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10 Top Tips that all new Nannies should know

July 11, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Here are 10 top tips for new nannies;

If you are starting a new nanny role it can be daunting, but it is an exciting job to have.

1). Always be professional – 

This is a top priority. You should always conduct yourself in a professional way when at work. To maintain professionalism avoid: using your mobile phone, gossiping whilst at work, and always respect your employer.

2).  Maintain a positive attitude –

Everyone has down days, including nannies. That being said, you should not let it affect or interfere with your work. At the end of the day, you are the employee and are employed to do a job.

3). Learn how to communicate with your employer –

Communication is key! Especially for a nanny. You should always make sure you are communicating to your employer about the children you are taking care of. You need to make them aware of anything that has happened during the day that you think they have a right to know. Having a nanny diary on hand is a great resource. This enables you to write down any key information or notes about the day. It can be hard to remember the days events especially if you are caring for more than one child. Having a nanny diary on hand can take away some of this pressure.

You should also try to build up a good relationship with your employer so you are able to communicate worries or concerns that you have. You should feel that you can take to your employer about everything you need to regarding your job.

4). Know that is it okay to say ‘no’ –

Occasionally you may find yourself needing to say ‘no’. This is allowed in certain aspects. You may feel like you are letting your employer or someone down. Along as you have a good reason for saying no, you have nothing to feel guilty about. This is also why it is good to be in constant communication with your employer. It is always advisable to give as much notice as possible if you are able to.

5). Respect everyone and everything –

Nannies, when working in your employers house it is always important to respect their property and household objects. This is also true of anyone that enters the house.

6). Always be helpful, go that extra mile –

A great way show your employer that you are a good nanny is to always try and go that extra mile. Always clean up after yourself, make sure you complete all your duties to the best of your ability and always maintain a positive attitude.

7). Maintain personal hygiene and your personal appearance –

When working, always ensure you are maintain a good standard of personal hygiene. Be conscientious of the environment you are working in. The way you look is important and you want to give your employer a good impression. It is always a good idea to style your hair in an appropriate way, keeps nails short and makeup professional. Some employers are very particular about the way their nanny looks. You should respect this and follow there requests, after all you are a role model to the children.

8). Be proactive and adventurous –

This is always really important especially if you are looking after children during a school holiday. You are going to be required to keep your nanny children entertained, but don’t blow the budget!

9). Have a good relationship with your nanny children & employer –

This should be at the top of your list. Having a good relationship with your nanny children and employer will reflect in the work you do. It may take time to build up a relationship, but it should be a priority. It may take longer to build up a bond with some children.

10). Be tactile when it comes to discipline –

There may come a point when you will have to discipline your nanny children. This is one of the hardest parts of the job as you want you maintain a good relationship with your nanny children but it is a necessary part of the job. You should always try to be tactile about this. It is always a good idea to know what the parents methods of discipline are and then to coordinate them with yours.

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Nannies, do you want to stand out from the crowd?

July 11, 2017 | Leave a Comment

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Nannies, do you want to stand out from the crowd?

The cost of sending your child to a nursery and having part-time child care is rising. It has been estimated that on average £116.77 is spent in Britain per week per child. Therefore more families are searching for other options that are hopefully more affordable.

Nannies, Home Childcarers and Au pairs, are becoming more popular, as children from the same family can all be looked after, instead of parents needing to pay for each child seperately. Therefore you need to make sure that you are up-to-date with all your knowledge and make sure that you have a level-2 child safeguarding certificate, and an up-to-date DBS check. As well as this you may want a food hygiene training certificate. (If you do not have a food hygiene certificate, take our online course today). However, having all these necessary requirements is not enough these days.

Parents no longer want the simple necessities when it comes to childcare for their children. As today there are many more dangers etc. that their children could run into innocently and therefore parents want more security when leaving their children with nannies. As a result of this, it is great to have an up-to-date portfolio with your most recent training certificates. There are many different courses and areas that you can train in.

If you wish to stand out from the crowd of nannies, you need to have more than a DBS and first aid training certificate. There are many different courses you can take, and Harmony at Home can offer many of them to you. Here is a list of extra courses you can take:

  • Child protection training
  • Food hygiene training
  • EYFS training
  • Lone worker training
  • E-safety training
  • FGM training, this training is important as it is the law to report all cases. Therefore every qualified nanny or child carer needs to know the signs and what action to take should you suspect someone is at risk.

These are just a few of the many courses you can take to further your knowledge. At Harmony at Home we offer these courses. If you would like to take one of our courses follow the link below, and start standing out from the crowd.

http://www.nannyacademy.co.uk/

 

Cost effective days out and activities in Sussex for Parents and Nannies

July 11, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Cost Effective Weekend Ideas/activities for Parents and Nannies

Sussex

There is so much to discover in Sussex! This being said, it is not always cheap. If you are looking for some fun activities to do with your children or nanny children at the weekend that are fun, family orientated and don’t break the bank, then hopefully this article will help.

Sussex has so much to be discovered, including all of this:

Top Sussex Attractions/places to visit:

Brighton

Brighton is such an exciting place to visit with lots of different attractions to see and lots of activities to take part in. Perfect for families and nannies, providing entertainment and excitement for all!

Brighton Beach

Who doesn’t love going to the beach? Always an exciting day out and the perfect place to take children. With the warmer weather fast approaching, Brighton Beach is the place to be. There are also lots of attractions to visit along the beach side:

  • Brighton Fishing Museum – Free Admission, open 10am – 5pm Monday – Sunday – Perfect place to find out about the fishing and beach trade. Suitable for all ages to enjoy.
  • Beach Railway – The perfect way to see the sights of Brighton Beach, whilst sitting back and being taken on a ride you will be sure to enjoy. A 1 mile long route that runs between terminal stations at the Aquarium (close to the Palace Pier) and Black Rock (close to Brighton Marina). There is a fee to go on the railway, but it is a reasonable price. You are also able to buy a family ticket which you may find will be cheaper than buying individuals.
  • Traditional sea side activities – Lots to take part in along the beachside. Activities that children are going to love including a ‘merry go round’.
  • Brighton Pier – One of the most iconic places to visit in Brighton. An ideal place to visit with children of all ages. With free admission onto the pier, you are then able to visit various food and drink outlets, sampling the famous fish and Chips that Brighton has to offer, or picking up some of the traditional seaside treats like a Mr Whippy ice cream or some tasty donuts. When tummies have been filled, check out the pier’s attractions, arcades and rides. Lots of rides and amusements to choose from to suit different ages of children. The great thing about the pier is you are able to keep costings minimum. You may decide to set a limit for your children in terms of ride money or just enjoy the views that are on offer. A fantastic family day out that can be enjoyed on a budget.

British Airways i360

The i360 is the tallest moving observation tower in the world and is an exciting way to see Brighton & Hove all at once. Located on Brighton Beach close to the iconic West Pier. Suitable for children and ideal for families. Children are able to point out key landmarks, ships and all exciting things that they see. Children are also able to enjoy animations showing how the i360 was built and there is also a free app that can be downloaded to enjoy a photo hunt around the attraction.

The i360 is not free and you do have to pay a charge to go on. However, children under 4 will go free and if you book online, you are able to save some money on your tickets.

To find out more about ticket pricing and opening hours, visit their website >>> http://britishairwaysi360.com/

If you and your children prefer going on adventures and getting muddy then these places are for you:

Tulleys Farm

Lots of fun to be had at Tulleys Farm. An ideal day out that it suitable for children of all ages. Lots of seasonal and day to day events take place during the year at Tulley’s Farm, so there is always something to do and take part in. There is also a tea room to enjoy, a courtyard to explore, a play area to have lots of adventures in and an animal patch to get up close with some of the animals Tulley’s has.

There is free admission into Tulleys. If you want to take part in a special event that they are running, then there would be a charge to pay.

http://www.tulleysfarm.com/

Washbrooks Farm

Washbrooks has it all! Animals, climbing frames, sandpits, tractor rides, a football pitch, a zip wire and lots of play areas all to be discovered. They also have a place to relax and grab a cup of coffee or some lunch when needed.

Open everyday form 9:30 – 5pm. There is a fee to enter, however children under the age of 3 go free and if you are a family of 4 you can save on ticket prices. Tickets are very reasonably priced and it is definitely worth the trip. With so much to see and do, little ones will not get bored.

http://washbrooks.co.uk/index.php

National Trust

If you and your family prefer a quieter place to visit and spend time together then why not visit a National Trust place. Sussex is home to lots of National Trust establishments that have stunning scenery and are child friendly.

Here are a few free/low cost National Trust locations:

  • Wakehurst Place, Haywards Heath, West Sussex – Free for children under 16, National Trust Members and friends of Kew/Wakehurst
  • Devils Dyke, near Brighton, West Sussex
  • Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex
  • Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, near Eastbourne, East Sussex

There are so many places to visit and lots of stunning scenery to be scene. To find out more information about the places listed or to discover other National Trust Locations, click on the link >>>

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionlondonsoutheast/sussex

Castles

An exciting and educating way to spend the day that all are able to enjoy.

Here are a few castles located in Sussex that have stunning scenery and are suitable for families:

  • Arundel Castle
  • Lewes Castle
  • Bodium Castle

The admission of these places is not free, so if you are planning on visiting make sure you plan ahead and decide on the perfect time of year you would like to go and what events would be best suited to you and your family.

Sussex has so many exciting things to offer and lots of exciting places to see. Hopefully this article has helped you to gain an understanding of them. There are lots of activities and days out to be had that don’t cost a fortune. Spend time with your family or Nanny children discovering what Sussex has to offer.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

Fun screen free activities for children

July 11, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Activities for children… that are screen free!

Do you ever find that your nanny children/ children come up to you and say ‘I’m bored’ or do you ever find it hard coming up with ideas to keep them occupied whilst at home. Do you find yourself reaching for the latest device or turning on the television in the hope that this will keep them happy for the next 20 minutes?

Coming up with ideas for how to keep children happy and occupied can be difficult. This is especially the case now more than ever, as we have access to some amazing technology that simply is capable of doing the job for us.

Allowing your children to watch the television or play on a device or tablet is allowed and there is nothing wrong with that, however it is not ideal to do this all the time.

We have come up with 10 top activities for your nanny children/ children to enjoy, and even better, they’re completely SCREEN FREE!

Screen free activities:

  1. Baking

An activity that is generally loved by all. With the correct adult supervision, all are able to get involved. Children are able to master new skills and it may even become a frequent hobby. You don’t have to be an excellent baker all you need to do is follow a recipe and see what you can create. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t turn out perfect first time or if it is completely inedible, all that matters is that children have fun and enjoy some time away from the screen. There is an unending amount of recipes that can be made. Muffins, cakes, cookies or breads the list is endless. Grab a cookery book and your aprons, have a flick through and see what takes your fancy!

  1. Reading

Reading doesn’t have to just be for bed time. Children love to read and it is important for when they are at school to ensure success. It is also an activity that engages them and is fun and imaginative. If your child is old enough, let them have a go at reading to you. Another great activity to try is having a go at creating your own stories. Put imaginations to the test and see who can create the best story.

  1. Play Dough

Another great activity to help pass the time is by playing with Play Dough. When you can’t think of anything else to do, Play Dough is the perfect thing to reach for. Hours of fun to be had making various shapes, animals and creations. An excellent activity for children of all ages.

To be even more creative, why not have a go at making your own play dough from scratch. Here is a simple recipe that you can follow to create your very own fun squashy, bouncy dough:

All measurements are in cups. For example: Salt X1 = Salt X1 cup

All you will need is:

  • Self raising flour X3
  • Salt X1
  • Colouring of your choice
  • Water to mix with!

Easy and simple to make and allows children to participate!

  1. Go for a walk

When the weather is warmer and you find yourself stuck for things to do, go for a walk. If this doesn’t sound appealing to your children, make it an adventure. Head to the woods or the seaside and see what discoveries you can find. Set up a little treasure hunt of things you think you may find. This is a great way to transform a boring walk, into an exciting adventure!

  1. Build a fort

When the weather is not looking good and you are stuck in doors, a cosy fort is the perfect thing to build. Grab all the cushions and blankets you can find, and start creating.

  1. Arrange a play date

Children love to play and even more with a friend. Arrange for one of your children’s friends to come round and play. Children tend to put down the screen, turn off the television and play various games when their friends are round.

  1. Board games/puzzles

Before screens were invented, games and puzzles were played for entertainment. Now a days, board games are played on devices and you are unable to see who you are playing. To encourage less screen time, have a go at introducing your nanny children/ children to some classic games such as Guess Who, Connect 4 or even to a pack of cards. A deck of cards are so versatile and lots of games can be played. You may even find that they actually prefer playing them in person, rather than virtually.

  1. Colouring

If you want your nanny children to have a short break from a screen, colouring is a fantastic activity for them. Colouring is therapeutic and relaxing and allows you to focus the mind on something else.

  1. Crafts

There is always opportunities for crafts. Many household recycling objects can be reused to create something else, for example, an old egg box or plastic bottle. Take some time away from the screen and set up a craft project. Perfect to keep little ones occupied for a long amount of time. Put you creative minds to the test and see what you come up with.

  1. Garden Time

Weather permitted, the garden is always a fun for children to run around burning off some excess energy. Lots of garden activities and games to choose from that are certain to provide fun.

So, when you hear the words: ‘I’m bored’ or ‘I would rather just watch television’ or ‘play on the computer’, don’t feel like you always have to say ‘yes’. These are some great alternatives to provide entertainment for children, and even better, they are screen free!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

Easy After School Snacks ideal for Children

July 11, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Nannies and Parents, do you get the ‘I’m hungry’ after school from your children or charges? After a full day at school, it is expected for your children or charges to come home hungry.

Instead of reaching for those unhealthy, sugary snacks, try mixing it up a bit with a variety of healthy snacks for your child to munch on. It can be hard to know what snack is best to give that is suitable to be consumed before dinner. The last thing you want is for them to feel full and not want to eat their dinner that you have prepared.

Getting children involved

Cooking and baking is lots of fun and an activity that most children enjoy. It is a fantastic way to encourage them to eat healthy and allows you to introduce them to some new foods. Cooking also provides you with an opportunity to introduce some new skills, for example, weighing/ measuring out the ingredients, reading along with the recipe and identifying the correct ingredients. These skills are perfect to understand and establish when children are young.

After School Snack Ideas:

When children need energy fast, a snack plate is the perfect thing to create. A small plate of their favourite healthy snacks always go down a treat.

A few great snacks to include:

  • Bread sticks/ crackers. Served on their own or with some hummus
  • Dried fruit
  • Cubes/ slices of cheese
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Chopped apple/ grapes / berries/ banana
  • Raw carrot / pepper / cucumber
  • Nuts/ seeds.

These snack options also work really well on the go. If you find that your child or charge is hungry as soon as they come out of school, prepare a few of these easy snacks and take them with you to the school gate. A quick and easy food fix.

If you find that your child is still hungry or is looking for something slightly more filling, have a go at making these quick and simple snacks, perfect to fill a hole:

Fruit Kebabs

Fruit kebabs are fun, easy and healthy snacks that children love. Simply choose from a selection of different fruit, cut it into small, bite size chunks and let your child have a go a creating their own fruit kebab. Perfect treats to make that are not time consuming and are hassle free. A great way to encourage children to eat fruit by letting them get involved. Add some excitement to your kebabs by offering some yoghurt, honey or even chocolate dips on the side. This might be added as a special treat on a Friday to celebrate the end of the week.

Flapjacks

A great snack to make after school with your children or charge. There are so many recipes available for you to choose form. The main ingredients include: butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and porridge oats. Adding extra’s to your flapjacks including, dried fruit, nuts or seeds can make a special addition to them.

Mini Omelettes

Mini omelettes are the perfect snack to create and enable you to use up any vegetables. Simply whisk up some egg, add your chosen vegetables, pour the mixture into a muffin tin and bake. Extras (cheese) may also be added if desired. the great thing about these is you are able to store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.

Baked Apple Crisps

A new spin on an apple. A great way to encourage children to eat fruit is by disguising it by turning it into a crisp. Simply slice up an apple, space it out onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook in the oven. Prior to putting in the oven add some cinnamon to give a dash of spice. These can take a little while to cook in the oven, so it might be a good idea to make a batch at the weekend ready to be served after school. They are perfect to store in an air tight container and keep in the cupboard as simple snacks.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

Morton Michel Annual Childcare Survey Findings for Nannies

July 11, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Morton Michel Annual Childcare Survey – The Key Findings

The results from the survey published by Morton Michel have been released. The survey, which was conducted between 1st August to the 2nd October 2016, involved 1,523 participants from varied sections of the childcare industry including Nannies.

Morton Michel have set out a in a new survey what all policy makers need to consider and be aware of in the childcare industry, including nannies.

The main aim of the survey was to be able to provide a set of data based of the various sectors within the childcare industry.

Childcare is one of the main center points in politics today and the importance of early years education has been highlighted as more important than ever before.

The Survey:

It is expected that this year, we will see the introduction of 30 free childcare hours in England. This policy is set to have a huge impact on the childcare industry and has the potential to change it. According to Morton Michel’s Survey, ‘two thirds of childminders and three quarters of nurseries have not ruled out offering the new entitlement’. However, many have said that they are not certain about this. Many have concerns regarding the new entitlement.

Funding concerns have been raised by people within the industry regarding this new entitlement. Results not only from the survey, but also from Social Media, have highlighted these. The Government has encouraged child care providers to offer chargeable extras, in the form of consumables or additional classes. This has been received in a mixed way, with many respondents not wanting to offer these.

With lots of issues being presented by the press, what makes people want to carry on in this industry? The survey asked respondents to rank the following 6 factors in order of their importance to remaining in the industry:

  • Career development

  • Professional support

  • Remuneration

  • Job satisfaction

  • Job flexibility

  • Professional respect

The outcome was that job satisfaction was considered the most important factor with the general consensus being that career development was the least important. This does not necessarily mean that career development is not important to childcare workers, it just highlights that to those who believe that career development is not as important, are more likely to say in the profession. However, policy makers and recruiters need to decide if enough is being done to entice new people to the industry.

Respondents who participated in the survey were also asked who provided the majority of their support across the sector. The general census was local authorities were the most common source. This was with the exception of nannies who stated that private providers were the most common source. Quality of these ratings came out as support provided by employers was rated the highest with private providers and local authorities closely following behind.

Nannies Responses

Nannies are also referred to as Home Childcarers, especially if they are registered with Ofsted on the Voluntary Ofsted Childcare Register. Within the survey nannies highlighted the need for regulation, registration and official status. Please note that the responses are from nannies who have taken out Nanny Insurance with Morton Michel, and may therefore be biased toward professional and qualified nannies.

According to the survey’s results, nannies mainly work in one household. 22% of nannies said they work in two, and 6% in 3 or more. Nannies tend to work in households with more than one child, with just 4% looking after only one child. 27% look after 4 or more children!
Only 10% are ‘live in’ nannies, with the rest having their own home elsewhere. Despite not needing to register with Ofsted, the nannies who responded to Morton Michel’s survey are mainly all well qualified. 41% hold a level 3 childcare diploma, while nearly 10% hold a relevant degree-level qualification. However, almost 25% hold no qualifications at all.
The childcare sector is in the spotlight now like never before with the advent of the 30 hours provision and childcare choices, and its contribution and importance to the country is widely acknowledged. It is now more important than ever that sector voices are heard and listened to.

You can read the Morton Michel Childcare Survey results here.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

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The Top Benefits of Hiring a Nanny

July 11, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Hiring a Nanny

When it comes to childcare they are so many different options to choose from. You may be returning to work and need someone to take care of your baby when you are not around. Hiring someone to look after your child is a big thing. You want to make sure that you choose the right childcare route to go down. You may have looked into hiring a nanny but would like to know the benefits of doing so are.

Benefits of hiring a Nanny:

A Nanny tailored to your requirements

Live in, live out, full time or part time. When you employ a nanny to work with your family, there are lots of different elements you will need to take into consideration. Having this ability allows you to find the perfect nanny who fits it with the requirements that you are looking for.

Sole charge care

A nanny will solely focus on the care of your child/ children. This enables them to get to know your children and provide sole tailored care for the needs of your children.

A nanny would work with in your home environment

The care of your child or children by a nanny would be undergone within your family home. Unlike other child care options, a nanny would care for your child within your home and not theirs. This allows for your child to remain settled and will prevent them from having to get use to other surroundings. Especially if you work from home, you have the flexibility to spend time with your children when you can. Allowing you not to have to worry about their day to day care.

Establish and build up a personal relationship

Having a nanny who is solely taking care of your child, can help them to build up a relationship and ensure they are able to make the most of their time together. A Nanny would be able to provide your child with a secure routine and would be able to offer them reassurance when you are not there. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that your child is being look after by someone who cares a great deal for them.

Disciplinary action can be taken when appropriate

When discipline needs to be put in place, a Nanny should be able to take the appropriate course of action. A discussion between you and the nanny when they start is important to ensure they gain an understanding of how is best expected for them to discipline your child when needed. It can be a hard topic to cover but establishing this first off, can help them to understand their role.

Social activities can be arranged to ensure a suitable daily routine

A nanny is able to arrange day to day activities for your child to get involved with. This provides you with reassurance knowing that your child’s day to day routine is being taken care of. If you are a busy, working parent, you may not have the time to sort out activities or social events for them. Rest assured , a Nanny is able to take care of this.

Family bond created

When you hire a nanny, they will become part of the family. Nanny’s work close to your family, so generally they become a valued part of the family.

Extra help available if needed

Establishing a relationship with your nanny, ensures that you can on them for extra help or hours if and when needed.

So, if employing a nanny sounds like the right childcare options for you, all that is left to do is to find the perfect one for your family. Register with Harmony at Home today, and we will be able to find the prefect fit for your family.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

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