An interview with Norland Nanny of the Year 2021
22 April 2022
Georgina knew she wanted to be a nanny from the age of eight. Fast forward to 2014, she began studying at Norland. Eight years after wearing the iconic uniform for the first time, she’s been named Norland Nanny of the Year.
Her journey as a nanny has seen her work overseas in the United States, the Bahamas and Italy. That was all before she’d even graduated. Since then, she’s taken on various roles including temporary nannying in Bali and now caring for two children in Surrey.
We spoke to her about winning Norland Nanny of the Year, how her training continues to support her and why she loves nannying so much.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Georgina, or Georgie to my charges. Before joining Norland in 2014 as part of Set 38, I attended sixth form studying health and social care, business studies and psychology.
How did you first hear about Norland?
I first heard about Norland through my nan who had read an article in the paper about the first male training at Norland. She told me straight away how amazing Norland looked and how it was the perfect place to study and train as a nanny. I left the open day knowing that this was where I was meant to be. Norland was the only university I applied for. I knew I was either going to join Norland or I wouldn’t go to university. I believed that Norland was the route I needed to take in life and my destiny.
How do you reflect on your time at Norland?
When looking back at my time at Norland I realise how much I grew and learned throughout my three years. Learning how to do a certain task and then supporting it with the knowledge I learned in the lectures really helped me gain more confidence in my practice and allowed me to support my charges’ development.
Norland’s training is unique. When you’re on placement, the training enables you to put what we’ve learned into practice. This was one of my favourite elements of my time at Norland. I was so privileged to be able to work alongside some amazing practitioners at a variety of schools, nurseries, maternity wards and finally helping in a family home. The placement that inspired me the most was a special educational needs school where I helped in the classroom for six weeks. The lessons I learned here included caring for children with unique and individual needs, but I also saw where I wanted my own career to develop in the future.
What is your favourite part of being a Norland Nanny?
One of my favourite parts of being a Norland Nanny is the people I have met throughout my journey. Norland is like having an extended family. I know I can go to other nannies who may have been in a similar situation to get advice or to talk through any challenges I’m experiencing. We have a supportive and friendly online community and I know I can always pick up the phone and contact Norland with any queries or worries. I have met some of my best friends through Norland. Not just when attending university, but subsequently whilst working I have met Norlanders living nearby and we have an immediate common bond due to our training.
What has your career been like so far?
Although my career as a nanny is only beginning, I’ve been so lucky to have travelled to so many different places and have had lots of experiences. During my time at Norland, I was able to be a holiday nanny in the term breaks. I travelled to different countries including United States, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, and the Bahamas to name a few.
In my first year as a Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN), I moved to Barnes in London. I stayed with my NQN family for one-and-a-half years. I keep in contact with them even though they have moved to Switzerland. The family was incredibly supportive and kind, and I couldn’t have wished for a better welcome into full-time nanny life.
I was then able to travel to Bali for five months for a temporary role. This gave me many new experiences as well as challenges. I was in an unfamiliar country with different cultures and caring for three children who were also away from their normal routine and environment. I developed my nannying skills when away but also learned more about myself on a personal development journey. The picture is of me participating in a blessing in a waterfall at a full moon ceremony.
Can you tell us a bit about your current role with the family that nominated you for Norland Nanny of the Year?
For the past two-and-a-half-years, I’ve been a live-in nanny for an amazing family in Surrey. I care for two fantastic children who always keep me on my toes and fill the day with so much laughter. One of the children I look after has a genetic condition which means they require full-time care and more attention than a neurotypical child. He is kind, loving and determined, and watching her achieve small milestones has been rewarding and a privilege to be a part of. My other charge is an energetic, inquisitive toddler who is strong-willed, is loving life, and pushing boundaries as he develops and grows.
As a family we’ve faced challenges together. We moved from London to Surrey, had lockdowns to deal with and the added concern of a child of high risk due to reduced immunity from medication. Looking after a child with special educational needs means that we can’t always do things other children at the same age can do. One of the skills that I pride myself in is always trying to change up our activities and make them inclusive for all to enjoy. Starting the day positive and making sure the children wake up with a big smile every morning means we have a can-do attitude for the rest of the day.
I have strong family values and my charges have become part of my own family. The children love to visit my family home, especially seeing my grandparents. As they don’t have their own family in the UK, everyone benefits from the added attention, and we all love to see the children growing and developing.
I have developed and grown along with the children on this amazing journey too. I strive to be the best I can and always look for ways in which I can improve.
How did you feel when you found out you had won Norland Nanny of the Year?
I was completely shocked when I found out I had won the award. My boss had told me she’d nominated me, and we made jokes about getting the children to make me my own trophy before the news came in! I’m really honoured to even get nominated for the award, and it really does give you that realisation that the work and effort you apply to a job really does get noticed and appreciated.
What would you say to someone who was considering studying at Norland?
If someone were to tell me they were thinking about applying to Norland, I’d encourage them to pursue that dream. Norland supports you in ways that mean you can really focus on the development of skills. I’ve been able to achieve things I never thought possible thanks to Norland. Thinking back to being eight years old and telling my family I wanted to be a nanny (thanks to always wanting to help my mum with my younger brother), I never thought I’d be able to travel the world and really make an impact on children’s lives. The sky really is the limit when you push yourself to achieve.
What do you love most about what you do?
There are so many different parts of my job that I love. But I have to say my favourite part of being a nanny is seeing the children develop and achieve milestones no matter how small. It gives me a sense of pride and satisfaction knowing that I’ve played a part in encouraging them to do the best and hopefully be the happiest they can. Children bring so much love and joy. I’m so privileged I’ve been chosen and trusted to care for and be a part of their lives. Nannying is my chosen career and I wouldn’t have been happier doing anything else. You really get back as much effort as you put in and I was certainly born to be a Norland Nanny.
Georgina’s story shows why Norland Nannies do what they do. Whether they work with a family on a short-term temporary basis or permanently over a longer period, they give all their energy, knowledge and passion to support their charges’ development. For Georgina, or Georgie as her charges call her, supporting them achieve small milestones has made a big difference in their development and their futures.
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