Pocketnannies, the brainchild of Sophie Siobhan and Sarah (above), is an online platform to give fellow nannies (and mannies) inspirational and creative ideas to help ‘create an engaging and happy environment for children in our care’.
They offer everything from book recommendations, to recipes and activity ideas. We thought it would be nice to get them in to tell us and you more about the amazing work they are doing:
First of all, I would like to say that Pocketnannies is a brilliant idea. Could you briefly explain for our readers what Pocketnannies is all about?
Thank you! We set up Pocketnannies as an accessible online platform for all caregivers to give new and inspiring ideas for recipes and activities; days out in London; our top tips we’ve found along the way through our jobs; book suggestions, as well as guest and expert posts discussing relevant topics and products.
The Pocketnannies website has many useful pages from fun activities to children’s book reviews. How did the website begin? What was the inspiration behind it?
We were inspired to set up Pocketnannies because we are all lucky enough to love what we do, are very passionate about it and make sure we put lots of effort into our days’ work to ensure our charges have lots of fun and reap the benefits of having us as nannies. Times that by each of us, there’s 3 of us, and you get a lot of ideas, advice and products to share! So that’s what we decided to do, share it! Since launching in October 2015, we’ve grown by getting other people to write posts for us on their expertise, speciality, products and other companies.
All three of you still work as nannies. When did you decide that you wanted to go into nannying?
Siobhan- I always wanted to work with children but I decided I wanted to be a nanny when I realised that working in a setting wasn’t for me after doing work experience at school.
Sarah – Much like Siobhan I always wanted to work with children, I’d done my work experience at a primary school, Child Care for GCSE, and lots of babysitting. Although I wasn’t sure what type of job It was that I wanted to do, until I took a part time nanny job during sixth form. I then found out about norland college and knew it was the perfect route for me to become a professional (and qualified) nanny.
Sophie- Again like the others I always knew I wanted to work with children but didn’t know what route to go down. I had never heard of Norland or even thought about nannying until I was on a beach in Wales running around after my younger cousins and my granny turned to me and said ‘you should be a Norland nanny’. I googled it, applied and never looked back- that was 11 years ago!
You all trained at the famous Norland College for nannies. Can you tell me a little about your time at Norland?
Norland was great fun, we can’t believe we started almost 9years ago! It gave us a great base of knowledge to take forward into our careers from cooking to psychology but just like having a baby, nothing can totally prepare you until you are in the thick of it gaining your very own experience of being a nanny.
Do you have any advice for those who are looking to move into a career in nannying?
Do it! It’s such a rewarding job being a vital cog in a family’s dynamics and having your charges becoming very special friends is such a lovely feeling. Of course, working that close in a family can prompt some hiccups along the way but how you are able to deal with them positively only makes your bond stronger. It’s great being part of another family, participating in day to day life, accompanying them on their holidays (we’ve been on some amazing trips) and watching your charges grow are simply priceless.
As an agency, Manny & Me specialise in male nannies or ‘mannies’ as we like to call them. During your time at Norland were there any men enrolled? Have a you noticed a rise of men in this role?
There weren’t any men at Norland when we were there but there have been a small number since. So in that respect yes there has been a rise but also more articles on the rise and benefits of male nannies have been published recently.
Finally, if you were to give your top three tips for being a successful nanny/manny, what would they be?
1. Communicate! Everything and anything, just let the parents know. We suggest to have one method of communication that everything is written down in. So even after you’ve done a verbal handover and possible exchanged messages throughout the day everyone knows to just check this one place for other info. The families we work for lead very busy lives and things get missed so easily, on both parts, so just ensure everything is communicated to the parents in some way enables for everyone to work together easily.
2. Have fun! We have the opportunity to support these children to thrive in our care, so take it! Make every opportunity a learning one but in a fun way. There are so many resources out there to give you ideas…Pocketnannies for instance, to fill your working week with things to do with children.
3. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help from professional peers if you come across an issue you haven’t experienced before. A dilemma at work can often be easily rectified when confidentially discussed with a close friend. Often nanny hours are quite long and when you are putting all your effort into it sometimes its hard to see whats in front of you. From children’s eating habits and potty training to discussing topics with parents in the correct way.