Friday, 1 February 2013

Professional nannies or babysitters????

As you have probably noticed, I have increasingly been using the term 'professional nanny' in my writing.  This reflects my view that in our modern world, the demands of home-based care of children require workers who are:
  • suitably qualified, preferably degree or diploma level;
  • experienced in the care of children, preferably at least 2 years post qualification;
  • practise their role at an advanced level, with evidence of planning in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework, and references detailing this and indicating satisfaction with the developmental activities of children in their care;
  • enthusiastic approach to their work with children and their families, good communication skills and an understanding of the complex needs of many families;
  • evidence of a Victorian Government Working With Children Check, Police Check and current first aid certificate, preferably with epi-pen training.
This is a very demanding list, but reflects my belief that as parents are paying a considerable amount of money to employ a nanny, they are entitled to the best possible standard of care for their children.

At the same time, as an Agency, Susan Rogan Family Care:

  • negotiates with client families and potential workers to achieve the best possible rates of pay, and working conditions, including annual leave and superannuation;
  • supports the placement with visits from consultants and regular contact between the agency, the family and the nanny to ensure all parties are happy with the way the placement is working;
  • is available to help negotiate any difficulties in the placement;
  • provides regular opportunities for in-service training for their nannies.
It is my belief that this offers far better support to families and to nannies than is available to people responding to internet, newspaper and local advertisements.

While sometimes those employed in this way may be excellent workers, more often they tend:
  • to have no qualifications;
  • little knowledge of child development, behaviour or age appropriate activities;
  • limited awareness of safety and hygiene requirements;
  • limited responses to different, sometimes challenging, behaviours.
From the point of view of these workers, often:
  • wages and conditions are poor: long hours for low rates of pay and often no superannuation;
  • there is no support and encouragement in their work;
  • there are no opportunities for in-service training to develop skills and understanding;
  • there is no one to advocate on their behalf with their employers. 
Which would you prefer to be: a professional nanny or a baby sitter?

Who would you prefer to care for your children: a professional nanny or a babysitter?

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