National Careers Week: Hana’s nanny career so far
3 March 2021
Qualifying from Norland opens up a world of opportunities in the early years. One of the Norlanders to experience that first-hand is Hana (Set 37). As part of National Careers Week, Hana reflects on her career so far, which has taken her from Norland to New York.
Please introduce yourself
My name is Hana and I’m in Set 37. I completed my Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) year in the summer of 2017 and have been a qualified Norlander (Norland graduate) for almost four years. Within the last six months, I’ve started a residential job in London caring for a boy who is almost four years old, having previously worked on the Upper East Side in New York. I’m very lucky as my job comes with its own flat, so while I’m considered a live-in nanny I also have my own space.
What does a typical morning look like for you?
Lockdown has really changed what a typical morning looks like. At the moment, I start work at 7.30am, do a few jobs in the kitchen and make breakfast. At around 8am, I get my charge up, dressed and ready for the day ahead before we come downstairs to have breakfast. We will then go straight out for a walk or a play at the park. Before lockdown, we would leave at 8.45am to go to pre-school and I would make lunch and pack his bag the night before so we have as little stress as possible in the morning.
What is your lunchtime routine?
We usually do an activity before I start to make lunch. At the moment our focus is on letter and number recognition. After that activity, I let him free play while I make lunch. Sometimes he will help, especially if he thinks it’s taking too long! In nanny jobs before the coronavirus pandemic, we would often have lunch out. Normally, a packed lunch or sometimes go to a café as a special treat if we’d been out for the morning at a class or a museum. In New York, my charge’s favourite thing was to go for pizza!
What do you and your charges do in the afternoon?
In the afternoon, my charge has some quiet time when he can nap or read books in bed for a short period of time. Afterwards, we have a snack and I set up an activity, which can be anything from letter practice to small world play. The other day, I made a tuff tray into a beach so he could act out a book that we had been reading. We normally do an arts and crafts or sensory activity. All of my charges have loved nothing more than making gloop and play dough!
Walk us through your evening and bedtime routine with your charges
We have dinner at around 6pm. After this, I brush his teeth and clear up from the day and read stories. I don’t typically do bath and bedtime in my current post but often did with previous families. I’ve always enjoyed developing small routines with the children, whether that be certain songs we’ll sing in the bath or special books we’ll read in bed. I finish at around 7pm and have a handover with my employer then and we discuss anything pressing.
“I always wanted to travel with my work and nannying has allowed me to do just that.”
What has been your career highlight to date?
I think my highlight so far has been living and working in New York. It was a challenge but I absolutely loved it. It wasn’t easy as I didn’t know anyone there and was away from my family, but I had a really lovely work family who supported me and I made the best friends with Norlanders who already lived out there. They really became a second family and I miss them so much. Being in New York gave me the ability to travel with my job – I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico and Switzerland to name just two. It really allowed me to have the most amazing experiences.
What attracted you to working as a nanny rather than another early years role?
I always knew that I wanted to work with children and when I found Norland it was a perfect fit. I like caring for children as well as teaching them and for me teaching isn’t just about letters and numbers, it’s about life skills and everyday tasks. I always wanted to travel with my work and nannying has allowed me to do just that. I think it also provides a good work-life balance. Although the hours are long, I don’t work in my personal time which is something that I’m very grateful for.
What do you love about what you do?
I love that every day is different. I love the small moments like when my charge put on his coat for the first time by himself, as well as the big ones, such as going on day trips to the zoo and making memories on holidays. Nothing can beat the bond you form with the children and the family as a nanny. The relationship you develop is a privilege.
Would you recommend a career as a nanny and why?
I would definitely recommend becoming a nanny. I would say that it’s not always an easy profession, but the opportunities nannying has given me I can’t imagine being able to get in any other role. When I’m with children, I’m never bored and children present their own challenges which keep me on my toes and means that I’m always developing as a professional. I think it’s a really creative profession and not just in the arts and craft sense (though there is a lot of that too!) but also problem solving. Every family is different and they all need different solutions to challenges, and when you do that successfully then it’s such a sense of achievement.
What would you say to someone who is considering a career in the early years or considering studying at Norland?
If you think it’s right for you, then you should 100% do it. Norland has given me my career and friends for life. The support given both during and after training is amazing. The academic side gives you a brilliant foundation of knowledge which you can apply in practice and the practical elements of the course give you so much confidence that I felt fully prepared when I left Norland for my Newly Qualified Nanny year (the fourth year of training). To this day, going to Norland is the best decision that I have ever made.