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Nannies – How to impress in an interview

July 4, 2018 | Leave a Comment

If you have discovered your dream Nanny job and have an interview scheduled, discover our top tips to show off and impress your perspective employers.

One of the main aims of an interview is to show off and impress to your employers.

It is no secret that going for an interview can be stressful and frightening. To limit this stress, it is a good idea to get prepared before hand and organise all the essentials that you will need.

What you bring to your interview will signal to your potential employers your organisational skills, which are very important for being a Nanny.

Many nannies decide to create a Nanny Portfolio to showcase themselves. This is a great way to store all your certificates and documents and is sure to impress. So, grab a ring binder and a few plastic wallets, and get organising.

What you should keep in your Portfolio?

Your CV

First of all, the most important pieces of information to be displayed, should be your CV.

It is especially important to maintain your CV and keep it up to date. Your CV should clear, concise and easy to read. Yet that being said, make sure all your experience is listed. Include past and current work placements, work experience and any temp/ short term positions.

Top Tip – Keep multiple copies of your CV in your portfolio as some employers like to keep a copy of it.

Certificates

Clearly display your Qualification Certificates that you have obtained. These may be from qualifying as a Nanny, Maternity Nurse, or even as a teacher.

In addition, don’t forget to display those especially relevant certificates from courses you have been on.

These may include:

  • Paediatric First Aid
  • Safeguarding
  • EYFS
  • E-Safety
  • Food Hygiene/ cooking
  • Sleep Training
  • Nanny Training
  • Babysitting
  • Child protection
  • Domestic Violence
  • Lone Worker
  • Nanny Driving

ID Documents

It is also a good idea to keep a photocopy of your passport and drivers license in your portfolio. Many employers like to see these documents.

Top Tip – Keep a photocopy of these to give to employers.

Other Documents

Don’t forget to include other documentation including:

  • DBS
  • Ofsted Registration
  • Drivers license
  • Insurance – Nanny or driving insurance

Outstanding References

In addition to displaying your certificates, show your references from previous employers. Including your references gives new employers the ability to gain an understanding of your performance and work ethic.

Top Tip – It is recommended to display them in date order to make it as easy as possible for employers to read.

If you don’t have a written reference from your employer, make a note of their contact details. Almost all Nanny Agencies like to obtain their own references anyway.

Show Off!

Finally, don’t forget to showcase your previous work.

Consider: What makes you a stand out Nanny? Why should you get this position? What can you bring to the table?

Make a note of previous craft activities, recipes and activities that you like to do. Show off what makes you unique, and why an employer should therefore employ you.

So, nannies, don’t forget to get organised and put together a portfolio. Gather all your documents and display in a folder or organiser.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

TOP Summer Time Activities for Children

July 4, 2018 | Leave a Comment

The Summer Holidays = 6 weeks off. That’s roughly 42 days of finding activities to do with your children.

Having to come up with fresh, fun and new activities to do with your children or charges is no easy task. It can hard. There is no denying it. Especially when there is so much exciting technology out there that does the job of entertaining for you.

So, to give you a helping hand, we have come up with a list of our TOP summer time activities for your children!

Discover our summer activity guide for children of all ages to participate in!

  1. Spend time in the garden
  2. Play some garden games – hopscotch, catch
  3. Have a water fight
  4. Go to the park
  5. Make home made pizzas
  6. Have a BBQ
  7. Bake some treats
  8. Go to the beach
  9. Build a sandcastle
  10. Do some gardening
  11. Arrange a play date
  12. Go for a bike ride
  13. Go for a walk/ hike
  14. Play some sports – tennis, badminton, croquet, golf,  hoola-hopping
  15. Make your own bubbles
  16. Grab out the paddling pool
  17. Stargaze on a clear night
  18. Discover different wildlife
  19. Go visit some local attractions – castles, museums,
  20. Feed the birds
  21. Feed the ducks
  22. Go swimming
  23. Go bowling
  24. Visit a fruit picking farm
  25. Take a picnic to the park
  26. Make your own ice lollies
  27. Make your own smoothie/ milkshakes
  28. Get crafty
  29. Wash the car
  30. Build a fort
  31. Go camping
  32. Learn a new language
  33. Read a new book
  34. Make homemade jewellery
  35. Have fun dressing up
  36. Create a summer scrapbook to catch your memories
  37. Go bug hunting
  38. Have a movie afternoon
  39. Take a road trip
  40. Go shopping for new school supplies
  41. Fly a kite
  42. Go horse riding
  43. Go to the cinema
  44. Catch up on SLEEP!

None of these ideas taking your fancy? Why not visit your nearest National Trust? Go on your very own adventure! Discover, explore and have fun! Check out the National Trust website to find out whats on!

So, if you are stuck for activity ideas to do over the summer with your children or charges, take a look at our list! Remember, stay safe, have fun and make memories this summer!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Rainy Day Fun!

March 29, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Unfortunately, the British Weather is very unpredictable. As we approach summer time, we long for a bit of warmth and sunshine and look forward to spending days at the beach and the playground. However, we can not always guarantee the weather is always going to be so nice. It is most likely that our summer will contain many rainy, wet days.

It can be hard to keep children entertained when you are stuck at home all day. Coming up with new ideas to keep your children or charges occupied can be hard.

Discover our ‘Rainy Day Guide’ for ideas to entertain all!

Grab a jar and some paper and write a few of these ideas down. Fold the paper and put in the jar. When the sun is not shining, grab the jar and pull out an idea!

  • Make a Scrapbook
  • Do some baking – cakes, cookies or cupcakes
  • Have a go at a jigsaw puzzle
  • Play a board game
  • Invite a friend over
  • Read a book
  • Write a story
  • Imaginative play
  • Create your own cinema – watch a film
  • Have a clear out/ de-clutter – toys, clothes
  • Dress up in fancy dress
  • Organise a fashion show
  • Get creative with crafts – check out our paper plate craft activity!
  • Do some colouring or painting
  • Build a den/ fort
  • Play hide & seek
  • Have a treasure hunt around the house
  • Have a dance or singing competition
  • Plan an activity for a sunny day
  • Go for a splash in the Garden – if the rain is not too heavy

So, when the sun is not shining and you find yourself stuck indoors with your children or charges, grab your jar of rainy day activities and have fun with these fun ideas! Who said staying in has to be boring?

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Get set for Snow

February 26, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Snow is forecast and more wintry weather is expected! Employers and Nannies, discover what needs to be considered…

Employers and Parents of Household Staff

If your nanny or housekeeper is unable to travel to work, you should advise and make them aware that unless specified differently in the employment contract:

  • In these circumstances, all time off will be unpaid unless agreed otherwise
  • The time taken off can be used as annual leave or, if preferred, the time can be made up by working additional hours.
  • Pay will paid on a discretionary basis and only in exceptional cases

It is important to be aware that if your nanny asks to leave work earlier than usual due to the weather conditions, the same conditions would apply.

If one of your nanny’s duties is to collect your children from school or drop them off in the mornings, they need to be aware of the places they can check to keep updated with last minute school closures.

For information from the school and nursery, always check:

  • The school and nursery’s website – all information is usually posted on the website to keep parents updated
  • Social Media – some schools use Twitter and Facebook to share announcements
  • The local radio stations – they usually announce school closures.
  • Your mobile phone – many schools send out text messages to inform you of the latest information

All schools and nurseries will have a procedure in place for such events. It is worth making sure your nanny is aware of what this is.

Have a snow and adverse weather plan in place!

Communication is key! Have a snow plan in place in case of any last-minute closures due to the weather. Some nannies are only employed to work before and after school. If this is the case for you, talk to your nanny to see if they can look after your children during the time they should be at school. Factors including additional pay need to be consider and agreed.

It is important to have a plan put in place for such events, as alternative options might need to be considered.

Employees and Nannies, Drive Safe

One of the most important things to remember is to only drive in the snow if the journey is crucial! Do not drive unless you have to – check the Met Office website and weather websites for snow warnings and advice. Be sure to call your employer and let them know that it’s unsafe for you to travel, don’t risk having an accident.

It is also a good idea to consider the possibility of staying over at your employer’s house. Think ahead, check the weather forecast and plan for adverse weather conditions.

Stay Safe in the Snow

Remember to ensure you keep safe and warm in the snow. The impacts of the cold weather are worse for young children, babies and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Make sure you:

  • Stay tuned in to weather forecasts
  • Check and maintain daytime room temperatures of 21C
  • Check bedroom night time temperatures and maintain it at 18C or warmer
  • Keep warm and active and if you must go out, dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Nannies! Why register with an Agency?

January 24, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Nannies! Are you registered with an agency? Have you ever thought that it would be a good idea to do so? Perhaps you have considered it but have no idea where to start or which agency to choose?

Fear not! This guide is there to help you understand the importance and benefits of registering with an agency.

Benefits: What are the benefits of joining a Nanny agency?

Endless job opportunities

Being registered with an agency has the ability to open up endless job opportunities. If you are registered with an agency, you will be able to apply for any jobs listed on their vacancy page that you are interested in.

Takes the stress away

Being registered with an agency takes away the stress of having to find a job on your own. With new jobs being listed daily, you are set to find your ideal position.

Attractive to employers

If you are registered with an agency and are interested in a particular job, you will be presented to the family/ employer. Prior to this taking place, we would have made sure that a thorough pre-screening process took place. References will be followed up, CV’s will be reviewed, and DBS’s will be checked.

Employers like to know who they are employing and knowing that work seekers have been pre-screened and checked can be very attractive and a huge relief for families.

An agency offers support and guidance

Not only is an agency there to help you find your dream job, they also offer support and guidance throughout the process. Whether you are a new nanny looking for your first job, or if you have been a nanny for the past 20 years and just looking for something fresh, an agency is there to offer support, guidance and answer any questions or queries that you have.

Agencies will also be able to offer you support throughout your placement.

Industry Knowledge

If you choose to work with an agency, you can be expected to be treated as a professional. A nanny agency will have first hand knowledge on topics such as wages, benefits and employee rights.

If you are interested in finding out more or if you would like to register with us, click here!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

How to be an organised Nanny

January 24, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Being an organised nanny can not always be an easy task. For some, organisation is not a skill they find comes naturally.

Organisation is essential in any job and being a nanny is no different. Some nannies are required to do a lot; run errands, school pick ups, prepare meals, attend social activities. It can be hard to remember everything that you are required to do.

So to kick off the new year, we have put together a few top tips for how to stay organised

Top tips for being an organised nanny:

Put together your very own Nanny time table

If you are a nanny looking after more than one charge, you may find that creating a nanny time table is the perfect way to know where and when you are required to be.

Save your favorite recipes

If as a nanny one of your duties is to cook and prepare healthy meals, it can be a good idea to keep your favorite recipes on hand. Save the recipes that you love and enjoy to cook.

Having a few favorite recipes saved means that if you suddenly find your self struggling to find something to cook, you have something to rely on.

Keep a Nanny diary

If you find it hard to remember certain things or events, you may find a nanny diary a great benefit.

A nanny diary allows you to record all key information from the day.

For example:

  • Notes from the day – food, potty training information
  • Medical records
  • Events/ activities from the day

Keeping a nanny diary allows you to store all notes from your day regarding your charge, in one place.

Get yourself ready for the next day

When possible, prepare yourself ready for the next day ahead. Take a look  at your schedule and see what the next days events might consist of.

If you have an early start the next day, getting yourself prepared the night before can save you time and stress. It may even give you a little extra sleeping time!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Top Winter Activities to keep Children Entertained

December 14, 2017 | Leave a Comment

With the weather turning colder and the nights getting darker, Winter has well and truly arrived. So to welcome the new season, we have come up with a few top winter activities to keep all children entertained.

Nannies and parents, keep your children and charges happy with these Winter themed activities that all children are set to love:

Baking

Have a go at making some winter treats with your children or charges. Encourage children to get creative in the kitchen learning new recipes and baking skills.

To get you started, here are a few Winter themed baking ideas:

  • Gingerbread
  • A yule log
  • Mince pies
  • A snowman cake

Go ice skating

If you are looking for a fun filled activity to take your children or charges to, then ice skating is perfect. A top winter time activity that older children can enjoy. Please be aware that it is not advisable to take younger children ice skating.

Have fun in the Snow

With the British weather as unpredictable as it is, we never know what weather we will get next. If snow falls this Winter, have fun playing around, building snowmen, making snow angels, sledging and having snow ball fights.

Make homemade paper chains

Have a go at making your own winter/ Christmas decorations and hang them in your home/ bedroom. A simple craft activity that creates hours of fun! All you will need is lots of strips of wrapping paper and sticky tape.

Make homemade paper snowflakes

A fun winter craft idea that allows you to be as creative as you want to be. Check out our ‘How to’ Guide below:

How to make you own paper snowflake guide:

  1. Grab a piece of A4 Paper
  2. You will need to make your piece of paper square. To do this, take one of the top corners and fold diagonally across the paper. The bit of paper that is below, fold over and crease. This is the bit that you will need to ‘chop’. Cut across the fold that you have made. You should now have a square.  Make sure it is in the right place before you crease the paper.
  3. Fold the square piece of paper in half diagonally and fold the triangle into half again
  4. Next, you will need to fold the triangle into thirds. With the top point of the triangle at the bottom, fold over side 1 (left side) and then repeat for side 2 (right side).
  5. Now chop off the bottom to make it straight.
  6. Now let your creative side come out. Cut out various triangles and shapes along the sides of your snowflake, making it as creative as you like.
  7. Once you have finish your design, unfold to reveal your creation.
  8. If you want to, have a go a decorating your snowflake with colour or even glitter!
  9. When finished, allow to dry if needed and hand up or display on a window.

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

Anti Bullying Week 2017

November 14, 2017 | Leave a Comment

We’re backing Anti-bullying Week 2017. It is being held between the 13th and 17th November and is organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

You can follow this years’ Anti-bullying Weeks’ events, tips and articles with the following hashtags:
#AntiBullyingWeek #AllDifferentAllEqual @ABAonline

This year’s theme is ‘All Different, All Equal’ and we can celebrate what makes us #AllDifferentAllEqual

The Importance and Benefits of Bedtime Reading

October 26, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Bedtime reading. An activity that many families share as part of their child’s daily bedtime routine.

But why? Why is it important to read to our children before turning the light out?

Whether it’s a short story, an educational or a chapter book, lots of fun can be had with reading.

Bedtime reading is an excellent habit to have, and here’s why:

  1. Children can learn so much

It’s true, children can learn so many different aspects from reading. A number of different life skills can be taught through books. Not only this, but it allows children’s imaginations to be opened up to a number of different things. Most children will become passionate about reading a book and will grow to love a certain character wanting to act them out or recreate a certain scene in the book.

Reading can also help children to build up and establish life values and morals. Books that are age appropriate are usually aimed to teach children different life skills. For example; how to treat others, what is important in life, and daily life events. Stories and books bring easily explain life expectations, in a way that children can grasp and understand.

  1. Children enjoy it

For many children, reading before bed, sparks a passion for books. With so many distractions in society today, from devices and tablets to television and gaming, it is important to encourage children to spend time away from the screen and get involved with reading.

  1. Establishes a bedtime routine

Bedtime reading can also help to sustain a suitable nighttime routine for your child. For some children, ‘story time’ before bed is their favourite part of the day. If you are finding that your child or charge is reluctant to go to bed, you can use this as a bribe.

  1. Special time together between a parent and their child

For many parents, bedtime reading with their child is a special time that is treasured. This is especially true for working parents, they are given the opportunity to spend time one to one with their child.

Reading with your child before bed is a precious moment that should not be taken for granted. Many children enjoy snuggling up in bed with their parent taking time out to read a story. Over time, an invaluable bond is built up.

  1. Relaxing

Spending time reading before bed, relaxes the mind and gives children the ability to switch off their brain from the day.

  1. Development

Not only is reading good for relaxing and teaching life skills, it can also help to stimulate your child’s emotion and development. Reading can help to prepare your child for their time at school, having the ability to read will give them a head start when the time comes. It is also great to continue reading throughout the duration of your child’s time at school. Children should spend around 15 – 20 minutes reading per day.

When you child is able to, encourage them to read to you. Not only does this build up their confidence with reading, but it also improves their speech development skills.

Don’t take reading with your children for granted. Enjoy these precious moments with them, watching them develop and grow. Spending time reading together before switching off the light, relaxes the mind and helps children to drift off to sleep.

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

Christmas Letters, the perfect activity for Nannies, parents and children

October 13, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Christmas is coming! Nannies be prepared with our quick guide.

The festive season is nearly upon us. Don’t let your children or charges forget to write their letter to Father Christmas and his Elves to inform them of what they would like to receive for Christmas this year.

Nannies and parents, if you are looking for the perfect activity to do with your charges after school, have a go at writing a letter to Father Christmas.

Christmas is a very busy time for Santa and his Elves. He needs plenty of time to get gifts sorted and wrapped and make sure his sleigh is prepared for the long journey ahead. Not only has he got to get all of this sorted, he will be busy replying to all letters he receives. So, make sure your child or charge sends theirs in by Friday 8th December 2017, to receive a reply don’t forget to include your name and address!

Royal Mail Letters:

If you are sending your letter off to Father Christmas via Royal Mail, please address your letter to:

Santa/Father Christmas

Santa’s Grotto

Reindeerland

XM4 5HQ

If your child or charge has already sent off this years Christmas list, or is perhaps too young to write a letter to Santa, fear not! You can arrange for them to receive their very own letter from Santa!

Charity Letters:

Have your child or charge receive a letter from Father Christmas by creating one via the NSPCC.

You can order a letter and choose from a number of different templates, just by making a small donation to a worthy cause.

There are a number of different templates to choose from depending on the age of your child or charge. Once you have selected your template, have fun personalising your letter to make it special.

This is a lovely way for children to receive their very own letter from Santa.

Give it a go and have fun personalising your letter for your charge today >>> https://letterfromsanta.nspcc.org.uk/

Create your own:

You may decide that you would like to create your own letter on behalf of Father Christmas. Have a go at designing and personalising your own letter for your child or charge.

Don’t forget to leave out those ‘special treats’ for Father Christmas and a couple of carrots for his reindeers! I have been told that Santa is quite partial to a mince pie or two.

christmas activities for nannies

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