Spotlight Sunday: Rachel

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Tell us about yourself!

Hi everyone! My name is Rachel and I’m 23 years old! Born and raised in New York! I am a full-time nanny to two amazing kids, B4 and G2 and one more on the way! I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world. When I’m not being super nanny, I love hanging around NYC, looking for yummy places to eat and fun places to shop. I’m a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries and Grey’s Anatomy! I also love to post pictures on both my personal Instagram and I also have a nanny Instagram, nannying_in_nyc! Follow me on my everyday adventures with my nanny kiddos!

What led you to becoming a nanny?

I have always had a love for children. Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted my job to involve caring for children. I went into college thinking I wanted to be an Early Childhood Education teacher. As I ended my freshman year, I realized that being a teacher wasn’t really for me. This is when I switched my major to child and family studies. Towards the end of my senior year in school, I started thinking about becoming a nanny. I started researching everything I could and then started to pursue a little bit more about it when I graduated from college. With everything I read, I knew this would be the perfect job for me. And with that, I found my first nanny job last year and I’m still with the same family today!

Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.

Dedicated, hard-working, loving, creative, organized.

Describe your nannying approach. What is your child care philosophy?

Almost everything can be, and SHOULD be, a fun and positive experience!

What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

I love that everyday is different! I’m not just sitting in front of a computer at a desk all day! My office changes day by day! Whether we are visiting a park to play, or going to the zoo to see some animals, we are always doing something different to have fun!

What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?

One of the most challenging parts of being a nanny is that sometimes we have long hours. By the time my day ends, I’m so exicited to head home, eat dinner and climb right into bed! But thats what weekend naps are for, right?!

What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nanny career?

Be yourself! Don’t pretend to be someone you are not just to land the job! You will find the perfect family to nanny for when you are being yourself!

What is your go-to nanny outfit?

Anything that is comfy! I always need to be ready to get down and dirty with the kids! T-shirt and shorts in the summer and sweatshirts and leggings in the winter! Easy, comfy and something I don’t mind getting messy!

How do you wind down after a long day on the job?

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, binging different shows on Netflix and watching videos on Youtube!

Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?

I would not survive the nanny life without the plethora of nanny Facebook groups, nanny Instagram pages and of course Pinterest! Thank god for Pinterest!

The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves. What are your favorite children’s books?

Don’t Press the Button by Bill Cotter, Let’s Play! by Herve Tullet, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle. Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. I can honestly go on and on about my favorite children’s books! I love to read to my nanny kiddos!

Spotlight Sunday: Jessica

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Tell us about yourself!

Hi, I’m Jessica! I’m 25, born and raised near Seattle, WA. Full-time nanny of two adorable little girls, ice cream lover, workaholic, and blogger at Being Nanny J. I married my best friend at 19 years old and it was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made! Six years later, we’re more in love than ever and he is my biggest supporter. My mom was the preschool director at our church, so I’ve been working with kids for as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure I started helping in the preschool classes as soon as I grew out of them! When I was old enough, I started babysitting and from there I became a career nanny. When I’m not nannying or blogging, I enjoy sports, going to movies with my husband, and spending time with friends and family.

What led you to becoming a nanny?

My hunt for a summer job happened to coincide with a family friend’s search for help with her infant triplets. I had never worked in a formal nanny position before, but because of my years babysitting and work in the Sunday School at the church we both attended, she offered me the job! I guess you could say that I sort of stumbled into my nanny career, but I’m SO thankful that I did! Over six years later, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.

Kooky, adventurous, thoughtful, dedicated, coffee-addict (the hyphen makes it one word right?).

Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?

I’d say my nannying approach is fairly laid back while still providing structure and boundaries. I’m a BIG fan of play-based learning. I love providing kids with fun and engaging opportunities to learn through experiences! My charges and I enjoy many themed projects and activities at home, as well as going on plenty of outings. I like to encourage little ones to try new things and learn how to accomplish tasks on their own. The confidence it instills in them is invaluable! I try to stick to a fairly consistent daily schedule for the benefits it provides to my young nanny kids. Along with a regular routine, I strive to always be consistent with discipline and consequences. I take my role in shaping future generations very seriously. My goal in discipline is to model and expect kindness, confidence, helpfulness, and just general decency! There are definitely consequences for inappropriate behavior, but plenty of grace and love along with them. I value people and treat them with respect regardless of age, race, gender, religion, etc. I consider it a huge privilege to encourage the little ones in my care to do the same!

What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

I was blessed by a magical childhood filled with loving and supportive adults and peers. I love being able to provide the same for my nanny kids! My countless fond memories serve as the inspiration for many of our activities, crafts, outings, and even conversations! I genuinely enjoy creating an environment where kids are constantly learning, and having fun doing it. It’s exciting for me to see them taking risks, asking questions, and making observations. I think my favorite part of nannying is witnessing the look of joy and triumph on the face of a child who has just learned something new!

What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?

For me, the most challenging part of being a full-time nanny would be the long hours. Actually, maybe I should rephrase that to say: the lack of personal time caused by the long hours. I really don’t mind spending 11 hour days with my nanny kids. It can definitely be exhausting, but our nice rhythm of activities, projects, errands, down-time, etc. keeps things fun and busy! The difficult part for me is coming home with just enough time to eat dinner and get ready for bed so I have enough energy for the next day. I sometimes feel like I spend all day cooking, tidying up, and doing laundry, but I have a hard time staying on top of those things at my own house! I have to be very intentional with my weekends as I try to balance to-do lists and spending time with friends and family.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nannying career?

Be yourself!!! Don’t fudge the truth on your beliefs, philosophies, interests, etc. just to get what seems like a dream job. If you try to make yourself a good fit for a family, you’ll end up frustrated and discouraged. If you stay true to who you are, you’ll find a family who loves you for you! They’ll support your decisions with their kids because they understand and agree with your approach.

What is your go-to nanny outfit?

I live for the days that I can wear jeans with a tank top and cardigan. Maybe a pair of ankle boots or cute sneakers depending on our activities for the day. Lately it’s been HOT so I’m in shorts and a high necked tank top. I try to keep it semi-professional but never at the expense of practicality! I sit on the floor, run around, do messy projects, and almost always have some kind of food smeared on my shirt. If I’m caring for an infant, packing a change of clothes is a must!

How do you wind down after a long day on the job?

Most nights, my husband and I eat dinner on the couch while watching a show. Engaging with busy toddlers all day is exhausting and it’s nice to have a chance to vege and enjoy something created for adults! Sometimes we actually do have the energy to sit and chat which is always nice. My favorite way to really unwind is to read a few pages of an old fashioned, physical, book when I get in bed. Right now it’s the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?

I’ve really just started to understand the importance of community and resources to professional nannies. My own blog was born out of a desire to help provide those things for my fellow nannies, mannies, and aupairs. Throughout the process of launching and promoting my blog, I’ve found some other totally awesome resources that have been really encouraging and inspiring! Here are some of my faves:

Blogs and websites (I follow all of these wonderful people on Instagram for daily inspiration!):

Social media:

The gals behind not quite Mary poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelf! What are your favorite children’s books?

Oh man! I have an ever-growing Google Doc of all my favorite children’s books. It’s SO hard to pick! Here are a few that come to mind: Journey & Quest by Aaron Becker, Blackout by John Rocco, Soup Day by Melissa Iwai, Will You Carry Me? by Helene Van Rossum, Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin, any of the Crayon books by Drew Daywalt.

Spotlight Sunday: Sarah

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Tell us about yourself!

My name is Sarah. I’m a 23-year-old Norland Nanny, living and working in London. I’ve been the full-time, live-out nanny to my wonderful 2-year-old twins (one boy, one girl) for 18 months, and love every moment of it. I also enjoy volunteering for TAMBA Helping Hands, where I’m a multiples support practitioner and write the creative section in their Multiple Matters Magazine.

What led you to becoming a nanny?

As the eldest of four girls, I have been surrounded by babies all my life; whether they were children in the family, or if I was forcing a little sister to sit in my toy pram. In journeying through school, I found there weren’t any subjects which filled me with passion or enthusiasm. As a teenager, I did variety of summer jobs in child care which I thoroughly enjoyed, so I began to look into alternatives to the traditional university route. This journey took me to Norland College, where I completed my degree in Early Childhood Studies and my Norland diploma. I felt that being a nanny was the only role that would allow me to the freedom to tailor my teaching to the individual needs of the child in my care and ensure I could dedicate myself to the few children in my “squad,” with them as my only priority.

Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.

Nurturing – I completely adore the children I care for and love them for the incredible individuals they are.

Consistent – I’m lovingly yet firmly consistent, and provide them with the security and comfort they need, while helping them deal with the constant surge of new emotions.

Creative – I get such joy out of watching their little faces when they see something laid out which helps them begin to broaden their mind, or think creatively about how something could be used. After preparing their activities, I love sitting and watching their imagination unfold. Creativity doesn’t need to take a lot of time or planning, but can make them more engaged, and therefore independent. I find the fun I’m having becomes reflected in little Miss and Mr.

Organized – I’m a self-confessed control-freak, with a slight compulsion to plan everything…who doesn’t love organized fun, eh?! From meals plans, sleep routines and activity schedules, to spending an excessive amount of time organizing the craft drawers or toys, the organization goes far beyond the children’s benefit and becomes solely for my own pleasure. I’m slightly guilty of micro-managing my nanny family and wherever I go I leave a trail of lists, reminders, and to-do’s behind me.

Dedicated – I don’t think you can be a good nanny without being dedicated. The job is highly demanding, physically and emotionally. It’s such a personal role, as the children are part of your life and they love, admire and rely on you. I refuse to believe the weight of that responsibility and love couldn’t leave anyone at the complete mercy of tiny feet.

Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?

My nanny approach is pretty broad, but working with twins has tailored my philosophy to teaching the importance of individuality and becoming their own people. By having a little lady in your life, you can’t help but become a feminist on her behalf (even more so when you have a little gent too). I try to bridge the gender gap by ensuring that they grow up believing that they have the same opportunities as each other, and supporting their special bond while being their own people. As well as these traits, sleep – apart from being one of my biggest hobbies – is a key professional passion of mine and I love consulting families in sleep training.

What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

I have the privilege of building one of the most unique and incredible bonds with a child. I get to know every element of their personality to be able to give them everything they need. Free from paper work and procedures, I guide them through childhood with love, confidence, and joy, try to be the role model that they need, preparing them to jump every hurdle that comes their way.

What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?

Watching Little Miss and Mr facing things I know don’t come easily to them, but having to sit back and watch. Instead of rushing over, I must allow them to try and do it for themselves in a challenging social environment while sensing their anxiety.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

It usually involves lots of mess, cuddles, tears (happy and sad), 18th-birthday-worthy photos, tickles, shouting “mind your fingers,” being used as a climbing frame/pony, squeezing chubby faces, and having hysterical conversations with the twins.

What is your go-to nanny outfit?

My go-to would definitely be active wear – I’m constantly failing the Yummy Mummy look! You can’t beat a comfy pair of leggings, tee, sports bra, and decent pair of trainers that you can easily slip on for the days you’re running late (for me that’s most days).

How do you wind down after a long day on the job?

In my spare time I’m a serial napper (an occupational hazard), but otherwise I spend as much of my free time as possible with my nearest and dearest, usually at brunch or with a Netflix box set and a large G&T.

The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves. What are your favorite children’s books?

At the moment they are Rosie Revere, EngineerAda Twist, Scientist, and Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty, and Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen. Our classic favorites are Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond and Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.


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.

Spotlight Sunday: Christina

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Tell us about yourself.

My name is Christina, also known as Dina to my charges, Axton to my friends, and @nannyoutnumbered on Instagram. I’m 31, I love travelling, cocktails and a project! I am a Norland Nanny, qualified Maternity Nurse with specialist training in Postnatal Depression and Special Needs. I’ve worked as a nanny for 12 years in a variety of positions, including both residential and daily.  I’ve also worked overseas and in Early Years Education. I am a Registered Children’s Nurse and work full-time in Neonatal Intensive Care whilst working part-time as a nanny for multiples. I have a passion for multiples and have cared for twins, triplets, quads and even quints. This interest began when I became a volunteer for TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association), who through the Helping Hands Supporting Families in Crisis service provide short term practical support to families who are in desperate need.  I was lucky enough to be awarded the inaugural ‘Helping Hands Volunteer of the Year’ award in 2016.

What led you to becoming a nanny?

I was born prematurely at 30 weeks gestation, weighing just 900 grams (roughly 2 lbs) and for most of my childhood I was the smallest person everywhere I went due to my prematurity and being growth-restricted. This was until one day my childminder had a new charge, a baby called Timmy.  He was only small and I guess you could say he was my first ever charge! Apparently, my parents tell me all I wanted to do was care for Timmy and look after him. I was only 3 at the time but it became a life-long passion, caring for those who need it most.

Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.

Practical, resourceful, fun-loving, tenacious, supportive.

Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?

I feel that once you have more than two children in the house it’s a case of, “the more the merrier!” I believe in being realistic, not striving for perfection. Children learn best when they are given opportunities to explore and make mistakes in a safe environment. Start with love and you will never go far wrong. I am a big believer in encouraging children to be independent, empowering them and empowering parents. I feel parents are raising children at a very hard time  –  it’s a total minefield to know what to do for the best for your children. With much often conflicting advice on child-care, there’s a real lack of parents following their instincts. I like to ensure that I provide a solid foundation for parents to utilise, to navigate 21st century parenting. I love to provide all children with equal opportunities to enable them to reach their full potential, so if there are any obstacles in the way of this, I will always try to remove them. I can be relentlessly positive when it comes to facilitating change!

What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

The flexibility! Unlike working in a nursery, if my charges wake up in the morning and want to learn about the sea, we can take a trip to the beach or the aquarium. I also love having the ability to get to know one family really well and building a rapport with them which enables me to support both the children and the parents and to grow with them as a family.  You will also find me making something out of nothing and being resourceful.

What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?

Talking about money! I find it often becomes the elephant in the room.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nannying career?

Know your own worth, and make sure you communicate effectively at all times, not just on email or text but by having regular sit downs with your employers to discuss plans and how things are going. Make sure you have time for yourself!  You cannot pour from an empty cup!

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

My days vary massively.  However, my nanny jobs usually run 7am -7pm, depending on the role. Although every day is different, there are consistent themes when you have multiples around. I find the key to success is preparation, preparation, and more preparation! For this reason, I tend to start my day before the children wake to make sure I’m ahead of the game, so to speak. I always try to get out of the house with the children in the morning and the afternoon, with at least one meal a week out and about.  This might be a picnic or lunch at a restaurant. I try to make sure we do a variety of trips, including museums, playdates, and creative classes. I am a big believer in routine with multiples so regular sleep times are important. They also give me the opportunity to do more preparation, including laundry, activity planning, and cooking fresh and nutritious food. In the afternoon, we often do an activity at home, such as craft or imaginative play, followed by the teatime, bathtime, bedtime routine which can be rather hectic but I love to find some time for nappies off and baby massage.

What is your go-to nanny outfit?

Anything that can be wiped clean with a babywipe!

How do you wind down after a long day on the job?

I find that winding down from work can be tough, especially if it’s been a busy day. I love  to work my way through a good boxset to help switch off, and a couple of cocktails with friends is also the perfect tonic on a Friday evening.

Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?

Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain by Sue Gerhardt, Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Having a Premature Baby by Tommy’sThe Nursery School by Margaret McMillan.

The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves. What are your favorite children’s books?

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Peanut: A Storybook for Mighty Preemie Babies by Lindsay Nolan, You Must Bring a Hat by Simon Philip, Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, Freight Train by Donald Crews.


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.

Spotlight Sunday: Nickey

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Tell us about yourself.

Hey! I’m Nickey. I have been a professional career nanny for the past 13+ years and have had the privilege working with some pretty rad kiddos all over the world! Some of my jobs have included travel nanny adventures and working in high profile positions. I am also the founder of The Nannyhood! The Nannyhood creates community & fosters friendships for nannies in their cities through “Hoods” (meet up groups)! It places value on, resources, & advocates for Nannyhood. After a few difficult nanny jobs and a little burn out, I realized as a nanny that my life was WAY better when I wasn’t doing life alone. No one really understands nannies like other nannies- and community/support is so important.

And just so you can get to know my personality a little better, here are some INCREDIBLY important facts about me (you may want to write these down):

  • Disneyland is my happy place. When I lived in LA I used to spend my days off there journaling and munching on churros.
  • I had a moose who lived in my backyard growing up -and sometimes I’d feed it pancakes.
  • I name random strangers and try to guess their back stories. A lot. It’s a real problem.
  • I have a major taco addiction. I could eat them for every meal.
  • I collect children’s books.
  • I make my bed everyday- even if it’s before I go to sleep.
  • I pretend I’m in a movie on a daily basis.
  • I collect people’s stories and turn them into art. People are the coolest.

Let’s be friends! You can also link up with my adventures and the Nannyhood on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter.

What led you to becoming a nanny?

Honestly, (like many others) I fell into it. I have always adored children and grew up sitting all the time. I was offered a full time nanny gig by an acquaintance when I was 18 years old and I never looked back!

Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.

Fun, adventurous, creative, structured, magical.

Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?

I would say that my nannying approach is a great balance of boundaries/routine and spontaneous fun (and a pinch of magic!). I believe that kids need a structure/routines to help them feel safe (and that loving them doesn’t look like giving into their every whim). While I do plan out most all the week with outings, playdates, crafts, sensory play time, and other fun things- I believe in letting them “be bored” sometimes. I believe that children need that space to learn how to entertain themselves. By not constantly feeling like you have to fill every single moment of their days with enriching activities, outings, camps, etc. they will learn to become more self aware, innovative, and learn to think creatively.

I also believe in instilling love and kindness. I love to teach my charges to use their creativity for kindness. Some of our favorite ways to show kindness in our community is to make art pieces and little gift to leave out around town for strangers to find. It’s so sweet to watch them light up as they make a complete strangers day and put a little more love back into the world.

What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

The magic. I love that I have the opportunity to keep the magic of childhood alive everyday while I am at work. When I think about how much my childhood impacted me and how often I think back on it, I am always trying to be mindful of how I am treating and what I am teaching the littles in my care. I heard quote once that, “they may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” I want them to remember that I made them feel safe and special. I love to get them using their imaginations and seeing all of the wonderful stories, worlds, and artwork that they create. It’s all magic.

What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?

I would say that there are two things that are most challenging to me. The first would definitely be bringing up any issues or drawing boundaries with my employers. It’s not always easy to chat through a breach of contract, saying no to staying late every night, asking for a raise, or telling them you need to chat about any behavioral issues happening with their kiddo (to name a few). Nannying is not like any other job on the planet, it’s so intimate.

The second would have to be leaving my kiddos when a job wraps up. I don’t know about you, but when I nanny . . . I do it with all of my heart. It’s just the way I am wired. I can’t just be “the help”- I thrive in family. Because of this I have a very big grieving process when a nanny job ends and I transition into not seeing them everyday. I have been blessed that most all of my families allow to/help keep in touch with all of my former charges, but I have moved quite a few times and the distance can be hard.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nanny career?

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Make nanny friends! You need to find your tribe. Support and friendship when nannying is vital. No one will fully understand what you are going through at work like other nannies will. Also, I think finding your unicorn family is so important in this profession. If you see red flags in an interview, go with your gut! Nannying can be such an amazing job when you find a family who respects you (and loves you back). It can be very difficult if you are with a family who doesn’t value what you do or disrespects you. Be your own best advocate!

What does a typical day look like for you?

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It is a different season for me at the moment. Normally I would be working a full time nanny job, but at the moment I am working a couple of part time nanny gigs while I am working on the launch of The Nannyhood. A typical day for me is working in a local coffee shop on Nannyhood for half the day and nannying for the other part of the day. Sometimes my nanny half day with look like breakfast, outings/classes/playdates, lunch, and nap time. Sometimes it will look like nap time, outings/classes/playdates, dinner, bath time, bedtime routine.

What is your go-to nanny outfit?

Oh, man! Leggings… all day every day! And a graphic tee. Those are my usual go-to’s. I also have been known to rock the occasional over sized cozy sweater, tunic, or beanie. I am all about comfort when I am at work chasing toddlers and rocking babies.

How do you wind down after a long day on the job?

I love to journal, do creative writing, painting, talking to strangers….But after an especially demanding day at my nanny job, it’s dinner and Netflix in bed for the win! No shame.

Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?

Finding some online nanny groups for support and camaraderie is super helpful! Here are some of my favorites…

Some of the blogs/articles I love are…

I don’t know about you, but I love me some nanny swag. If you haven’t already hit up these shops, do it!

The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves. What are your favorite children’s books?

I collect children’s books… so narrowing this down to a few is painful, ha! ANYTHING by Dallas Clayton. I adore him.

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Spotlight Sunday: Christopher

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Tell us about yourself.

Hello hello!!! My name is Chris Alderton, 28 year old male nanny in England, specialising in twins & new-borns. I am qualified sleep trainer, breastfeeding consultant and PND (postnatal depression) specialist. I currently work with one family and do a lot of childcare consulting for families all over the world. My main nanny job is for twin girls aged 3yrs. Being a male nanny wasn’t easy in the first few years. Lots of people would say to me “I get that men work with older children, but why do you want to work with babies?” This never upset me, it me it just motivated me more to prove that men are just as capable and passionate about working with children under 5 years. I am really big on equality and a huge feminist myself, so I love to make sure the girls know that they can achieve anything they want to be. When I am not being a nanny or consulting, I volunteer. I have worked with Great Ormond Street Hospital as volunteer but now, I volunteer for the Terrence Higgins Trust.

What led you to becoming a nanny?

My mum worked with young children for years so I kind of just fell into it. I studied at college and when I was on my first placement I just know that I had found my calling.

Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.

Pro-active, energetic, creative, loving, kind.

Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?

Positivity is the way forward! Having a positive approach to the way I manage the children and our day always works for me. I believe in setting out clear boundaries from the get go. Teaching respect, kindness and emotional well- being is key. Making children socially and emotionally developed is of the utmost importance in my childcare style. Everything else will follow naturally. Children feel safe, secure and loved with firm expectations. Being firm and consistent is one of the greatest kindness you can show your child, making sure that with everything there is fun and loving.

What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

Being part of a family team. The family I work for and I now call ourselves “THE TEAM.” It’s so lovely to guide and help a family bring up their little ones. It is incredible to give children the skills and tools they need to grow, explore and develop. Then the best part is getting to watch them achieve and accomplish. It never gets old when you see the huge smile on their faces. Plus all the cuddles are an added bonus of the job. As well as an endless supply of babybel cheese in the fridge!!!!!

What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?

I think most nannies would agree with me when I say it’s the leaving the families. It can be so difficult to leave them when you have spent however long caring for them, but it’s part of the job and they know its coming. Plus change is a good thing for both the children and the nanny. Luckily, I have a good relationship with all my past nanny families. I am actually a godfather to the first twin girls I looked after.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nannying career?

The relationship with the parents is the key thing you must get right. If you love children, then you will love whoever you look after. By making sure that you gel with the parents, you work out what kind of nanny work life it will be (shared care or sole charge). Honesty is always a vital make-up of being a nanny. If I have problem at work with something, I bring it up straight away with the parents so that it doesn’t build to something more than it needs to be. It works both ways, so they do the same with me. This means we are always on the same page, and that way everyone stays happy.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

My weeks change all the time. Once a month I also look after their baby cousin (boy 6 months). Typically I work Mon-Wed 7am to 7pm, then Thursday 8am to 2pm. I arrive and the girls have just woken. We say bye to the parents and have a relaxed first hour. I ask them if they slept the night before and if they went straight to sleep. If they did, they get a button in their button jar as a reward. The goals is 10 buttons for a treat, which tends to be pancakes for breakfast. We play for an hour, which is normally hairdressers and doctors at the same time. Then we watch the weather and change our weather board. The mornings are either filled with playdates, creative activities, learning games, or sometimes they have a class. I love making treasure baskets and doing imaginative play.  The girls have nursery in the afternoons for 3 hours. But on Monday one girl goes alone and then the other Tuesday. This way the get to have a little independence themselves and some one-on-one time with me. I pick them up at 4pm we go home, play a game again, and have supper around 5pm. Then its quiet time, bath at 6pm, then one parent will come home to do bedtime for 7pm. On Thursday the mum and I share care, so I arrive later and we all have breakfast together. Then we spend the mooring doing something all together. After that I take the girls to nursery and leave at 2pm. This is great because it means the care the girls receive is always consistent. We are constantly on the same page. I gave up doing 5 days a few years ago so I could focus on other things.

What is your go-to nanny outfit?

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I love clothes and shop way too much. It can vary from tartan trousers to jeans, but always something oversized and floaty on top in all the patterns possible. When in doubt, it’s double denim!

How do you wind down after a long day on the job?

I have a busy social life seeing friends and hanging out with my fiancé. Generally on my long nanny days I go home to binge watch House of Cards and Orange is the New Black with a glass of red wine. I also listen to music and podcasts. Woman’s Hour and Stuff You Should Know are my favourite podcasts at the moment.

Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?

For childcare books I love anything by Tracey Hogg. Plus the Millponds Sleep Clinic have a fabulous book called Teach Your Child to Sleep. It’s a must-have in my eyes for any parent. The website I get regular articles from the best is Aha! Parenting. It’s brilliant for parents and nannies.

The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves. What are your favorite children’s books?

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My Granny Went to Market by Stella Blackstone is a great book for learning to count and the illustrations are just beautiful. What’s a Penguin to Think When He Wakes Up Pink! by Lynne Rickards is a lovely book that teaching children that it’s ok to not fit in with the crowd and be different. This is such an important lesson to learn. The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord is just a classic that I had when I was little, so I just love it for that.

 

Spotlight Sunday: McKenzie

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Tell us about yourself!

Hi! I’m McKenzie. I’m 24 and have been a nanny for about 7 years, with a break at a childcare center right in the middle. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life, and in Portland, Oregon for the last 7 years. When I’m not working I’m usually reading, exploring new coffee shops, and taking pictures. I love politics, cities, traveling, coffee, and the color black. I’m currently the full time nanny (and have been for 2.5 years!) to 3.5 year old twin boys and loving (just about) every minute with them!

What led you to becoming a nanny?

I’ve been involved in childcare for as long as I can remember. I worked in the nurseries at church, I started babysitting at the age of 11 and consistently throughout high school, started working at a childcare center as soon as I turned 16, and have just always been around kids. My family was a foster family and I grew up knowing how important it is to help people (and especially kids) whenever possible. Living in a small town that didn’t really have any nannies, I always sort of idolized the idea of moving to a city and becoming one. I always dreamed of all the different places you could explore with the children and experiences you could give them and the way you sort of become like family, and I just though it seemed like the best job ever. And I was right.

Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.

Adventurous. Kind. Practical. Weird. Creative.

Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?

One of my goals is to give the children in my care the very best childhood I possibly can. But while I want them to have the most amazing memories and adventures, I also want to equip them with the tools they’ll need to succeed as they grow and develop. In my opinion, fostering independence in children is so important! Teaching them that they are able to play on their own, solve problems on their own, and think on their own is huge! Showing them techniques to use and then stepping back and letting them start to figure things out on their own (and of course, stepping in when help is needed) is so beneficial and something they’ll be able to use for life. It’s not always the easiest thing to teach, but I think it’s worth it.

What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

Oh my gosh, all of it! Okay, maybe not all, but definitely most. The best part for me is just the everyday stuff. The snuggles, exploring the city, hearing their tiny voices in the back seat singing along to your favorite songs, the blanket forts, the giggles, the moment when something you’ve been trying to teach them really clicks, the adventures, the way that they become your little best friends, the dance parties, the jokes, everything.

What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?

Of course, the leaving. Leaving a family is the absolute hardest thing and I can’t even begin to imagine leaving my current little buddies. But besides that, I think the most challenging thing is the lack of co-workers. It’s really just you and the kids, all day every day. No one to vent to, or ask for opinions, or laugh with about something funny the kids did. But thank God for playdates! Nanny friends are life savers.
Wait, wait, wait no… The why stage. The most challenging part of nannying is the why stage. Final answer.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nannying career?

Communication is crucial. Talk to the parents about their parenting approach so that you are on the same page, and then always keep the line of communication open in case anything changes. A major part of the job is working in partnership with the parents so that the children always have consistency from whoever is with them that day. Also – goals and organization. It’s easy to get swept up in the fun and the games, which is definitely important. But it’s also important to remember that your job is to help the children learn and grow. Set goals and be organized enough to follow through with them. Have a schedule and plan out your weeks in advance. You don’t always have to follow the schedule, and you should be prepared for the schedule to go out the window some days, but it’s good to at least have an idea of what you want to accomplish that week!

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

When I arrive in the morning I usually play with the boys, ask them about their night, and if there’s anything specific they want to try to fit into the day. Then we clean up the playroom, pack a snack and head out on an outing (park, coffee shop, music hour, play date, zoo, museum, etc). Once we get back I make us all lunch, they each pick out a book for us to read, and then they go down for a nap. While they’re napping I do dishes, laundry, sweep, organize, and either work on the meal plan, the schedule or the afternoons activity. In the afternoon we try to fit in something fun like an art project, a learning activity, or free/imaginative play.

What is your go-to nanny outfit?

Jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. But really… maybe the best part of being a nanny is getting to wear your normal clothes.

How do you wind down after a long day on the job?

I’d like to say that I go to the gym to wind down, but in reality that actually happens maybe once or twice a week. My favorite way to wind down lately is listening to podcasts! My commute just got a bit longer after a move, but I actually find it relaxing to have the extra time in the car with just me and the podcasts.

Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?

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Oh, I JUST finished reading The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. It’s amazing and so helpful! And of course Pinterest. What kind of nanny would I be if I didn’t give a little credit to Pinterest? I’ve also found so much support just by finding other nannies on Instagram and Facebook. It’s such a fun community and I’ve met some amazing people!

The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves. What are your favorite children’s books?

I mean, my #1 favorite children book of all time is Silly Sally by Audrey Wood. I read that all the time as a kid (and sometimes still read it to my best friends……). Other favorites are The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio, If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen, Press Here by Herve Tullet, and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Gotta throw in the legend!