Compromise and Dialogue: Lessons from a London Nanny

February 23 2017

Being a nanny can be a fantastic experience, as well as presenting its own unique set of challenges. Families and nannies must find their own way of negotiating the situation to create the best possible environment for the children being cared for. Nationwide Nannies is committed to finding out how to make this a reality. So, who better to learn about the nannying process than from a nanny? ‘A’ grew up in London and has four children of her own.

A typical day for A involves waking the children up for breakfast and then taking the children to school. While they are at school she prepares the evening meal and washes their clothes before taking a well-earned rest. Then, she collects the children from school. She says, “I feel like a Mum.” The best part of the day is sitting and talking with the kids over an evening meal. Fundamentally, to be a good nanny you need to love kids.

Of course, there are also some more tricky aspects of being a nanny that both families and nannies need to take into consideration. As a mother herself, A has more than enough experience of raising children. This means that she has her own opinions of how best to look after kids. She says that it can be difficult when a family and she differ with regard to decisions about childcare. This, she says, is the challenge that has arisen most frequently. The key here is to have an open dialogue about how best to look after the children.

A describes the ideal family to work for as a “family that doesn’t see you as a nanny and treats you like a member of the family... but trust you to do your job the way you work.” However, she also stresses the importance of nannies realising that the children in their care are not their own. Nannies must ultimately respect the decisions parents make with regard to childcare.

Her advice to someone just starting as a nanny is to take a safeguarding course. This is a reminder that whilst the considerations of both nannies and parents are important, overwhelmingly vital is the wellbeing of the children being cared for.

Thank you to ‘A’ for talking to us.