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Why does experience as a nursery nurse not count towards nanny experience?

8 replies

Bluebear · 13/09/2006 18:39

This is a question my nanny asked me today.

She is a qualified nursery nurse with over 10 years experience in the nursery setting. When she had her first child she mentioned to me that she wanted to leave the nursery she was at, and I offered her a job as a nanny.
She had previously been to nanny agencies and they wouldn't put her on their books as she had 'no experience'.
She wants to know why nursery experience doesn't count.

I'm finding it hard to explain the difference (and I'm worried that this is preceeding either her leaving for another job, or asking for a pay rise which I can't afford, She is on £320 a week net, which I didn't think was that bad for this area of London, and since she can bring her ds along whenever she wants. (plus I have paid for her childcare approval status, first aid course, insurance, and all expenses for her and her ds).)

Any advice - can you define why an NNEB can get paid more than an experienced childcarer with NVQ3?

OP posts:
bonkerz · 13/09/2006 18:46

Personnally i dont understand this. I was the opposite to your nanny. I worked as a nanny for 2 years before working in a nursery and found no problems accessing other work.
From working in different settings i can say that nannying, as it is working alone with the children, is alot different to working in a nursery. As a nanny you are the sole carer so are relied upon more whereas in a nursery you have the support of other nursery nurses. I have a BTEC in childcare and was paid alot more as a nanny because i was sole carer and therfore put in a position of responsibility, a nursery nurses job, although just as tough, does in comparison require less resposibility as you have others to shoulder that with you. I also think a nannies wage reflects the long hours without breaks etc whereas you get breaks working in a nursery. This also goes for childminding.
I really dont think that qualifications are the reason for the difference in pay. Experiance in chidcare is all valuable.

Not sure if that helps BTW

WishICouldGiveUpWork · 13/09/2006 19:53

I am amazed that agencies wouldn't take her-I have been offered "nannies" by agencies in the past who have barely spent any time with children let alone what I would call experience.
I have to admit that there is some value in experience of being a nanny and all that it entails in a private home versus that of a nursery and agree with bonkerz re responsibility but I guess it depends what one (not you) expects from a it purely childcare and development or the ability to live/work in someone else's home?

Bluebear · 13/09/2006 20:06

I agree with you Bonkerz about the responsibility being greater as a nanny, and in most jobs the hours are longer and no breaks.
But..I have been talking to nanny agencies in a different area recently (am moving house next year and current nanny can't come with us) and when I mentioned that I would be happy with a relatively inexperienced nanny (both children will be in school for most of the day) they said that 'although we do have nursery nurses looking for nannying jobs we do not recommend them for sole charge positions'.
I am now frantically trying to work out how much more I can afford to pay her if, as I suspect, this has arisen due to her being back in touch with the agencies. (she has had 2 pay rises since march already)

OP posts:
Hamandcheese · 13/09/2006 20:12

Unlike NNEB / BTEC / CACHE diploma (which are studied as a college student and all include at least one home placement of 20 days over a term), an NVQ3 qualification is gained entirely in nurseries as day-release / on-the-job training. some agencies can be sniffy about this - I suspect it's more of an issue for newly qualified.

Some agencies simply like to take on people with nanny experience as it is very different style of work. Clearly, though, every nanny has a first nannying job! The agencies I spoke to when looking put forward people with no quals + nanny exp, and with quals + no exp (at all), so I suspect it depends on the agency's criteria.

Not sure about the pay!

dmo · 13/09/2006 21:48

i thimk your money offer is wonderful considering she can bring her own child with her
has she thought about maybe becoming a childminder and just having your children she can then work from her own home and from yours

Bluebear · 13/09/2006 22:57

I've checked out the job vacancies on some online agencies and it looks like she could earn about 30 pounds more per week net, she would have to work past 6pm which I know she doesn't want to do so hopefully I'll be able to hang onto her a little longer.
She is thinking of becoming a childminder in the future (she wants another baby soonish) - but she was living in a houseboat until recently - not ofsted friendly.
Whilst I was looking at the job vacancies I found a couple of agencies asked nannies for references which must include looking after children in their own home so it's not just our local agency.
Thanks for everyone's posts - I'm feeling a bit calmer now - don't want to lose her, and also don't want to feel like I'm paying too little and exploiting her.

OP posts:
nannynick · 14/09/2006 06:48

Nursery is Group Care, if with 3-5's then 3:24 ratio is not unusual (3 adults to 24 children). There are other adults around for backup and support.

Nannying is 1:4, 1:3, 1:2, 1:1 or to put another way 1:'number of children in family'. There are no other adults around for backup or support, unless a parent at home.

Nursery experience is experience, it is relevent for nannying, but isn't the same as nanny experience. The experience it brings to nannying is things such as the Educational aspect, planning activities.

When working on a lower ratio, with no other adults, as every parent knows it's a long day, without any break! There's no lunch break! Nannies are based within a private home which is a lot different to a nursery, there may just not be the same facilities available. At nursery, they often have a cook, so a nursery nurse may not know how to cook!

Most nursery workers I expect do have some 'sole charge' experience... in the form of babysitting. Especially if they have done daytime babysitting at weekends.

With childcare, it's all about the range of experience someone has. The more experience in different settings - nursery, pre-school, after-school club/youth group, in-home - someone has, the better they should be able to cope with anything that comes up in their work in childcare.

With regard to training, I feel that some agencies do not understand the various types of training currently available. It can be hard to find out what a particular couse has consisted of, if it was practical or only theory based etc. CACHE are improving the amount of information they provide about their courses, but I find it hard to find the same level of info from other examination boards. Therefore when talking about training, agencies should be asking a lot about what the training was and how it was done, so that they understand better about how it is relevant to different childcare jobs.

Just my view of course

Bluebear · 14/09/2006 19:42

Thanks Nannynick - I had thought about the nutrition and cooking side and we thought that might be a factor.
Something that I have noticed with my nanny is that although she is fab with groups of children of the same age, she finds it really hard to have children of different ages at the same time (which unless you are nannying for twins is the normal set up for a nanny job)
I have given her a lot of support and ideas on how to deal with the age gaps and she is getting more relaxed about it now, but there was def a learning curve when she first started nannying.

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