See full descriptions of each domestic staffing position below.
A Nanny or Governess is a trained professional childcare specialist. The Nanny or Governess will have a substantial amount of childcare experience and will sometimes hold a degree related to childhood education, such as Early Childhood Development. Some Nannies or Governesses will hold a Master’s degree in Education. In England many qualified Nannies or Governesses will hold an NNEB certificate which involves training the Nanny on all forms of childcare from infant to special needs and placed an emphasis on fieldwork. The Norland Nanny school also offers excellent Nanny or Governess training in the UK.
The Nanny or Governess can work a variety of schedules such as a 7 day live in, or 5 day live out. Seasoned career Nannies or Governesses will be accustomed to heavy travel and long hours. Most Nannies or Governesses will drive and swim. Some specialize in specific age groups such as infant or school age. Those who specialist in school age children are often closer to the Governess category and will often be qualified to tutor certain academic subjects. Some Nannies or Governesses will speak a second language and be able to teach children this language.
Baby Nurses, also known as Newborn Care Specialists and Maternity Nurses, specialize in infant and newborn care. They typically work either 24-hour or 12-hour shifts. Their main responsibility and priority is the infant, however, a high quality Baby Nurse will focus on the mother and her needs during the recuperation process as well. They can assist with the full spectrum of newborn care and may be certified in areas including but not limited to: breastfeeding, exploring alternate feeding methods, sleep training, bonding, lactation, psychological development, and more.
More often than not, Baby Nurses are experts with concentrated populations such as twins and triplets, preemies, newborns with special needs, mothers interested in surrogate pregnancy options, and any other newborns who might need extra attention. Furthermore, Baby Nurses range greatly in their education levels and skill sets. Some have worked in a hospital’s newborn care unit, as a midwife, as a doula, in an alternative birthing center, or as a baby nurse in a private home. Baby Nurses,
Newborn Care Specialists and Maternity Nurses can have experience with high profile or celebrity clientele and are often hired to help teach the mother about infant-care and child development while guiding her on taking charge of the infant’s schedule, safety and well-being so that she will be autonomous when the Baby Nurse’s term is up. Most Baby Nurses, Newborn Care Specialists and Maternity Nurses earn salaries that are hourly for the 24-hour period and work on a 24 hour/6 day a week schedule if they are full time. Their tenure can vary in range from one week up to one year.
BABY/MATERNITY NURSES AND NEWBORN CARE SPECIALISTS
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A Personal Assistant role can vary from managing the family calendar, being in charge of personal shopping, planning events, paying bills and arranging travel to handling investments and philanthropic accounts, and even working in the office of the family business. A qualified Personal Assistant will have a “can do” attitude and be able to take initiative at all times. He/she should have an impressive rolodex of city - appropriate contacts, be an excellent multi-tasker and technology literate
Housekeepers vary greatly in experience and may carry out any or all of the following duties: laundry, pressing, ironing, cooking, clothing care, wardrobe care and maintenance, organizing and couture clothing care. Some Housekeepers are Executive Housekeepers, Laundresses or Housekeeper House Managers. The difference between a Housekeeper and a cleaner is the Housekeeper’s ability to organize closets by color and season, organize the home in general, a deep understanding of clothing care (steam, dry clean and hand wash) and their knowledge and training in formal service. A high quality Housekeeper will understand formal service, which includes serving, formal table setting, flower arranging as well as all deep cleaning and laundry responsibilities. An Executive Housekeeper will have experience working in a team, usually in a formal townhouse or other similar large high level residences.
Professional Butler duties often vary and may include but are not limited to managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, marketing, and maintaining the wardrobe for the principles of the residence. A Butler will be well versed in etiquette, serving and have thorough understanding of formal home care. The Butler is traditionally hired to oversee one estate or home and will maintain wardrobes while often overseeing other household staff. He will possess a strong understanding of wines, wine and food pairing and and will understand and often train other staff in formal service, including formal table setting, serving and more. He may have attended a specialised school for Butler training and may hold a certificate in wine specialization. It is not uncommon for a Butler to hold a degree in the Culinary Arts.
In many cases, a Butler may speak several languages. A Butler is often the most formal member of the domestic staff categories and will help maintain formal traditions in a formal home or estate. A Butler will understand how to write and manage a schedule for household staff and often acts as a Household Manager.
A Private Chef will hold a culinary degree from a reputable culinary school and will typically have a minimum of four years experience in a domestic setting. A Private Chef is able to cater to large parties and is responsible for lunch and dinner, five to six days a week. They often specialize in specific cuisines and dietary needs. Some are trained Patisserie Chefs.
A Personal or Private Chef is hired on either a part or full-time bases by a family or single person. Meals are often family meals made according to the personal preferences of the family members. Some Personal or Private Chefs specialise in specific foods such as vegan, vegetarian, low salt, low fat, gluten and dairy free, or in specific regions such as French, Asian, Italian and more. A Personal or Private Chef may be asked to stock a family fridge every two to three days or may instead be hired on a full-time, in-house basis and cook fresh meals for the family twice a day.
A Personal or Private Chef will usually be expected to join the family as a live in employee during the summer, should the family have a summer residence in the Hamptons, CT or similar. Summer work usually implies a heavier schedule covering the weekends and would usually involve preparing for large dinner parties.
A Lady’s Maid is a female Valet who attends to the needs of the lady of the house. Her duties range from helping with dressing, make up and hair care to maintaining fine clothing, shoes, while keeping her room and study in perfect order. A Lady’s Maid may also be in charge of personal shopping and maintaining the principal's social calendar. Some Lady’s Maids are trained nurses and can assist with elderly care while others are traditional Lady’s Maids and specialise in caring for the principal of the residence, who is often the lady of the house. A Lady's Maid will sometimes oversee a staff of Executive Housekeepers. She will understand and often train other staff in formal service, including formal table setting, serving and more. A Lady's Maid can live in or out.
A House Manager is typically responsible for all the staff in one single property. The House Manager will organise staff schedules, which often include the Housekeepers (Executive Housekeepers and regular Housekeepers or Laundresses) and Nannies. A House Manager is usually responsible for attending to most staff-related issues within that particular property. A Housemanager may also present themselves as a Butler, Property Manager or Personal Assistant. The experience and work and study history of a House Manager will determine their role in a household. A House Manager will sometimes be in charge of household finances and the family scheduling. The House Manager deals with vendors, preempts maintenance issues and ensures the smooth running of the household.
An Estate Manager is responsible for several households and estates owned by a family. This will often including properties overseas. He/she oversees all properties, is in charge of staffing and managing each Household Manager. He/she may also take charge of the buying, selling and build out of properties. He/she is responsible for any yachts or private jets. Estate Managers in New York, CT (Greenwich) California (Los Angeles and San Francisco), Chicago, Florida (Palm Beach) and the UK are the overseers of large estates and multiple properties usually owned by a high net worth individual or family. Estate Managers will oversee all the staff often via House Managers who are stationed in each property. Estate Managers are highly skilled in all areas of domestic staffing management and accounting. Some Estate Managers are specialized in rural management and agriculture for rural estates.
Where there are large or multiple homes, the Estate Manager is the "Chief of Staff" of the organization, carrying out the wishes of the principles at each location. Estate Managers need to understand the job descriptions of all staff members they oversee (Household Manager, Butler, Head Housekeeper, Housekeeper, Laundress, Houseman, Chauffeur, Private Chef, Gardener, Nanny etc.). Estate Managers also have broad policy making authority over all household and estate operations, and manage extensive property and staff issues on a daily basis.
An Estate Manager of an estate or several properties and large estates may be asked to oversee such areas such as as the vineyard, stables, oversee the House Managers, Housekeepers, their budgets and the accountants and the staff that support these operations. There are usually at least one "super yacht", a private jet to maintain and several smaller vacation homes to manage. A qualified Estate Manager will have an excellent rapport with both the staff in the homes and the principles of the properties. The Estate Manager will understand how to manage accounts while also be able to fill in for a staff member should this ever be deemed necessary. Stellar team management and a respectful management approach is key for success in an Estate Manager's career. accounts while also be able to fill in for a staff member should this ever be deemed necessary. Stellar team management and a respectful management approach is key for success in an Estate Manager's career.
A Chauffeur or Personal Driver will have several years of full time experience as a Chauffeur. A Chauffeur or Personal Driver will hold an excellent knowledge of the city where the family resides, in addition to adjoining cities and neighborhoods. A Chauffeur or Personal Driver will hold a Chauffeur’s license and have an excellent understanding of car maintenance. Discretion and a thorough knowledge of Chauffeur and personal driver etiquette are also key requirements. Hours can be ad-hoc and can involve late hours, depending on the family's schedule. Some Chauffeurs have a background in security. The family traditionally provides the car for the Chauffeur to use when working.
A Domestic Couple is either hired to look after a seasonal property or a city based property. Their responsibilities include (but may not be limited to): maintenance, cooking, serving and driving. They are either given a separate cottage or provided a separated living area for the full year. Together a Domestic Couple can run one large home successfully and can often save the employer from needing to hire multiple staff. Usually one person in the Domestic Couple is responsible for cooking, laundry, menu planning and fine wardrobe care. The other member of the couple can be responsible for maintaining the grounds, car repair and internal repairs such as plumbing. Often an excellent Domestic Couple will comprise of both members being strong housekeepers and cooks. Usually one or both of them drive and both can run errands. Sometimes a Domestic Couple will oversee other staff, especially seasonal staff for instance, during the summer in the Hamptons.
British American Household Staffing specializes in providing experienced and professional yacht staff for yachts of all sizes. We have an extensive roster of stewards and stewardesses, deckhands, engineers, mates, chefs, and captains, and work with yachts of all sizes.