviewed for Town and Country:
A house manager oversees the structure of the staff and typically does all of the hiring and firing. They handle scheduling—making sure a chauffeur is always on call, housekeepers shifts are covered, and that a replacement is available if someone calls in sick. They're also responsible for the budgeting, financial planning, and overall management of household.
A seasoned butler is properly trained in etiquette, so they understand how to serve a meal and handle all the details, from the wine pairings down to the flower arranging. They provide a white glove experience, which not everyone needs or wants. In Silicon Valley, for instance, no one would have a butler. But in New York, it's much more common.
Professional butler duties often vary and may include but are not limited to managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, and maintaining the wardrobe for the members of the house. They will be well versed in etiquette and serving, and have thorough understanding of formal home care.
Due to West-Coast culture and how homes have changed in modern times, house managers are much more common in California. They may take on duties traditional to a butler as well as more managerial tasks for the home. A qualified house manager will be able to adjust to a Principal’s lifestyle, whether formal or informal and provide professional and efficient service.
A house manager of a larger property will report to the estate manager, Chief of Staff or Director of Residences. A house manager in a smaller property or more urban home will often report directly to the Principals.
The house manager is responsible for the smooth running of one property. Depending on the size and Principal’s needs, there may be some overlap of duties similar to ones a personal assistant or executive housekeeper may have. A good house manager will be willing and able to pitch in wherever needed to ensure the home runs smoothly.
Every household is different in needs and level of attention. Some Principals entertain often and require “white-glove” service. While other households demand that a manager oversee extensive construction and renovation. A house manager in a townhouse may oversee from three to fifteen members of staff and manage their schedules weekly and monthly. In a larger estate, they may work with other managers, such as a personal assistant or Director when managing the large staff base within the property.
More common responsibilities may include:
- Supervise all contractors and vendors
- Hire, train, and manage household staff
- Receive and look after guests
- Plan and execute events
- Craft and manage a household manual
- Manage household budgets and bookkeeping
- Prepare property ahead of a Principal’s arrival
- Maintain automobiles, private jets, and/or private yachts
- Cooking, cleaning and laundry duties as needed
By Anita Rogers
The term “super nanny” is not ideal, as nannies can be “super” for a variety of reasons including loyalty, honestly, balancing nanny and housekeeping skills, and more. If a nanny meets a family's needs and support the care and growth of the children, she is super. However, the term has become popular to describe what we at BAHS call “career nannies.”
What is a “super nanny”?
Whether they are called career nannies or super nannies, professionals at this level have dedicated years to gaining education, training, and experience in childcare
General Requirements to be a Nanny
- No criminal record, no DUI, updated CPR certificate
- Excellent, verifiable references from a family member of the previous employers
- Kind, loving, caring and a lot of common sense
- Quick thinking, responsible, intelligent
Requirements to be a Super Nanny
- At least five years of experience working in an HNW or UHNW home
- A Bachelor’s degree, usually in Early Childhood Education, Psychology, or an equivalent field
- Must be able to swim and drive well
- A flexible schedule
- A up-to-date passport. Green Cards can be suitable, but the nanny must be able to travel (domestically and internationally) with the family.
- An understanding of correct and proper etiquette and how to teach manners
- Age-appropriate experience for the position in question
- Physically fit and healthy. A nanny should be able to physically keep up with children and promote healthy eating habits. (Note that this does not relate to a nanny's weight)
- Well-spoken. If the family is English speaking, the nanny should have an excellent spoken and written command of the English language
Furthermore, a “super nanny” will understand the workings of an estate. They will have experience working in a fully-staffed home and understand how to dress modestly and with the correct colors required by the household, to always have a change of shoes, to not wear heavy make-up or have long nails, to wear minimal, subtle jewelry, and not wear any perfume.
A nanny will understand how to prepare meals for the children according to the requirements of the family. They will know how to step back at dinner parties or events in the home and how to engage politely and minimally with guests, if engaged with. They will understand correct table manners and how to keep the children engaged at the table so the adults can enjoy their evening. The super nanny will always understand and uphold appropriate boundaries, including with the parents. Knowing when to be hands on and when to step back and defer to the parent's lead is a must for successful super nannies.
A super nanny understands how to pack last minute for travel. Expert super nannies will have experience caring for children on a yacht. As the deep water is dangerous for children, the nanny will know the safety workings of the yacht. They also know how to dress on a yacht – a swimsuit and not a bikini, inconspicuous colors, longer dresses, and high cut tops.
When travelling with the family, a super nanny will work extensive hours. When traveling to exotic destinations, the nanny will work overtime, sometimes all night, as the children will not be on their regular schedule and don’t usually sleep through the night. Although it sounds luxurious, in reality, traveling is actually the hardest part of the super nanny’s job as she or he is often exhausted, and works around the clock ensuring the children get attention when they need it and help manage their sleep routines.
A super nanny will have a background in security training and will have experience working with a security expert on how to keep the children safe, 24/7. There is usually a security team with the family and children, but the nanny is the closest to the children so her training is vital.
The list goes on, but to summarize, being a super nanny is not easy but it can be very rewarding and these nannies are well-compensated and treated well. These nannies have a love for childhood development and this drives them to do the best possible job they can do.
The super nannies, or career nannies, we work with at BAHS are dedicated to their career and find great fulfilment in helping families raise happy, well-educated, well-rounded and well-mannered children. We strive to match families with their perfect nanny and secure long-term placements.
Because of their vast experience and training, super nannies do work at a higher pay than general nannies. For more information, see where BAHS was recently featured, What It Takes to Be a $200,000-a-Year Nanny.
By Anita Rogers
What is the difference between an executive housekeeper and a cleaner?
An executive housekeeper is a housekeeper with extensive experience cleaning fine homes and private residences. A standard cleaner is able to scrub, clean, do basic organizing, and laundry but won’t have abilities beyond basic cleaning and clothing care.
An executive housekeeper will understand how to deep clean as well as how to manage detailed organizing, both creating systems and maintaining them. These tasks may include color coding wardrobes, arranging clothing by season and type, alphabetizing the pantry, and labeling children’s clothes. They will understand proper folding and storage of clothes as well.
An executive housekeeper will know how to properly set a formal table for a dinner or dinner party and will understand the correct way to serve; including which side to pour wine, when to take the plates away from the dinner table, how to remain invisible during dinner but be available for anything the guests may need at a moment’s notice.
An executive housekeeper will wear a uniform, usually chosen by the family or principal. Standard uniforms are khaki pants and a white blouse for the summer and black pants and a white blouse for the other seasons. They will know to wear a different pair of shoes inside the residence, tie their hair, wear no make-up or perfume, and wear minimal to no jewelry.
Both executive housekeepers and cleaners will know how to work on a team, but an executive domestic staffing team is much more sophisticated and tech-centric. Every member of staff understands their place and who to take orders from. The staff with operate similar to one in a 7-star resort. Everything will appear seamless. The principal, family, and guests will never see or hear of any issues or problems.
Each member of an executive domestic staffing team will know every inch of the household manual for each residence. They will understand how to work a smart home system, be capable of answering the phone politely and delivering the message when the time is right. Every member of an executive domestic staffing team is a sophisticated, well-trained member of the household while being able to be both directed and autonomous when necessary.
What about laundry?
This is a common question for us at BAHS. Does an executive housekeeper also do laundry? The answer is yes and no.
Some executive housekeepers must do laundry as the residence is a high-end home but not an estate. The latter will have an extensive staff, from estate managers to chefs and usually has a minimum of 5 housekeepers per property. A fine home of two working parents or one professional may also be a luxury home with high standards, but there isn’t the large square footage to warrant hiring a large housekeeping staff. The principals in these types of homes will still pay the competitive market rate for an executive housekeeper, as they want the home cleaned and maintained properly.
Some executive housekeepers prefer the idea of working in a home with less staff. They can be more autonomous and sometimes better appreciated as they are naturally closer to the family being one of a few employees in the home. These candidates know if they are going to relinquish working in an estate, they will have to take on more of an all-encompassing role in this kind of home. An executive housekeeper in these homes will not take on childcare or chef responsibilities, but they will take on general professional laundry duties.
What is a laundress?
In an estate, the family or principal will hire a separate laundress, whose main job description is taking care of fine clothing. The laundress will understand how to press, steam, fold, and starch. Couture clothing can carry value of up to 10 million dollars and must be cared for professionally. It can take a laundress up to 30 mins to iron one shirt, if it is to be done properly.
A laundress will usually have previous seamstress experience as well as experience working with fine clothing. Some men’s shirts are tailored specifically for the principal by a renowned tailor. These shirts are better maintained at home and they are rarely sent to an outside vendor. It makes sense to invest in a laundress if one has clothing of this kind of value.
A professional couple or principal in a luxury home as opposed to an estate will rarely require such high-level care of clothing, but they will need in-home professional laundry care. What does this entail? Excellent pressing and steaming, perfect folding and organizing of the clothing and a proper understanding of what clothes should be hand-washed or machine-washed. Your Prada cashmere sweater should not end up in the washing machine! An executive housekeeper will have enough intelligence, experience and knowledge to carry out these laundry duties.
What will an executive housekeeper cost me?
Prices for domestic staff are dictated by the market level for high-end hospitality as well as by supply and demand. In New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut an executive housekeeper will have an annual salary between $68,000–90,000. Many will require partial or full health insurance as well, which can be factored into their salary.
In San Francisco and the peninsula, executive housekeeper salaries range from $80,000–120,000 plus health insurance. San Francisco is relatively newer to wealth than New York, Palm Beach, or Greenwich. The area is also more understated, so properties and expectations are high but the need to show off isn't. This requires staff understand how to be invisible while available and how to work to a very high standard. Subsequently, a regular cleaner is not appropriate for these needs. There are less executive housekeeper candidates in the Bay Area than any other area.
Los Angeles varies by area – Santa Barbara is more expensive than the general Los Angeles areas due to supply and demand. An executive housekeeper in Santa Barbara will have a salary between $70,000–90,000, sometimes requiring health insurance whereas in the inner Los Angeles areas salaries range from $60,000–80,000, rarely asking for health insurance.
Palm Beach is not that accessible for those whose net worth is under 2 million dollars, so many domestic positions require living accommodations. This means the supply is limited. To find high quality service, our Palm Beach families will often relocate an executive housekeeper from New York or New Jersey and pay New York rates to ensure their residence is in good hands.