Documentaries aren’t usually described as delightful, but Britain’s Poshest Nannies certainly is. Watch as it takes you inside a prestigious nanny college where young woman train to be elite nannies to the rich and famous. It’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Now located in the picturesque city of Bath, England, Norland College has trained more than 7,500 nannies since it was founded in 1892. Back then, the college “offered previously untutored Victorian housemaids a formal training, and so nannying as a respected profession was born.”
Many of Norland College’s graduates have gone on to nanny for the well-heeled, including one who is nanny to none other than Prince George.
In Britain’s Poshest Nannies we get to step through the doors of Norland College and follow the young women of Set 36, girls-next-door from across the UK in training to become modern-day Mary Poppins (without the benefit of a magic carpet bag).
The education, which includes academic lessons and practical skills training, is rigorous. And the syllabus includes everything a nanny needs to know to tend to and protect her charge, from cooking for children and changing nappies, to learning self-defense techniques and evasive driving.
Tradition — including the uniform with hat and clean, white gloves, hair pinned back in a bun at or below ear level, practical shoes, and no nail varnish — is important at Norland College, but the school is also embracing modern technology. For example, the “virtual baby” and electronic monitoring wristband that a nanny-in-training wears when caring for the computer-chipped infant while off premises.
As one student remarked, “A real baby is easier than a virtual baby to look after.”
Speaking of off premises, the students must also complete an an orientation challenge in London, navigating their way from Paddington Station to various locations within the city and back, to familiarize themselves with the capital, as many of their future jobs will be located here. Jobs that could earn them upwards of £50-60,000 per year, more if they work for the well-to-do abroad. But first they must successfully complete the two-year program and one-year paid probationary period working with a family.
There’s more besides in Britain’s Poshest Nannies, including scenes that will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye.
Britain’s Poshest Nannies premieres in the US on the following public TV stations beginning Tuesday, 1 September 2015. (Check your local listings.) If you’d like to watch this show but the station that serves your area isn’t listed, contact them. For additional information, contact American Public Television.
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