By Laura James
Childcare!! ‘So easy to sort out, and soooo cheap’ ….. said no parent ever. Whether you need it ad hoc, full time or part time there is a LOT of work to do. The research, admin and execution of any childcare jigsaw has complexities worthy of a degree, the success of which can leave any parent air punching just to get through a week without deviation or disaster.
Each family has their own individual childcare make up. No two are the same, not surprising when you throw in the variables – number of children, age of children, personality of children and the hours needed. Flexible options are the magical unicorns of childcare, complementary to the unpredictable nature of parenting and well, children in general.
There are benefits and challenges to all forms of childcare but we found that nannying is one option that many people don’t even consider, believing it to be too pricey, complicated or difficult an option. So we took a deeper dive into nannying, looking at London start-up Koru Kids in particular and found 5 things you might not have considered about having a nanny…
1. Your kids are at home: Ok, you know this, but it’s often underrated as a benefit of this option. To come home to your children fed, watered and playing in their own environment is invaluable. Being anywhere else after school can be classified by any under 10 year old as a playdate, which comes with a level of excitement and energy that can work against the gallop towards bedtime.
Gemma, who has had a Koru Kids nanny since August 2019 told us: Prior to this our children were with a childminder after school and while they loved it, the logistics were tricky and they never wanted to leave their friends/childminder’s children etc. Then they would be high as kites when we got home, making bedtime tricky. With the Koru Kids nanny we came home every night to happy, calm children who were ready to go straight up for a bath!
2. Minimal admin: One of the scary parts of having little people is the admin. No one warns you about the sheer volume of paperwork involved in having children. Koru Kids takes the drama out of this. Firstly they do the recruiting. Phew. This means vetting potential nannies and making sure they have a DBS, first aid, insurance and contracts in place. So you are only going to meet people who genuinely want to work with children and have all the right things in place to do so. Win win.
3. Matchmaking: The Koru Kids website is a bit like nanny matchmaking. It’s quick and easy and allows you to get an idea of who is in your area and available from the safety of your computer. You enter your details and requirements and let the software do the rest: it will bring up a short bio and key info (can they work with pets, can they drive etc) about possible matches in your area. This process means that all those you’ll contact are a good fit on paper, and then it’s just down to seeing if they click with your family.
4. Flexibility: SO valuable for working parents – most jobs that we do require a degree of flexibility (deadlines going over, late meetings – you know what we’re talking about), but it’s really hard to get that same flexibility in our childcare options – and that equals an extra level of stress that we do not need. A nanny working on her own schedule has so much more flexibility than most nurseries or childminders who have Ofsted and ratios to contend with which can be limiting. And then there are the practical limitations: physical premises or their own homes to shut down or turn into family spaces for the evening. A nanny, on the other hand, can pick up the odd hour which means that the frustratingly frequent issues with late/broken/disappearing transport home are more easily accommodated. As MGF mum Jo said, “It made working so much less stressful!”
Gone are the days of imagining your little one waiting for you on the pavement with their worldly goods and a late charge sticker. This fab flexibility can at times roll over into school holidays which can quite literally save the day while we heroically multitask with work and parenting.
5. Smooth transitions: If life changes and childcare options need to alter guilt can step in when you let your nanny know you no longer need them. Koru Kids takes that away by being there to fill the gap and find the next match. Gemma told us: When we gave notice to our nanny (due to changes in my work) Koru Kids was there to support her to find another family – which she has managed to do within a couple of weeks (before her notice period with us is even up!). Koru Kids keeps these relationships rolling!
Have you tried using a nanny? How has it compared with other forms of childcare? Let us know in the comments!
This post is sponsored by Koru Kids – a London based childcare service which specialises in after school nannies and helping families to find nanny shares.