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good nanny and top nanny

(38 Posts)
Barly Wed 19-Nov-14 15:45:22

Leaving aside any child-hating, chain-smoking jobbers, what is the difference between a "normal" nanny and a "top" nanny (Chiltern, Norland)?

Apart from prestige and possibly uniform, are there any real, practical differences because of their training or even selection before they start learning?

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Nov-14 17:21:18

Honestly no

You can get wonderful qualified nannies - whether Norland --of whom
We don't speak-- wink or nneb btec nvq etc

You can get crap unqualified nannies

You can get wonderful unqualified nannies

You can get crap unqualified nannies

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Nov-14 19:14:56

As a general rule the Norland or Chiltern qualification is a mark of quality. It demonstrates commitment, it's time consuming and expensive to go there. No-one has wandered in because they failed GCSE art and heard childcare was easy. It's a comprehensive syllabus, so they'll be book smart. The selection procedure is fairly tough, so anyone not quite right will have been weeded out already. If they do turn out to be a nightmare you can go back to Norland/Chiltern and they should help you to find an alternative nanny and hopefully deal with the problems with the other nanny.

On a one to one level, it doesn't really mean much because there are many, many committed, book smart, reliable, patient, kind nannies who didn't go to Norland/Chiltern.

It's an 'all the nannies at Norland are good, but not all the good nannies are at Norland' thing.

If you don't have money to burn and you have time to read a CV/check references then you don't need the Norland brand.

NannyNim Wed 19-Nov-14 19:34:54

I agree with the above post but I think the draw of a trained nanny (other than the status symbol) is that you know they have practical, hands on training as well as the theory; they will have to have had a certain level of theory and good references before they start; and somewhere like Norland is known for covering every eventuality in their training ( self defence, driving in dangerous conditions etc) but it isn't everything. And I guess some families just find having a name behind their nanny comforting.

The only way to know if a nanny is right for your family is to meet her!

Testarossa1 Thu 20-Nov-14 09:25:44

Outragedfromleeds I work as a nanny and have done since gaining my NNEB on 1983. I find this statement on your post a bit offensive;

As a general rule the Norland or Chiltern qualification is a mark of quality. It demonstrates commitment, it's time consuming and expensive to go there. No-one has wandered in because they failed GCSE art and heard childcare was easy.

I did my course at a local college as my parents weren't able to afford the fees at Norland. Does that make me an inferior quality nanny? The course was hard work and time consuming. I was committed to the theory book based lessons, the course work, practical placements and passing the exams to gain the qualification for my chosen career, as was everyone else on the course.

I don't think any one wandered in for failing gcse's and heard childcare was easy. Plus you needed good grades to be accepted on the course.

Just because we weren't fortunate to have parents able to afford expensive colleges with fancy uniforms, does not mean our training was any less thorough and comprehensive.

Testarossa1 Thu 20-Nov-14 09:26:58

1993 not 1983

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 20-Nov-14 09:52:43

Tet Maybe read my post again. Particularly this bit;

'On a one to one level, it doesn't really mean much because there are many, many committed, book smart, reliable, patient, kind nannies who didn't go to Norland/Chiltern'.

or how about this bit;

'It's an 'all the nannies at Norland are good, but not all the good nannies are at Norland' thing.'

I don't know what happened at your school/college, but it is absolutely the case that in some schools/colleges people are pushed into or come to childcare as a result of it being easy/having failed at what they wanted to do. I know at the moment a nanny who is trying to be a ballet dancer, a nanny who is trying to launch a music career and a nanny who is an unemployed actor. Childcare is not their first choice.

Childcare was my first choice. I also didn't go to Norland. I'm also very good at my job.

Of course, if you choose to be offended that is your choice and I must respect it.

Testarossa1 Thu 20-Nov-14 10:24:27

I did see that part of your post too, but still found the other section a tad off.

At my college I don't recall anyone on my course saying they got pushed in to doing the course because they are rubbish at doing anything else, or thought it was an easy option. In fact I remember a talk we had on the first day in which we were informed that for the 60 places available there had been nearly 150 applicants. So well over subscribed, everyone felt lucky to have got a place, and we all worked hard.

Not sure where you work, but I know nannies round my neck of the woods but i don't know any who are aspiring to music careers or whatever. Plus I'm sure you know as a childcare worker it's not an easy choice, it can be hard work sometimes and maybe career advisors in your neck of the woods should stop offering it as an easy option for people who don't get to do want they really want to. Not that that is your fault or problem! wink

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 20-Nov-14 10:31:38

Like I said I don't know what went on at your specific school/college, but it does happen and as a result there are many lazy/useless/bad nannies that give the rest of us a bad name. You only need to look through the posts on here to see the problems people have with their nannies.

I'm in London, which may explain the number of aspiring actors/musicians/dancers etc.

Testarossa1 Thu 20-Nov-14 11:36:11

I'm in Yorkshire and yes can see why people might aspire to the 'fame' stuff more in London. Plus yes have seen some of the posts on here about people with 'problem' nannies for a want of a better way to put it. Maybe I was lucky to have a good college with fellow students who actually wanted to be there. just think it's a shame that people see it is a easy choice of job, or a stop gap until 'something better' comes along. I guess you probably wouldn't get too many people who have done a childcare course, regardless of where ever they did training, who would actually be aspiring to be an actor, musician etc, most would be wanting it as a career. Fee paying or not any sort of training should be a good thing, it's the person that counts not the name of the college on the certificate. As you said meet the prospective nanny and judge her as a whole person, not just where she/he trained.

NannyAnna Thu 20-Nov-14 19:58:10

Blondes *You can get wonderful qualified nannies - whether Norland --of whom
We don't speak-- wink or nneb btec nvq etc*

Why do we not speak of Norland?

Any training is good but you're best of judging on the person, their references and how many years experience they have had.

One of my lecturers at Norland said to us as we finished college "Completing your degree is like passing your driving test, you have the certificate to be able to drive but you only really start learning when you are on the road" At the time I thought this was really irritating but now that I am a few years down the line I know how right he was.

Also I have some days when I am a top nanny, some days when I am a good nanny and some days when I really should have just stayed in bed!

Hellenbach Thu 20-Nov-14 20:06:43

I have taught childcare and visited Norland Collage with my students to have a snoop.
Turns out they were teaching the same childcare course that I was at the local FE collage.
Same course, same qualification....

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 20-Nov-14 20:45:41

nannyanna It's a standing joke (if that's the right word) on mn about Norland from many years back with a lady who used a Norland and their tv show etc

But agree as in any job you don't really learn till on your own

hellenback that's interesting as a nanny I know who is a Norland said the same when we compared what we did years

Obviously hasn't changed smile

NannyNim Thu 20-Nov-14 21:18:34

Hellenbach, it might have been the same qualification but was it the same training? Norland also have sewing lessons, cookery lessons, residential placements, storytelling workshops and lessons in formula feeding, breastfeeding and travelling with children.

I'm not saying that necessarily makes their students any better a nanny than your students but to point out that the formal qualification is not all they walk away with.

NannyAnna Thu 20-Nov-14 21:19:47

The course is the same as what you can do in any college, although I think that's changed as of this year. But there are lots of other extra lessons taught at Norland that are what makes it unique and special.

NannyAnna Thu 20-Nov-14 21:20:33

Well explained nannynim

Testarossa1 Fri 21-Nov-14 09:17:01

Nannynim, on my NNEB course in 1991 - 1993, I did classes in sewing, cookery/nutrition, hygiene, craft lessons, storytelling, child development, child safety in the home/car/out and about, social studies, observations, first aid, childhood illnesses, practical skills, (ie making formula, supporting breast feeding, changing nappies, feeding and winding a baby, dressing a baby/child, ) the educational value of play, how to plan and do topic work, how to plan outings, and a variety of placements - homes, nurserys, schools, special need schools, hospitals...

Think the only difference to Norland is residential placements and advanced driving skills.(someone correct me if I'm wrong)

True though, regardless of training, you only really start learning when you start working.

NannyNim Fri 21-Nov-14 16:39:52

Sounds like you found a fantastic college to study at!! I'm sorry to say that the childcare course at my local college had a reputation for taking on people who wanyed an "easy" option because they didn't do very well in their exams or simply couldn't think of anything else to do.

I searched high and low for an Education or Early Childhood degree that appealed to me but they all appeared to be classroom based and I wanted something much more hands-on. Norland was the only one like that that I could find.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 21-Nov-14 18:57:27

That's the point isn't it. Norland guarantees all that, it's a mark of quality. No-one is saying that no other childcare course covers those things, but there is no guarantee; some will, some won't.

If you got 100 Norland nannies and 100 non-Norland nannies, the overall standard of the Norland nannies would be higher. That doesn't mean that on an individual level every single Norland nanny is better than every single non-Norland nanny.

Testarossa1 Fri 21-Nov-14 21:09:30

I did my training in York, at a further education college. The tutors were all fantastic, knowledgable, enthusiastic and very supportive. I have fond memories of all of them. This was the 'old school' NNEB diploma in childcare course, which no longer exists, ours was the last year before modules came in and replaced the end of course exams, which had to be passed. I do wonder if the replacement courses are as good or as thorough as the training we did? No Idea though, not having done them! Even now agencies tell me that the NNEB is still recognised and regarded as a high standard as a childcare qualification. I remember asking if it the NNEB was considered an out of date and old qualification now, to be told no definitely not, still well regarded and valued.

Maybe I was lucky to get a place on the course at such a good place for training, maybe down to the NNEB having a high standard expected for Passing the course. it was considered the best childcare qualification to get back in the day! From what I know of childcare courses now there does seem to a huge plethora of courses available, and that makes me wonder if standards for gaining a qualification aren't as high now as so many routes in to childcare are available, as I said when I trained the NNEB was practically the only childcare course around, hence why it was so over subscribed.

Testarossa1 Fri 21-Nov-14 21:12:12

Oh and the way we studied was 3 days at college and 2 days on placements every week, though special needs and hospital placements were as a 2 week block. Do courses these days not include regular placements?

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 21-Nov-14 21:23:03

I think the NNEB is still more highly regarded than anything that has come in to replace it. Part of the problem is that they change the courses and the content so frequently that they don't get a chance to build up a reputation or become established.

The other problem is that now we have this obsession with everyone having some kind of qualification. Some people are not capable of gaining a comprehensive qualification and so they've invented ridiculously easy qualifications to tick a box. The NNEB was just the NNEB, the NVQ has levels so it starts of very easy/basic. The ICP exam which is the minimum qualification you need to become Ofsted registered is beyond ridiculous. This is also why low achievers/those that failed GCSE art get pushed into childcare.

Testarossa1 Fri 21-Nov-14 21:44:12

It's such a shame if that's the case, why should they make looking after children the easy way of hoovering up those who failed at whatever else? We're looking after the next generation, somebody's precious offspring, doing our best to provide a stable nurturing environment, not sitting on a sofa drinking coffee, watching TV and wondering how to become famous! It's no wonder some people don't consider nannying a proper job, lost count of the times I've been asked when I'm going to get a proper job, how hard can it be, you just play all day etc etc Having easy to do courses available just compounds that view, so can understand why people think Norland = top notch nanny.

I'm proud of my NNEB qualification and training and happily wear my nanny hat, fortunately I also have a fantastic nanny family who value and respect both my training and experience.

NannyNim Fri 21-Nov-14 22:10:32

I have a lot of respect for those who hold an NNEB qualification as that is the one that, IME, is held by those who are serious about working with children.

It is because of the vast number of "qualifications" avaliable and the varying standards of courses that the Nutbrown Review was carried out not so long ago and why so many nannies are campaigning for regulation of the sector.

It makes me angry that teaching and nurturing young children in their formative years is not seen as a "proper job" and people think anyone can do it.

nannynick Fri 21-Nov-14 22:14:06

When I did the NNEB/CACHE Diploma in Nursery Nursing in 96-98 I remember making something which showed sewing skills. There were certainly classes in cookery/nutrition and hygiene, child development, child safety in the home/car/out and about, childhood illnesses (we had a health visitor as our lecturer for that module), practical skills (using dolls, but also the health visitor brought in their own baby). There was also an IT module but I didn't do that as had a HND in Computing so automatically passed that (I guess that was the course leaders).

Variety of placements - Two childminders, a nursery, a pre-school and an infant school in my case I recall. No maternity hospital alas. It was 3 days in college, 2 days on placement.

These days courses seem to be done mostly whilst people work, or is that just those in nurseries? I do wonder if there is the variety of placements that there was 15-20 years ago. Getting placements is tricky, initially I had trouble as no one would consider me (being a bloke), this was pre-CRB days, so I got placements via people I knew - fortunately I knew some childminders, pre-school leader and reception class teacher and the college I was at had it's own nursery. These days do colleges find placements for students, or do they have to find their own?

They do seem to change the courses quite often these days. There is a new course I think which started this year which is replacing all the old ones so everyone now does the same course. Think that's the idea. I think this is the new one - Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator).

Government Speech says that "To improve qualifications at level 3 we have developed robust criteria for new early years educator qualifications. Work is progressing very well and NCTL and Ofqual have already approved the first seven qualifications submitted by awarding organisations. These I am delighted to say, are of a high standard and will be available for September 2014."

So I guess that means there are 7 courses which all meet the same criteria. So still no single course with one examination board but it looks like there is a single criteria for the course, so different exam boards will be doing pretty much the same course.
Found the Criteria for Level 3 EYE

Looking at Qualifications Search my NNEB/CACHE Diploma is no longer showing up as being valid and I expect the same will be true for many of the old courses. Does that mean they are not valued anymore... maybe so in nursery environment but in home environment they may be valued greatly as they were probably more care based, rather than education based. Is that fair to say... did the old courses have more care things in them than the new courses do?

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