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career advice for a wannabe nanny please

(10 Posts)
madmomma Wed 11-Sep-13 22:14:21

Dd wants to be a nanny, and I'm gathering info so I can guide her in the right direction. She is a lovely girl and has a really nice natural way with young children that makes me think she'd do well in this career. She's doing her gcses this yr but isn't sure how to proceed afterwards. Are the childcare courses in 6th form colleges crap? Is she better to go to a specialist college? What sort of preparation could she make?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

nannynick Wed 11-Sep-13 22:39:07

I did my NNEB (a qualification which now does not exist) at a 6th Form College. I wasn't a 6th Former though, they also took a few mature students.

Qualifications wise, I would say to do a CACHE course, not something by a different awarding body. In my view CACHE is the most widely recognised within childcare sector. Others may or may not agree with me.
Look at starting straight in at Level 3, if her GCSE grades are sufficient. Some colleges may insist that a Level 2 course is done first, regardless of GCSE grades. Contact your local college for details of entry requirements for courses they run.

QCF NCF differences
See diagram at bottom of this page for how levels are similar to other things, such as A-Levels

It can be quite hard looking at college websites to work out what course they are actually offering, take a look at this Level 3 course, what course exactly is that?
This is a Level 2 course note how the entry requirements are reduced. It is a 1 year course which then leads on to the 2 year Level 3 course.

CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce (QCF) is I feel the course to do. However courses in childcare continuously evolve, CACHE are revising courses, so by the time your daughter applies to a college, things may have changed. Ask your local college about what course they provide.

Courses typically are 3 days in college, 2 days on placement. Talk to college about how placements are arranged - does she need to find her own or will they help find placements?

Once she has Level 3 training completed, then she can decide what she wants to do within childcare. It gives her more options, as she can work in a nursery, pre-school, or as a nanny.

Currently there is no requirement for nannies to have had any training at all. Experience can count for a lot, so whilst doing training, she should also be trying to build up experience in working with children. This can be done by being a volunteer helper at Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers, Cubs, church groups, babysitting for local families, anything which involves helping to care & entertain children of various ages.

I she with nick experience. One of the biggest reasons Igot my jobs was my really mixed experience. I volunteered in a nursery one day a week through college. Went on to become an outdoor instructor. Was an elf one Christmas. Both of my last bosses told me that they thought that made me stand out, my first boss in a live in mothers help job bored me on my instructor position and my new employer told my old one during a phone call for references that she liked my quirky experience and the fact that I have a low involving kids outside of work (I'm a scout leader).

I will say though that to help at a scout troop your daughter may need to become an explorer scout. I helped for one team before I had to die to insurance at that age but had to stop a my local explorers weren't great.

Basically, get her to throw herself into childcare positions and have fun doing it!

I'm with nick on experience that was supposed to say! Bloody phone!

madmomma Thu 12-Sep-13 07:27:08

Ah brilliant thanks pixie and nanny
She's done a couple of WE placements at 2 playgroups, she babysits and she has 2 pre-school siblings so I'll get her to look at other opportunities for experience too. Will get googling CACHE courses! Thanks very much.

eeyore12 Thu 12-Sep-13 07:43:12

Def look into get helping at a rainbow or brownie unit, she can do it quite easily, just a couple of forms to fill in and she can be a young leader (15-18 yrs). And it looks great on her cv. Good luck to her.

hired me based on instructor position. Life involving kids.

Apologies for the glaring errors in my post above, I wrote it whilst sitting outside of work!

Don't ever let her put "I have little brothers/sisters" on her application forms, imo it looks really like "I think I'll be good because I play with my siblings."

I have been job hunting recently as I got made redundant and got quite a few inquiries purely based on my current scouting. One family in particular were insistent that they wanted only a male nanny for their son yet asked me to come to interview. Another family wanted somebody 5 days a week which I couldn't do and were willing to change around their own work hours to suit me because of being a scout leader. I got a very very positive reaction, especially from families with boys, due to that, even though I made it clear that I worked with 14-18yo explorer scouts.
It really is definitely worth doing if only for the future job prospects, I do it because it's great fun and I never expected it to influence my job hunt so much! I almost didn't put it on my job hunt profiles. I expect that doing the equivalent with girl guides would have a similar response.

A level 3 in childcare would be her best bet at her age, it's bloody difficult to be taken seriously without one when you're under 23 really. Agencies wouldn't represent me when I first moved down here as I had a lack of nanny experience. I'm still doing my level 3 but they got me a job this time round smile

If she can get a weekend or evening job as a mother's help for a few hours a week that would help her a lot. As would a MH job when she finishes college, or if she wants to get away from home for a while, a lot of companies want qualified people to be kids reps and nannies both in the UK and abroad, she could do some au pair work, or instructing outdoors activities or being a group leader (less instructing, more time with the kids) for a kids adventure company. I can totally recommend spending a couple of years doing a few seasonal type jobs, it's interesting. Though it did put a few people off when I started looking for nanny roles originally that I hadn't stayed in a job for a long time for a few years, they were fine after it was explained but the initial reaction was unsure.

I would totally recommend trying to get a job as an elf if she can, it's great fun, I'm thinking of doing it this Christmas alongside my nannying as it was so good smile

It might be worth her while looking into external qualifications or courses too. Your local council may run them (mine does really interesting ones, but in the daytime, so as a nanny I'm screwed) or local colleges. Things like makaton can be handy, paediatric first aid is a must though she may do that with her course. Food hygiene certificates can be done online, as can Safeguarding Children (which will be done on her course though it can't hurt to have an extra certificate). Any experience with special needs is brilliant and I'd highly recommend having a read into some of the major and more common additional needs if that is something she may be interested in.

Anything extra will make her stand out. The problem at the moment is that there are loads of young women trying to get into nannying and not many jobs around. I really regret not doing my level 3 sooner and not doing other courses when I had the chance as it made getting that step into nannying difficult, and that was after somebody on here gave me a live-in job that I did three months in. I was very lucky to be offered that and it was the break I needed when I moved on to live-out nannying, especially as it had involved care of a child with autism.

And to end to epic post, maybe she should call a local agency for advice on what they want in brand-new nannies, what will make her stand out and what they advise her to do.

Cindy34 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:00:07

It's all about having a broad experience of children I feel. Babies through to teens.

You can't teach common sense, she either knows what to do or she doesn't. Make sure she knows how to do household tasks, how to cook, even things like knowing about plumbing and electrics means you know when its something that needs urgent attention or not. Nannying is not just about looking after children, it is also about looking after a home.

She MUST drive from as early an age as possible. Car insurance is horribly costly so the more driving she can do the better, building up no claims bonus. Small low power car to start with.

Look at her skillset, does she sing, play an instrument, speak several languages. The more she can do the better as Pixie says, she needs to have things to make her different from the rest of the people out there.

Is she predicted to get C or above in GCSE's? If not, then after the exams, first thing she should do is retake them. Keep doing education as long as possible so there is the groundwork done.

Childcare is not a job to go into because you can't do anything else. It may have been that way many years back but these days Government is wanting qualify improvements, that may at some point impact nannies more than it does now.

NomDeClavier Thu 12-Sep-13 17:09:50

I would say a level 3 in Childcare is the absolute minimum but if she really wants to be a nanny the only sure fire way in these days is via Norland or Chiltern, and I talk to a lot of prospective nannies/nannies with a little experience trying to move on. There are pros and cons to going the private college route and one big factor is the cost. Norland is degree only now, Chiltern still does level 3.

To get into those colleges or to get a job after level 3 at a local college she needs lots of experience, a demonstrable commitment to working with children through volunteering or a stable PT job. She also needs to develop the multitude of other skills a nanny will be called on to have too - driving, cooking etc. Additional skills and interests will also make her stand out.

A good level of general education is increasingly important. Childcare in general is trying to move away from this hair or care perception and academically able students have a lot if opportunities for advancement.

There are good blogs on nannying out there either by nannies themselves which gives an insight into daily life or organisations which place nannies or work with them in other ways.

Do you know any nannies she can shadow to see what the job really involves?

Bonsoir Thu 12-Sep-13 17:16:01

Speaking from an employer's perspective - understanding what goes on in KS1, in particular how DC learn literacy through phonics, and how numeracy skills are built, is increasingly requested (though rarely found) from nannies so that they can prepare DC for school/keep a close eye on school work in the early years.

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