As nannies, we often work on our own in family homes where there are not that many people around. It is important to maintain best practice to ensure your work as a nanny keeps you and your charges safe and, where applicable, provides evidence of your work. Here are some helpful hints we teach our nanny students at Norland to consider when taking on work as a nanny:
- Use a reputable nanny agency. Before an interview it is best to verify, either through the agency or by other means, that you are going to a known residential address. When placing newly qualified nannies at Norland, we ask registering employers for proof of address and their child’s birth certificate to verify where they live and that they have children. You could also ask to meet the children via video link.
- If you are being hired as a holiday/event nanny, do your research to make sure the hotel or venue address is valid.
- Before going to an interview, again do your research; make sure you know how to get there and that a family member or friend knows where you are going. We suggest arranging to call the family member/friend when you are finished.
- If you are going to be a holiday nanny, make sure you have means to get home should you need to. Always keep your passport in your own possession.
- Have a contract in place, with terms and conditions of employment clearly outlined.
- Ask for written consent from the parents for such things as administering medication, seeking medical assistance for the child, through to taking photos, where they can be stored and who they can be shared with (even when other family members ask for photos).
- Make sure you know about any health or learning needs of the children in your care to ensure you can provide a safe and nurturing environment for them. In addition, at Norland, we ensure newly qualified nannies inform their employers of any aspect of their work where they might require reasonable adjustments to keep themselves and their charges safe.
- Know where the health book (‘red book’) is kept for the children as well as any other documentation which you might need in emergencies. Ask for emergency contact details for the child’s GP, dentist, paediatrician, etc.
- If you are in sole charge or left alone with the children, make sure you have emergency contact details for both the parents and an additional next of kin / alternative person to contact in case you cannot get hold of the parents in an emergency.
- Make sure your employers have a next of kin contact person for you also.
- Keep a nanny diary to communicate with parents and to evidence your work (as a lone worker it can be one of your only forms of evidence of practice). In addition, make sure you have an accident and medication log for each child.
- Make sure you have nanny insurance in place. At Norland, we additionally make sure employers of newly qualified nannies have employer liability insurance (often part of the home insurance cover).
- Report any health and safety concerns, either for your charges or for yourself, to your employer as soon as possible, ideally in writing.
- Have suitable knowledge and training for the role you will be undertaking and ensure you keep your practice up to date through regular Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training. At Norland, we suggest at least 12 hours of CPD per year.
- Keep your paediatric first aid and safeguarding training up to date.
- Keep your enhanced DBS clear and up to date.
- Most importantly, ensure you keep the children in your care safe at all times.
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