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The role and duties of a Governess

A governess is defined as a person (usually a woman) who is employed to educate, care for and supervise a child or children children in a private household setting.

Most governesses will come from a teaching background, coupled with childcare experience. In addition, they will usually be able to offer other specialist skills as required by the employer. For example they may be qualified to teach swimming, a language or a musical instrument.

The governess will have full responsibility for overseeing both the formal and informal education of the children in her care (usually aged three-16). As well as teaching all aspects of the curriculum, the governess will also help with the social and cultural development of the child, encourage self-awareness and creativity.

Main duties of a governess:

  • Teaching the curriculum in appropriate subjects such as English, maths, science, history and geography.
  • Foster the child’s educational, social, and creative development.
  • Organise outside activities such as educational outings; museums, art galleries, theatre visits and sporting activities.
  • Teach specialist activities such as musical instruments, a language or sport.
  • Liaise with the parents, other tutors, and the nanny regarding objectives, progress and development.
  • Teach manners and etiquette to help develop social skills.

A governess can ‘live-in’ with a family and will be expected to work up to ten hours a day, five or six days a week. Time off in the week will be negotiated with the employer at the outset and before commencement of the position. Depending on age, experience and qualifications, a starting salary for a governess would be in the region of £600-£1,300 per week.

For additional advice and information regarding employing a governess, please call and speak to the Eden Private Staff Team on 020 7471 6000 click here for our Client Registration form