New World Nannying: Cards On The Table is a guest blog post delivered by Nanny Laura, a friend of Army of Nannies with over 30-years of experience.
Laura has worked with families all over the world. And across COVID-19 she has advised nannies on adapting to the impact of the pandemic..
Let’s cut to the chase…! Us nannies have had to quickly adapt.
We’ve had to find our bearings whether we’ve worked through lockdown or have returned to work following reduced restrictions. A tough call with little or no guidance, right?
Firstly: NANNIES WHO WORKED DURING FULL LOCKDOWN… HATS OFF! TAKE A BOW! You know you deserve a round of applause. Of that, there is no doubt.
So where do we stand now?
And what is this ‘new world nannying’ business I’m talking about?
Well, I know from chatting to quite a few nannies that they have felt frustrated, insecure, confused, and in some cases have begun to lack enthusiasm in their profession. Even considering leaving.
Let’s Run Through Those Feelings.
- Parents at home – unavoidable
- Nannies feeling micromanaged – faith in nannies’ abilities requires addressing
- Disruption to carrying out daily routines and child development skills – Too many cooks…!
Do check out our blog Harmony in the Workplace
- Hours being cut or rearranged due to parents’ work schedules with a lack of communication
- An awkward atmosphere within the home resulting from random WhatsApp or email instructions interpreted as being bossy or simply asking what seems far too much (freezer filling, clothes sorting etc.)
- Everything taking twice as long as there too many people around; mealtimes, getting dressed, coats and shoes, washing hands etc.
WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE!
And us nannies have acquired new everyday work colleagues. The parents!
And if that’s not enough to raise insecurity to record levels, many families are opting for less costly childcare solutions. They’re looking to combine the role with housekeeping duties.
This is very different from a nanny role. Something will give. And, more often than not, it’s the level of childcare that’s compromised.
Of course, it is true to say it is the family’s choice. But is also true to say you typically get what you pay for.
It is, therefore, both sad and scary that nannies are considering leaving their profession – and the career they love – for lack of appreciation.
And for the industry, this means lost experience + lost talent + broken bonds.
How many times over the last few months have you heard someone say, ‘It’s all so confusing!’?
Chances are, quite a few. What is however extremely clear, is that so many nannies voiced how desperate they were to get back to work after lockdown:
- To re-establish disrupted routines
- Get back to feeling useful and necessary
- To see the kids they’ve missed so much ASAP without more delays
- Feel security that their job is still secure
New World Nannying Has to Offer Solution
I truly believe that the nanny’ role has changed – reduced hours and requirements, changes in working practices etc.. But are there new opportunities to apply our professional childcare skills?
I think there are ways to adapt to suit EVERYONE, without diluting the role.
For example, nannies are now more open nanny share roles. These can definitely suit both parties so long as EVERYONE is considered. And remember, with roles like this, consistent communication is key. Vital, in fact.
Do check out the blog Is Nanny Share A Workable Soliution For You
We’re also beginning to see agencies apply new technologies to help nannies and families make better connections. To build on that, we need to challenge agencies to better help us deliver against multiple contracts. Like nanny shares, strong and effective communication will be vital.
And finally, if you’re on reduced hours, you are likely to have more time to give. So apart from the obvious of offering more babysitting, there is the option of…
…ready for it?..?!
We’ve already shared one blog piece on virtual nannying – the link’s below. And we have another one – just around the corner – to give even more guidance on how this tool can further extend our usefulness to families.
Do check out the blog 5 Tips To Virtual Nannying
More on this topic to come, very soon.
New World Nannying Is Here
This situation we are in tough and it’s through no fault of nannies or families. No one planned for Covid.
But how we react to it is very much in our collective control:
- Agencies need to step up and work harder to protect and support nannies
- Families, with agencies’ guidance, need to be able to realise and recognise the distinct and skilled childcare role nannies play.
- Nannies need to look at all they have to offer. And then work out how they can best adapt to new world nannying.
Finally, nannies need to build and use their support networks; make that extra effort to get together to share successes, failures and anxieties.
No one has all the answers, but if we dig hard enough, we’re bound to find a few more of them.
WE ARE ARMY OF NANNIES
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