I works long hours, filling many positions during her working life. I will cook, wash and clean, organise the day, making it interesting, fun, educational and stimulating for the appropriate age of the children. When the kids rest I will write a record book, cook meals, prepare any art or activity, organise outings or parties or meet ups. I need to be on top of my game regarding communication and the developmental stages and needs of the child in my care. I need to be adaptable to the family’s routine and ways. If all this is a good match the rewards are a happy working environment in which the child can develop into an amazing young person! This is what I find the most rewarding in my profession! Children are unpredictable little explorers. Given the right opportunities and settings the working day is fun and entertaining for everyone! I think the joy of new achievements and sense of unconditional love can not be matched in any other profession.
A little appreciation goes a long way, my coffee made when I come in, a bottle of wine or flowers after a particularly difficult time, unexpected time off while mum and dad or even the grandparents take over. All nannies appreciate it! In return I will stay past my time to talk about the day and the children or have regular meetings outside my working hours with the parents to update them about progress, ups and downs of my daily life and guidance about how to help development. For this I spend a good amount of my weekend reseaching and writing up a comprehensive range of lists of activities to do with the children and perhaps an overview of what my working week is like to assure everyone my time is used wisely during the day.
Some parents are stunned by this amount of information, some show appreciation, some don’t want an update at all!
I am rewarded with a Christmas bonus, a gym membership or perhaps a nanny car. These perks sadly are not very common anymore.
Every possible employment starts with THE INTERVIEW!
This is where I can show off who I am, what I believe in and what I can do. This is also the time when I listen carefully to ascertain if the potential family has the same values! Any distortion of the truth at this point in the process will ultimately lead to an unhappy and most likely short working relationship.
I firmly believe there is a great nanny for every family!
Providing everyone is honest, family and nanny will create the base for a long and happy working relationship. This honesty is not just about the basics: pay, hours, discipline but to a large part about the relationship between employer and employee. There is no right or wrong way! There are nannies who want to be a part of the family and nannies who prefer to keep the relationship strictly professional. That being said the most common problems between nanny and parent are undermining nanny in front of the children, micromanaging by dictating the structure of the day/week to Nanny even after a reasonable settling in period, nanny has to ask for petty cash to be topped up weekly, wages are not paid on time, no pleasantries in written or face to face exchanges, constant late finishes without apologies.
Discussions need to be started!
Nannies need to be educated about what’s right and what isn’t!
Agencies need to understand that they have no product to sell if there are no nannies ready to take their jobs! Not being put forward for a job because I ask for a higher rate is not correct.
Agencies need to inform their clients about different rates and let the prospective employers make the choice regarding our wages!
Agencies are not in control over who pays for ofsted. They are simply there to encourage negotiations!
Agencies should not have a say over what goes in my contract. They should refer clients to the Acas or voice website for the correct guidelines.
They are there to connect a family and a nanny.
Regarding the aftercare that nanny agencies offer. “what aftercare” . In my experience, I don’t recall ever having had a follow-up call or email asking how happy I am in my new role.
Nannies will not ring their agency when they encounter a problem with the job because they don’t trust the agency. Agencies are known to place a new nanny without hesitation into a family where the previous nanny has warned them about the family’s “problem”.
We know first hand that agencies have a “black list” for nannies. These nannies have been judged and executed without their knowledge and without proper investigation.
To raise awareness we would like to hear and publish your nanny story, anonymously if preferred.
Please, send us your story via email!