What is a Governess? by Jeffrey Gratton

A Governess is a professional caregiver who knows everything that a nanny knows – but more.  Their position in the household typically entails a more comprehensive focus on education and a few non-educational components as necessary.  Traditionally, Governesses have been around since the 19th century, tasked with teaching “the three R’s”: reading, writing, arithmetic, as well as educating and familiarizing aristocratic young women with the necessary ladylike accomplishments.  See here for more information on the historical background of a Governess.  To learn more about the role a Governess can play in the upbringing of your child, read on!

Educational Requirements

A Governess is instrumental in curating a child’s education.  Some children may attend a traditional school in addition to being taught by their Governess; others schooled at home.  Regardless, families expect him or her to have a minimum 4-year Bachelor’s Degree, often stipulating what type of degree for example.  A heavily favored degree is Early Childhood Education.

Additional Requirements

Many people speak well, have great diction and have excellent manners, but a Governess needs to know how to make children want to express themselves with excellent language and want to display good manners.  Parents aren’t seeking children to act like robots.  They want them to develop effective study habits, great speech, and courteous behavior naturally.  An accomplished Governess understands the unique psychology of each child and guides them accordingly, paying special attention to individual interests and talents.  A Governess is completely at ease having dinner with the Prime Minister and is highly capable of teaching her charges likewise.

Non-Educational Care Requirements

Because of their role in supervising the child, Governesses can be responsible for a variety of duties outside the teaching sector.  These tasks may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Assisting with the morning routine
  • Healthy meal planning and preparation, including overseeing the meals
  • Laundry and wardrobe maintenance
  • Light housekeeping, such as organizing closets, toys and rooms
  • Providing occasional care to younger siblings and pets

Living Arrangements

A Governess typically resides with the family whether in a private room and bath within their residence or a separate apartment nearby.  It is important that the Governess lives within a short proximity of the family for any last minute or unforeseen needs.

Contact the Pavillion Agency for More Information Today!

Looking to hire an experienced Governess for your family?  Pavillion Agency can help! Families will feel confident knowing that each candidate is properly vetted and possesses the requisite requirements for their home.  Start your search for a governess today!

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