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Newly qualified nannies - what to consider(7 Posts)
In my restarted search for a nanny, I've got some CV's for newly qualified nannies. There is a very good nanny school where I live and there are some candidates graduating from there. I was just wondering if anyone had experience of newly qualified nannies and what were the pros and cons.
Clearly they will lack experience of sole charge, but I'm guessing they will have lots of energy and enthusiasm for the role, which is important.
I am a believer that everyone has to start somewhere, but just want the best for DD.
if my 1st family hadnt given me the chance/exp with their children 4mths and 5yrs - then i def wouldnt be where i am today able to ask and get the salary i want
they freely admited they chose me as couldnt afford a more exp nany - when i left as they moved 2hrs away, they then again chose a newly qual nanny who wanted a lot less than other nannys
everyone has to start somewhere
A newly qualified nanny isn't always a teenager. Some people do nursery nurse training as mature students, while others do the course following on from their schooling.
Thus it is possible that someone newly qualified doesn't lack sole charge experience. They certainly may not have been doing sole charge nannying for a long time, but they may have been doing occasional childcare (such as during school holidays, at weekends) may have been actively involved in group care activity settings (such as Rainbows/Brownies, Beavers/Cubs, other youth groups).
You won't really know until you get their details. Then you can look at what experience they do have and see if you feel that is sufficient in your view to be worth interviewing.
Take them as you find them - some NQ nannies are, as nannynick says, older and will have some form of experience. Others will have actively looked to gain sole charge experience to make them more attractive in the nanny market and will be able to provide references etc that you can probe thoroughly. It also depends what sort of qualification they did, where their placements were, what their tutors say about them.
You can probably test them with hypothetical situations about how they think they would react which will weed out those with no common sense and seeing how they respond at interview will help a lot so I would advise at least interviewing one or two of them as well as a couple of more experienced nannies.
The working relationship is likely to be in one sense easier, because they won't be trying to impose what they've always done before and they're trying to make a good impression but in another sense much tougher, because they'll be reliant on textbook and supervised learning rather than actual experience so won't have learnt the sort of sensitivity for individual family's quirks that experience brings, they won't have dealt with being an employee before and while they will have energy and enthusiasm they might not have that much initiative because they're quite dependant on your approval IYSWIM.
Of course all of the above is a massive generalisation! But really don't rule them out - I think if I was an employer I'd rather have a newly qualified Norland or Chiltern graduate than someone who had no qualifications but some nursery and babysitting experience. These places prepare their students as nannies (as well preparing them for other childcare jobs) which is a focus other colleges lack.
I have quite a bit of experience of this sort of nanny. The trade off is that you will have remember that this is an entry level position and your nanny will need some degree of on the job training, which is a challenge to say the least for you. It is a challenge, in my opinion, unique to a nanny employer (as aopposed to any other kind of employer) because unlike any other type of manager you are virtually never physically there to manage this employee.
I am a firm believer that that the nannies performance will have a lot more to do with her personality and not much to do with her "qualifications". For example, I can run after a live in nanny with a big stick that says "clean your room" on it until my arm falls off. But, really some people are tidy and some are not. And no big stick is going to make them tidy if they weren't a tidy person when I met them. If you want to know if the nann yis going to feed your children healthful food, look at her own lifestyle. Is she herself interested in nutrition? Does she think chips are a veg? They are not!
My advice is to ask a lot of questions about her own chosen lifestyle. Even if you think it would be rude to ask, find out. You NEED to know. Look at recent thread about ill nanny. That OP would obviously be better off if she had dug a bitt deeper on the medical history topic.
Also, think about what is important to you and know that there are no perfect employees. But, focus on the things that really matter. Mine are nutrition, someone who is sporty, and someone who will pay attention to education.
Oh, fogot to mention...
I think one of the things they most likely will need some work on is the employer/employee relationship. The nanny/nanny employer relationship is quite different from student/teacher and is also quite different from any other childcare setting. She will need to know when to lead and when to follow your lead and I think that is something they don't come out of school automatically knowing. So, I suggest you try to get a feel in the interviews for where she expects to lead and where she expects to be lead. For example, does she expect you to bugger off and leave her to it or is she the sort of nanny who would welcome you to spontaneously spend the day with them and enjoy your company. If you tell her (DD is to have a ham and chees sandwich on granary today) will she think you have been helpful or will she think you are micromanaging her a bit too much. And, of course, you need to think about how much initiative you want to hand over to her. Perhaps you want a lot of control over the day? Or perhaps you want to go to work and leave everything in her capable hands so you can focus on your work.
Out of interst how much would you be looking to pay a NQ nanny?
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