Nannies who look after the children of Britain’s richest families are paid more than £100,000 and receive benefits such as free holidays, car allowances, private health insurance and their own flats, a survey has found.
While many of the luxury nanny agencies operate out of London, taking care of the offspring of celebrities and business people, even high end nannies north of the Border are paid as much £100,000 a year – while some Scottish staff said they also receive bonuses and gym memberships as additional perks.
One Scottish nanny said she was only employed on the grounds that she was willing to feed the family’s pet donkey a carrot once a day.
The study, from Direct Line Select Premier Insurance, found that the highest recorded wage for a UK live-in nanny is £104,000 – more than four times the national average salary.
While the highest wages were paid in London, the report found that one nanny agency in Scotland attracted typical pay of up to £76,000 for its staff, rising to £100,000 if the nanny was required to travel abroad with their employer.
However, some employers have also made specific demands about their nannies, the report found, including a criteria of “ugly nannies only” and that their new employee possessed ski instructor qualifications.
One agency said they had worked for a family which would only recruit a British nanny that could cook vegan meals and speak fluent Mandarin, while others asked for “size six nannies only”.
Meanwhile, another nanny interviewed by the insurer described how she was given a home by a family after spending ten years looking after their children, while another childminder was given a Rolex watch with the children’s names engraved on it for her 40th birthday.
Debbie Salter, managing director of prestigious nanny agency Greycoat Lumleys, which has a branch in Edinburgh, said the company had launched north of the Border three years ago in response to a growing demand for nanny services.
She said: “Specialist nannies are definitely more in demand. Some people are looking for nannies who specialise in babies, or twins, whereas nannies for older children are expected to be a tutor as well as a nanny, or a housekeeper. They have to be multiskilled.
“We are seeing a rise in demand in Scotland. Childcare generally has become more difficult for professional parents. More mothers want to go back to work and nursery options do not always give the flexibility people need in demanding jobs.”