Why choose a Nanny?

When there are so many options to look after your child, you could be forgiven for finding it difficult to choose the right one for your family.

There are childminders, nurseries, au pairs and nannies.  When you’re both working, which one is right for your child?

A professional nanny gives you flexibility, peace-of-mind and confidence that, whatever happens, your children are in safe hands.

  • Childminders do have to be registered, but don’t have to have any specific training. They will usually only take your child for a specified time and you’ll need to ensure you can collect them on the dot.
  • Nurseries are inspected and licensed and most of their staff will usually study for a childcare NVQ while working. They will have fairly rigid opening and closing times.
  • An au pair is usually a foreign national whose primary goal is to learn English and has no qualifications (and sometimes little experience). They will help around the house and look after the children, but should not be in sole charge or left alone with small children under two.
  • A professional nanny has studied for two years and has the highest qualification, currently the CACHE diploma (Council for Awards in Childcare, Health and Education, formerly NNEB).

There are a few very good nannies who do not have any qualifications.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t employ them, but you should be looking for at least ten years’ experience as a nanny – and, of course, excellent references.

A good nanny has a genuine love of children and has chosen childcare as a profession.  They will see each child as an individual and will ensure that your child has every opportunity to learn, grow and explore in a safe environment.  Your nanny will have a sound knowledge of child development and will put daily routines in place to provide a framework for your child.

Ideally you should choose a nanny who will understand and respect your family’s cultural, ethnic and social standards.  This will ensure your nanny fits into your family quickly and lets you pursue your careers knowing your children will be well cared for in a safe place.

Choosing childcare can be a challenge and, if you are looking for someone to be in sole charge of your child, who can take full responsibility for their welfare, a nanny is the perfect choice.


Should I use an Agency now I need a new Nanny job?

Nanny and baby

Should I use an Agency now I need a new Nanny job?

All nannies have to find a new position sometimes, and it’s always hard moving on from a family whether it’s your choice to go or theirs. Unlike any other profession a nanny becomes attached to her charges, and therefore there is an emotional element in the job that many other workers simply don’t have.

Often if you are feeling a little out of your comfort zone, especially if you haven’t been out on interview for a while it’s understandable that you would look for help.

A good agency will be able to help you. All nanny agencies are employment agencies, so look for  one that has an affiliation to a body such as the Recruitment and Employment  Confederation (REC) or the Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA) These agencies have to work within the professional code of ethics set out by the body concerned, and REC agencies have had to pass compliance tests in recruitment practice and employment law and know what they’re doing.

Invariably, a good agency will have better jobs, it’s that simple. It can be time consuming trawling through the promises of jobs that are offered on sites where parents advertise directly.  Also, you know nothing about these families and you are hoping that they will provide you with enough money to keep a roof over your head and fed. A new job is not like buying a new handbag!

A good agency will prepare you for interview, send you to real jobs with good families that they know something about, and often have been referred to by other families they have worked with, and will look after you through the process. You should also get support in preparation for interview, and decent feedback .

The process of registration should be simple and free to the Nanny. It is unlawful to ask for payment to register with an agency. You should have a face to face meeting with the agency, in a situation that lends itself to them getting to know you well, ideally not in a coffee shop with a dozen screaming babies round you.  You will also be able to discuss your career aspirations so that the agency fully understand the type of position you are looking for.

After a successful interview the thing that most nannies dread is negotiating a decent salary, and again this is the agency’s job. Phew, great to have that taken care of, too. They will then ensure that your working hours and conditions are lawful, make sure that you are paid properly and sort out employment contracts for you, too.

Once you’ve started your new job the agency will be there for you if things don’t quite go to plan, and will be there to advise and guide you. On your own it can be very scary if circumstances change beyond your control and there is no one to offer you support.

In fact an agency will make life so much easier for you and it’s a free service to the nanny. What is there to lose?

I have had to listen to many stories from parents and nannies alike where things have gone dreadfully wrong because neither party really understands what to do. Life is easier if you have an expert on your side.

If you are looking for work and would like a first class agency to help you find your next position.  Town & Country Nannies would like to hear from you. Click here for information