Full Name: Temmi
How did you decide to become a career nanny? I kind of fell into it honestly – I was looking to move to Russia as an ESL Teacher but the pay was terrible. As I was searching ads I came across an ad for a Nanny position there and was like ‘Wow, that’s more like it… I could do that’. And then I started to apply for positions.
Have you had training outside your jobs? I started as a Speech and Drama Teacher, and also got my Trinity TESOL Certificate before I left for overseas. I worked in Theatre in Education for a few years before starting Nannying as well. Once I decided that I was going to do this full time, I did my Paediatric First Aid, Common Core Skills and a Correspondence Nanny Certificate.
When you say you’ve served as an extension of the parents what do you mean? I think we have the same responsibilities as the parent, but we are also held to a higher standard in terms of the care we provide. We often spend more time with the children then their actual parents and in my current position I am the public face of the child, the buffer between all the other people in the child’s life and his family.
What can you tell me about your salaries and packages?
I would expect as a minimum: £1000 a week net, apartment and bills, all travel and visa expenses covered, one month leave plus time in lieu if extra days working while travelling.
What should a family look for in a nanny? I think the match between a Nanny and family is really important – that you have the same ideas of children rearing and values as the parents, and a fun but professional relationship with the children.
What’s the most difficult experience you’ve ever faced in your professional career and how did you overcome it? My first trial was in a very formal household with a huge staff and I was completely unprepared for it, as I was unprepared for the sense of being observed and watched the whole time. It is a big learning curve in any new job to adapt to the unique needs of every family and the challenges of building trust with the parents and meaningful relationships with the children. You learn many coping skills and techniques as you go along.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced? I think many nannies feel under appreciated or by the nature of the job in high profile work, that so much of your job is unrecognised and credited to someone else. I think that has probably been my biggest challenge or frustration in my positions, but you find solace in the appreciation of the children themselves, or the other people in their lives that do recognise the effort you put in. And occasionally of course from the families themselves. I think the other challenge can be the pedantic demands of parents and sometimes the double standards between what they model themselves and what they expect from you – however you just have to do the best job you can within the confines of the role.
How do you handle picky eaters? Each children has a different ‘currency’ as I call it, something that they will make an effort for. It’s a matter of using that as motivation. As general rules though, having a relaxed and social environment at meal times, using tasty healthy food and lots of positive reinforcement when they try something new are all important.
What do you do when children won’t go to bed? A bedtime routine is super important so that their body clocks respond to the activities you’re providing. Lots of positive stuff before bedtime, including stories, but once it’s bedtime there’s no negotiation and no rewards for staying up late.
What advice would you give candidates looking to become a nanny or develop to a high level of nanny work? Temping in different families can be really great to gain a variety of experience, and speak to as many other professionals as you can to get different perspectives and ideas. Training is great – but nothing beats hands on experience.
What are your top tips for interviews and getting your next dream job? Be professional – if you want to be taken seriously as a childcare professional and not just a babysitter – show them there is a big difference. Sell your personality and your own unique skills. Know exactly what you want in a position and what you expect in terms of renumeration – this is extremely important when you are negotiating.
What was your most memorable moment looking after a child? When they conquer something that has been incredibly challenging for them – one of the families I worked for moved to London and both the children had to attend schools in a language that until then they had only spoken with me at home – to see them struggle but then thrive was a very proud time.
What inspires you in your career? To see the children I work with face their unique challenges and grow and improve in their lives…
Lastly what are your dreams and hopes for the future? I don’t think this is a career that I can see myself in for life – but for now it’s been an amazing experience working in different places, being exposed to different cultures and having experiences through my work that most people only dream about. I looked forward to being challenged and growing along with the kids I work with.