written in conjunction with Rachel Ogg, KiwiOz Nannies
Kiwi’s and Aussies are popular nannies worldwide for their smiling, positive natures and can do attitudes. Luckily, they love to travel and the UK is always the top destination, so if you’d like a Kiwi or Aussie nanny then you could be lucky!
Nannies- Childcare in Australasia is viewed as a professional vocation and many candidates seeking work in the UK will hold childcare qualifications such as a Certificate or Diploma in Children’s Services (1-2 years of study).
This is usually obtained whilst gaining hands on experience in a childcare centre, so your nanny will come with an excellent knowledge of age relevant activities for the children. Qualifications such as the NZ National Nanny Certificate also exist, specific for those wanting to work in the family home.
Mothers Helps- You may find some candidates don’t have formal qualifications. If a candidate is not qualified but has had at least 1-2 years experience in childcare you may find they still have the necessary skills to work as a nanny.
If they have minimal childcare experience and are not qualified they would be suitable for Mothers Help positions where they work alongside a parent in a supervised environment. KiwiOz Nannies offers a Trainee Nanny Certificate specifically for nannies moving to the UK from overseas, which covers many of ins and outs of working as a nanny and helps prepare the candidate for a move overseas.
Many families find that hard working Australasian mothers helps learn quickly and show many of the skills of a professional nanny.
Most Australasians travel to the UK on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa, which allows them to live and work in the UK for two years. This 2yr Visa is open to 18-30 year olds. Alternatively some will hold an Ancestral Visa (5 years) or British Passport. It is up to you as the employer to ensure your nanny holds a valid working visa. Agencies such as KiwiOz Nannies specialise in helping candidates obtain these visas and will gather the required information on your behalf.
Australasians are well aware of their skills and popularity as nannies and will usually not be happy to work as Au Pairs. Families wanting an Australasian nanny who’s happy to work weekends may find it difficult as they like to make the most of their spare time to travel with friends and socialise.
They will expect to be paid at a comparable rate to their UK counterparts, and as usual you will be required to provide a contract and pay full tax on their behalf. Rachel Ogg, of KiwiOz Nannies, says that most of their live in nannies will start on £300- £350 net per week, and daily nannies on £400- £450.
Most Australasian nannies will be happy to commit to a role for a minium of twelve months, with some placements lasting much longer.
Finding an Australasian Nanny
Agencies- There are a number of agencies who specialise in sourcing and placing Australasian nannies. These agencies often have the best pick of candidates, who prefer the security of working through an agency experienced in helping candidates abroad.
Rachel Ogg, of KiwiOz Nannies, says ‘We started our service in London and quickly realised the benefits of having offices in our home countries as well. Now we service the UK, NZ and Australia and are able to source nannies before they even step on the plane, giving our parents the first chance to secure the best people. It also means we can help our nannies with everything from getting their visa to finding a job, so they can feel more secure with the decisions they are making.’
The internet- If you would prefer to avoid the cost of an agency then it’s very important to ensure you check the candidates work permits, qualifications and references. Some agencies will offer a background checking service for a reduced cost, and will complete this on your behalf.
Whilst there are many benefits to having an Australasian nanny, there are some common pitfalls that all potential employers should be aware of.
Your Australasian nanny may be a new arrival to the UK so don’t expect that they will know their way around, be confident driving in London or have an established nanny network straight away. Nannies who want to move overseas are usually outgoing by nature but you should expect some additional ‘settling in’ time as they are in a completely unfamiliar environment, and the UK can be an intimidating place.
Some nannies suffer from homesickness and may even decide to go home. On occasional a family illness or emergency in their home country will mean a nanny has to leave.
Rachel Ogg, KiwiOz Nannies says ‘We find a reasonable number of nannies feel homesick especially in their first few weeks. As Kiwi’s and Aussies ourselves we always feel confident to encourage nannies to stick it out, and we have a few tips and tools on hand to help them get through it. Most nannies decide to stay and eventually settle and have a great time, but it is a risk parents needs to be aware of when hiring a nanny from overseas. As an agency we offer a 12 week guarantee and will source a replacement nanny for you if this happens.’
Whilst there are many similarities between Australasians and Brits, there are also some differences that nannies can find difficult. As a nanny in Australasia you are often treated as a part of the family, so it can be a shock to some nannies to find their employer has a brisk or very professional attitude toward them.
Some nannies report shock at the lack of respect shown towards household staff in the UK, and Australasian nannies will walk away from a job if they don’t feel they are being treated fairly. Nannies also report surprise at the level of discipline in British households and find some children unruly. This can often create beneficial parent/ nanny discipline partnerships and lead to better behaved, more settled children in the future.
Most agencies will have active support networks that your new nanny can join to establish herself in her new area. As a parent, you can introduce your nanny to other families and nannies in the area, and encourage her to go with you to local events and play dates. The internet is now a useful tool and many nannies will go online to find other local nannies they can meet up with on a social basis, so it’s important that your nanny has internet access.
Speak to anyone who’s had an Australasian nanny and it’s likely they’ll sing their praises. Nannies who’ve worked in the UK will tell you it was the best experience of their life, offering incredible opportunities to work, travel and meet new people.
Families should take particular care when interviewing Australasian nannies to establish their work permit and also their work intentions. Ensure you discuss how long the nanny intends to stay in the UK so you know what to expect from the outset.
Without doubt, the most successful placements for Kiwis and Aussies will be with families who are welcoming, open to discussing their care and discipline strategy and show the nanny respect.
Agencies whom place Aus/NZ Nannies-
The Childcare Company Kent
Top Notch Nannies
Imperial Nannies Bath
Angels Nannies & Maternity
Occasional & Permanent Nannies
The London Nanny Co
One World Nannies
North London Nannies
Sugar & Spice