In 1982 I was on community work placement in a primary school. My high school insisted that I work there for six weeks if I wanted to stay on in sixth form. At the primary school I was introduced to a Nursery Nursing tutor from a local college who thought it would be a good idea if I did a nursery nursing course as I was receiving good feedback.
A year later and my journey into a career in childcare began. I enjoyed most placements, but really loved my family placements. One day a week I was a daily Nanny for a local family and had a new family with new babies each year. On day one of college I was asked what I want to do when Ii leave, it was easy, a Nanny. At the end of the two years same answer a Nanny. I planned to work a year or two in the UK then move abroad and Nanny.
However, after 42 applications were turned down, I began to lose hope. I decided to phone families and find out why they had not even invited me for an interview, age, experience, I was qualified so that was not the problem. After half a dozen phone calls, I knew why, back in the early eighties there was no political correctness, they all answered the same we just don’t want a man look after our children. I was heartbroken but knew I wanted to stay in childcare.
I have had an extremely rewarding and varied childcare career and I am about to embark on a new venture alongside my consulting into early years recruiting, to include nannies. Already people are asking “why are your recruiting Nannies with the Nursery staff” my answer is simple, Nannies are the forgotten people of the childcare and education sector, they are overlooked and undervalued. Their job is rewarding and unique and the service they offer to the children is as valuable as any other childcare setting for children under five. We are not in competition we merely offer childcare and education for children in a different way.
Nearly 40 years on and I still look back and think what would have been different if I had been a Nanny. I still wish I had been given the chance to find out. However now I hope to support parents to find the right Nanny and the Nanny to find the right family.
This is also why I am supporting Nanny UK I want to see that Nannies are recognised for the wonderful and valuable work they do