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Nanny Profile as seen on the web!

(19 Posts)
nannynick Sat 27-Nov-10 17:21:22

I have come across an agency which has mini profiles about nannies on their books, in the which the nannies answer the following questions:

How is your day going?
What's your favorite activity/sport?
Unforgettable book you read?
Catchy song you heard?
What was your favorite subject at school?
Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
What is your favourite storybook character?
What was the best vacation you ever had?
Did you have a nickname in high school?

I am wondering how knowing any of that is of any help to a parent looking to recruit one of those nannies. I'm also wondering what High School is... I went to Infants, Prep, Senior, College. So is a senior school now called a High School?

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Sat 27-Nov-10 17:23:16

'tis obviously American - "vacation" - don't we have holidays here grin

I have to say those questions remind me of the nauesiating questions on dating websites.....which rarely (if every) give any idea of the person........

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 27-Nov-10 17:23:41

I went to a High School in Scotland, but it's also an American term. Does Secondary School mean anything to you? We do nursery, primaries 1 through 7, and the secondary/high school/academy for at least four, but upto 6 years.

onimolap Sat 27-Nov-10 17:24:18

Some schools (often grammar schools) are known as high schools.

I suppose the thinking is that this will give you an insight into the candidate's personality. But it's all a bit puerile for me.

TheCrackFox Sat 27-Nov-10 17:34:01

I've never heard to term senior school before but then I am Scottish.

It seems a fairly innocuous marketing tool which some parents might find useful. If you don't like it use another agency. smile

nannynick Sat 27-Nov-10 18:31:11

Yes, secondary school... that's probably more the usual wording for 11-16 education.

I think Senior came about due to there being the Prep school on the same site. Perhaps a private school thing - anyone else go to a Senior school?

Having nanny profiles (say a sub-set of the content on their CV) on a website I think would actually be quite useful. However answers to those questions I can't see as being all that relevant. Do parents really want to know that sort of thing about a prospective nanny.

It was a London based agency... so I guess they have holidays, rather than a vacation!

PinkCanary Sat 27-Nov-10 23:17:25

I'm in Lancashire and my secondary school (which my grandma always referred to as comprehensive) was called Southlands High School. Pretty much every secondary I've ever come across has the term 'high school' as part of it's official name. I'm actually pretty gobsmacked that this isn't a national thing.

The questions are completely pointless though.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 27-Nov-10 23:22:15

That's odd. i'm from Lancashire and we called it Senior School. Its real name was xxx Secondary, but we all called it seniors. As in Infants, then Juniors, then Seniors.

I've never hired a nanny [helpful]

frakkinup Sun 28-Nov-10 08:29:22

Infants, Prep, Middle, Seniors, Sixth form.

I agree you tend to get seniors where there's either juniors/prep on site.

My sister went to a High.

Interesting questions with potential for some very odd answers! Catchy song I'd be tempted to answer with wheels on the bloody bus.

jendifa Sun 28-Nov-10 10:40:49

As others have said, its American.

I went to High School though, as had Primary, Middle and High (on the Isle of Wight).

Lots of places have senior schools but call them High.

nannynick Sun 28-Nov-10 11:23:57

I wonder what other odd/unusual/non-relevent questions nanny agencies ask? Anyone come across any gems?

nannyj Sun 28-Nov-10 11:55:42

I went to a High school in Norwich so they are about. Silly questions though smile

SonicMiddleAge Mon 29-Nov-10 03:54:11

It just lets people discriminate based on their prejudices doesn’t it, favourite books, songs etc give a pretty good indicator of class, ethnicity etc etc . When I’ve done interview training at work it’s exactly the kind of question we’re not allowed to ask as it tends to select candidates who perpetuate the dominant culture. There’s possibly an interesting debate in whether that’s more permissible in a nanny situation than a corporate one, but I fear it could get ugly.

Incidentally in my case it would just mean that anyone who picked any kind of self-help book, (esp management jargon or Paul Coehlo) or misery lit would be out, and even I acknowledge these are possibly not the defining indicators of a good nanny grin

frakkinup Mon 29-Nov-10 10:08:24

So here would be my answers of today (being in a slightly twisted mood). I should probably come with a health warning, shouldn't I?

How is your day going?
Comparatively well

What's your favorite activity/sport?

Unforgettable book you read?
Silas Marner, indelibly ingrained after GCSE English....

Catchy song you heard?
The wheels on the bloody bus

What was your favorite subject at school?

Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don't squash the huge spiders here - they carry live young and you end up with hundreds running everywhere.

What is the one, single food that you would never give up?

What is your favourite storybook character?
It's a toss up between Silky from the Faraway Tree (for the unsuitable sweets) and 'Ant and Bee who lived in a Cup'.

What was the best vacation you ever had?
Any of my feral childhood summers

Did you have a nickname in high school?

Treeesa Mon 29-Nov-10 11:23:03

Interesting what you say SonicMiddleAge...

I can appreciate if our children's nanny, au pair or child minder is from a completely different background to our own, it should mean our children will be brought up with a more balanced view...

We had the debate on here recently about hobbies and what they might say about a candidate. If you are a Mum or Dad and worried that your kids should be encouraged to have exercise, is it prejudiced to choose someone who doesn't list any outdoor activities or sports in their hobbies?

You could argue that every decision when recruiting someone is prejudicial couldn't you? Even experience for instance.. (discriminates against people who haven't had the opportunity to gain as much experience!).

It would be interesting to know what information about candidates people think would be prejudicial..

I disagree with you about self-help books by the way. If I saw a candidate enjoys reading books about personal growth then that's a plus in my opinion. There are some types of book that you may intrigue you mind.. If they were reading a book about Anger Management though - would you see it as education for potentially dealing with situations they may find themselves faced with, or that they have Anger issues themselves.

PDR Mon 29-Nov-10 12:58:08

Perhaps the agency mainly recruits nannys from abroad so is using the terms "high school" and "vacation" to avoid confusion?

Odd questions though and not at all useful in terms of recruitment!

SonicMiddleAge Tue 30-Nov-10 08:56:39

I think prejudice is when you make decisions unrelated to someone's ability to do the job. So to cite my own example, ruling someone out because they enjoy a type of book that generally drives me bonkers (style, tone and self evident nature of most of the content if anyone's wondering) is prejudice. Experience isn't, as you can rule that this enables better performance, and also demonstrated ability via references, and you might not want to use your kids as a testing ground/developmental opportunity for someone else.

As you said where it gets iffy is if you want a nanny who fits within your cultural comfort zone - sporty, arty, religous beleifs, cultural fit etc - You can argue that no other job lets people discriminate on these, but if I do want someone who likes cycling, reads books, doesn't watch tv with the girls etc, while all these things can be job specc-ed, it can be hard not to make cultural judgements on the nanny's willingness/ability to do them.

Treeesa Wed 01-Dec-10 00:51:17

I believe prejudice is when people form opinions or judge people without any information or knowledge about that person. Hobbies amd interests form quite key additional information that families have to take into account. Nannies don't just look after our children but also nurture and develop them, so families need to consider all available information to make an informed decision.

If you consider children should get stimulation from physical, spatial, musical, linguistic, mathematical and a few other areas then parents are quite justified in choosing people because of say their language skills (though this may be perceived as prejudicial towards certain nationalities), for musical ability (though you may argue this is prejudicial against nannies/au pairs who never got chance to learn an instrument so as in your example above may be an indicator of class), for a deference towards sports as a hobby (may be prejudicial towards couch potatoes etc).

So in my opinion we are completely justified in choosing people based on sporty or arty hobbies. This doesn't necessarily prove their competence in arts or sports (which is not that important really), but enthusiasm for them (which is).

I don't see these as cultural judgements - simply parental judgements towards whoever we feel is the most suitable person to provide better nurturing for our children.

After all aren't parents in control of how our children are brought up - or can our wonderful politically correct nanny state now dictate this..?

mranchovy Wed 01-Dec-10 01:44:15

Given that the agency in question appears to exclusively provide male nannies, the discussions about the finer points of what may or may not be unfair prejudice seem to be somewhat academic!

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