Children are like sponges! Children are curious creatures who are listening and learning all the time, absorbing their surroundings constantly. Things in a child’s environment are constantly changing, new technology, new ways of doing something, different abilities of children which means we, as carers need to know how we can help and support children who need that little bit of encouragement to be their best selves.

Being a nanny is a great position of responsibility, being chosen by parents as the role model for their children being in your care. Every family is different, every child is unique and every nanny is different – however parents, nannies and carers have one thing in common – WHAT IS BEST FOR THE CHILDREN!

Given the way things around change so quickly, a nanny who trained 20 years ago will have gained skills which are different to those who do training now. Even first aid guidelines change on a regular basis. Given the position of responsibility within the role of a nanny, it is vitally important that a nanny keeps their skills and knowledge refreshed and current, this doesn’t mean go back to college or formal studies – this means ensuring that the skills you have learned in addition to the experience you have gained as a nanny is still relevant to fit today’s children.

A good nanny agency should be encouraging awareness of CPD or Continuous Learning Development to enhance the skills and experiences of a nanny. This could be learning new skills such as Makaton or sign language to help with communication with a child who may not have the same level of understanding. Or perhaps researching about a condition so you can have a better understanding of this child and how you can stimulate and encourage them.

A nanny is responsible for ensuring they have a valid paediatric first aid certificate – it is the responsibility of the nanny to know how to react and manage calmly, quickly and effectively in the case of an emergency or in spotting childhood illnesses. This is considered part of your CPD too.

A nanny may decide to gain extra skills in looking after newborn babies, and may choose to follow the path of a maternity nurse, whilst others may choose a route to support in the classroom environment. Whatever the circumstances, a great nanny agency should be able to point you in the direction of training providers to help you with your chosen specialism.

Being a nanny is not an easy job, nor is it the same as being a babysitter or au pair – so very far from being the same. Not only can your ANA accredited agency point you in the right direction, they also work very well with the BAPN – an association for professional nannies www.bapn.org.uk and together both associations believe in supporting the professionalism of nannies and raising the standards of care within the nanny industry.