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Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency.... now look where we are!

Posted on 30 November 2017
Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency.... now look where we are!

We at Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency have always believed in offering the very best of care and support to EVERYONE who comes into contact with us, no matter if this is a client looking for childcare, a nanny looking for work, a childcare related company looking to work together, or another nanny agency looking for advice. We believe in honesty, transparency, mutual respect, clear communication and providing the best standards of care and professional excellence. 

Providing a service to families in an area of childcare which is currently not regulated means we, as an agency, have to do everything we possible can to ensure families and nannies are presented with the right information and responsibilities when it comes to either choosing a nanny or working as a nanny. A lot of assumptions are made within this industry and assumptions are not always correct. There are a lot of nanny agencies in the UK, much more so in the South of the UK, and sadly not all of them are as transparent in their work ethics and not all of them are as thorough in the checks they do to assess the suitability of each candidate looking for work. 

Kids Deserve the Best have always been a member of the Association of Nanny Agencies, right from the very beginning - why? Because we care and we want the best for everyone. By displaying the logo of the Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA) member agencies are showing commitment to following the Association's Code of Best Practice, whilst also committing to ensuring they do everything they possibly can to ensure the identity and suitability of each candidate is carried out in a face to face situation, where agencies are able to assess a person's skills, experience, personaility, check ID documentation and right to work in the UK status. Members are expected to ensure that every candidate has a relevant enhanced DBS certificate, and be registered on the DBS Update service. Members are also expected to follow up and make direct contact with at least 2 or 3 recent references.

Members of the Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA) have a duty of care to ensure that all nannies are made aware of their expectations in their role of a nanny, explaining to them how the agency operates and what the candidate can expect from the Agency, whilst also signposting to useful places such as BAPN - The Association for Professional Nannies, ACAS, insurance companies, nanny networking and support groups as well as training providers to encourage continued professional development to help keep essential work skills up to date and relevant.

Members of the Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA) also have a duty of care to ensure that all clients are made aware of their responsibilities in choosing a nanny as their choice of childcare. This includes ensuring the family are aware of their responsibilities of employing the nanny, their payroll responsibilities as well contractual expectations. 

A lot of assumptions are made by families and nannies, because they may have heard it from someone else or they just assumed this to be the case. Assumptions which are made include:

  • An Ofsted Registered nanny has been checked and interviewed by Ofsted - this is not the case. Ofsted will inspect around 10-12% of nannies at random. Nannies who need to be Ofsted registered will do so because the family the are working for have asked them to do so, in order for the family to use childcare vouchers or the childcare element of child tax credits. Nannies will access the Voluntary Ofsted Register, which carries a registration cost of £103 every 12 months and as the name suggests - is Voluntary, meaning a nanny does not have to do this.
  • A nanny is someone who plays with the kids all day, someone who is babysitting them until the parents return from work - I'm afraid this is so very far from the truth. A nanny is someone who has chosen this as their professional career path because they have a natural affinity with babies and small children. Nannies want to help the children to learn and develop through play, encourage social interaction, learning valuable life skills as well as working with the family to ensure consistency and continuity of care for the children in their own familiar environment. A nanny is someone who will be that excellent role model for the children as they grow up, someone who provides care, nurturing, support, encouragement, teaching right from wrong, all those things you as parents will do. A nanny is someone who you place in charge of your most precious beings - a very responsible and demanding, professional job.
  • A nanny is not usually self employed! Following advice from HMRC  - A nanny who works the same hours each week for the same family (or families) in the families home does not fit the criteria to be self employed. A self employed person can dictate when they do or don't work, and if they can't work then they will send someone else to do the work on their behalf. There can be heavy fines from the HMRC for non compliance.
  • A nanny is just another member of staff who will do whatever we tell them - to some extents this is half correct, because they are essentially a member of staff - however this is the person you have chosen to have responsibility for your children when you need to work - the person who has undergone training in child development to enable them to do the job required, they are not the housekeeper or the babysitter. The role of the nanny involves mutual respect, understanding and communication to ensure there is consistency and continuity between nanny care and parents care - both working together to ensure the children have the very best start in life. 
  • Nannies are workers, just the same as parents who go to work. Fair employment conditions and a contract of employment needs to be put in place in much the same way as they would be in the parent's place of work. A parent coming home from work early and allowing the nanny to go home early does not mean the nanny should be paid any less. To a nanny this means they are being penalised with less earnings because you decided to finish work early.
  • Paying your nanny on time is crucial, they are doing a job, just like parents do their job, we all have bills to pay, and we all expect to paid on time. Do you know the difference between agreeing a Gross hourly rate and a Nett hourly rate? Not everyone does. Always agree a Gross figure - this will be more beneficial to both you as the Employer and the nanny as the Employee.
  • Let's suppose your circumstances change and you need to reduce the hours your nanny is working - as a responsible employer you have to give at least a month notice of this happening, or if you longer need your nanny - Did you know that the nanny may have an entitlement to redundancy pay

There is so many elements of having a nanny which need to be taken into account. Nanny Agencies are there to help you through all of this as simply and efficiently as possible. 

The point of explaining this to you is that all members of The Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA) has a duty of care to ensure that members are providing best practice advice, signposting and supporting where required, and raising the standards of care and professionalism within this non regulated industry.

The safety and happiness of your children is so important - let the experts help you. Choose an agency who demonstrates commitment to best practice by displaying the ANA logo.

The other reason for explaining this is because as part of my Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency journey, I have been involved with being a Committee member of the Association. (another accidental happening but another very important accidental happening). Starting in 2014 I became the Vice Treasurer, whereby I supported the Treasurer in looking after new members, finances and supporting the Chairperson of the Association to make positive moves within the nanny industry. Then in August 2015 I moved into the Acting Chairperson following a change within the Committee, before being voted in as The Chairperson in June 2017. 

Since becoming Acting Chairperson, I saw the opportunity of further working WITH people, especially to strengthen links within the nanny industry. Here begins a very strong working relationship with BAPN - the Association for Professional Nannies. So one Association for nanny agencies working alongside another Association for professional nannies, sharing links, best practice and showing support for both nannies and our clients - what could be more natural? This certainly showed when in March 2017 we shared the organisation of the Nanny Zone at the Childcare Expo in London - working together with members of ANA, the team at BAPN and with the tremendous support from Morton Michel - an event which was sponsored by ANA, BAPN and Morton Michel.

You know the saying 'when life gives you lemons....' well I certainly did not intend to start a business, let alone become Chairperson of an Association! However things happen for a reason and working together, sharing skills and expertise is the way forward and this is what we have done and shall continue to do.

Looking forward to whatever comes next for not just Kids Deserve the Best Nanny agency, but also for the Association of Nanny Agencies.

Exciting times ahead.....

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Sarah Parkin runs Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency, providing support to families with their childcare requirements including wedding day childcare, babysitting and emergency childcare. Area of coverage includes the following regions across the North East of England, Gosforth, Great Park, Jesmond, Heaton, Killingworth, Shiremoor, Longbenton, Holystone, Forest Hall, Morpeth, Cramlington, Ashington, Blyth, Ponteland, Kingston Park, Westerhope, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth, Monkseaton, Wallsend, South Shields, Tynedale, Hexham, Prudhoe, Stocksfield, Corbridge, Consett, Rowlands Gill, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Washington, Sunderland, Durham, Wearside, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland.