Move over Mary Poppins, the modern-day governess is taking over. Wealthy families, and those in remote areas of Australia are turning to governess services rather than nannies, to care for and educate their children.
Recent reports have indicated a resurgence of the governess, particularly around Sydney, with well-off families wanting full-time care of their children, with the bonuses that come with a well-educated carer.
Scarlett Hyde, CEO and founder of Australian-based White Glove Services, has worked as a governess in Hong Kong, France and Britain.
“Governesses usually have a bachelor’s degree and an education qualification, they could work in any private school or bring your child up from kindergarten to year 12,” she tells The Sydney Morning Herald.
Clients can range from business executives to celebrities who expect not only the best in care for their children, but also discretion. Scarlett says she’s noticed that Australia is a completely different market to places like Saudi Arabia.
“Australians are cheap, fewer are as willing to pay the $35 an hour it costs for governesses, but that is starting to change in the affluent areas.”
According to the description on White Glove Services, “there has been a recent resurgence amongst families worldwide to employ governesses or full-time tutors. This has been for a number of reasons including personal security, the benefits of a tailored education, and the flexibility to travel or live in multiple locations.”
Governess Dana Anderson says the amount of time that the carer gets to spend with the children is the biggest bonus.
“It is about quality one-on-one education. You get to see how they develop, they show such a sense of pride when they have learnt something. If you are travelling with the family full-time you know that you had an impact on this person’s life,” she says.
But despite the rise in demand for governesses, and their stellar resumes, most parents still prefer hiring a nanny, something that’s unlikely to change with the Federal Government’s Nannies Trial from 2016.