The Nannyplus Blog

How to help your nanny and children bond

March 29th, 2016

Employing a nanny can be a life-changing move for a parent, saving you time and stress by sharing your childcare duties with someone who becomes a trusted extension of your family. However, to get the best out of your nanny, it’s crucial to get the children on board with your new recruit.

Not all children welcome new faces gladly, so nurturing a bond between your child and nanny is a stage that shouldn’t be overlooked. To make the transition a smooth one, we have a few expert tips on how to help your nanny and child bond.

Choose a nanny wisely

In order to gain the trust of your children, it’s important to prevent a high turnover of childcare. This makes choosing the right nanny absolutely essential as a parent; this person will be in your home, caring for your children, when you’re away.

The little ones will instantly pick up any jealousy, distrust or lack of respect. So as well as finding a nanny experienced in dealing with children of the same age, it’s important to select someone who shares your values and approach. As we explored in our previous blog, a nanny agency will help you do just that, to ensure you get off to a flying start with your new recruit.

A warm welcome

Don’t throw your nanny in at the deep end. Make the children’s first encounter with your nanny a positive one, by planning an activity where you can all spend time together. Whether that’s a celebratory meal, or a day out on neutral territory such as the park, cinema or beach, take the time and make the effort to welcome your new nanny as a family.

Stay on side

In the early days, it’s inevitable that there will be some things your nanny misses, or does differently to you. But refrain from addressing these in front of the children, or you could risk undermining their authority. When the little ones are around, stay on the side of your nanny, and have a private word when the time is appropriate instead.

Share the good times

Time is precious as a parent, so it’s tempting to reserve your favourite moments with the children, such as bathtime, trips to the park and stories before bed for you. However, bear in mind that if your nanny is left with all the less desirable chores, they could become ‘bad cop’. Your children are going to be spending a lot of time with their nanny, so make sure their duties involve activities that will help them bond.

Make your nanny a valued member of the team, by following these essential tips when taking them on and throughout your relationship. By encouraging the children to bond with their nanny, you’ll experience the countless benefits of long-term childcare.

Want to find a nanny that the whole family will love? Nannyplus Childcare Limited can help. Call 01925 768188/ 07766290802 or email support@nannyplus.co.uk to start your search today.


Tax-free childcare scheme to replace vouchers from 2017

March 22nd, 2016

The government has begun providing details of the new tax-free childcare scheme, to be introduced in 2017, which supersedes the current employer-supported childcare scheme and which will be available to an estimated two million families, including those where a parent is self-employed.

The Treasury, along with HMRC and the Department for Education, has published a new guide, ‘Tax-Free Childcare: 10 things parents should know’.

This states that the scheme will be launched from early 2017 and will be rolled out gradually to families, with parents of the youngest children able to apply first.

It is available for children up to the age of 12, and will also be available for children with disabilities up to the age of 17, as their childcare costs can stay high throughout their teenage years.

All eligible parents will be able to join the scheme by the end of 2017. They will be able to open an online account, which they can pay into to cover the cost of childcare with a registered provider.

This will be done through the government website, gov.uk.

For every 80p paid in, the government will top up the account with 20% of childcare costs up to a total of £10,000 – the equivalent of up to £2,000 support per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).

To qualify, parents will have to be in work, and each earning around £115 a week and not more than £100,000 each per year.

Unlike the current scheme employer-supported childcare, the new scheme does not rely on employers making the option available, which the government says means double the number of families will be able to benefit.

In addition, self-employed parents will be able to get support with childcare costs, unlike the current scheme. To support newly self-employed parents, there will be a ‘start-up’ period during which self-employed parents will not have to earn the minimum income level.

The scheme will also be available to parents on paid sick leave and paid and unpaid statutory maternity, paternity and adoption leave.

Parents and others, including family members and employers, can pay money into the childcare account as and when they like, building up a balance for periods where more childcare is needed such as over the summer holidays.

The guidance says there will be a light-touch process for parents using the scheme who will need re-confirm their circumstances every three months via the online system, and there will be a simple log-in service where parents can view accounts for all of their children at once.

If family circumstances change, or parents no longer want to pay into the account, then they will be able to withdraw the money they have built up. If they do so, the government will withdraw its corresponding contribution.

Alongside the new scheme, the current employer-supported childcare scheme will continue and there is no obligation for parents to switch to tax-free childcare. The current scheme will remain open to new entrants until April 2018, and parents already registered by this date will be able to continue using it for as long as their employer offers it.


5 Reasons to Use a Nanny Agency for your Next Hire

March 15th, 2016

Your nanny should offer invaluable support, which makes hiring a suitable candidate an important process that cannot be rushed. Recruiting a nanny isn’t rocket science, but nor is it a walk in the park with so many things to consider.

If you’re on the lookout for childcare support, you may be wondering whether to bring in the services of a nanny agency. To help you make up your mind, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of using an accredited Nanny Agency for your next hire.

1. Nannies you can trust

You wouldn’t leave your child with a stranger, so don’t invite one into your home, particularly one you have found randomly off the web! When recruiting a nanny, you want to be absolutely sure that he or she can be trusted completely, so that you can go to work secure in the knowledge that your children are safe.

By using a reputable, accredited agency, you can have peace of mind that every candidate has been interviewed and thoroughly vetted, with an up-to-date DBS check and verified, reliable references.

2. A positive impact

Your children will be spending a lot of time with their nanny, so make sure those hours together are memorable for the right reasons.

What dishes would they cook for the children; can they cook fresh food rather than only fish fingers? What activities would typically be planned for the day? Does your nanny know about children’s development, the milestones they should reach, and how to assist this? Is their grammar correct?

During the recruitment process, a credible agency will ask all of these questions and more, to gauge the experience, qualifications and enthusiasm of the candidate as well as their background and qualifications.

3. Putting safety first

In the event of an accident, you want to feel confident that your nanny will take control of the situation. This makes first aid experience a crucial consideration, and something that all too often gets overlooked. On the other hand, a reputable Nanny Agency such as ours will gauge the candidate’s level of first aid knowledge, and offer training where this is lacking.

4. Save time and stress

With all of these points to bear in mind, recruiting a nanny can be incredibly stressful when going it alone. By the time you’ve cross-referenced their application, completed interviews and made a decision, your child may no longer need a nanny! Using an agency allows you to make the best use of your time, so you can secure the right childcare as quickly as possible.

5. The perfect fit

Every family has its own routine and nuances that make it special. So whilst a nanny may seem like the perfect hire on paper, they may not slot in with your family unit.

Nannyplus Childcare Ltd looks not just at the skills and qualifications, but at the cultural fit of the candidate too. By taking the time to get to know your family and nanny, we ensure your appointment is a lasting one.

Tempting though it may be to reduce costs and take charge of the recruitment process, it’s vital not to cut corners when enlisting support for your children. If you would like the stability of a long-term nanny, with none of the hassle that comes with it, using an accredited, reputable Agency is a tried-and-tested solution.

Searching for a new nanny? Discover why Nannyplus Childcare Ltd is the trusted choice for parents in the North West. Visit our website, email support@nannyplus.co.uk or call us on 01925 768188 today.


DBS or Not to DBS ?

March 9th, 2016

DBS OR NOT TO DBS CHECK ?

Di Williams, Nannyplus Childcare Ltd believes it is vital that Families who employ anyone to look after their children, home, should protect the safety of those people by knowing that their employee holds a current enhanced DBS check.

When a Family uses Nannyplus Childcare Ltd to source their nannies, housekeepers and child carers an enhanced DBS check is an essential part of the applicants tool kit.
At this end Nannyplus ensure all candidates access the Enhanced DBS Check service, and offer the service to others wishing to gain a check for their housekeeper, tradesmen, people who run youth clubs…etc

We are frequently asked the following questions:

But if you get a police check isn’t it the same thing?
In a word, no!
(Actually, the term “police check” is now obsolete in the UK, and has been replaced with “Disclosure”.)

So what does a disclosure show then?
The Disclosure service provides access to a range of different types of information, such as that:

  •  held on the Police National Computer (PNC) – convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings in England, Wales and those recorded from Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • held by local police forces relating to non-conviction information
  • from the Government’s protection of Children Act List (POCA)
  • from the Government’s Protection of Vulnerable Adults List (POVA)
  • held by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002. (Formerly known as List 99)

So can’t you send off for an enhanced disclosure for your potential future employee?
Again, in a word, no!
As a private individual, you can have access to a certain level of information, but under the Rehabilitation of offenders Act 1974, you cannot be given any information about any person’s spent and unspent convictions, as the Act says that:

  • An individual has the right not to disclose these details.
  • You do not have the right to ask the “exempted questions” regarding spent and unspent convictions.
  • Neither can the applicant legally apply for themselves. (Section 56 of the Data Protection Act 1998)

However, those who work with children and with vulnerable adults are amongst those considered exempt from this Act, and the information concerning spent and unspent convictions would be shown on an enhanced disclosure.

When a Family chooses to find their own Nanny, or even a shortlist of Nannies, they are left in the position of being unable to apply for an enhanced DBS check for their applicants.
Additionally, they have no idea of how to verify references, or the sort of probing questions that should be asked.

Nannyplus believes very strongly that a Child’s safety comes before anything, and that any person employed to look after children should hold an enhanced DBS, and have their references checked, no matter how that person is sourced.

Therefore when a Client approaches Nannyplus for our professional opinion on whether they should employ that Nanny, and whether they are a suitable fit for their Family, we are happy to discuss the DBS service and reference checking service that my Nannyplus offers.

Please note:

  1. It is important to realize that the applicant must still give permission to have the results of the enhanced disclosure passed on.
  2. Additionally, as soon as the DBS comes through, the potential employee should then register for the Status update service available for the DBS. This needs to be done within 19 days of the issue date of the DBS. For without this status update, the DBS is only a snap shot in time and you the employer have no way of knowing if something untoward has taken place since time of issue.
    Providing your employer renews the status update annually (at a fee of£13) there will be no again to undertake a complete new DBS application.
  3. N.B. If the potential employee is Ofsted Registered, an enhanced DBS together with Status Update is covered within their Ofsted Registration
  4. OVERSEAS CHECKS : can be supplied on most countries. Prices vary according to the country.
    Fees:
    For Clients with an Applicant placed by Nannyplus £20 plus (+ £56 cost of enhanced DBS check.)
    Stand-alone Service: £35 Agency Fee (+ £56 cost of enhanced DBS check.)

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