Full Name: Helen McCarthy
How did you decide to become a career nanny?
My great aunt was a nanny for the singer (sewing machines) during the war. She would tell me of the fun she had so I applied to do my NNEB in 1989 and graduated in 1991.
Have you had training outside your jobs?
I keep myself up to date by travelling to conferences and meeting like-minded people.
What can you tell me about your salaries and packages?
With over 25yrs experience as a nanny and maternity nurse, I am at the top of my game. I was also awarded the international nanny of the year 2016 after being nominated by my current employer. My salary is at the top end working as a nanny and doing maternity at night.
What should a family look for in a nanny?
Someone with experience, knowledge, checkable references, up to date first aid, DBS, insurance and who will guide them not force them into her beliefs.
What’s the most difficult experience you’ve ever faced in your professional career and how did you overcome it?
With the nature of our work, we come across many difficult times. I had a mum with postnatal psychosis, something I had never seen before. I had fantastic support from the grandparents and the housekeeper.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
Organising national nanny training day and nannypalooza UK.
How do you handle picky eaters?
We make food fun by going to the market and to the local farm store to pick our own vegetables.
What do you do when children won’t go to bed?
Use a reward chart but its normally the parents that need training.
What advice would you give candidates looking to become a nanny or develop to a high level of nanny work?
Keep up to date with professional training, there are lots to chose from. Have a mentor, I currently mentor for newborn care solutions who are based in the USA. Be aware that it takes time to build your portfolio up and don’t overprice yourself when starting out.
What are your top tips for interviews and getting your next dream job?
Turn up 5 minutes early, dress smartly and with neat, clean hair. If you’re running late, call the client to let them know. Make sure you ask questions about the family and their expectations.
Can you tell us your most memorable moment looking after a child?
Seeing them get married 24years later after caring for them.
What inspires you in your career as a nanny?
My peers and how you can still learn new skills.
Lastly, what are your dreams and hopes for the future?
That would be telling but continuing to help and educate the future generation of nannies.