Tell us about yourself!
Hi! I’m Louenna . . . I’m 32 years old and qualified from Norland College in Bath twelve years ago. I work as a Maternity Nurse and Temporary Nanny. My home is in Newmarket in Suffolk, but work has taken me all over the world, including Dubai, Australia, Sweden and America. I worked as a full-time nanny in London for several years before deciding to change to freelance work three years ago, and I now really enjoy the variety of short term placements. I have several families who I return to throughout the year to look after their little ones if they have to travel for work or want a peaceful holiday.
I also offer troubleshooting packages for families who need help with issues including behavioural, eating, sleeping, potty training, etc.
What led you to becoming a nanny?
I come from a big family, and being the eldest of four children, I think I always took on a mothering role. When I was a little girl my favourite film was The Sound of Music and I used to watch it repeatedly . . . Mary Poppins came a close second! I watched The Sound of Music so many times that my brother threw the video tape in the bin!! My Grandmother ran a nursery school in Kent and I used to go and help her in my school holidays, so I think looking after children is in my blood. Nannying is all I ever wanted to do.
Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.
Kind, compassionate, good-humoured, fair, consistent.
Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?
I always say that the three golden rules for babies and children are: “eat well, sleep well and have good manners.” If a child has these assets, then everything else falls into place.
I want to see a healthy, happy, and confident child who is intrigued and excited about the world. I always treat the children in my care how I would expect my own children to be treated. I lead by example – if you speak kindly to others, the little ones will replica this behavior; sometimes you don’t have to explain it, it’s just how things are.
If you give lots of warmth, time and love to the children in your care, and always follow the same boundaries, a child will feel secure, they will trust you, and ultimately they will feel confident in the world.
What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?
The children. I just love their humour, their honesty, their love of magical make believe, and their enthusiasm for soaking up everything about the world.
What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?
I found it incredibly hard saying goodbye to the children in my full time posts, that was the main reason that I left full time nannying and started working on a short term basis. When you know that you’re only there for a short time, you don’t get as emotionally attached and it’s easier to say goodbye.
What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nanny career?
I would say finding the right family is the most important thing, you have to make sure that you’re both on the same page and can work together. Enjoy the children, be prepared for long hours. The more you put in, the more you will enjoy your day, so plan fun activities and go the extra mile, and you will get great job satisfaction.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Every day is different for me. I could be working with a newborn baby in an English village one week, and then on a boat in the sunshine with school age children the following week. No day is ever the same.
What is your go-to nanny outfit?
I like to feel comfortable and be able to get down on the floor with the children. I’m not much of a skirt person – usually light coloured trousers and a shirt and jumper, and always flat shoes.
How do you wind down after a long day on the job?
I love spending time with my family and friends, with a nice glass of wine and good food. I have an amazing pub in my village which is very handy!
Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?
For new parents I recommend reading Rachel Waddilove’s The Baby Book: How to Enjoy Year One. I would love for every toddler and child to own an All In One Waterproof Suit and a pair of welly boots so they can roll in mud and jump in puddles without a care in the world! For these I always go to Muddy Puddles. TTS Group is my go to website for everything to do with entertaining children, they have fantastic learning resources, arts and crafts and fun toys.
The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves! What are your favorite children’s books?
Oh this is a hard question as there are so many! I love the classics – The Tiger who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Room on The Broom by Julia Donaldson, The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl, The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allen Ahlberg, Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem . . . I could go on and on.
Disclaimer: Not Quite Mary Poppins obtains legal permission from a parent or guardian though a signed media release form for any photos that display children’s faces. All identifiable photos are posted with express permission.