The Value of Nanny Care (especially during COVID-19)
The childcare sector is going through major upheaval at the moment, as is the entire world! Recent announcements inform us that the Australian government is providing free access to childcare centres for all parents. But what about the concern of whether it is safe and responsible to have children in a group environment (while we are otherwise practising social distancing strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19)? Some parents may be considering a change in their childcare arrangements. Engaging a nanny or nanager is a form of childcare that incurs a higher cost than centres. But there are so many benefits for parents who choose to use a well-suited nanny (be they experienced, qualified, and/or just a really great fit for the role). The benefits are even greater when we consider the current pandemic.
Nannies are the solution many families are seeking.
To begin with, nannies provide individualised quality care for the children. Regardless of a child’s age, they need consistent caregivers to meet their needs. If parents are working (whether that be in the community or from home), a nanny can step into the role of caregiver during the hours needed. For young children this will often be full day care. For school age children they may need someone to supervise them as they participate in online schooling from home. Nannies can cater activities and routines to suit a child’s interests, developmental stage, and learning style. They can focus on the children’s emotional needs, help them learn vital life skills, and create educational experiences through play. Nannies can allow children the freedom and safety of being in their own home environment. This is where children are often most relaxed, unlocking a higher level of focus and creativity. This also provides the flexibility for neighbourhood walks and bike/scooter rides, giving children a change of scenery, fresh air, and exercise.
In more typical times, nannies usually care for just one family per shift. During the COVID-19 outbreak I recommend that nannies only care for one family throughout the week. This will limit the contact they and the family have to additional people. There is also a need to temporarily suspend playdates and classes that nannies would usually facilitate for socialisation. This does reduce the social interaction opportunities children get during this time compared to group childcare. However, this is temporary. It also reduces the exposure the children and their parents have to others who may potentially spread ‘The Virus’ (and plenty of other illnesses). Once the risk is lower, nannies will be able to consult with parents and reintroduce children to social and public spaces in a careful way.
In addition to meeting the children’s direct needs, which in the current climate will quite possibly be even higher than normal, nannies help parents immensely by taking care of other child-related tasks. Responsibilities such as children’s laundry, meal prep, and tidying/cleaning of toys are all things that fall under standard duties. Without a nanny the parents may need to rush children home at the end of long daycare and make a meal. Bedtime routine may be rushed with children who are potentially overtired and overstimulated. Parents then need to spend precious time in the evening or on weekends taking care of basic household chores. A nanny who is in and around the home all day has time to keep the children’s environment organised.
Many nannies (especially Nanagers!) are also willing to add in additional household tasks when they have time. This might involve doing the cooking or laundry for the whole family, household organisation, or admin tasks. Helping families with extra duties provides high value because it allows parents to spend more time focusing on their children and other interests when they are finished with work.
The decision to engage a nanager or nanny is one that can benefit the whole family. It can be a specialised form of support during this changing and challenging time. Not only because the nanny can help with household duties and can reduce children’s exposure to a larger number of physical contacts, but also because of the security a nanny’s relationship with the family can provide. Parents will know their children are being cared for by a nanny they have chosen based on their family’s needs. A professional that they trust, who they know will care for their children in a way they are comfortable with. This allows parents to focus on other responsibilities. This support can be helpful to many families and vital to some… and that is the value of nanny care.
Amanda began an international nanny career that has lasted over 15 years. She specialises in providing respectful and consistent care for toddlers and preschoolers, with a focus on connection and lots of adventures! Her knowledge has been curated by a wealth of professional development, formal study, and working with over 50 families.
Amanda offers career consulting to nannies to help them navigate #nannylife through her Brand – Nanny of Oz. These services also include copywriting packages for nannies who want to improve their profile, portfolio and resume.
We’ve been a huge fan of Amanda for years and we are so excited to welcome her as a regular contributor to Nanager. You can follow more of her content here: