Notable Nannies our dedicated team of experts are proud to offer a totally tailored service to assist both families and nannies match with their perfect childcare requirements. In this blog we discuss how we work with our clients to fit their individual specifications. Read more
My name is Joanna Smith, and I am a London based nanny living in Croydon, and until recently I was working in Dulwich in South London. My love for children began from a very young age and my sister was also a massive inspiration as she also trained to be a nanny and I loved to see what she had achieved when she came home from college during her training. I remember thinking I want to do that, to be part of giving a child the best opportunities in life. I very quickly developed a real love & passion for helping children reach the best of their abilities and I feel so honoured & privileged to be a part of that journey in a child’s life, working as a nanny in London. Read more
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 and keep them headed in the right direction, and to grow up to be the best person they can ever be! Therefore choosing a nanny is a big decision for a family looking for childcare, and hiring the correct nanny agency is a big deal of a decision and, a decision that should not be made lightly.
As for many around the world, for me, the news of Coronavirus Covid–19 spreading globally brought with it fear, uncertainty, confusion and anxiety. Just before lockdown was announced on March 23rd 2020, I’d walk with fellow nannies in the park and our discussions quickly turned to what was on it’s way to us – we’d all watched the daily briefings from the British Government & seen the stark headlines printed in the London Evening Standard, we watched as European countries around us had started to implement a lockdown and we would speculate on what was going to happen in the UK, to our families, to our nanny families, to us, and what the rules would be. Discussions had already started between nannies and the families they worked for – some were gearing up to leave London with their nanny families and move in with them in their second homes, others worried for their own health and the health of their family members and had to have difficult conversations about possibly taking time off. Nannies had started to weigh up what was most important, maintaining a salary and caring for their nanny children or maintaining the health of themselves and all those around them, including the families they work for.
Notable Nannies Limited, a central London based Nanny Agency, has been flooded with calls, emails, and social media messages from Nannies across our key nanny agency areas of Clapham, Wandsworth, Balham, Dulwich, Battersea, Wimbledon, Mitcham, and surrounding areas. We have received enquiries & messages of concern from parents asking us one key question recently. “Can we still place nannies during the COVID-19 lockdown?” and “is it safe to continue to proceed to employ our nanny?”
We have seen a lot of nanny agencies from London offering differing and sadly conflicting advice. Given that we are voluntary members of The Association of Nanny Agencies we have been able to take advice from our regulatory body and also support from our colleagues at UK Nanny, as well as government bodies including the Department for Education [DfE] and pass this to our current clients and candidates. It has been difficult trying to decipher what is fact and what is opinion. We have endeavoured to verify our sources wherever possible, and this has been a time consuming and laborious task, but vital in ensuring we are giving the right advice to our contacts.
Many nannies have been concerned about their welfare and the welfare of their employers & children, especially those individuals with existing health conditions such as asthma or cancer, or those that live with vulnerable adults or children, and of course many nannies now have issues finding childcare arrangements and have struggled to continue to work. We were contacted in early April by a Nanny from Battersea who was trying to negotiate being able to take her own child to work with her to look after her charges as her own childcare arrangements had fallen through due to the lockdown. We know from social media this case was not unique and we suspect there has been an increase of nannies working with their own child present too, due to childcare issues, given the mixing of families is frowned upon according to government advice which can be found on gov.uk.
So, can nannies continue to work during the COVID-19 Coronavirus lockdown?
We are all finding ourselves in situations of uncertainty and unfamiliarity since the evening of Monday 23rd March 2020, when Boris Johnson announced lock down measures brought about by COVID-19 Coronavirus that left the nanny industry in a state of shock. Once again, there has been a lack of recognition within the nanny industry overall and the necessary work that nannies do to support a family with their childcare needs went unmentioned in all of the government advice issued to workers. This left employers and nannies in turmoil and wondering whether work can continue – or does the mixing of households extend to domestic staff that work in households too? There has also been an element of confusion with the way the Government guidelines have been interpreted and understood. We have never watched as much news and read as much information on employment rights, legal guidance, HMRC guidance and government instructions in our entire careers!
1. Lack of Communication – Setting a precedent for open and honest communication from the start is paramount in ensuring a happy and successful relationship is built with your Nanny. Any concerns that crop up at the beginning, particularly in the handover/trial period, need to be discussed so that a solution can be found and everyone starts off the position on the right foot. If this does not happen, concerns from either the Nanny or parent may grow and grow until one party wants to terminate the contract.