What You Should Know About Hiring A Nanny in the UAE
Nannies can be essential to any family with children
23 July 2017
As expats, motherhood can be a confusing minefield without external help - be it in baby-sitters, day care, part-time help or full-time nannies. A lot of mothers stay home when their child is born, but once they run out of maternity leave, many of them wish to return to work. It is then that they feel the need for a nanny, someone who will look after their children the way that they themselves would, had they stayed home.
To start things off, what exactly is a 'nanny'?
A nanny is a qualified professional, an expert in looking after children - and adept in areas of education, housekeeping, childcare and training. A nanny shouldn't be confused with a housemaid, who is merely someone that helps with household chores. This doesn't go to say that housemaids are incapable of looking after little ones, many expats have had great experiences with a trusted housemaid who went ahead to raise their children.
However, if you're seeking a professional nanny, the job description is altered slightly, with nannies placing a 100% of their focus on the upbringing of a child.
What do nannies do?
Apart from the obvious, which is looking after your child, nannies come equipped with a host of different skills that they can utilise around the house - be it light household chores, laundry and cooking. However, their main focus remains taking care of children, so don't expect every nanny to come with all the extra skills (and definitely not at the same cost). Remember, a nanny is the next closest thing to a parent that your child will ever have, especially in their growing years so it is advised that you invest wisely.
A nanny typically:
- Looks after your child's hygiene and health(bathing, toilet training, feeding)
- Tidies up after your child
- Prepares meals and snacks
- Entertains your child (reads books, teaches a hobby) by means of active bonding
- Helps with early educational training (colours, shapes, language) to stimulate development
How much do nannies cost?
If you must hire a nanny, understand that they cost a tad bit more than housemaids.
If you look for housemaids, you'll find plenty either directly or through an agency and they are predominantly from the Indian Subcontinent, Africa, Indonesia and the Philippines. Although they are mainly focused on house-maintenance, some staff also come equipped with basic knowledge of English and can be used as a temporary solution till you're ready to find a nanny.
A nanny, on the other hand, would ideally have a degree or some sort of qualification from a known institute. They come complete with educational training skills, development of the child as well as first-aid and in some cases, self-defence training. According to a survey conducted locally, agencies claim that nannies come with a salary expectation of about AED 8000 (based on a 5 day week, annually)
How can you find a nanny in the UAE?
There are different ways to acquire a nanny in Dubai. Although the preferred way is to take over a nanny from a family friend once they no longer require their services, there are some professional service providers who can help with hiring too.
A nanny who has already lived in the UAE, and looked after children of families you are familiar with will be easier to train as their adaptability is already tested. Switching families for nannies is the same as switching jobs within the country. They may be required to enter and exit the country depending on the type of visa. More information about this can be found on the Government of Dubai website.
If you choose to use an agency, you may pay a bit more, but you can rest assured that all the paperwork, government formalities and entry procedures will be looked after by the providers. Popular services include NurseCo., NanniesDubai and Find A Nanny & Maid, among others.
Here's how you can get started
If you already have a nanny in mind who's currently in the UAE, you can apply for transfer of their visa locally following rules set by the GDRFA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs).
However, should you decide to take the professional route, the process of hiring a nanny starts by partnering with a service provider who you trust and who can work with your proposed salary bracket.
Basic procedure would involve shortlisting and interviewing candidates, sponsoring the approved nanny, applying for their Emirates ID and undergoing medical tests within 30 days of entry into the UAE, covering their cost for flights back home, as well as accommodation and food (in most cases)
As a general rule, it is advised that you first discuss what you need with your partner. Then, interview a few nannies keeping in mind the skills you are looking for before you select one. Remember, a nanny is the next closest thing to a growing child, after the parents.