information for nannies

Top 5 Travel tips for all Vacation Nannies

If you are about to embark on your first ‘holiday nanny’ job role, we’ve have compiled 5 top tips to help you survive and to help you provide the best service to your holiday family.

1: Be prepared for anything and everything!
As a holiday nanny, it is so important to be prepared and to make a good impression. You should know the ages and sex of the children you are going to be caring for, so I would recommend creating an activity/craft bag for the trip. My bag usually contains colouring, cut and stick materials, travel board games, Dobble, a few books, stickers, play-doh and bubbles. All of these items are fairly small and light, so they don’t take up much room in my bag and provide endless amounts of fun. If you would like to gain some serious brownie points; A plane friendly activity bag, for the travel day, is also a great way of keeping children entertained on a long haul flight and distracting them away from the screen

2: Communicate with your family
After your interview, the next time you meet your ‘holiday family’ will be on the first day of your trip. So, therefore, it is so important that you communicate with your family. The agency will pass on the details of the family and it is really encouraged to ask any questions you might have before you go. Questions such as; children’s interests, have they had a nanny before, dress codes, are you going to be sharing a room, are you going to be expected to drive? All of these are really important questions to cover because it helps you and the family feel prepared for the trip, and it will make the family feel reassured to have such a thorough nanny who is taking an interest in finding out about the family post trip.

3: Dress appropriately for the style of job
I learnt on a recent holiday nanny job how important it is to ask the family if they have a dress code to follow. This job was classed as a ‘VIP’ job in the Caribbean, so when I was gathering my normal ‘nanny beach clothes’ together; shorts, vest and beach dresses, a friend, who is an experienced worker on a superyacht, suggested asking the family if there was a dress code to follow. I was so pleased I did ask because they asked me to wear ‘boating’ wear, such as a navy polo shirt and khaki short combination and to dress modestly. So, therefore, I bought a rash vest and swimming shorts to wear in the sea.

Initially, I was very self-conscious of my uniform, as I had never had to follow a dress code before, but the feedback I got from the family was so worth it. Even though I ended up being the only nanny wearing a smart uniform, I felt and looked the part, which made me feel confident whilst working alongside high-status guests.

So in conclusion to this, it is always worth asking the family if there is a dress code to follow. You can never sound or be too prepared for a holiday nanny vacation.

4: Be flexible and muck in
Sometimes a job of a holiday nanny isn’t just playing with the kids, swimming with them, taking them to the beach. Some parents really do love the opportunity to spend special times with their children doing these activities too! So, therefore, you should be ready and flexible to offer any kind of help when you may feel at a loose end. As It is quite common to find yourself with suddenly no children to look after! Depending on your package, being child-free doesn’t always mean you can put your feet up, you should use your initiative and have a scan around to see if anything can be done. Children’s laundry, meal prep, bath time prep etc, small offers of extra help never goes unnoticed, and you will reap the rewards at the end of the holiday with a fantastic reference and maybe a tip!

5: Be happy
Work with a smile! There will be moments where you might be feeling fed up, but you have always got to remember that it is only for a short duration, and you will never have to see them again, after saying goodbye at the airport! I find it helps to take your exercise gear with you, so you can fit in a run or a HIIT workout, or go for a power walk with the pushchair to get some head space. I like to treat Nanny holidays as a retreat. You’ll most likely be somewhere beautiful, possibly hot, with fresh food and no alcohol consumption! So just embrace the whole experience, you will always come home with a story to tell!

Morzine, why is it so good for families?

Over the years, Morzine is becoming the number one favourite resort for families in the Alps. Not only is the resort beautiful in the summer and winter months; there’s also something to offer for every family member.

Morzine boasts having a huge playground for adults and children. Skiing, sledging, mountain biking, hiking; the list of family fun activities are never-ending. And with the airport transfer time being only 1hr 15 minutes, it’s even more appealing for young families. I remember four-hour transfers to resorts as a child. I’m not sure how my parents coped or carried on taking us on ski holidays!!

As more and more people are visiting Morzine and finding it hard to leave, the British community is ever growing. This has resulted in a great network of British companies offering ski school, transfers and childcare services. Making it much easier for English speaking families to organise their trip hassle-free.

If you find your ski time is limited to ski school hours, why not think about hiring a ski nanny? Vacation Nannies will not only provide you with a private ski nanny, they will also be your in-house nanny for the whole duration of the trip. They will have been hired via our agency, you will have had the choice to meet them for an interview, and they will start off the booking by accompanying you and your family on the journey from the UK.

Once you have arrived at the resort, and depending on the childcare package you have chosen, they will be available for daytime and evening babysitting, whilst you enjoy what a ski holiday has to offer.

Nannys top-tips for getting your child to stay in bed!

Whether you’re a Nanny or parent; Bedtime, or witching hour as I like to call it, can be a nightmare. Children try every trick in the book to divert bedtime, and as a Nanny, I’ve heard them all!  Whether they are ‘hungry’, ‘missing Mummy’, ‘needing a wee’, the list goes on and it’s usually always an excuse to not go to bed!

Children need routine, especially on weeknights if they have school the next day. A good evening routine to follow would be; some outdoor play early evening or some indoor play/ limited television/screen time before supper, supper, a calming bath, story time and bed. Obviously, we all know that it never goes as smoothly as that… Especially with toddlers who have just been transferred from a cot to a ‘big girls’ bed.

So here is an outline of a simple bedtime routine you should follow, being consistent and staying calm is the key!

  1. After the child has had their bath, you should take them into their bedroom, where the curtains have already been drawn and the bedside lamp/’Gro Lamp’ is on, creating a calming environment for the child to start getting them ready for bed. All excuses have been covered; teeth brushed, toilet trip covered, beaker of water is next to the bed, their comforter is in the bed. Anything you think they might ask for, try to cover it before they get into the bed.
  2. Once they are all in their pyjamas and if they are old enough, let them choose two or three short stories they would like you to read. If you have more than one child, maybe let them choose two each?
  3. If your child like having some warmed milk at bedtime, let them snuggle into bed with it whilst you start reading them their stories. Once the final story is over, you make it clear that it is bedtime now and that they need to shut their eyes and dream of whatever it is they love doing. A lot of children I babysit for have a ‘Gro company Gro Clock’ for Sleep training. This is a really good way of trying to make them understand that it is now bedtime and when the sun comes up, they can get out of bed. It’s amazing how well it can work.

With toddlers who are just starting to get used to being in a bed, it is expected that they will keep getting in and out! They see it as a game, but you must not let a game be created.

Here is how:

  1. The first time they get out, explain to them it’s bedtime and lead them back to their bed, make them comfy and make sure you and they remain calm, then leave after giving them a kiss/cuddle good night.
  2. The second time, do the same as the above but a little firmer. Don’t sit down on the bed with them, just tuck them back in and leave.
  3. The third time, which will most likely not be the last time. Lead them straight back into bed and tuck them up without saying anything. (You may end up being sat outside the door for a while!) Keep repeating this until they learn they must stay in bed. Don’t lose your temper, or start conversations with them, as they will keep getting out and create a game from it. I had the experience of looking after a little boy who loved getting out of bed, sometimes 10 times before he would finally go to sleep, and I learnt that the less attention you gave him when he popped his little head out, the fewer times he started getting back out of bed. The transition from bed to cot is a real novelty for them, so it is natural for them to want to explore, but you have to persevere with your routine! Don’t let them start sleeping in your bed!!

If all of these routines don’t work, you can’t beat a good old awards chart! Especially if they are siblings, as they love to compete with each other. I have seen these charts work really well for families with children who won’t stay in bed. There are templates on line, or you can make your own.

There are lots of forums online to also help, so keep up to date with blogs such as ‘MumsNet’ which always has lots of helpful advice and discussions.

Here is a link for the Gro Clock: