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The role and duties of a Governess/Governor

A governess/governor is employed to focus on the educational and emotional development of a child or children in a private household setting.

Most governesses/governors will come from a teaching background, sometimes supplemented by private childcare experience. In addition, they will usually be able to offer other specialist skills, for example they may be qualified to teach swimming, a language or a musical instrument.

A governess/governor will have full responsibility for overseeing both the formal and informal education of the children in her care (usually aged three to 16). As well as tutoring in all aspects of the curriculum, a governess will also help with the social and cultural development of the child, encourage self-awareness and creativity and promote good manners and etiquette.

Main duties of a governess/governor:

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

A governess/governor will be expected to work anything from five to ten hours per day, five or six days a week. Depending on experience and qualifications, as well as hours and location of the role, a salary for a governess/governor would be in the region of £800 – £1,500 per week, with accommodation offered (either live-in the family home or with a separate flat provided).

The Difference Between a Governess and a Nanny

When parents start to look at childcare options, one of the first considerations may be to look at hiring a nanny. Responsible for all aspects of their life, a nanny is expected to bring up children, in a stimulating yet safe environment.

However as a child gets older, the idea of a governess becomes more appealing as a governess focuses more on home tutoring and education, as well as bringing up the child in the household.

A nanny and a governess are not exclusive to each other and many parents actually hire both in conjunction with each other, while others will simply just hire a governess.

Private nannies are often hired to look after very young children and will often follow on from maternity nurses. This normally happens when the child is around four to six months old.

Governesses will often follow on from nannies and will start to care for a child around 3 years old, here they will also start to put a focus on educational care as well as house hold care.

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