Can You Swim?

Being Able to Swim Can Help You Land a Great Nanny Job in a Tough Economy

It’s no joke, according to the National Safety Council an estimated 5,000 children ages 14 and under are hospitalized due to unintentional drowning-related incidents each year; 15 percent die in the hospital and as many as 20 percent suffer severe, permanent neurological disability.
Infants and toddlers drown more frequently than people at any other age. In this age group drowning is the leading cause of death, followed by accidents in and around the home, and road traffic accidents.

If you hope to work for a family that owns a pool or that will expect you to take the children to the pool in the summer you ought to learn to swim, and even earn lifeguard certification.

Have you ever been to a nanny interview and not been asked if you swim? I haven’t. To be able to answer positively to this interview question, take swimming lessons. If you learn how to swim or take more lessons to become a stronger, more confident swimmer, you can even offer to help teach your charges to swim, which will be most impressive to potential employers.

If you already know how to swim, earning your lifeguard certification is a great resume booster for any nanny candidate. Imagine how having your lifeguard certification will help your resume stand out among a pile of non-swimmers’ resumes. What would look better than a prepared nanny who is certified in both adult and infant CPR/First Aid and has lifeguard certification?

As the saying goes, “Safety First!” And when it comes to working with children, knowing how to swim keeps them safe. It is also a great skill to help market yourself to potential employers.
Stop by next week for more tips on landing a great nanny job in a tough economy.

Do you swim?


  1. While I do agree that a nanny who is a good swimmer should try to get the life guard certification and it will look good on the resume, I also know there are nannies out there who are at lower levels of ability. AT THE VERY LEAST, get the American Red Cross Water Safety Certification. From it you will also learn what you can do to save another person more safely, get into the water (not the deep end in my case) and practice some techniques, etc. If you are a swimmer don't think this is enough, even great swimmers can drown or get pulled into a dangerous situation if they panic instead of using precautions.After a few nanny drownings the past few years it has been my hope that nanny agencies and nanny locator sites will add into their application forms the questions do you have a pool and do you require water safety certification or for nannies do you have it. It should just be a given that parents will think to ask this, whether their kids swim, take boating, go on hikes near water, etc.BTW, As a nanny I have had to perform a pool rescue on a preschooler several years ago.

  2. Good point about having swimming on your resume. I never thought about it but it's a huge issue. Remember this summer you posted an article about a child and nanny dying in a pool? It would be great addition to my resume.

  3. Yes every family has asked if I swim but I don't. That's why there are lifegaurds. At my lat age of 62 I don't plan on learning. But you are right I won't take kids to the pool or work at a home with a pool since I'm not a swimmer. I do see how someone younger ought to learn if they hope to work as a nanny.

  4. I guess I was blessed that my parents taught me to swim at a young age- and I enjoy it.All my charges love the water-and their parents too- so they wanted their child in swim classes.Which is great for their over-all development.Since they were just babies I had the joy of taking them to swim classes and watching them advance. At one job the family had a swim club membership and I LOVED spending our days at the pool. My charge was just learning to be comfortable swimming in the big pool, so we'd hold hands and swim together. I was usually the only adult in the pool- and I must have looked really silly- but the joy it brought to my chage was well worth any embarrasement I felt being seen in public in a bathing suit. The following year she jumped right in and was swimming like a champ- and I am glad that I had something to do with that!

  5. So true and no one ever shared this advice with me previously. So important if the family owns a pool or you are traveling with them to a lake or beach.

  6. I have taught every child I have cared for to swim one is the captain of his swim team!

  7. I have always been asked if I swim. I think you make a convincing point that if we can swim it should be on our resume.

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