Full Name: Gemma Louise
Profession: Professional Nanny
How did you decide to become a career nanny? When I was 14 I started to babysit for two local family’s on a regular basis and loved it. At the same time I also decided to take childcare as one of my GCSE and my love for working for children started there.
Have you completed any professional training to help with your career? When I was 16 and left school I embarked on a two year full time course to gain my NNEB.
When you say you’ve served as an extension of the parent, what do you mean? In terms of working as a extension to the parents, when the children are in my care I love and nurture them as if they where my own. You spend so much time with them that you do build up a bond with them. I will stick to routine/rules and boundaries that they set.
What can you tell me about your salaries and packages? My salary and package is very basic. No real perks with my current role. No pay rise or bonus in the three years I have been there.
What should a family look for in a nanny? When a family are looking for a nanny I think that it’s very important that you click. I always compare finding a nanny/family to online dating! I think it’s important that you meet each other at least twice before deciding on weather or not you accept the role. Think it’s important that you have the same ideas and values on how the children should be raised and cared for. Being open and honest and being able to communicate effectively is key.
What’s the most difficult experience you’ve ever faced in your professional career and how did you overcome it? I think the hardest role for me has been when the father worked from home every singe day. Didn’t really overcome it, just had to get on with it and bite my tongue a lot!
How do you handle picky eaters? With picky eaters never really made a big deal out of it. Continued to offer the food to them, and encouraged them to always try a little bit and if they didn’t like it they didn’t have to eat it bit praised them for trying. Most children have grown out of being fussy by the time they are four. Also found that getting them to help with the supermarket shop and help with cooking encouraged better eating habits.
What do you do when children won’t go to bed? With bedtime, I think the most important thing with that is having a routine right from the get go and to be consistent with it. Always encourage quite time a hour before bed, bath time a story and then bed. I always try not to engage to much with them for the last hour. If the children to get up then I put them straight back with no eye contact or chat. If they continue to to get up out of bed then I will continue to follow the same method. They soon realise your not going to give in and go to sleep.
What advice would you give candidates looking to become a nanny or develop to a high level of nanny work? I think the best thing to do is find a really good course. My course really did set me up and I gained so much knowledge from it. Be prepared for very long hours and to sometime feel isolated. When you first find a new role make sure you explore the area. Chat to other mums and Nanny’s and find local playgroups. It can be a really rewarding job, and you do in most parts become a pet of the family. Think it’s also good to continue to do courses to keep yourself updated. First aid is essential.
Lastly what are your dreams and hopes for the future? When my son is older then I would like to go into working as a maternity nurse and support new mums with there new born babies