How to play your life and express yourself freely… Otherwise broadcast from London today…

I know I know. Every parent faces the problem at least once a week. Going shopping is one of the biggest nightmare for the parents and nannies. It is not enough that we have to go to the shopping centre, push a big trolley but our little one(s) usually starts to be hyperactive and play up by the time we arrive to the fist shelf in the shop. And if it wouldn’t be enough for our nerves the people are staring at us why we torture the apple of our eyes.

So how can we prevent this situation?

There are some really good tricks I usually do if it comes down to go shopping with babies or toddlers. The first and most important rule is: don’t go shopping first thing after a nap or just before any playgroup or play date. The child is full of energy and if they know their routine they know something interesting will happen (monkey music, museum, climbing, singing, etc.) So they will think the shop is a big play ground. First they will get all excited about the lovely colourful stuff on the shelves. So when you won’t let them out of the buggy or touch the things (not to mention pack the shelves) they will be disappointed and start to scream or cry.

The second important thing: never go shopping right before lunch or dinner. The child will be right after playtime, starving to death without any tolerance or patience. You will be lucky if you can make it home to feed them. So do yourself a favour and don’t even think about: oh I just pop into the shop and buy some things I need.

Another big nono for me going shopping when the baby or toddler is asleep. I usually like them to stay in bed while they have their usual nap. It is better for them (they get proper sleep) and better for us (we get some free time home alone). Of course it is up to anyone’s habits and time but I usually keep this one as golden rule. If we take the sleeping child to the shop they can wake up and get frightened what’s going on around them. Which means crying, loads of time to calm them down, shopping goods on the floor and a miserable kid in the hand:S

According to your own routine you can find the time between two playtime when they have snacks to go and do the shopping. When they had a good run around and they quite hungry for a snack that’s the time when you can put them into the buggy, run to the shop, open a nice packet of healthy child snack and tadam you can do the shopping without any disturbance because your 1-2-year-old will be too busy munching the rice cake or the raisins out of the pocket. There are loads of suitable and healthy child treats you can buy for them. (Always read the packet and make sure it is age appropriate for them!!!)

Tough question because they got used to sleep with you. That’s why it is much better to make up a baby room when they are tiny so they can get used to sleep by themselves.

I can’t tell a “fun” way to put them in their bed because that doesn’t exist. They got used to sleep with you so they have to get used to sleep in their room. You can put them in their bed at sleeping time and wait their with them until they fall asleep. If you stroke their back or pet/pat their bottom, they go to sleep quite fast. If you are their with them in the first some months (until they get used to it) than they will be fine.

The other question why they wake up during the night: it can be because they are cold. Try to make sure they are enough warm. They can kick the blanket off so if you put a nice and warm pyjama or sleeping bag on them it helps.

– If they wake up in the middle of the night, don’t let them go into your bed  and sleep there. Go into their room and if nothing helps, lay down next to them in their bed until they go back to sleep and after sneak back into your room.

– I know it is not nice to hear that they are crying but if you let them sleep with you they will have never got used to their room. It will take up some months until they will settle down in their room. Put loads of cuddly toys in their bed so they won’t feel alone, make sure they are not hungry when they go to the bed because they can wake up in the middle of the night because of their empty tummy. Put a baby monitor in their room, so you can hear when they are crying so you can go into their room and not the other way around.

– Make a ritual around bedtime. Dinner, bath, go to the bed, sit their, talk to them, read a story, turn off the light and let them sleep. Usually 10 – 15 minutes what you have to stay with them until they fall asleep.

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– If they are not calm, you can use lavender essence/scent in their room or with their bath to make them calm and ready for the bed. Don’t let them run around before bedtime because that makes them hyperactive and it will be much harder to put them into the bed and asleep.  Do something nice and calm, like drawing, reading a story, look at a book with pictures and let them talk about it. The main thing that they have to feel they are safe in their room. And even you don’t sleep with them but you will go into their room when they need you. So they do not have to be afraid that they are alone or get lost, or mummy and daddy disappeared. Especially in the dark.

Yours sincerely,

Adrienn Faklya

Child-style Coaching

Adrienn’s Professional Family and Youth Coach Profile

First Aid Course

Honestly I went to my First Aid Course with a big “bah, it is Sunday and I am out of the house ewwww…” feeling. It was cold, morning and Sunday. And it was not the first weekend course I’ve been testing in the last some weeks. So I felt like ok, I finished with this one and no more weekend hassle anymore. I turned up at Thurleigh road and was waiting for the miracle = a course that can tell me something exciting, new…

And there we went the miracle happened. I’ve met one of the most interesting and charismatic person I’ve met for a long time. Susan Patterson-Smith is one of those people who you have to meet at least once in your lifetime:) She has more qualifications in Childcare, First Aid, Beauty training, Parenting, Massage, etc. than 100 average people all together.  But all those papers wouldn’t worth anything without her personality.

I’ve been working with children and families for 10 years and in this weekend I’ve realized how important to have First Aid Qualification under your belt. No one usually like to think about “what if something wrong happens…”. So we usually choose not to look at those directions. Because if we look at there it would happen… And OMG how bad is that!!! But the sad thing that accidents happen time after time. And when they are here we have no idea what to do except to pray for God.

Have you ever thought what to do if your baby swallow a tiny piece of something and choke on it? Do you know how to remove that piece without harm him or her further more? Do you know what to say to an ambulance when something happens with your beloved ones? It can save their lives! Do you know what CPR is and when do you have to use it? Do you know what is in your First Aid Kit and how to put them on? Do you know how you can safeguard your children if they show certain signs of being harmed?

If you have at least one answer: NO, than you certainly need a First Aid Training. Because it can save your children’s or husband/wife’s life. You don’t have to wait for something bad happens but when it does you can step up and do something useful until the Ambulance comes. And many times that ‘doing something’ is the difference between life and death.

Susan has First Aid Courses for families, nannies, anyone who would like to learn how to save lives. She has courses from 4-hour-long to 12-hour-long (for OFSTED registration). She also holds baby massages and different kind of courses all about pre and post natal treatments and First Aid. And last but not least she has one of the best humour under the sun:) She holds her private sessions any places (in your home) in South London or her organized sessions at 88a Thurleigh road, London, SW12 8TT.

I highly recommend to work with her and send your nanny and the whole family to a First Aid Course because children always climb, fall, swallow, choke. It makes a big difference if you know what to do!!!

If you want to contact her:

– Susan Patterson-Smith (The Baby Lady)

– website: www.thebalm.co.uk/

– Phone: 07932761312

If you don’t live in London or would like to have different kind of courses:

www.google.com – type in: First Aid Course and choose one close to your home:)

Your sincerely,

Adrienn Faklya

Child-style Coaching

Adrienn’s Professional Family and Youth Coach Profile

When we consider to employ a nanny we should think about what type of nanny do we need. There are many different type of nanny roles we can offer for the right candidate.

First of all we should consider if we want our nanny to live with us. There are three different type of nanny roles from the angle of residence:

1. live-in nanny, 2. live out nanny, 3. hybrid nanny

2. live out nanny:

The picture of this nanny job is more clear than the live-in type. You have an employee who has her own home and she comes into your house every day to look after your child(ren). She has a clear contract, a settled time, she goes home when she finishes her job. That’s why it is more clear to the parents to give her enough nottice when they want to ask her to stay longer and pay her as overtime.

A live out nanny comes into your house, looks after your child(ren) during the day, organizes playdates, trips to museums, playgrounds, makes food for the child(ren) during the day and she does every job that a nanny have to during the day. And when her finishing time comes she goes home to her family.

Ususally a live out nanny with good experience and/or qualifications earns £9 – 12 / hour net. She is an employee so you have to pay her tax and NI number.  http://www.nannytax.co.uk/ – this is the company who always did my tax work for the families who I worked with. It is a good company, cheap and really reliable. You have to register with them and if you pay their yearly fee you get loads of support from them on phone, in email or you can meet them in their office.

Having a live out nanny is a big help with the children. If you don’t have time during the day to be with your child(ren) and you don’t trust the day nurseries than the best thing you can do to employ a live out nanny. She will look after your child(ren) during the day and make sure they are in a safe, healthy and stimulating environment. And she will go home in the evening so you will have your private family time in the evening.

Adrienn Faklya

Child-style Coaching

Adrienn’s Professional Family and Youth Coach Profile

When we consider to employ a nanny we should think about what type of nanny do we need. There are many different type of nanny roles we can offer for the right candidate.

First of all we should consider if we want our nanny to live with us. There are three different type of nanny roles from the angle of residence:

1. live-in nanny, 2. live out nanny, 3. hybrid nanny

1. live-in nanny:

The nanny lives in the family’s home, she has her own room/ floor/ accomodation. Her room is her own, she can keep her stuff in there. The nanny can use the furnitures, the kitchen, sometimes she has her own bathroom but usually she uses the children’s one. It depends on the family if the nanny can use the computer (if yes, there is usually a private account for her with own password). If the nanny can use the family’s computer, there is a paragraph in the contract about using the computer properly (like not to check violent or adult pages, etc.). If the family has landline phone, it is good to make it clear if the nanny can use it and how.

The live in nanny role is an interesting situation. Someone adult lives in your home who is not your spouse. She is a grown-up with her own things. It depends on the family if they let the nanny ask over her friends or boyfriend sometimes. But because of the nanny spend so much time with the family and she doesn’t really have her own life, she likes to spend her free time out of the house. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t like the family, it only means she wants to live her own life when she actually doesn’t have to work.

If you want to employ a live-in nanny, you have to be sure you can live together with her. When you write your advertisement and especially when you write your contract, you have to be very clear what the person can do in the house or not. It is like you rent your room to someone else. And here we go the question: if you rent that room?

I think there is a big mass about the live-in nanny job in the people’s heads. A live-in nanny doesn’t have a proper status in the house. She is not family, not a guest, not a tenant. So what is she? You can’t really answer this question from this angle.

The right answer is: a live-in nanny is your employee. She works for you from the morning to the evening, she looks after your child(ren) and you pay for her with money plus accomodation.  You choose to pay her this way, and from that time she moves in she will be really a part of the household and hopefully a part of your family (for the child(ren)’s sake).

The other problematic question with the live-in nanny job is the working time. If there is a problem between the family and the nanny, usually this would be the first. If you employ a nanny she will have the same rights as any other employee. She has the same rights as you at work. It is just a topographical question if she works in your house. When you write a contract you set her working time in black and white and you pay her weekly for that amount of job. If she works more, you have to pay overtime for her. It is not a good way to think: oh, the nanny is in the house all the time so she can look after the kids for some hours when we are going out or I pop around the neighbour’s or any other time. The nanny is your employee with settled working hours. If you want to ask her to do some overtime you should give her enough nottice and pay for her extra hours. You can choose to mess her over with the ‘she is here anyway’ thought but after a time the nanny will feel to be used and she will start to think to look for another job.

The live-in nanny job can be tough if you don’t make clear rules in the beginning and stick with them. But this is a really nice and engaging type of job as well. A live-in nanny can become a part of your family and it is really close bond for your child(ren) which is a good thing if you have to work long-long hours.

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Your sincerely,

Adrienn Faklya

Child-style Coaching

Adrienn’s Professional Family and Youth Coach Profile

If you are a parent and have already decided to employ a nanny, than you have two choices to find applicants for the roll. You either can advertise privatly on webpages, in shop windows, etc. or you can find a good nanny agency to let them do the hard part of the job.

If you choose to find an agency it is easier and less hassle for you but obviously you’re gonna pay loads of money for the service. I personally prefer parents who choose agencies because they are serious about being an employer, they’ve already decided they want to do the contract on the legal way. And the agency usually advises the parents through the legal part of the being an employer (like paying tax, NI, writing contract, etc.) and you can be sure the nanny has been checked (papers, experiences, qualifications). A good nanny agency serve, guide and protect both the family and the nanny on the legal part.

If you choose to find a nanny by yourself it is a very tough part. You need a good advertisment, you need to find the best media to post it, find enough applicant for the role to choose from, check all of their papers, qualifications, etc. You have to find out the companies who can help you to do the legal part of the job. Loads of new thing that I will discuss in my next post. But now I am going to talk about a good nanny advertisement.

When you sit down to write the text, you should think about the role you want to offer. You need to decide what job do you need to be done in the end of the day. First of all think about if you want to have a nanny more or a housekeeper.

The average nanny role contains to take good care of the child(ren), organize playdates, make sure the child(ren) is in a safe and loving environment, feed and bath the child(ren) when it is required, change nappies, do homeworks + the nursery duties.

What does the ‘nursery duties’ mean? It means the nanny should clean up after the kids and herself when she plays with the children (make the kids help her ideally), cleans up after food (for the kids and herself). There are some family who ask the nanny to wash and iron the children cloathes but it is not a nursery duty and you should tell in the advertisement if you want this to be done.

What nursery duty is NOT:

– it is not to clean the whole house when the children are sleeping

– it is not to cook meals for the whole family and clean up after the dish

– it is not to wash all the families cloathes and iron them

– it is not to do the shopping, running around, doing the ‘dirty family work’ while the parents are at work

If you need someone to do the not nursery duties in your house, you should tell in the advertisement. There are mixed roles you can offer to an employee. I usually prefer parents who offer a pure nanny job because in that case the nanny can focus on her job = the child(ren). If someone offer a nanny/ housekeeper job usually after 6 months the problems start to come up. It is just not the same kind of roles someone can do in the same time. One part of the job is gonna be worse than the other and noone will be happy after a while.

There are three types of nanny job usually come up in the advertisments.

1. Pure nanny job (child care + nursery duties)

2. Nanny/ housekeeper (child care + nursery duties + cleaning + shopping + whatever the parents can think about)

3. Nanny / Personal Assistant (child care + nusery duties + running the secretary job into the home office)

There are good and bad part of the mixed nanny jobs:

2. Nanny/ housekeeper: the good part is that in the first three months your house will be clean and tidy and your children will be looked after. The bad part: after some months the nanny will be exhausted. Working with children requires a whole person. You can’t focus properly anything else when you have to look after, feed, make asleep, educate, etc. a child(ren). You need some silent time as well. And most of the time the nanny doesn’t have a minute during the day for rest except when the child(ren) is sleeping. Which mean she should be totaly focused and perfectly professional during 8/10 hours. It is hard work. And there are parents who want the nanny to clean up the whole house when she has some resting time. It is kind of a slavery. But there are people who just take these kind of roles because of the money and because of the legal job. But it is not a long term relationship neither for the family nor for the nanny. And the children get the sour stuff. They usually just get used to a nanny when the problems come up and the nanny start to be less patient or the house start to be less tidy. These roles usually doesn’t last long and the family need to start to find a new person who not enough experienced to know that nannying is a hard job and it doesn’t work to mix it with heavy cleaning stuff.

3. Nanny/ Personal Assistant: the good part is that the family will have a person who run the home office, probably with not a good language skill and experience to do a ‘real’ office job. So the family doesn’t have to pay that much money for the applicant what they should pay for a good secretary. And they will have a nanny and  they will have a Personal Assistant under one contract and salary. The problem: the person who take this kind of job is not a real nanny. Her ambition is to be a Personal Assistant but she is not enough experienced or her language skills are not enough good to do that in a real office. So she takes a PA/ nanny job for the timebeing while she improves her office skills and gets some experience. And when the time comes up she will just leave the family for a ‘better qualified job’. Anyway it is not good for the child(ren) again.

So when a family decide what role do they want to offer they should write down nicely and clearly into the job ad. If you are a mum looking for a nanny you can save enormous amount of time if you write down clearly what do you want. The goal is to find the right candidate. If you don’t write down clear criterias you gonna get loads of applicants who are looking for a totaly different type of job you want to offer. You will waste your time to read loads of CV and interview people who actually after the second question are not interested…

The other really important part of the advertisement when you write down how many children need to be cared for, what hours have to be done, if you have any pet or other important thing it can influence the job. You should write down in this part if one of the children has an allergy or the family is in a special diet (gluten free, vegetarian, etc.). And it is important to write down your nationality and if you care for a religion (time saving as well).

You can mention some important things about the children (what things do they like, any interesting habit, hobby, etc. – this part is optional. It can take place on the first interview. It is a good question if it worth to put a photo of you next to the advertisement. I would recommend not to put your children’s photo on the internet (public pages) if you don’t want people to use the photo for any other occasion. What you put on the internet, someone will find it and use it. This is the first rule of the net. You can send the picture in the first email if you decide to answer for the candidates.

It is important to write down if you need a live in, live out, shared care, solle charge or maternity nurse nanny. (More about these in my next post.)

The next part: what kind of papers, qualifications, skills do you presume from the nanny to be.

– CRB: In the United Kingdom everyone who work with children needs to be CRB checked. It is important to know the candidate can’t ask the goverment for a CRB check by herself. So it is your role (employer) to ask the government to check the applicant for CRB if she doesn’t have one. If you are with an agency, they do this job for you. It is illegal to be left alone with children under 18 or change nappies, bath the children if someone doesn’t have a valid CRB. So this paper is really important.

Qualifications/ experience: I usually prefer the experience over the qualifications. If someone really works with children and has 3-4 years experience (with checkable references) you can be sure she will take good care of your child(ren).  But you can’t learn at any school how to take care of a real children . You can learn the basics and the mental stuff but… “a characteristic of the normal child is he doesn’t act that way very often.” (Author Unknown) So the ideal way is if the nanny has experience and qualifications (or willing to do), but the experience is worth the same in my eyes than the studying at school (sometimes way better). It is a shame you can’t get qualified for experience.:P

OFSTED/ child care company registration: anyone who look after a child under 8 needs to be registered with OFSTED. You should check out the OFSTED page for further information. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk

First Aid Certification: it is useful if a nanny has one. If you have an interview with a nanny who doesn’t have but you (and more important the kids) like her, it worth to pay for it. You can find many First Aid course on the internet for around £50. The Wow Bespoke Nanny Agency does the First Aid course for free for their nannies.

Reference letters: ask the nanny to show 2 reference letters with phone numbers. But back to the mixed role nanny jobs, there are occasions when it is hard to ask for reference from the previous family. It doesn’t mean either the family or the nanny was not suitable for the role, it more shows that you can’t mix more than one role when it is about childcare. So check out the references and just follow your guts.

Driving licence: you have to consider if you want/need your nanny to have a valid driving licence. I don’t have and never needed and as a parent I would prefer if my nanny wouldn’t drive my children around. You never know how strong are the nanny’s driving skills. But if you consider your nanny has to be a driver you should write down in the advertisement if you require her to has her own car, or if you have one and the nanny can use it, what type of car is that (automatic or manual).

So I think I analized every part of a good nanny job advertisement. So let’s see if I can write one good:P

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Hi,

we are a family of four looking for a kind and reliable nanny who has sole charge experience with more than one children in the same time. We have a 6-year-old son and a 4-month-old doughter. We are a Greek family recently moved in London so we are looking for someone who knows the Raynes park area where we live.

We require the nanny to take care of the baby all day long, take her to baby classes, organize play dates, feed her, change her nappies, bath her when it is appropriate and do all of the child care duties what requires for a baby in her age. She will be asked to do the morning run for our son with making pack lunch, breakfast, etc., drop the boy to school, bring him home and help him with the homework, take him to after school classes, into the park, etc. She will be asked to cook some dinner for the children (not for us).  Plus she will need to clean up after the children and herself. We have a cleaner coming every week so no house work included.

We require the nanny to have a valid CRB check (not older than 2 years) – if there isn’t we can ask for one from the government. She has to be willing to register with the OFSTED (or already has), a Valid First Aid Certification, and at least 2 checkable references.

A valid driving licence is good but not essential.

We are willing to pay 7-10 pounds net for the right candidate depending on the qualifications and/or experience. The working hours are from Monday to Wednesday 7.30 – 5.30. The role is a live out job (accomodation is not included.)

If you feel you are the right candidate for us, please, send us your CV, covering letter, picture and references (references will be contacted after the interview)!

Thank you for reading our advertisement and hope to see you soon!!!

Adrienn Faklya

Child-style Coaching

Adrienn’s Professional Family and Youth Coach Profile

 

I am just searching around the advertisements on gumtree (www.gumtree.com). I am looking for a new family who I can work with part time so I will have time to improve my skills and my business. I’ve found some really interesting advertisement and gorgeous kids:)

And I’ve found some advertisement where the parents are a bit confused what they want and how much money they would pay for the right candidate.

First of all they are really confused what is the difference between a nanny and an au pair.

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Nanny is the person who usually work with your children, she is like a second mum, she usually works 30 – 50 hours a week, she has qualifications and/or experience and you become her employer. A good nanny earns 9-12 pounds net per hour.

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Au pair is a person who usually live in your house, work with your kids before or after school, they job is the school running, making pack lunch, she usually works approx. 5 hours a day. She doesn’t speak your language very well or is a student. She doesn’t have experience and/or qualifications. Usually she lives with you and you pay approx. 60 – 100 pounds per week for her.

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The difference between the two job is:

– the nanny job is a legal job with contract, per hour selery, with concrete job criterias. If you employ a nanny you will be responsible for paying tax, NI number, but if you get a good nanny you can be sure your children are in good and professional hands. A nanny usually works 8 – 10 hours per day with babies and/or toddlers who needs to be in good care all day long.

– the au pair job is suitable for a family who has bigger children who are full time in school. So they need a helping hand before and after school until the parents come home from work.The au pair job usually suitable for students who live with parents or someone who can’t speak ‘the language of the country where she works’ properly. So she can live in the family’s home, she can help them out and during her free time when the kids are in school she can go to language school or look around in the city.

If you are a parent and looking for someone to help you out, please, consider, what type of person do you want, and what job do you want to give her. If you put an advertisement on, you can save time for the candidate and for yourself, if you write an advertisement with clear job criterias.

About a good advertisement: in my next post:)

Yours sincerely,

Adrienn Faklya

Child-style Coaching

Adrienn’s Professional Family and Youth Coach Profile