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Norland College principal reveals how to become an A-list nanny

Could YOU be a £120,000-a-year nanny? Principal of Norland College which trains royal childminders says students must be ‘creative, resilient and practical’ with three A-Levels – and be good at keeping secrets

  • Principal of Norland College has revealed how they recruit prestigious students
  • College, based in Bath, trains the famous uniform-wearing Norland Nannies loved by celebrities and royalty – including Kate Middleton and Prince William
  • Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Principal Dr Janet Rose revealed how the college only lets in 100 students a year – with an acceptance rate of 50 per cent

The principal of the prestigious Norland College, which trains the famous uniform-wearing Norland Nannies loved by celebrities and royalty, has revealed what they look for in the top students they recruit.

The 130-year-old institution in Bath offers four-year courses that trains nannies of the super-elite, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who hired Norland Nanny Maria Borallo to look after their children George, eight, Charlotte, six and Louis, three.

Alongside a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development and Learning, graduates receive the prestigious Norland diploma, which trains them in everything they might need to look after the offspring of the super-rich – from getaway driving to cyber security and self-defence.

Newly qualified nannies can earn up to £42,000 for a non-residential role while some earn up to £120,000 after a few years’ experience – plus perks including designer handbags, trips abroad and luxurious living quarters.

Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Principal Dr Janet Rose and Mandy Edmond, Vice Principal, Head of Quality and Standards and Registrar, revealed how in order to be accepted, students have to be ‘creative, resilient and practical’ – and be capable of keeping their employer’s secrets.

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Norland Nanny, Maria Borallo (pictured) has been with the family since Prince George , now eight, was eight months old

The principal of the prestigious Norland College, which trains the famous uniform-wearing Norland Nannies loved by celebrities and royalty, has revealed how their students become hired by A-listers – and what they look for in the top students they recruit. Students are pictured

Applicants for the £15,000-a-year course must have at least three Cs at A-Level, or equivalent, and be able to show a passion and commitment for caring for young children, for example with baby sitting experience or by caring for younger relatives. 

There are 100 students accepted a year, with an acceptance rate of around 50 per cent. 

Dr Janet continued: ‘Amongst many traits, Norland Nannies need to be loving, kind, honest, creative, practical, responsible, organised and willing to continually learn and improve in order to do the very best for the families and young children with whom they work. 

‘We aren’t looking for an in-depth knowledge of babies and young children because we will teach them this. Instead we’re looking for what we can’t teach – an absolute commitment to being the person that changes the world through shaping the life of the children they work with.’

Students must also sign up to the Norland Code of Professional Responsibilities which sets out the professional standards they might up hold, including respecting the family’s right to ‘privacy and confidentiality’, so no tell-all books about famous employers.

They must also prioritise children and their families and respect the role of parents, which can be a difficult dynamic for any childminder to navigate.  

‘We interview all applicants that are predicted to meet our entry requirements and candidates also take part in a task designed to assess their communication skills and enthusiasm for working with babies and young children,’ Dr Janet said. 

The 130-year-old institution, in Bath, is the smallest undergraduate degree awarding institution in the UK and offers four-year courses that trains nannies of the super-elite including the British royal family. Students are pictured

In their first year, newly qualified nannies can earn up to £42,000 for a non-residential role while some earn up to £120,000 after a few years experience – plus perks including designer handbags, trips abroad and luxurious living. The college is pictured

Students at Norland College learn skills that are more often associated with James Bond than with Mary Poppins, including getaway driving and martial arts while pushing a pram to fend of kidnappers or paparazzi.

The unique degree programme includes psychology, child health, philosophy, social sciences, literature and education.

Modules at the college include Safeguarding and Child Protection, Promoting Health and Wellbeing, Making Sense of Children’s Behaviour and Working with Families and Communities as well as Communication in Practice, Food and Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing, Play and Learning, and Sewing.   

NORLAND NANNIES: A HISTORY 

Norland College, founded in 1892 by Emily Ward, is a leading provider of childcare training. 

Emily Ward introduced a uniform so Norland graduates would be recognised as professionals and not mistaken for housemaids and it is still a strong part of the college’s tradition.

The founder focused her training on the principles of Friedrich Froebel, the German educationalist who developed the ‘kindergarten system’.

Its Early Childhood Studies course concentrates on numerous aspects of childhood.

Students study elements of social science, psychology, child health, history, literature and education.

It also trains its students – known as ‘Norlanders’ when they graduate – how to work with families, develop a child’s math skills and become a whizz in the kitchen and teach a child not only how to cook, but how to cook healthy meals.

Along with the traditional skills of cooking, sewing and first aid, new subjects on the curriculum include Taekwondo, self defence, skidpan driving – and escaping from paparazzi. 

‘Students that are fully committed to developing both their theoretical knowledge and their practical skills over the course of Norland’s four-year full-time degree and integrated practical diploma training will stand out,’ Dr Janet explained.

‘Norlanders, or Norland Nannies as they are known, are famed worldwide for their exceptional training, flexible approach and professionalism. 

‘They undergo intensive full-time training over four years that uniquely blends theory and practice with a wealth of hands-on real-world experience to earn two distinct qualifications – the Norland BA (Hons) early years degree and the prestigious Norland diploma, a unique qualification which teaches all of the practical skills required to care for babies and young children.  

‘While at Norland, students spend almost 50 per cent of their time (at least 1,216 placement hours) on placement in a variety of early years settings – including nursery, school, hospital, special needs school settings and as a daily and live-in nanny.  

‘They gain additional skills and experience for their toolkit through Norland’s value-added curriculum, which includes self-defence classes, security and cyber-security training, emotion coaching, sleep and behaviour, skid pan driving, baby massage and many more. 

‘Another unique aspect of our delivery includes a specialist programme of employment preparation which incorporates interview skills, CV preparation and sessions on financial planning, including pension and tax.’

Norland College now accepts international students and had its first male graduate in 2019. 

Graduates are in demand: there are 14 job openings for every Norlander with an average starting salary of £40,000. 

They can also expect to live in some of the world’s most exclusive locations and holiday with families to high-end resorts around the world. 

However being a nanny is also extremely demanding: Norlanders must be willing to put the family first.  

Alongside a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development and Learning, graduates receive the prestigious Norland diploma and spend a year working on the job before officially graduating. Students are pictured

Students at Norland College (pictured) learn skills that are more often associated with James Bond than with Mary Poppins, including getaway driving and martial arts while pushing a pram to fend of kidnappers or paparazzi

 Find out more at Norland’s open day on Saturday 7 May. Visit norland.ac.uk to find out more and register

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