Guide to employing a Governess

Guide to Employing a Governess

At Top Notch Nannies we know that many families ponder whether a governess is the best route for their child or children. As a leading governess agency we recognise that there are many questions that need to be answered before the right governess appointment can be made, so we’ve put together a short guide to hiring a governess to help our clients.

What does a governess do?

In a nutshell, a governess, like a tutor, concentrates on teaching children, rather than on meeting their physical needs. A governess works with school-age children, not babies, who are the responsibility of a nanny or maternity nurse. Governess or nanny jobs are very different but the two may work together very successfully.

• A governess both teaches (usually English and other subjects) and educates (improves a child’s social development and skills)
• A governess will usually live in, and work five or six days per week. Her hours will be defined by contract, she will not usually be on call 24 hours a day.
• Governesses, like tutors, supervise and educate children aged three to 16 often in conjunction with a nanny, home help or other domestic staff.
• A governess is often indispensable for family’s living abroad where educational facilities are inadequate, or who don’t want to send their children to boarding school to get the best education possible.
• A qualified British governess will usually have a teaching background, higher childcare training and several years professional childcare or teaching experience. Childcare Specialists can provide a governess with special training (bilingual, music, art or sport, caring for disabled children) on request.
• Many governesses teach a musical instrument or second language.

Who hires a governess?

Royal families always have governesses. Many high net worth families in Russia, the Arab States and European capitals prefer to have a governess. A governess is commonplace for families in the diplomatic service and where senior military officers or senior managers in multinational organisations must serve abroad on long postings.

For the average governess London is a likely employment venue, but our governesses travel the world with their families and we select candidates based on family need so that the governess can easily fit into local cultures and social requirements.

What makes a good governess?

The average London governess will be much in demand. An English governess is considered to be a status symbol as well a valued professional. Why? Because she will be:

1. Experienced and professional, committed and dedicated – a governess is both keen to teach and easy to get along with, she will maintain good governess discipline and make it fun to be well behaved!
2. Able to work alongside others (nanny, tutor or other domestic staff) to create a harmonious household for all family members – she’ll add value to your daily life, not just your child’s intellect.
3. An excellent teacher – whether it’s tennis or the oboe, basic literacy and numeracy or coping with life abroad, a governess demonstrates both the theory and the practice of learning skills and abilities.
4. An example of outstanding social development – she will be confident and polite and able to handle social situations with ease.

While a British governess may be the gold standard, we are able to supply governesses on an international basis, so why not contact us today to explore whether your child could achieve their full potential under the guidance of a Top Notch governess?

Call us today to discuss any Corporate or Private household requirements: 0207 101 4232