Historically the childcare sector has been a primarily female dominated industry. However, times are changing, with the number of men, also known as a ‘manny’, in the childcare industry higher than ever before!

We discovered that men now account for 8% of the nanny workforce, a 5% increase since 2019 where men accounted for just 3% of professionals in the sector, according to national reports.

Additionally, Google trends figures confirm the increase, as searches for male nannies in the UK were at their highest last month (April 2021) and were double those of the start of the year… Not only that, but supply is increasing too. More men than ever are seeking childcare work in the UK.

Following the findings, we have spoken to some of the amazing male nannies here at Koru Kids to find out their first-hand experiences of being a manny, how they got into nannying and what it’s like being a man in a predominantly female industry.

Rachel Carrell, CEO and Founder of Koru Kids says…

“Male nannies, aka ‘mannies’, are not a new group of professionals, however they are sadly very rare, like most men in the early years education and childcare industry.  With such a lack of gender diversity across the sector, many people have traditionally seen childcare professionals as a job for females, however it’s encouraging to see that this is changing

“We loved talking to some of the men working as nannies on our site, it was really interesting to hear their experiences, and hope both our findings and their stories can help pave the way and inspire more men to consider working in the childcare industry.”

Let us introduce you to some of our Mannies…

Tom from South London, 23 years old

Tom is a friendly, active and positive young man who used to work as a drama tutor for kids aged 5-8 years. In his spare time he enjoys acting, painting, music and other artistic activities.

Click here for this Tom’s Koru Kids CV: https://go.korukids.co/8n1u

A bit about Tom

I trained at drama school and before that I worked for a drama workshop where I was a teaching assistant for young kids. Then I moved to London after graduating from drama school in 2019 – I’m from Manchester. I had done babysitting before but Koru Kids was my first role as a nanny. It’s been tough this last year with the arts industry.

When I’m not being a nanny I run a theatre company and I’m in a band. I set up the theatre company with three other friends when I finished drama school which has been a lot of fun. Greenwich theatre took on a play we made and streamed online. We’re currently working on a new play which I’ve written. It’s about a vegan fast food restaurant set in the future.

What attracted you to the childcare industry?

I heard about Koru Kids through a friend who was also with Koru Kids and I kept seeing them online; I already wanted to be a nanny and Koru Kids was the first name I thought of. I’m a creative person and I think that’s a big part of being a nanny – it’s really rewarding. It’s a chance every day to exercise your creativity being with kids. It’s so rewarding. The kids are so enthusiastic.

What is the family you work with like?

I’ve been working with a Koru Kids family for a year now – they have two children, 9yrs and 6yrs. I started as a full-time nanny cos the kids were out of school but now I do after school pick ups.

The kids are really creative, so we fit really well together and they love reading which I love. The boy is also mad about football which I love too.

Has it been a challenge to find families to work with or the opposite?

It’s not really been a challenge – the family I work with were the second or third family who got in touch. They reached out to me. We really clicked – it’s hard to put your finger on it but I just knew they were the right family. They’re reasonably close to where I live, and the kids were really excited about the idea of having me as a nanny. The parents are so lovely and have always made me feel so welcome. We’ve built such a lovely relationship. It was a really simple process.

What are the best bits about being a manny?

No two days are ever the same. You are always on your toes and active and the days just fly by. Kids are so present so you need to be present with them – you get to be childish again!

What do you do with the kids?

We build a lot of stuff out of paper mâché and then destroy them! They love it. We also do a lot of baking and turn it into something more – like a picnic or a pretend camping trip.

Harry from South West London, 28 years old

Harry is an outgoing, creative and engaged man who worked for a year au-pairing and teaching in Paris while acting there. He’s is really into languages and is currently teaching himself Norwegian and sign language. He also has a lot of yoga and acrobatic experience and is an accomplished actor. He speaks fluent French and speaks basic Italian and Norwegian.

Click here for Harry’s Koru Kids CV: https://go.korukids.co/66w4

Tell me a bit about yourself?

I’m an actor and have worked as a nanny for a 4 year old when I was at drama school in Paris. Since living in London after uni acting work has been difficult so i turned back to nannying about a year ago. I speak French and Italian – they’re my hobby! And my drama school course was in French.

What attracted you to the childcare industry?

I started when I was at uni in France. There is a big market over there for English nannies especially if you have a British accent! It was recommended by a friend and it fitted really well around my lifestyle/studies. It was an after-school role.

How long have you been a Koru Kids nanny for?

I came back to London in 2018 and started as a Koru Kids nanny about 2 years later. I heard about Koru Kids when I was looking for a role when the arts industry was falling apart when covid hit. Koru Kids seemed like a nice, legitimate agency.

I’ve worked with a few different families over the last year. They all have an interest in languages such as French and Italian which was great for me, and meant I was great for them. 

The first family was a short-term role to cover home-schooling for the summer term while some kids were at home before the holidays. 

The second family had to move because of a lockdown, and they wanted help getting their child into a bilingual school – they hired me because they wanted help with him learning French to get into the new school. This last family I’ve been working with hired me in January, and I look after just the one child, 6. I was helping with home-schooling, and now schools are back I do the school pickups 3 days a week.

With the rest of my time I teach LAMDA (acting) online and coaching child actors with auditions. Occasionally I work in a cafe too (but that doesn’t happen very often). If I’m having a good week I’ll also be at acting auditions (theatre).

Has it been a challenge to find families to work with or the opposite?

It was quite easy to get requests coming in from families, but harder to find the right ‘fit’. There have been a couple I’ve spoken to which just haven’t felt right, but the system was efficient. For the right ‘fit’ the practicality of it needs to be ok with my lifestyle – I make it really clear that I need some flexibility so I can go to auditions if needed. I also like working with just 1 or 2 children. When you start looking, it really feels like there’s the right family out there for everyone and vice versa.

I love how the family profiles list what the children are interested in – is the child fun? Do we have similar interests? I look for things like the kids being interested in drama, sports being outdoors… LEGO! All the interviews I’ve had with the families have been interested in my interests – drama, sport, languages – which was fantastic.

What are the best bits about being a manny?

Working as a manny is so rewarding, especially when you have that connection. It just doesn’t feel like work when you’re both playing together and having a fun time. For example, last week the girl I looked after really wanted to climb trees so we did that for an hour and it was just fun! It didn’t feel like work at all.

We have nannies to help with wraparound care this summer

Jed from South West London, 23 years old

Jed is a sweet and friendly young man who’s a Drama and History graduate from Kingston University. He did a 5 month internship teaching English with children in China and taught primary kids (about 5 and 6). Jed already has experience as a Koru Kids after school nanny and worked with another family for a year.

Click here for Jed’s Koru Kids CV: https://goo.gl/VumGAM

Tell me a bit about yourself?

I’m from Plymouth and I moved to London when I was 18 to go to University – I studied Drama with History. I have a background in the arts and theatre, from Agatha Christie to 101 Dalmatians. I have an interest in children’s theatre which gave me an interest in being a nanny.

How long have you been a Koru Kids nanny for?

I joined in 2017. When I was looking for part-time jobs Koru Kids were doing a call out for student nannies. I needed some extra cash, especially being in London and I had spare time. I also think it’s such a great experience being a nanny – it looks great on your CV and opens up so many doors.

When I’m not being a Koru Kids part-time nanny I’m a children’s entertainer, a COVID-19 vaccinator (as of last week!) and I’m in theatres (I’m currently working on Alice in Wonderland).

What is the family you work with like?

I currently look after just one boy, 7, three afternoons a week. I do the school pick up and we go to the park, and I help with homework and worksheets. I’ll make him dinner and get him ready for sports clubs (football). He really enjoys drama and is doing LAMDA which I help with – we’re even writing a play together! It helps him with English language, drama and ultimately, it’s fun.

At the interview the mum asked me a few questions about what I’m interested in, like drama, and the boy loves that too. I did a trial with them first and we really clicked – we could both see the similarities and it just worked. They also live really nearby, just a 20 minute walk away!

Has it been a challenge to find families to work with or the opposite?

It was originally difficult to find a family back in 2017 – families wanted a female nanny and that’s the vibe I got from a lot of families too, especially if they have girls.

After I got my first family I was then able to get more easily. Even my first family wanted a referee because they have a daughter. I think that since having experience with other Koru Kids families (working with girls and boys) it’s been easier to find more families. I also think there is more demand for a manny now – I think it’s quite a novelty and a bit trendy. People like the idea of having something a bit rare which is the case for a manny in a usually female dominated sector. When I did my Koru Kids training, I was the only male nanny there. The family I now work with has one boy and they specifically were looking for a manny – the boy really wanted one and it’s a single (mum) parent household.

I’ve worked with 3 families; the first 2017-2019, with 2 kids. The second family in January this year for short-term as the family’s grandparents were moving back to help with childcare in March. With my current (third) family, I started working for in April 2021.

What are the best bits about being a manny?

There’s nothing more rewarding than being a child again yourself and looking after kids. Knowing you’ve contributed to a nice childhood is so rewarding! I really love supporting kids, and being there for them, knowing that I’m making a difference. 

Find an awesome and vetted part-time nanny like Jed today

Conor from South East London, 22 years old

Conor is a young man who is studying Musical Theatre Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music And Dance. His previous experience includes working at a special needs school and a nursery during his gap year as a classroom assistant on a substitute basis. 

Tell me a bit about yourself?

I’m from Northern Ireland but studying in London. I used to work as a teaching assistant at a drama club for kids and chaperoning. I also sing and tutor singing – I’m a qualified classical singing teacher. Unfortunately I don’t have time to keep teaching whilst at university, but I do also have another part-time job at a bar on top of being a manny.

What attracted you to the childcare industry?

I found Koru Kids through Indeed, looking for a classroom assistant or nannying role. I love working with kids and was specifically looking for something with kids or an agency, instead of retail again or more bar work because sometimes you can dread that a bit. Working with kids, being a manny, I don’t dread because it’s fun. It really fits in with my studies, working with my university schedule.

How long have you been a Koru Kids nanny for?

Just a month or so now! I look after two kids – a boy and a girl, 8 and 10. I work 5 days a week doing morning drop offs and afternoon pickups. They live nearby, just a 30 minute walk from me which is great. 

Has it been a challenge to find families to work with or the opposite?

I’ve been with Koru Kids for only a couple of months; I signed up in February and found a family to work with soon after.

It was really easy to get in touch with families. I spoke to quite a few and let them know as soon as I knew if they weren’t for me. The right family came along for me in a matter of weeks – they’re just really communicative, had a lovely phone interview and when I met the kids they were really energetic. The kids have similar interests to me as when I was a kid – they’re really good at maths and I enjoyed that too… We just really clicked! One of the kids also plays the clarinet which I used to play so I can help with their music too.

What are the perks of being a manny?

You have fun (whilst being responsible) and you really know when you’ve done a good job. You know you’ve worked hard but it’s been fun and that’s rewarding.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I usually pick the kids up and take them home – doing homework is priority and they’re allowed a limited time on their screens. I also get cooking their dinner. They love playing sports, like tennis and running, so I’ll also pick them up from clubs. We go to the park, play on the swing set and monkey bars in the garden… We have a lot of fun!

If you’d like to follow in the footsteps of Tom, Harry, Jed and Conor you can start your Nannying journey with us here.

Alternatively, if you’re a parent who’s interested in hiring a Manny, you can find professionals in your area here.