Being a parent is one of the best things ever….. the creation of a small person who will rely on you to care for them, to love and nurture them, to guide, encourage and support them in the right direction to grow up to be the best person they can ever be! Quite a responsibility don’t you think??
Your life will certainly change once small people come along and as parents we make decisions which hopefully will be good ones in all manner of aspects of daily life. We trust our instincts and do the very best we can with the resources available to us.
Whilst parents naturally want to enjoy those special moments as their children grow, parents bursting with pride when their child learns something new and reaches another developmental milestone, as well as the fun and happiness a parent has when their child’s own individual personality starts to develop, sadly there are families who do not have that luxury of staying at home and being there for every new experience. These days a large number of households have two working parents, two working parents who want to provide the best for their family.
However, here is the dilemma…… one of the biggest dilemma’s a parent will face…. We have to return to work….. What are we going to do with the children? We don’t have grandparents or relatives nearby? Who are we going to entrust to take care of our small people? What options are available to us? How do we know what kind of care do we want? And a whole host of other questions come spiralling into play…. Another big dilemma comes with this one…. How much is the cost of childcare going to be…. And where do we begin?
And breathe…..and keep breathing and don’t panic!
The typical choices of childcare arrangement which everyone hears about are nursery and childminder, however what about those families who would much prefer their children to be looked after in their own home, amongst familiar surroundings, and the child’s familiar things? That’s right….. I am talking about having a Nanny!
Nannies are not glorified babysitters, who sit in your home all day, watching TV, drinking tea and letting your children play…..that is so very far from the responsibility of a nanny!
People who choose to be a Nanny do so as their professional career choice because they want to be able to provide that 1-1 care and interaction with the children, they have a natural instinct to nurture, support, guide, help and encourage children to learn new things and develop their skills and reach those milestones, they also play a big part in being an exemplary role model for the children to learn from in developing social skills, manners, respect, preparing the children for nursery and school environment. Nannies take great pride in their work, looking after the children as though they were their own. Isn’t that what we said we wanted for our children in the beginning?
Now here comes the next flurry of questions…. Ok, so where do you get someone like this? What is involved in having a nanny? I can’t afford a nanny! How do we know this person is right?
Firstly…. We know cost is a big concern…..just consider this: A nanny can be a cost effective choice of childcare, especially if you have more than one child – you pay per hour per nanny, not per hour per child as in other childcare provisions. Think about the benefits of having a nanny – a nanny is responsible for attending to all the daily needs of the children, planning the day for them with a variety of age appropriate activities and outings to encourage learning and development, attending of various groups and arranging play dates with the children’s friends to encourage social skills, preparing of healthy meals for the children, children’s laundry tasks as well as common sense tasks within the home, in addition to fitting in with the family routines including bath and bedtime routines. Then think about the impact this will have when you do return from work after a hard day – the time with the children will be of quality time together! What cost would you place on quality time with your family?
Secondly…..how to find someone you trust with this enormous responsibility? If opting for a Nanny as your choice of childcare, always seek advice from a reputable nanny agency. I know….. I hear you…..but which agency to choose and they are so expensive? Trust your instincts! Ask around for recommendations. Call a few agencies in your area? Do you feel they listened? Do you feel confident with their level of knowledge and support? What support is given if things go wrong? There are so many other questions you may have also.
Whilst word of mouth recommendations speak volumes and everyone’s experiences of finding a nanny may differ, a very good starting place would be to have a look for a nanny agency who is a member of The Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA), the only Trade Association specifically for the nanny agency industry. All agencies who are members of ANA are accountable for their actions, these agencies sign up and agree to always work to the highest of standards of care and good practise for all families and nannies who choose to use their services. An ANA member agency takes responsibility for checking everything they possibly can to ensure that every person who wants to register as a nanny is who they say they are, has the right to work in the UK, is met in person by the agency, with checks on their training, skills and experience, as well as checking their DBS status (previously CRB) in addition to following up of their previous employment references.
Agencies who are members of The Association of Nanny Agencies should provide support throughout the whole process of finding a nanny to suit your family, as well as ensuring the nanny is in the right position to suit their skills, experience and personality. Support should not just end on placement of a nanny, ANA agencies will be there for ongoing after care advice and support if either party needs it.
Yes there is a cost to using an agency, however the agency is doing all the hard work of sourcing, checking of each applicant before they are being presented to you. This means you are being given a choice of the best available applicants, those who have met and passed the agencies high standards and who meet the requirements which are needed within your family. Each agency is responsible for their own fee structure, and this will vary depending on location, however we reach that questions again – what cost would you put on finding the right care and support for your children when you cannot be there?
I would like to share a quote someone said quite recently ‘you wouldn’t stop someone in the street and ask them to cut your hair, you would choose someone who was had been recommended, somewhere you can ‘see’ their work. So why should choosing childcare be any different??’ Children are your special little people, get the right childcare advice and support in the beginning, and don’t wait until it has gone wrong. ANA agencies know what we are doing, let us help you!
Trust your instincts! To find an ANA Nanny Agency near you please visit www.anauk.org or give us a call on 0203 1500 365.
Post written by Sarah Parkin, Kids Deserve the Best