Tom Channell explores one way nannies can supplement their income
Being a nanny is a rewarding career. You have the opportunity to pour into the lives of children on a daily basis; this is something that not everyone has the chance to do. But with this job comes challenges. One of these challenges might be that you aren’t making enough money. Sometimes, a nanny’s wages simply aren’t enough to make ends meet so you’re left finding ways to make extra money. This is tough, because after working full time with energetic children all week, you’re probably exhausted and not thrilled on taking on extra work.
However, finding ways to earn more cash doesn’t need to be daunting. Have you considered tutoring as a way to help supplement your income? Giving extra time in this way can help enhance your income without compromising your main job as a nanny. You usually don’t need to have huge, impressive lists of degrees from big-name colleges. You just need to have proven experience and qualifications to show that you’re able to effectively tutor and teach lessons to inquiring young minds. For example, when setting up a profile that showcases your areas of expertise on tutoring websites such as First Tutors, you’re able to specify where you can teach, when you can teach, and what subjects you’re best suited for. Clients search for quality tutors and when they decide you’re the one they want, you can name your hourly price and start working a few hours more a week. You decide what extra jobs you take on or turn down: you can call the shots.
Worried about juggling two jobs? There are ways to effectively balance a tutoring job and your main nanny position.
Give your best.
Working two different jobs might make it easy to give less to one job. This is never a good idea, though. Showing your dedication to the children you nanny, as well as the individual student you are tutoring is the key to keeping both families happy. Give 100% in both jobs – that way you’ll have a better chance of receiving positive recommendations and word of mouth referrals to other potential tutees or families looking for nanny services.
Don’t take on too much.
Working too much can be exhausting. Taking on more work may be great in helping you pay off debt or to add more to your savings account, but doing too much can drain you quickly. If you’re fatigued and worn out all the time, you’ll be more apt to make mistakes in your tutoring or be irritable with the children you’re caring for. Always remember: when taking on extra work, be sure that it’s not going to compromise your first and main source of income.
Consider overlapping responsibilities.
Tell the parents of the children you nanny that you are considering taking on extra tutoring work. Perhaps they would consider having you tutor their children for an increased pay rate. You may be able to negotiate a higher salary that way. Or, ask your nanny family if it’s ok for you to bring your laptop with you to work so you can build tutoring lessons during nap times or other down times. Overlapping responsibilities like this can take some of the stress out of working more hours in the week.
Most of all, don’t forget that as a nanny and a tutor, you are helping develop children to be confident and capable adults. Being a good example and demonstrating solid work ethic should always be a high priority.
The first question to ask yourself: what do parents want to know about you?
At Nannyjob we know the essential information parents need to make a decision – location, experience, availability and what kind of job you want – so make sure these details on your nanny profile are accurate. If they aren’t, then you won’t show up when parents search! Here are some other top tips for making your profile stand out from the crowd.
- Be specific because when you’re too vague about location or availability then parents won’t bother to contact you if they don’t see what they’re looking for, or something similar, on your profile – you can select multiple regions but you probably don’t want to select all of them, particularly if you’re looking for a live out job!
- Make sure the details on your profile make sense – your total years of experience should be equal to the number of years as a nanny, as a nursery nurse and in other childcare (which includes teacher or nursing). If you say you have more than 5 years experience but none as a nanny or as a nursery nurse or in childcare then how can you have more than 5 years relevant experience?
- Select your job types carefully. You may be genuinely happy to work as anything but remember people will contact you based on what you say you want to do.
- Add a photo! It makes it easier for parents to connect what you write to a real person if they have an idea of what you look like.
- Use appropriate paragraphs and punctuation to make your description easy to read.
- If you have any restrictions (for example you’re looking for a Monday and Tuesday job because you already have a job the other days) state this early on.
- If you’re looking to work in an area where you don’t currently live, say when you would be available to move and start work.
- Give details of your qualifications and experience, as well as talking about the personal qualities which make you a great candidate. Remember that this section is all about what you can do for the family, how you interact with children, what you like to do in your job and how you use the knowledge and skills that you’ve gained. Make sure you really tailor it for a nanny job. Your interests, hobbies and family background are less important than skills which are relevant to childcare and show real passion and enthusiasm for your work.
Above all, be yourself!
1. Don’t sort the paperwork
Ideally you should have a contract in place before your nanny starts, but if you don’t then make signing one a top priority. Aside from being a legal obligation on your part, it’s a good idea to have the arrangement clarified in writing. You’ll also need her bank details and her National Insurance number, as well as her P45 from her previous job, to pay her correctly.
2. Don’t say thank you
It’s nice to say thank you to your nanny at the end of every day, but it’s absolutely vital if she goes out of her way to do something, whether you’ve asked her to or not. You might be paying her but a little gratitude goes a long way.
3. Go back on your word
The relationship between a nanny and employer is based on mutual trust and respect. You trust her to care for your children and she trusts you to keep your end of the bargain. If you agree to something, be it going to a specific playgroup or that she can leave half an hour early one day, don’t suddenly turn around and say you’ve changed your mind and it’s no longer possible.
4. Tell her she can’t sit on your chair
It’s understandable that even though you’ve let someone into your home you’ll still want to keep a bit of privacy, but do remember that it’s your nanny’s place of work where she will spend a great deal of time, and it’s vital that she feel comfortable. Dictating where she can and can’t sit is petty, and slights like that won’t make for an easy working relationship.
5. Be late without notice
Emergencies happen, that’s one of the reason why a nanny is such a great form of childcare, but it absolutely doesn’t excuse lateness with no warning. If your nanny finishes at 6, you haven’t left the office at 5.30 and you know it takes you 45 minutes to get home, you’re already late. Take a moment out of whatever you’re dealing with to call your nanny and apologise. Remember she may have plans for the evening too so she may not be thrilled with the news.
6. Don’t top up the kitty or reimburse her for expenses
If you ask your nanny to pick up essentials, such as nappies or bread, or expect her to take your children to activities then it’s expected that you pay for it. It’s courteous to provide a kitty for your nanny so she doesn’t have to fund day to day expenditure out of her own pocket, but if this is the arrangement you have make sure you pay her back promptly.
7. Leave a critical note, but don’t suggest improvements
Nannies don’t have mind-reading superpowers (for people over the age of 3, that is) so any time you need to tell your nanny you’d rather she did something a different way, tell her how you’d like it done. Also make sure you give any constructive criticism face to face – it can be really demoralising when someone is nice to your face and then an hour later you discover they weren’t happy at all.
8. Ask her to clean your bathroom
Most nannies will happily take care of nursery duties – that is chores related directly to the children such as cleaning up after meals, doing their laundry and hovering their bedrooms and playroom. Although some nannies will be happy to take on additional housekeeping duties, cleaning your bathroom is a step too far. Remember the top priority for a nanny is always the children.
9. Take a day off to follow her around
You probably don’t work too well with your boss breathing down your neck and your nanny is no exception. It’s difficult to interact naturally with children, sing, dance and be silly, if you know someone else is judging your every move. Added to that, children always behave differently when their parents are around, so any judgements you make are likely to be based on unsound evidence.
10. Don’t pay her
As much as your nanny probably loves her job, as a professional she does expect to be paid. Non-payment is a breach of contract, and your nanny would be perfectly justified in leaving immediately.
What is measles
Measles is a viral disease which used to be very common in childhood. It is highly contagious, particularly among children. There have been recent outbreaks in Wales, spreading into Gloucestershire, and in Yorkshire.
What are the symptoms
The first symptoms of measles are similar to a cold – runny nose, sneezing, red and watery eyes. It may be accompanied by a dry cough. A child may also be sensitive to light, have a temperature, be generally tired, irritable and achey, and have little appetite.
Measles has a red/brown spotty rash which often starts behind the ears and spreads over the head, body and legs. You can find a picture of it on the NHS slideshow. This rash in conjunction with a very high temperature (over 100F°) and small greyish spots inside the mouth are key indicators for measles.
Why is it serious
Measles can cause other complications, such as vomiting and diahorrhea, conjunctivitis, laryngitis, ear infections and febrile seizures.
Less common, but more serious complications include pneumonia, bronchitis, croup, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis and hepatitis. Rare but very serious complications are infection of the optic nerve, which causes blindness, heart and lung problems, and a rare brain complication, which is fatal.
How can you treat it
There is nothing that can be done to treat measles itself. Any secondary infections may be treated with antibiotics. The best thing to do is to treat the symptoms individually.
- Keep children hydrated and at a comfortable temperature. Use paediatric paracetemol or ibuprofen to relieve pain and fever.
- If a child has a cough then humidify the room using a bowl of water. A drink of honey and lemon may help but this shouldn’t be given to babies under 12 months, as honey is not suitable for them.
- Keep light levels low but closing curtains and using night lights instead of the main lighting in a room.
- Clean sore and gunky eyes with cotton wool and warm water. Remember to throw away each ball as you use it so you don’t spread infection.
How can you prevent it
The only sure way to prevent measles is by vaccinating against it. This is usually done with the MMR jab which requires 2 injections at least 3 months apart, usually the first given between 12 and 13 months and another between 3 and 5 years old. If you need urgent protection because of an outbreak in your area or because you are travelling abroad an additional dose can be given to children under 12 months. Premature babies may have a special vaccination schedule.
As a nanny it’s important to make sure you are immunised against measles. If you are in any doubt whether you are immune or whether you need to be vaccinated, ask your doctor for a blood test, explaining that you work with young children and potentially pregnant women too.
This is a guest blog from Lisa Clegg, author of The Blissful Baby Expert. She shares how she came to write her manual for parents.
I grew up the 4th eldest out of 26 grandchildren, surrounded by babies and small children from a young age. I’ve always been particularly interested in small babies and I was always the one who volunteered to take any babies off their parents’ hands at family get togethers and parties!
All I ever wanted to do was get a job working with children and after leaving school I went straight to college to do what was then called the NNEB-equivalent to an NVQ level 3 in childcare.
After completing the 2-year course I went straight into my 1st nanny position where I had sole charge of 3 children. I continued in nannying up until I had my 1st baby – Jack – in October 2002.
After my 2nd son was born in 2006, I began doing some maternity night nanny contracts. I discovered night nannying by accident really browsing though the nannyjob website which I enjoyed doing on a regular basis. Like many people I knew that some mothers employ someone to come and live in and help them after the birth of their baby, a Maternity Nurse. However, I didn’t realise that a mother could employ someone to JUST do the nights-allowing her the crucial part of the day covered so that she could get some sleep! Having just gone through the sleepless nights myself with my 2nd baby I knew first hand how torturous it can be when feel like you will never get a full night’s sleep again! A good night’s sleep means you feel like you can cope with anything during the day!
I absolutely loved night nannying as it gave me access to the age group I loved working with the most – those tiny newborns – and I knew exactly how the mothers I worked for would be feeling. I LOVE my job and get so much satisfaction from starting work with a new family, who are usually in chaos with neither parent knowing quite where to start! It’s fantastic to leave them confident about caring for their baby, with a happy baby who eats and sleeps well.
By using a routine as a basis and gently steering babies in the right direction from day 1, I have left happy parents at the end of each contract whose babies typically drop their night feed between 8-10 weeks, settle well during sleep times and are in general very relaxed happy babies from day to day.
It has worked for many mums and babies and it was all of them that inspired me to write my book THE BLISSFUL BABY EXPERT. I wanted to reach out to so many more parents who are desperate for answers to basic questions and who just need someone to point them in the right direction of keeping life with a new-born baby on an even keel. My book gives mums that starting block and as a mother of 3 children myself I understand first hand how difficult life with a new-born can be when you are not sure where to begin!
This guide has information on essential and non-essential items and equipment to buy for your baby, what to expect when going into hospital, coming home and the first few days and weeks, feeding, sleep, weaning, common problems and illnesses for mum and baby and even developmental milestones.
It has been tested by many parents with young babies and they all agree that there is nothing on the market that is as honest, informative and parent friendly. All reviews so far have been fantastic. As a mother, I can empathise with all these parents and have been through many of the same scenarios. This is not something that a lot of authors who have written parenting books can say, as many of them have never had their own children and experienced the challenges that motherhood brings!
I hope that my book will continue to help many more mums in the future.
THE BLISSFUL BABY EXPERT can be purchased from Amazon in ebook form, which can be downloaded to an Ipad or Iphone as well as many other devices once the kindle App has been installed, or paperbacks can be ordered through the website www.theblissfulbabyexpert.co.uk