J is exemplary in caring for our two little girls (now four and a half, and nearly two years old), and consistently produces weekly plans which blend age-appropriate activities and fun with free play. Our friends and family all comment on what lovely, kind and well-behaved children they are, and J should get a lot of the credit for this (and her role modelling is exemplary). We work together with her to enforce and uphold consistent values, and the girls adore her.

J is incredibly professional, and very adaptable – from supporting weaning (our youngest) to homework (our oldest), she always operates to the highest standards. She communicates well and any concerns or issues are flagged early so we can work through them together (e.g. any behavioural challenges). She recently spent a week of half-term sharing care with my parents and adapted seamlessly to a new house and environment, and they both commented on how professional and brilliant she is.

J was about midway through her Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) year when we went into the first lockdown. Our oldest daughter was was two and a half, and we had a five-week-old baby. The weekend that lockdown was announced, my mother-in-law’s partner passed away overseas, borders started to close (meaning that our maternity nurse had to depart very suddenly, seven weeks ahead of plan, in order to get back home, as she also lived overseas), and for a few days it looked as though my husband’s business might have to stop operating just before their biggest day of the year. Our older daughter had also developed a (what turned out to be temporary) stammer when her little sister arrived and we’d unexpectedly had to spend 5 days in hospital. It was a very stressful time.

J who at the time was live-in, was nothing short of amazing. I know that she was also incredibly anxious about the coronavirus situation, and being separated from her family (her parents are both key workers), but she appeared every morning with a smile and leapt into action to make the best of the situation, keeping our older daughter busy and entertained at home with fun and very creative weekly plans, and providing invaluable support to me with the newborn (who was having feeding difficulties and not gaining sufficient weight, which made for some very difficult and stressful weeks for us as a family). She showed commendable willingness to go above and beyond. For example, sharing the house cleaning duties with us, which was the most enormous help, and even joining in PE with Joe with my daughter and me!

Her consistently positive and sunny attitude, her willingness to throw herself into making the best of a very difficult situation, her general helpfulness and the love and care she showed for our children (including through three long lockdowns) were extraordinary, and we’re honestly not sure how we’d have got through it all without her. I know that at times she found it very hard and lonely being separated from friends and family, but she was a trooper and really made the best of a very tough situation  joining our weekly family quiz and weekend movie nights with my sister when we were finally allowed ‘bubbles’.

J really has become part of the family and our girls adore her (as do we). We are enormously grateful for her hard work and support over the past two and a half years.