Nanny college looking for families to offer trainee placements

Nanny with child in garden

Norland College is looking for families to send their student nannies on trainee placements.

Norland College in Bath is renowned the world over for producing top quality nannies and ready-to-work staff for private households. Their graduates receive the education and qualifications needed to set them off on their childcare careers – ready to help out families across the country.

But before they get to take on the world’s most prestigious nanny jobs, Norland is looking for local families to send their students for placements.

After all, theoretical training can only get you so far. Real world experience is a fundamental ingredient that must be added to the mix, regardless of one’s chosen career.

The Placement

Norland took in a record number of students during this academic year and now requires more families with whom to place its student nannies. Speaking to the Bath Chronicle, the college said:

“We’ll be sending our students out to family homes for six-week blocks from January 2018 so that students can gain experience and pick up valuable skills based on the theory they’ve learnt.”

Norland has said that it would rather place nannies within local families as household staff are a useful service for the community.

For families that would like to welcome one of Norland’s finest into their homes, they must have two or more children under the age of three, and at least one of those children would need to be at home in the Bath area between Mondays and Thursdays.

The families involved would also be required to complete timesheets and fill in appraisals, helping Norland to keep track of their students’ progress.

For families that qualify and that would like to give the nannies of the future the start they need, contact Norland by email at Jo.Brimble@norland.ac.uk, providing your details and children’s ages.

 

Handy apps for household staff

Healthy cooking

While household staff are expected to be organised at all times, there are a few apps that can make things easier. Whether you need inspiration for healthy meals or ideas for activities, downloading a few free and helpful apps can take the stress out of some daily tasks.

EatingWell

It’s now fairly common for household staff to be required to cook healthy meals for families. With the rise of clean eating and vegetarian/vegan diets, it’s important to keep your meals varied and to bookmark a few recipes for fussy children. Award-winning magazine and website EatingWell has an app for “fast, easy and delicious recipes” which even allows you to save recipes and ingredients lists for when you go food shopping. Healthy in a Hurry is available for free on iOS and Android.

Kids Craft Ideas

For nannies in need of inspiration for creative activities, Kids Craft Ideas is an incredibly useful app. As well as browsing vibrant galleries of craft examples, you can share your own with others. The app is particularly helpful for seasonal craft ideas and will keep children busy for hours. So you’ll be prepared to get creative for Christmas, Halloween and Easter.

Yummly

This app is designed to help you find recipes tailored to certain health needs. Whether you’re dealing with a picky eater in the family or someone with a food intolerance, Yummly matches over 1 million recipes to your cooking lifestyles. You can add entire recipes to your shopping list and save your favourites, so you’ll never be without inspiration for a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian meal.

Those working as private household staff should aim to keep up to date with the latest health food trends and seek inspiration for new and exciting ideas for activities. That way you will continue to discover new ways to put your skills to use.

Image credit: Tim Sackton

How to get children to eat healthy food

As a member of private household staff, you may also have a responsibility to look after the children in the home. Alongside your usual duties, you may be required to provide an example of how to eat and live healthily by preparing meals and maintaining a healthy diet in the family home.

It can be a challenge to encourage children that fruit and vegetables are an important and tasty part of their diet. A recent blog by Wellness Mama said junk food is largely to blame for fussy eaters: “It’s quite obvious, with a quick stroll down the perilous middle aisles of any grocery store, that a lot of food marketing targets children. It is also no secret that obesity and type 2 diabetes are skyrocketing in kids and appearing at younger and younger ages.”

To help encourage children to eat well and enjoy a healthy diet, Wellness Mama recommends a few rules.

Commit to making a healthy, positive change

“When it comes to dietary shifts, you must present a confident front, and believe the information you are telling your kids,” says Wellness Mama. The same applies to nannies caring for children. “Research, meal plan and commit to making this positive change.”

Introduce food gradually

“While your kids won’t make the jump from happy meals to veggie smoothies in a day, they will adapt faster than you expect, and they will learn to love healthy foods. To start, put one small bite of each food you have cooked on a child’s plate.” This encourages children to try new foods without feeling overwhelmed.

Let the children make healthy choices

According to the blog, it is important to continue to give children the option to choose what they eat, within reason: “Whenever possible, let the kids make their own choices on healthy options for food. Not only will they feel better about trying a good they chose, but it will help break down their perception that you have hijacked their ability to eat what they want.”

Set an example

As a member of the private household staff, you will be spending a lot of time with the family and children. It is essential to remember that you will be influencing young minds. According to the blog: “Parenting experts agree that children pick up behaviour based much less on what they are told and much more on what they observe. If they see you routinely eating veggies and enjoying them, they will start to choose it themselves.”

Home cooking

Cooking may or may not be part of your job description in the domestic service sector. If you are looking for a household staff role, it may be worth picking up some home cooking skills just in case. “Your chances of eating healthily drastically increase when you cook at home,” says Wellness Mama. “You have the option of using more natural ingredients and more variety.”

Surge in requests for nannies with unique skillsets

People are increasingly looking for nannies with a unique skillset, according to a recent article. Skills such as yoga, cooking and music are fast becoming popular requirements for UK nannies. According to a 2015 survey by caretaker payroll service Nannytax, over 75% of parents want nannies to offer additional skills as well as traditional childcare, to give their child the best opportunities to succeed later in life.

The bespoke babysitting sector has had a massive boost in recent years. Those considering joining thousands as member of private household staff in the UK could help their career by adding additional talents to their skillset. Whether this involves learning how to cook healthy meals, how to tutor children in specific subjects or teach fitness classes, it is becoming clear that the more skills you possess beside “traditional” nannying, the more employable you are.

There are many courses designed to help nannies, domestic workers, housekeepers and au pairs to cook healthy meals for children. In today’s world of clean eating and an emphasis on nutrition, it is helpful to know the basics of healthy cooking.

When it comes to languages, it is often debated on nannying and parenting blogs which languages are the most useful to learn in this profession. Popular languages required include Mandarin, Spanish and sign language. Beauchamp Partners currently has a vacancy for a Mandarin speaking nanny in Oxfordshire. Learning a new language is also extremely useful if you’re considering taking your career abroad.

Learning a new skill can only be a good thing when it comes to domestic service. In an ever-changing world, being as dynamic as you can in your profession will serve you well.

Can robot nannies really replace the real thing?

Many of us dream of having a robot assistant that can supersonically complete the more mundane chores of daily life. Although technology is developing every year, this dream remains elusive – no dusting maids, no waiting butlers occupy the average household. However, an altogether more complex task usually reserved for caregivers and domestic staff may be delegated to our robotic companions in the near future.

According to recent reports, there is a new robot on the scene – the “robot nanny”, and it may soon be making its way into urban households. According to Mobile Mag, these affordable robots will be able to “bottle-feed babies, change diapers, and even iron the kids’ clothes.” Created by Avatar Mind, the new robot nanny is called iPal and is equipped with the mind (learning engine) of an adult but with the general conversational capacities of a four- to eight-year-old, allowing it to better relate to the child.

“The robot’s mind is also set to remember a child’s likes and dislikes and uses this knowledge to improve conversation”, says Mobile Mag. “Its super brain is also keen on always researching on the internet to learn more about topics that are interesting to the child.” Avatar Mind claim that not only is the robot created to take care of a child while handling minor tasks like ironing and folding  clothes, but is also able to replace the hours of digital entertainment many children are exposed to in the modern day.

But can robots really replace nannies?

In her article for The Week, Ruth Margolis emphasises that, although the idea of her children playing with an interactive robot rather than staring at a screen is appealing, it is important to remember that: “iPal is designed exclusively for the three-plus set and it’s a glorified toy rather than a robot sitter. You shouldn’t actually leave a child — of any age — in its care.” Agreeing with this sentiment, QZ says, “The robot essentially serves as a glorified baby monitor and that’s perhaps its most useful feature: it not only keeps children engaged, but gives parents the power to check on children remotely and even video chat with them through the tablet embedded in the iPal’s chest, which runs Android applications. In the future, the robot could provide a convenient lens for caregivers to look over children with special needs or the aging elderly population at times when they cannot be physically present.”

Despite its potentials, even Avatar Mind themselves insist that “it cannot replace a babysitter.” Madeline Duva, an adviser to the company, says that iPal ought to only be used to occupy a child for a brief period. Similarly, as QZ report, researchers from University of Lisbon have found that children need actual human role models to help them develop cultural values, master a sense of morality. No matter how sophisticated robots become, they cannot replicate the social values that a real human nanny will pass on to children in their care.

Mobile Mag points out that other experts are concerned that long-term exposure to robots instead of humans may cause some psychological effects on the child. They also ask:

“While that may seem like a good thing given that robot nannies don’t need to call in sick or ask for vacation leave, there are other important aspects to consider. How will iPal react if a fire breaks out? Can it squish poisonous spiders nearing the child? What will it do if the child is choking?”

These questions remain unanswered, so Mobile Mag suggests that, rather than investing in the risks of a robot, “it’s time to give your present human nanny a pay raise and better sick leave benefits.” If you are in need of household staff or nannies, remember that only human beings can truly understand your family’s unique needs and provide the human contact that children need to grow into fulfilled adults. A nanny agency will be able to find the perfect employee to not only fulfil all of the daily chores as efficiently as any computerised being, but also provide the empathy and bond that a growing family needs. We may be in the computer age, but there are some things that code cannot replace.

The benefits of moving to London to further your career

Lights in London

Relocating for a job can be a daunting prospect, but the positives often far outweigh the negatives, making it all worthwhile in the long run. For those with skills in a household profession, many opportunities offer live-in accommodation, and these can be found easily with a domestic staff agency in London.

Here are just some of the numerous reasons why moving to London will be a great experience for you.

Job availability

Just like the choice of culture and entertainment in London, the options for careers are so much more varied, and will more likely be able to cater for those with specific niches. London also boasts a lot of wealth, so those in household staffing occupations are likely to find employers who can offer great benefits, as well as live-in accommodation on wonderful estates. Whether you’re a nanny, housekeeper, or gardener, you’re sure to find a job role which will be a fantastic career move.

Everything you could need on your doorstep

As the capital city of England, it’s no surprise that London has so much to offer, with all you could ever need in one place. Whether you enjoy spending your free time in exquisite bars and restaurants, want to spend your hard-earned wages in the sheer variety of shops, or wish to visit all the fantastic heritage that the city is home to, you’ll truly be spoilt for choice.

Transport links

Being based in London makes it incredibly easy for travel, whether this is by rail or flying. You will be located near to a range of major train stations and airports, so should you want to visit family or friends, this should be relatively simple. You’ll also have more choice of flights, routes and destinations, should you wish to take a holiday.

Image Credit: E01 (flickr.com)

Parents must register nanny or face fine

New government penPensionsion rules will mean that all employers need to register nannies, gardeners and carers in order to avoid fines.

By 2018, it will be a requirement that employees are registered by their employers, regardless of whether they are entitled to a workplace pension. This includes parents who hire a nanny, and elderly people who pay for a carer, even if they earn under the £10,000-a-year salary needed to qualify for a workplace pension.

Until recently, it was assumed that those who are paid less, for part-time work for instance, would be excluded. However, any employers who fail to register will now be considered to have unfulfilled their duties, and will risk being penalised by the regulators, first with an official warning. Following this, fines of £400 could be issued to smaller employers, with additional charges of £50 for each day their employees are not registered.

Employers urged to act on new rules

In order to create awareness, the government has created an advertising campaign, which is expected to air for the first time on Wednesday during the Coronation Street commercial break. There will also be giant billboards in London’s Piccadilly Circus, and adverts on buses, which hope to draw attention to the new laws.

The campaign focuses on a monster named ‘workie’, who gets ignored by employers, which pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann personally helped design. The message is hoped to encourage small employers to learn about the changes, and will provide information about the ways employees can be registered.

Baroness Altmann told the Telegraph: “There are a lot of people who will need to register that they are employers but then also register to say they don’t have anyone to auto-enrol.”

A new website is set to be launched by the Department for Work and Pensions on Wednesday, which will make the registration process easier for smaller employers with members of private household staff.

Image Credit: Simon Cunningham (flickr.com)

Saving money versus saving time

Stress, fatigue, frustration. These can all be symptoms of something very common in our busy, “too little time” worlds.nanny reading to children

Are you doing too much of the wrong thing?

The time value in money may be financial calculation that involves the benefits of savings, investment and accrued interest, but in real-life scenarios, the value of money and time asks a different question. Can you make more money with the time saved by hiring someone else to do the job?

Some argue you can simplify your life by paying someone else to do it for you. If a task will take you three hours to complete, how much money could you have earned in those same three hours? If you can earn more than you’d have to pay, then it is time to call someone.

House Cleaning Services

Working all day only to come home to an untidy house is never fun. Neither are those weekends dedicated to the deep clean. An investment in cleaners or even household staff could prevent this headache.

Think about all the times you pick things up or see a sink full of dishes. What about the loft or stream clean treatments in the bathroom? Hiring cleaners may be a way to save a host of hours. Embrace the feeling of walking into a clean home – each and every day.

Nanny Services

For many families, the choice to hire a nanny ticks a number of boxes. It is developmentally important for the child to be in familiar surroundings, and there is the advantages of one-on-one care, as well as other positives. When looking at your day, how often do you rush from work to get to the nursery before it closes? Is your work schedule dependent on the nursery’s opening and shut hours?

In measuring your time and money value, you can determine whether a nanny is the right solution. You can decide whether the freedom and flexibility makes sense for your family. And the right experienced nanny agency in London can help meet your needs and expectations in finding the right person.

Image Credit: Mark Baylor (flickr.com)

Reasons to work abroad

Working in the household sector can take you all over the world, whether you choose a position in another country or are able to travel with the family you are positioned with. From other destinations in Europe to locations on the opposite side of the globe, if you know where to look there are many opportunities to be had.

So, if you are qualified or well-practiced in the household sector, get in touch with a domestic staff agency and see where your career can take you today. Here are a few reasons why working abroad can benefit you.

Add to your life experiences

Not only will you be able to see new places, but you will also be able to experience a range of cultures during your employment in another country. You will get to know the local customs and traditions of your chosen location, which will show that you are able to adapt to a different environment, while also allowing you to travel.

Expand your skill set

Working in another country will most likely provide you with further skills that you would not have the chance to improve on in the UK. This will also look fantastic on your CV, as it shows that you are willing to relocate and will often help you stand out from other candidates. You may also be able to learn a language, or at least pick up basic vocabulary that may be useful in the future.

Added benefits

Many of the positions available in other countries are often provided with accommodation within the household. This means that many of your costs will be covered by your employer, leaving you with more disposable income, which can be used to make the most of exploring your new location or saving for when you return home.

Image Credit: Camilo Rueda Lopez (Flickr.com)