In our series of finding more about people and their jobs we interviewed a full-time nanny and ask her about her job.
Course Feeder (CF): Hi, what is your name and what is your job title?
Alexandra Eleftheriou (AE): Ny name is Alexandra Eleftheriou and I'm a full-time nanny.
CF: How long have you been a professional nanny?
AE: 6+ years (interviewed on 30th January 2016).
CF: What made you want to be a professional nanny?
AE: I enjoy looking after newborns and toddlers. Making sure they achieve their milestones and watching them grow as a person is a great reward.
CF: What relevant professional nanny qualifications do you hold?
AE: First Aid, CRB, Maternity Nurse Level 3, Sleep Trainer Qualified
CF: How long did it take you to qualify as a professional nanny?
AE: To be a nanny you only need a CRB and First Aid Qualification but I wanted to make sure I knew as much as possible to help all the family's I work for. Training never stops it is ongoing, there are always new courses available, which is fantastic!
CF: What qualities do you have that make you a good professional nanny?
AE: Gosh. So many. Here are my top ten qualities.
- Love of children. Of course the top characteristic of a nanny is that we genuinely love children. Education, experience and special skills matter but none of those will make a person who doesn’t truly love working with children a quality caregiver. Enjoying children and feeling honored to be a caregiver to them is the foundation that everything else is built on.
- Enthusiastic. I work long days and often have a lot of responsibilities. For some, that can quickly squelch their excitement about the job. Others take it all in stride and let their natural enthusiasm for working with children lead them through the day. A nanny that can stay excited about coming to work day after day is one who your child will enjoy spending time with.
- Fun. Childhood is all about fun. I truly enjoy what i do and I make sure I plan fun, well rounded days for the little one. Being silly, finding the humor in everyday situations, and having a upbeat outlook on life are all key elements .
- Nurturing. The idea of nurturing a child is at the heart of a my role. Being able to connect on a deep level, build a safe, loving relationship and offer a stable environment are all important elements of nurturing the little one. As a nanny it's important to be sensitive to your little ones individual needs, I build an engaging day around the LOs interests, and tailors my caregiving style to mesh with my LOs personality and temperament. I am committed to staying in a job long term to provide that all important continuity of care.
- Common sense. As a nanny I will make endless decisions about your child’s health, safety and well-being throughout the day. You want a nanny who can accurately assess an emergency situation and decide the safest course of action. And one that can make good choices about simple things like what to make for lunch, how to handle a surprise mess and who to call when the sink overflows. (Yes it happens)
- Punctual. I always arrive 30 minutes early to work in the morning. This helps the parents getting out the door when they have made early morning commitments that are critical to their job. My punctuality is also important throughout the day as I may do school drop off and pick up, attend classes with your my LO and manage my time to ensure i complete all the needed household tasks. Being punctual and having good time management skills will keep everything and everyone on the right track.
- Trustworthy. Parents have to place an enormous amount of trust in their nanny. Of course the biggest show of trust is allowing her to care for their children. But they also trust her with their home, car, and lots of sensitive information about their family. A nanny’s trustworthy is an important part of the hiring decision. Knowing your caregiver is going to love and care for your child at all times and make good decisions based on his health and well-being is a must. Knowing she’s going to respect your home and property, protect your privacy and keep what she sees and hears on the job confidential is also important.
- Flexible. This trait can make or break a nanny’s ability to work successfully in your job. Nanny care doesn’t come with a standard 9 to 5 schedule or a job description that never changes. Built-in flexibility is often one of the main reasons parents choose nanny care over other types of care.
- Communicative. The success of the nanny / family relationship depends on the ability of the parents and the nanny to clearly communicate with each other. As a Nanny you need to be comfortable asking questions when your unsure of expectations or directions, also you need to regularly share important information about your LO with the parents, and honestly address any issues within the employment relationship.
- Reliable. One of the drawbacks of nanny care is that parents solely rely on you. Not only am I their primary childcare provider, i am also your household support person.
CF: What does a typical day as a professional nanny look like for you?
AE: Busy! It looks a little something like this:
- 6.30 - 7.00 Breakfast
- 7.00 - 8.30 Play Time
- 8.30 - 11.30 Out and About
- 11.30 - 12.00 Prepare Lunch
- 12.00 - 12.30 Lunch time
- 12.30 - 2.00 Nap Time for LO for me cleaning, organising, batch cooking, clothes washing etc.
- 2.00 - 4.00 Play date/ Park
- 4.00 - 5.00 Get home to prepare dinner
- 5.00 - 5.30 Dinner time
- 5.30 - 6.30 Quiet play until parents come home + last bit of tidying and organising
CF: What is the best thing about being a professional nanny?
AE: Spending your time watching a little one grow up and learn to crawl, walk and talk ect
CF: If you weren't a professional nanny, what would be your dream job and why?
AE: I would love to either be a teacher or youth worker - once again I love working with children and helping them grow as a person.
CF: What do you do in you down time?
AE: I study and also have a business (TheMothership.expert) which I find relaxing.
CF: For someone looking to be a professional nanny what advice would you give them?
AE: Do It! It's an extremely rewarding job, just do the qualifications and make sure you are confident in all you carry out.
CF: What other jobs have you had in the past?
AE: I used to be a Sales Manager in the health and fitness industry.
CF: How does being a professional nanny compare to your previous jobs?
AE: I find being a nanny less stressful and more rewarding.
CF: Thank you for your time Alexandra and we wish you all the best in your choosen career.
For more information about Alexandra Eleftheriou and her nanny business please visit https://m.facebook.com/TheMothership.expert.