Lizzie’s Story

Lizzie’s Norland journey has seen her nanny in Hong Kong and London, and now she’s in the final two for Nursery World’s ‘Nanny of the Year’.

“Norland in my eyes is the best of the best. If you want to pursue a career in childcare, especially Nannying and you are fortunate enough to attend, then I would 100% recommend the Norland route to anyone. The training that we receive is top class.”

Lizzie Watts, a Set 32 student, graduated in May 2012 and her career has seen her nanny for a family in Hong Kong and London, and make it to the top two finalists for the Nursery World's 2019 'Nanny of the Year' where she received a Highly Commended award.

"From a very young age I recognised that I had a passion for looking after and spending time with children. I always loved playing with and entertaining my younger cousins and family friends. I babysat for children in my village as soon as I was old enough which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

A family friend attended Norland a few years before me. She was in Set 29. When my Mum and I first went to visit her and to look around Norland I knew from the moment I walked in the door that I wanted to study there and become a Norlander. There was no other option for me. I wanted to be a nanny and, in my eyes, Norland was the best place to train so there was no plan B for me. I was determined to get a place, so I worked very hard at school to get there and make sure I fulfilled my dream. I can still remember the day I received my acceptance letter and how happy and excited I was. 

Since leaving Norland in July 2010, I have been very busy nannying for such wonderful children. Shortly after starting my probationary post (now NQN year) the family I was working for moved to Hong Kong and asked me to go with them. It was a fantastic opportunity but slightly daunting as I’d never been there, but I felt so fortunate to have been asked by the family to join them. Hong Kong was amazing, and I ended up staying with the family for five years.

In my last year with the family my role changed slightly as the girls were now at school, so I found myself working for a new family two days a week. The mother was the school teacher of my eldest charge. She and her partner had a lovely little two-year-old girl and new-born twins. I loved working with this family, and I gained a lot of experience from them especially as the little girl found it quite difficult adjusting to having two new siblings. It was a challenge for me, but I found my short time with the family extremely valuable.

In July 2015 I decided to move back to London. I wanted to be closer to my family and friends and start a new challenging job. I landed on my feet when I met my current family with three awesome boys who were then five-years-old, three-years-old and eight-months-old. They’re now nine, seven and four. I have no plans to leave the family and I am still enjoying being a nanny, especially to my three current charges.

Life is very busy looking after three boys, but I wouldn’t change it. I Iearned an awful lot whilst training at Norland but the knowledge I have gained over the last nine years whilst working as a nanny has proved to be extremely valuable also.

Recently, my employers nominated me for the Nursery World ‘Nanny of the Year’ award. I was incredibly honoured to be nominated. I was overwhelmed to discover I had made it to the final top five nannies and was asked to go for an interview at Chiltern College. The interview was challenging and the judges asked me some difficult questions, but I tried my best to be myself and I was delighted when I found out I had reached the top two nannies and that I’d been invited to the Nursery World awards ceremony in September 2019. I feel proud of myself and I’m extremely grateful to my employers for putting me forward for this award. 

I was extremely pleased and proud of myself to receive the Highly Commended award for 'Nanny of the Year'. It wasn’t quite first place, but nevertheless I know that I did myself, my family, friends, employers and most of all my three wonderful charges proud. It is great to see that professional nannies are receiving the recognition that we all deserve. Also I’d like to say a very big thank you for the enormous amount of support I received before and after the awards ceremony from Norlanders, and past and present staff at Norland.

I learnt an awful lot of theory and practical skills whilst training at Norland. I had a love for children when I started my training and I had some basic cooking and sewing skills, but I left with so much more. I will be forever grateful for the knowledge I gained during my training. Norland helped me move forward in my career by allowing me to move to Hong Kong at such a young age. I found it difficult to complete my degree whilst living and working abroad but I was thankful to the lecturers at Norland for going the extra step to help me finish my studies from Hong Kong.

The support I have received from the Norland Agency whilst working as a Nanny has also been very beneficial. I am also pleased that over the more recent years I have been able to host Newly Qualified Nannies to shadow my role as a busy nanny to three children in London as it gives me great pleasure to be able to give something back to the College. Furthermore, I have found the CPD courses that Norland provide extremely valuable for continuing my practice and keeping my knowledge up-to-date. 

The unique course that Norland offers alongside the degree give students an extremely beneficial education. The individual support and care that the staff offer towards each student is excellent. The practical placements we attend during our training are varied and give the students plenty of opportunities to learn new skills in different environments with a range of age groups. Following on, the career opportunities that are available to students after studying at Norland are endless.

Norland in my eyes is the best of the best. If you want to pursue a career in childcare, especially nannying, and you are fortunate enough to attend, then I would 100% recommend the Norland route to anyone. The training that we receive is top class. The lecturers teaching both theory and practical lessons are extremely knowledgeable. The Norland course is unique and offers so much more than other courses. I believe that there is no alternative course that matches what Norland offers its students. The opportunities that are available to graduates and the doors that are opened for us are fantastic.

Our Norland family is very special. The girls from my Set who I trained with will always have an important place in my heart. The journey we took altogether throughout our training wasn’t always easy, but we helped each other through, and I have many happy memories of my time in Bath training at Norland. Following on, the relationships I have formed with other Norlanders from different Sets whilst I have been working as a Nanny have been invaluable. We are extremely lucky to have each other and to be a part of such a supportive network."