The Nannyplus Blog

Cut up grapes – they can be deadly

November 1st, 2017

GrapesPamela Prentice, Campaigns Manager at the Child Accident Prevention Trust wrote the following:

Doctors have issued a stark warning that young children can choke to death on whole grapes, describing three cases of children who needed emergency treatment:

A five-year-old boy choked while eating grapes at an after-school club. Despite first aid, the grape could not be dislodged and the child had a heart attack and died.

A 17-month-old boy choked while eating grapes with his family at home. Paramedics were called and the grape was eventually removed but the little boy still died.

A two-year-old choked while snacking on grapes in the park. He suffered two seizures and spent five days in intensive care before thankfully making a full recovery. The doctors warn that food is responsible for over half of all fatal choking accidents, with grapes the third most common cause of death in food-related incidents.

Why are grapes so dangerous?

The size and shape of grapes means they can completely plug a child’s airway, and the tight seal produced by the grapes smooth surface makes them difficult to dislodge with standard first aid techniques. Young children are particularly vulnerable to choking on grapes because they don’t  have a full set of teeth and are still learning to chew properly. Their swallow reflex is still developing. Their airway is very small.

It’s why we advise that grapes should be chopped in half lengthways and ideally in quarters.

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August 8th, 2017

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July 12th, 2017


5 Fun EASY PEASY and inexpensive ideas for children’s activities:

  • Making cards
    Make cards for forthcoming birthdays/Christmas and any other special occasions. Children can create their own unique designs or do finger/hand printing (perfect for party invitations).
  • Lining paper drawing
    Lay some lining paper out and ask your child to lay down, draw around them and then ask them to paint themselves; they can also do hand prints with paintbrushes, sponges and other arty materials – brilliant fun.
  • Posters
    On rainy days sit them down with old magazines and get them to cut out pictures and make a creative poster. Mis-matching heads with different bodies will add a humorous touch and they could decorate their finished article with glitter and sticky stars.
  • Papier mache animals
    Mix some water and paper with glue for extra gloop and create little animal sculptures, towers or miniature cars. Once dried your child can put it on their shelf or make something special for a friend or family member.
  • Make butterflies/hanging mobiles
    Set card, tissue paper, glitter and stickers out on a table and help your child create their own butterfly, bird or animal. You can use strong card or wire for the frame and hang it in their room once it’s finished.

Don’t forget to tidy up.


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Pension compliance – Easy guide to Employer RESPONSIBILITIES

March 30th, 2017


The law on workplace pensions has changed. Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called ‘automatic enrolment’. The responsibility for complying will rest with you, the employer. Those who do not comply will face enforcement action and penalties.

If you are the sole director and you have no other staff working for you, the company does not have automatic enrolment duties. If you believe you don’t have any automatic enrolment duties you will need to tell the Pensions Regulator that you’re not an employer. Failure to notify the Pensions Regulator will result in penalties.

All employers should receive a letter from the Pensions Regulator 12 months ahead of their staging date. This letter will be addressed to the employer, owner or most senior person in the organisation.

Do I need to set up a pension scheme if none of my staff need to be put into one?

If any of your staff are not aged between 22 up to state pension age and earn less than £192 a week or £833 a month, then you only need to put them into a pension scheme if they ask to join. If this happens, you’ll need to set one up at this point. If your member of staff earns more than £112 a week (or £486 a month) you must pay money into the scheme as well. If they earn less than this, you can choose whether you wish to pay money in or not.

If you have staff aged between 22 and state pension age, you’ll need to check each time you pay them after your staging date whether their earnings are over £192 a week (£833 a month). If their earnings are over this amount, you’ll need to provide a pension scheme for them. This includes anyone who starts working for you after your staging date as well.

Every employer with at least one member of staff will need to complete a declaration of compliance. If you only have one member of staff who needs to be put into a scheme, they’ll still need to be put into the scheme before they can ask to leave it.

Even if you don’t have staff who must be put into a pension scheme you still have other duties which include writing to all staff individually and completing your declaration of compliance.

What is a declaration of compliance?

This is an online form for you to tell the Pension Regulator how you have met your legal duties. Even if someone else has helped you with your duties and may even be completing the declaration for you, it is your legal duty to make sure that the declaration is completed on time and the information entered is correct. If not you may be subject to fines.



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Tax Free Childare – new government scheme

January 10th, 2017

Tax-Free Childcare is a new government scheme that will be available to eligible parents to help with their childcare costs. Parents will open one Tax-free Childcare online account for each of their children and put money into these accounts.

How much?

The government will top up the account with a 20% contribution and then you will pay your nanny straight from these accounts into the nanny’s bank account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will pay in £2. The maximum government contribution per child, per year is £2,000, or £4,000 per year for disabled children.

Who is eligible? 

Both parents must be employed, or the single parent in single-parent families and each earn at least £115 a week and no more than £100,000 each per year. The children must be under 12, or under 17 for disabled children. Nannies must be registered with Ofsted and must be signed up to Tax-Free Childcare. If you wish to check whether you are eligible, please click here

When will this happen?

The scheme will be rolled out to parents gradually over 2017, starting with the parents of the youngest children. So parents with babies will be first, even if they have older children as well, they will be able to claim for all of their children at once.


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