Nannies absolutely love being nannies. Some are young, some are old, some have families and others don’t.
What most nannies don’t like is the connotation that a nanny is a glorified babysitter and not a provider of a valued service in educating a new generation of children.
Louise Dunham is a pioneer of the nanny industry having established leading nanny agency, Placement Solutions, 30 years ago. Louise knows intimately what nannies would like parents to know.
“Parents who haven’t used a nanny before, or if they did so many years ago, need to know what is expected of them today, because things have changed in recent years,” said Louise.
Nannies aren’t domestic slaves.
A professional nanny is a proactive carer who provides personalised care to children in their own home. They can be casual, temporary or permanent; part time or full time; and live-in or live-out.
A nanny’s role includes being an educator, playmate and occasional disciplinarian for one to four children from newborns to tweens; they shouldn’t be expected to act as a housekeeper or a babysitter.
Nannies are also professionals, usually qualified to Certificate III or Diploma level. They will have a current first-aid qualification including an annual CPR refresh, and meet the current police checks and working with children checks relevant to the jurisdiction in which they work and they should be Child Abuse Prevention Certified.
“Parents who leave a list of things to do such as ironing, housecleaning and washing, don’t want a qualified nanny, they want a nanny/housekeeper,” Louise said.
Any parent who asks, “What’s my nanny going to do when my child sleeps?” needs to understand that while the nanny is focused on the child they still need to look after themselves, so they are going to have a toilet break, have some lunch and put their feet up for while so they have energy for the rest of the day.
Of course, nannies will do all the many child-related tasks that need to be done such as cooking and feeding nutritious meals and snacks, cleaning up the kitchen and table after meal preparation and meals, managing the nappies and helping children to nap.
But importantly, nannies are employed to keep children safe, help them learn and entertain them.