Adopted children in need of more support at school, report shows

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According to a recent report by Adoption UK, adopted children are falling behind with their studies, struggling emotionally and in need of extra support from teaching professionals.

The ‘Bridging the Gap’ report claims that “[Adopted children] are more likely to be excluded, more likely to have social, emotional and mental health difficulties and more likely to leave school with no qualifications.”

The report also includes the findings of which 4,000 adopted children and their parents were surveyed about their attitudes towards adopted children and school:

  •  79% of adopted children and young people agreed with the statement “I feel confused and worried at school”
  • Almost three quarters of adopted children and young people agreed with the statement “Other children seem to enjoy school more than me”
  • Two thirds of secondary-aged adopted young people told us that they had been teased or bullied at school because they are adopted
  • Almost 70% of parents feel that their adopted child’s progress in learning is affected by problems with their wellbeing in school
  • 60% of adoptive parents do not feel that their child has an equal chance at school

In light of these findings, Adoption UK wants better training for teachers to be able to support adopted children, particularly when they have experienced abuse, trauma and neglect. It also wants to “reduce the pressure for academic achievement at all costs and prioritise emotional and social literacy in schools, giving staff and students the time and space to develop meaningful, supportive relationships.”

The report and survey were undertaken for Adoption UK’s Equal Chance campaign, which hopes to give adopted pupils and equal chance in life through development programmes and access to specialised support.

Looking to employ new domestic staff to help with children’s education? Get in touch with our household staff agency today.

The lives of UAE nannies revealed

Dubai at Dusk

A recent study has revealed insight into what it’s like to work as a nanny in the UAE.

Working as a nanny in the UK is a pretty good gig, with many benefits available depending on the employer. However, for those working as nannies and as staff in private households in the UAE it is a slightly different story.

A major survey charting the role of domestic nannies in the UAE (via The National) has revealed that the average salary is just Dh1,800 per month, which is equivalent to about £366. It has also been revealed, rather troublingly, that only 15 percent of nannies have any kind of childcare training.

The UAE Nanny Salary Survey also found that the majority of nannies earn less than Dh2,000 (£407) per month while 40 percent bring in Dh2,000 or more and only one in ten earn over Dh3,000.

Nannies look after 95 percent of UAE children

The UAE also uses nannies in a very large capacity, with about 750,000 of them working across the country and 95 percent of UAE children being in the care of nannies.

As you might expect, experience does play a factor in the level of pay for nannies in the UAE, with those that have three years’ nanny experience earning an average of Dh1,492 and those with over five years’ experience earning an average of Dh1,922.

Like most countries, it pays to be working as a nanny in the more affluent areas. In Dubai, for example, the best areas to work for increased pay are Palm Jumeriah and Meadows, where nannies earn a fair bit more than in locations such as Old Dubai.

For comparison, a fully time live-in Nanny in London earns an average of £314 a week, and outside of London, the average is £250 per week, rising as high as £600 dependent on hours and experience.

Live-out nannies in London can expect to earn an average of £400 per week.

Hero nanny stops thief from stealing a package

Hero nanny

A nanny has shown that those in her profession can be heroes too as she stops a thief from stealing a package.

CCTV footage from Washington, USA, has captured the brave efforts of a hero nanny who chased down and tackled someone who was trying to steal an Amazon package.

Kate Anderson was enjoying her last day as a nanny at a house in Everett, Washington when she noticed that a woman was running up the driveway and stealing a package which had just been delivered.

Luckily, Kate noticed the thief, which caused the woman to run towards a getaway vehicle. The car, however, drove off before the woman could climb inside, allowing Kate to bravely chase after her and drag her down to the ground. Kate could be heard yelling “What are you doing, what are you trying to steal?”

Nannies can be heroes too

This hero nanny then held onto the woman and brought her back to the house. Explaining the situation to Kiro 7, Kate said: “I saw her bending and picking it up, and they get a lot of packages. And I knew. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s taking that,’ so I just took off after her.”

The thief tried to protest her innocence and told Kate to get off her but luckily the nanny had seen clearly what this woman had done via the house’s security cameras.

“She’s just like a straight baller, she’s amazing and doesn’t take any crap from anybody” said homeowner and friend Tanya Smith.

The woman apprehended was identified as Rhieanna Schindler who has outstanding warrants for drug possession and theft, having been arrested more than 20 times since 2010.

This just goes to show the importance of vigilant and capable nannies. Not only do nannies and household staff such as this need to be able to look after small children but they can also be vital in protecting the environment in which they live.

Nanny employers must be aware of auto-enrolment pension changes

Any family which employs a nanny or other private household worker will now need to contribute to their pensions, as the latest phase of the automatic enrolment rules come into effect.

The pensions shake-up – the first stage of which was introduced by the government back in 2012 – was always intended to bring even the country’s smallest employers into the contributions fold, but so-called ‘micro-employers’ will now have no choice but to get their paperwork in order as soon as possible.

As of the start of October 2017, anyone who employs a nanny, cleaner or other domestic staff member (including carers) must contribute the equivalent of a minimum of 1% of their monthly salary towards their employees’ pension pot, provided the worker is 22 years old or over, earns at least £10,000 per year and is not already enrolled in another workplace scheme.

Rupert Jones, writing in the Guardian, notes that – despite the long-established timetable for the rule changes – it is possible that some families may still be taken by surprise because “of course, many of the smallest employers don’t think of themselves as such – they are individuals who just happen to have someone who works for them”.

Further contribution rises on the horizon

Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of the Pensions Regulator, which has an informative help section designed to teach people who are employing workers for the first time all they need to know about their contributions arrangements.

Something else which is important to bear in mind is that employers’ monthly contributions will not remain static indefinitely, even if their employees pay does not change from year to year. Contribution rates are pencilled in for the start of the next two financial years (April 2018 and 2019), which will typically raise employer contributions to 2% and 3% of the employee’s salary respectively.

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Prestigious nanny college welcomes highest number of male recruits

Man straightening tie

Rightly or wrongly, the role of professional childcare has long been regarded as the domain of female workers. From Mary Poppins onwards, the image of a wise, maternal lady calmly overseeing our precious children is surely what comes to mind when we think of nannies, governesses and housekeepers alike.

With the possible exception of Mrs Doubtfire, there have been no famous male nannies – either fictional or real – in living memory. However, the recent intake numbers for arguably the most famous of all nanny training facilities show that, little by little, the days of professional domestic childcare always being classed as a job for women may be nearing an end.

This Telegraph article recently reported that Norland College in Bath, which it describes as “the world’s most elite nanny training school”, has just reported its highest ever intake of male pupils for its renowned Early Years Development and Learning BA degree.

‘Where do I sign up?’

Whilst this development has made headlines around the private domestic staff industry, it is important not to overstate the numbers of men involved – after all, only four of the 103-strong 2017 first year class are male.

Nevertheless, the very fact that this is a record-high number shows the extent to which being a nanny has previously been a profession so one-sided in terms of gender that being female could almost have been mistaken for a requirement.

Many within the sector, however, are now extremely confident that this apparently small step towards breaking down gender barriers could be the start of something much bigger, with the director of one agency being positively bullish about this prospect when questioned by the Telegraph: “With social barriers slowly-but-surely breaking down, we predict the trend to continue and for there to begin to be a balance in the numbers of females and males entering the sector.”

Being a nanny to the great and good can be a particularly rewarding career choice, and one of the new male recruits at Norland – 19-year-old Gregory Ridley – summarised why it is a path being taken by more and more young people, regardless of sex: “When my mates found out that I was coming to Norland at first they were really unimpressed. But then I told them about the salary and they said ‘Can I come?! Where do I sign up?’”.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg MP celebrates family’s loyal nanny

Jacob Rees-Mogg giving speech

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Member of Parliament for North East Somerset, has taken the unusual move of putting his family’s nanny front and centre in a photograph of his sixth child’s christening.

The photo, which can be seen in this Telegraph article, shows professional nanny Veronica Crook – who has served the Rees-Mogg family for an extraordinary 52 years – proudly holding baby Sixtus in her arms, surrounded by the happy parents and their five other children.

Mr Rees-Mogg, who has recently become an unlikely social media celebrity to the point where he has had to play down reports of ambitions to become the next Conservative Party leader, previously spoke to the same newspaper about the pivotal role Veronica has played in his life and the lives of his children.

“Although nannies who cover more than one generation are rare, those like Veronica Crook – who looked after me and now looks after my four children – are pearls of great price”, the MP wrote.

Rees-Mogg praises ‘continuity and stability’ of nannies

With six children and a working life as an MP, it is understandable that Rees-Mogg relies upon the expertise of Ms Crook, and he was keen to praise the work done by nannies all over the country (something which should be reassuring for anyone who is considering contacting a private household staff agency for their own family’s needs): “They provide a continuity and stability for a family that is of inestimable value for the child and, indeed, the man.”

In our last blog, we wrote about the growing trend of so-called ‘helicopter nannies’, who are employed beyond the traditional length of time and on into a child’s late teenage years. Even Mr Rees-Mogg, however, accepts that still being dependent on his childhood nanny at the age of 48 is particularly unusual: “In my own case I have been blessed to have such a good, reliable and devoted nanny, even if it has led to me being deservedly teased about it from time to time.”

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More nannies being employed into children’s teenage years

Mary Poppins flying over London

The role of the nanny is traditionally seen as someone who flies into a child’s life (quite literally in the case of Mary Poppins, fiction’s most famous nanny), looks after them for their formative primary school years, and is then gone again in what seems like a flash.

However, a recent Telegraph article has revealed the extent to which this state of affairs is now quickly becoming a thing of the past, as so-called ‘helicopter nannies’ are being employed well into the teenage years of the children they were called upon to help bring up.

The phrase is an adaptation of the concept of ‘helicopter parents’, which tends to be applied in a negative way to mothers and fathers who are seen as being an overbearing influence and imposing themselves on every aspect of their child’s life.

It is perhaps unfair, therefore, to refer to the growing band of nannies looking after teenagers in these terms, as the reality is that these household staff company representatives provide an increasingly invaluable service in our busy modern world.

More ex-teachers becoming ‘helicopter nannies’

One of the most famous advocates of this new breed of nanny is the BBC television presenter Fiona Bruce, whose children are still supervised by a paid guardian, despite being 15 and 19. As she explained in an interview with the Daily Mail, “I’m working a lot and my husband works a lot, too, and it’s really important for me that someone is in the house when Mia comes in from school”.

The aforementioned Telegraph article quotes one director of a nanny agency as saying that many ex-teachers are now becoming ‘helicopter nannies’, largely due to the academic intelligence and diverse skill set that is required – and, of course, the attraction of excellent remuneration.

The source is quoted as saying that “with children aged 12 and above, [parents] want someone with a teaching or tutoring background, and some PA skills, so someone who is willing to do not just the children’s organising…but also someone who might book flights for the parents or do some background work on places to stay”.

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