For parents looking to find their first nanny, it can be quite daunting as to what makes a good nanny. After all, the nanny you choose will be in your home looking after your children, the people you care the most about. The right nanny can make a house happy and relaxed, the wrong nanny can make life immensely stressful. So when considering what makes a good nanny, Parental Choice decided to ask Norland what they thought. After all they have been been training Nannies for over 120 years and believe that they certainly have the experience to be able to spot a good one!
A good nanny needs to be able to adapt their knowledge and skills to the family’s needs and preferences surrounding the care of their children. Families have so much choice available to them at every age and stage of their child’s development and a good nanny should be able to advise when asked but also be able to work with and adapt to a family’s choices. Each family unit is unique and continually evolving; a good nanny should be able to react to changes and adapt their approach and practice according to the children’s and family’s needs.
Discretion and trust are also vital skills for a good nanny; they are in a privileged situation with an insight into the most personal and private moments in a family’s life. These moments should never be shared without the family’s complete knowledge and consent, and even then only with caution. For example Norland would never expect to see photographs of a nanny’s charges on social media. Families should be able to trust their nanny and building a mutual respect between nanny, employer and children is essential.
A good nanny must have strong interpersonal skills for communicating, interacting and teaching the children in their charge but also for communicating with their parents or carers. At times nannies may need to have a difficult conversation with a family, be asked a difficult question by their charge or be faced with a situation that they do not agree with as a professional. Here these strong skills will enable them to discuss openly, empathetically and listen effectively to find a solution that suits all involved without causing anxiety, upset or confusion.
Children learn by doing and copying so it is essential for a good nanny to be a positive role model for the children in their care, leading by example in all aspects of their practice and behaviour.
Norland recognises a Nanny as a professional and as such would expect all nannies to be qualified to a minimum of a level 3. In addition, a good nanny will ensure that they are keeping their childcare skills and knowledge up to date through regular Continuing Professional Development activities and training. Early Years is an ever changing world where guidelines are constantly being updated and new research published; a professional nanny should be aware of these changes and updates and the implications they have on their practice and the children in their care. As a minimum, First Aid and Safeguarding training should be updated every 3 years.
Above all Norland would expect all good nannies to have a love of and respect for children along with a true and obvious passion for their chosen vocation.
Thank you to Norland for providing us with this blog.