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As parents or educators our mission is to help little people grow up. Part of this means trying our best to help children learn and develop properly.  Of course, the development of social, emotional and cognitive skills is an essential aspect of human life. Well-developed social and emotional skills are equivalent to good mental health in early years; a symbol of the ability to form and maintain positive relationships and to experience, manage and express emotions.  So, which social and emotional skills should we nurture in our little ones?   1. Listening to others   Encouraging listening is essential for problem solving and maintaining friendships and relationships. This can also include looking others in the eyes and thinking before speaking.   2. Meeting new people   When meeting new people, it can be beneficial for children to learn how to introduce themselves, including focusing on:  Deciding whether or not a self-introduction is warranted and if they want to introduce themselves Choosing the appropriate time to introduce themselves Saying his or her name and waiting for the other to do the same (or asking for the other person’s name) Telling someone they have just met something that may help them relate to one another (similar interests) or asking appropriate questions   3. Starting and ending a conversation Young children often tend to leave conversations, games and other social interactions unfinished.  It can therefore be beneficial for children to learn the right time to start a conversation and how to do it properly. You could focus on:  how and when to start talking and how to attract others’ interest while in a group speaking in a friendly manner, asking questions and listening to responses sensing whether a conversation should end and when the right time is ending the conversation in a friendly manner   4. Following instructions Young children often have short attention spans, but for proper social and emotional development, following instructions is very important. Encourage your child to focus on:  listening to what it is told to him/her from the very beginning asking questions to clarify any queries repeating instructions to check them if necessary recognising the order of the instructions   5. Sharing Young children are also impulsive and feel the need for instant gratification. For this reason they may experience difficulties in sharing. Sharing is a learning process. Try to help your child:  to acknowledge that sharing is important to maintain a friendship to decide if they have anything to share with the others to decide a suitable moment to share and the person they want to share with understand that they should not always expect something in return   6. Understanding body language   Body language  is another key element of social interaction and transmits a lot of information. You may wish to work with your child on:  facing the person they are addressing and trying to identify the feelings he/she expresses noticing posture and body position and the feelings they are associated with   7. Working with others   The childhood equivalent of teamwork is often playing games with set rules: a starting point in social interaction. Ideally, children:  understand the rules of the game and know them before starting to play ask questions if they have doubts decide who they want to play with and who can play with them, who will begin etc. wait their turn end the game on good terms   8. Offering help Helping others is one of the best ways to make friends. Encourage your charge to:  decide if somebody needs help and if that person wants to be helped estimate what sort of help they can give and choose a suitable moment to offer it respect the other person’s decision if they don't want help   9. Using good manners   The use of manners can be a telling sign of a child’s level of social and emotional development. Help your child to:  decide if somebody did something for them and whether thanking is appropriate choose the right and the best way to thank someone and a reason if required be aware when somebody pays them a compliment, accept it and thank them evaluate others’ behavior, choose a proper way and a suitable moment to pay a compliment without waiting for something in return   10. Use of empathy This means understanding what others feel in order to be good friends. Try to help your charge to:  listen to and observe what others say and do be aware of what other people may feel understand that every behaviour has an explanation and that actions have consequences be aware of others’ feelings when they do or say something  For children to understand who they are, what emotions they are experiencing and what others expect from them can be a long process. These concepts are a base for social and emotional wellbeing and they help children develop trust in themselves, feel empathy, the ability to form meaningful and long lasting relationships with their peers, but also to value themselves and those around them.  Children learn these strategies either at home, at nursery/school or during educational activities that take place outside school through games, stories or social interactions. In Words Make Sense activities, they can learn about emotions and social skills through reading stories, poems, songs, picture reading, talks or games. These activities, based on studies in psychology and learning, are designed for young children aged 18 months - 4 years and help them socialise with others and discover their own potential so they can develop a positive self-image.   Lavinia Stupariu, Psychologist,  Creator of Words Make Sense activities www.wordsmakesense.co.uk 
In today’s interconnected world, one of the main causes for concern for many parents, nannies , governess and childcare workers is keeping their kids or charges safe when online . It is an indisputable fact that tablets, smartphones and social media are now totally integrated into the lives of parents and more and more children. It is also undeniable that we are only beginning to understand the positive and negative impacts of this new technology for children and adults alike. If fact the World Health Organisation reports that: 'Infants younger than 1 should never be in front of screens'. And kids ages 2 to 4, the international health agency said,  'should have no more than an hour each day of sedentary screen time'. In addition, recent research into cyberbullying points to a massive increase over the last decade. Instances have doubled from 2007 with: '87% of young people having experienced cyberbullying occurring online'. So let's look at some of the tools available to parents and nannies to help them ensure that the children in their care are protected, beginning with search engines.   How often do we now hear the phrase, “Just Google it”? The search engine giant has become a huge part of everyday life, with many simply searching the website name on Google rather than typing the full URL into the address bar! But how can you make sure that results that come up are child-friendly? Well - Google has its own privacy setting in SafeSearch which works well. This can be set up for each user individually. However, a much simpler child-friendly option would be to use Kiddle . The Kiddle child-friendly search algorithm is divided into 3 sections: Safe sites and pages are written specifically for kids. These are handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically, results 1-3. Safe, trusted sites that are not written specifically for kids, but have content written in a simple way and is easy for kids to understand. These are also handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically, results 4-7. Safe, famous sites that are written for adults and providing expert content, but are harder for kids to understand. These are filtered by Google safe search. Typically, results 8 onwards. The results that Kiddle returns are also posted with thumbnails to help make it easier for kids to pick the results they want to see. Overall we feel that Kiddle is an excellent, kid-friendly search engine that is well designed and safe for kids researching as part of their homework or projects online. For more of an ‘all-in-one’ solution you may wish to consider Kaspersky Online . Available for PC, Mac and most smartphones. Kaspersky provides an all-encompassing solution to help monitor your kids’ internet activity. It uses similar filters to those Kiddle integrates, whilst additionally giving you the option to monitor total screen time and app usage. The paid versions also give you information on the device’s GPS location data and social media use. We particularly like the simple and straightforward interface that Kaspersky offers the user and that fact that GPS tracking lets you know where your kids are at all times- providing excellent peace of mind. The app also alerts you when the battery on your child’s device is running low; so you can give them a quick call or message to reminding them to charge their device. This is something we know a few adults could find useful too! As general rules, if you are working as a nanny , governess or tutor it is probably also a sensible idea to write down some daily ‘best practices’ you can discuss with your charges and then implement to make keeping them safe online easier. It may also be advisable to involve the parents in this discussion, so everyone is in agreement about the internet usage plan moving forward. You can find some examples of some sensible rules for technology below: Have computers placed in a common area of the house Check your children’s browsing history regularly and make sure you know their passwords Advocate time spent together, helping with homework or simply researching topics for discussion together Set out the ground rules (such as ‘no talking to strangers online’, ‘no sharing personal information or addresses) etc. No downloading or uploading of data, photos, music etc. without permission Finally, and most importantly, speak to your children and begin an ongoing conversation about what they need to be careful about online, and any particular ‘dos and donts’.   As technology moves forward and globalisation increases human connection, of course, it remains essential to safeguard and protect those in our care; both in home-life or work-life for those working in childcare. So please let us know your thoughts! How do you make sure your charges are safe online? What works well for you? Do you use any software or applications that you can recommend? Do you speak to your charges about their online computer and social network use? Let us know in the comments below!
Are you trying to decide between a Nanny or an Aupair ? Or do you think they are the same thing? The terms nanny and au pair are often used interchangeably however there are several differences between the two and it's worth taking a moment to differentiate.   The Au Pair   An au pair is usually between the ages of 18 and 24 and will typically come from overseas in the form of a cultural exchange. They live with a family for a temporary period with the aim of learning a new language and immersing themselves in a foreign culture.    With an average age of 20, au pairs are unlikely to have had any formal training in childcare and usually have only minor experience – perhaps in babysitting or minding younger relatives. Indeed, they are unlikely to be pursuing a permanent career in childcare. As such, you should allow an au pair a little time to get up to speed with their duties.   Au pairs will settle into the host family as a temporary family member and will be paid pocket money to allow them to explore their host country. The time they are performing their duties will be shorter and more flexible to allow them to attend college. Those duties will be centred on looking after children and light domestic duties such as hoovering, tidying up and cooking meals. An Au Pair should not be expected to work more than 20-24 hours in a week and should never be left with sole care of under 2s. They can be expected to play with the children, babysit and possibly supervise homework – but Au Pairs are not trained in education, so it wouldn’t be typical for them to engage the children in learning or structured activities.    The Nanny   Credentialed and experienced, a Nanny offers a much broader service in childcare. They will know how to communicate with schools, day care centres, doctors, etc. Most nannies are confident cooking healthy meals for the children, will not only supervise homework but support it with their own knowledge and teaching techniques and will frequently engage the children in creative , educational activities . They are more independent, need far less supervision and can live at or away from the premises.    A professional nanny is committed to their chosen vocation, whilst they will enjoy their own lives outside of their working hours, they are not in the country for a cultural exchange or learning experience. Having plenty of experience, and in some cases even formal training , a Nanny is more likely to be able to cope with those little emergencies that crop up from time to time. You will enjoy more peace of mind leaving an older, wiser head in charge of your children.   Of course, higher professionalism comes at a price. Nannies wages start at £400 net per week for live-in, UK based roles . This increases substantially for international roles, where the average British Nanny will enjoy a salary of at least £800npw, rising up to £1500npw. They will be subject to employment law, including taxes and statutory contributions in the country of employment.  As an employer, you may be subject to paying pension contributions too, as well as supplying a payslip. Nannies will be entitled to holiday pay and will work a statutory number of working hours per week.   Conclusion   The differences between a nanny and an au pair are largely cultural. An au pair is typically a young language student from overseas. The employment is more casual, the au pair embedding into the host family on a temporary basis. It can be a working contract mutually beneficial to both parties, not least because of the ease of availability and low cost. With a nanny you get the reassurance of training, experience and professionalism; but expect to pay a little more.   Jennifer Heald is Managing Director of Diamond Private Staff, an elite staffing agency placing domestic staff all over the world.  www.diamondprivatestaff.com
This isn’t a blog post for all. Rather, I want to speak directly to good, passionate teachers around the world who are feeling, for whatever reason, a bit disillusioned with the job and classroom life and are considering leaving the profession, perhaps very soon or maybe at some point in the next few years. I’m especially keen to address newly- or recently-qualified teachers, though what I have to say may equally interest experienced teachers with many years of service under their belts. Whether it’s the volume of marking, the excessive number of pupils in your class, the sheer diversity of their learning needs, the unrealistic expectations of senior management or the absence of a satisfying work/life balance that is driving you to consider a way out, I want to share my “exit” story with you and, whilst it’s written from the perspective of a U.K. national’s experience of teaching in the U.K. state system, I hope that it will resonate in some way with teachers everywhere and perhaps offer a way out for you should you be seeking one. I will not just speak about what I ‘escaped’ to. I want to reflect on the process of leaving also, because it doesn’t just happen. There is, of course, no right way to leave a place of work, particularly in a vocational setting such as a school where deep bonds and attachments form, but it is both interesting and helpful to consider how the departure can be negotiated and managed.  Let’s go back a few years. In the middle of 2013, I came to the understanding that I needed to leave primary school teaching in the U.K. after twelve years in the classroom. I was a class teacher with several curriculum responsibilities and so paid on the Upper Pay Scale (U.P.S.), though I always refused to pursue middle- and senior-management roles and towards the end didn't even bother to apply for progression on the U.P.S., such was the package of artificial ‘evidence’ I had to compile to even be considered worthy of that extra £80 a month.  I enjoyed teaching and learning – I always had been captivated by the dynamics that drive the two – but the workload was crazy (so much pointless, ineffective marking!) and the various and competing demands from the numerous audiences I was expected to satisfy (children, parents, senior management, governors, the Local Authority, Ofsted , etc.) was proving too much. For many months, I noted, as did my family and friends, that the job was making me feel stressed and deeply unhappy. I thought that I would have to leave teaching altogether – a truly clean break. I couldn't at the time even conceive that there could be opportunities out there for me to continue to teach and enjoy all of the unquestionable positives of the job and also largely rid myself of the negatives that had driven me to such despair.   “How can I escape?” I asked myself, many times, without reply. I mean, what else can teachers do, apart from teaching, in order to make a living? Where does a teacher go, career-wise, when there’s even just a modest lifestyle to maintain and bills to pay? There are, in reality, perhaps many possibilities, but I’d argue that few are obvious or easy and certainly none presented themselves immediately to me. I understood that any career change - I quite fancied subtitling and captioning for television, as it happens – would likely involve the need to retrain and a period of not earning (“No. Can’t do it. I’ve no savings and I’ve got a mortgage to pay, not to mention loans and credit card debts.”). I also recognised that leaving the profession could well mean a lower salary (“Where else am I gonna earn £36k a year?”). Moreover, any new career would almost certainly offer substantially fewer holidays (“I can’t be without those lovely long breaks every six to eight weeks!”). For many, there’s just enough in a teacher’s pay and conditions to keep her/him in the classroom, no matter the desire or desperation to walk away, and that was the case for me too for too long. In my favour, I was single, without children, so I had no relationship or family of my own to consider in any decision-making and this gave me some mobility but all I knew was teaching and learning. The aforementioned obstacles haunted me for many months and compelled me to stick with my miserable life as a teacher. I see now, however, that these were only perceived obstacles. During the Christmas period of 2013, I met an old school friend of mine who was having a great time teaching privately in Moscow . He was working for a wealthy family for just a few hours a day (late afternoon to early evening – after the children had returned home from school), five days a week. His salary was much higher than that of a class teacher in the UK. The family rented an apartment for him to live in. There was also some exciting international travel involved. His social life in Moscow was fantastic. Crucially, from my point-of-view, it was “easy”, “no stress” teaching - something I could and wanted to do. My friend was enormously encouraging when I expressed an interest. These jobs were out there: “Governor” (I’d never heard of one of those before!) or “Private Tutor” needed. He highlighted the fact that I was a qualified teacher with substantial teaching experience as a great advantage because many people who did (and still do) these jobs don’t have these highly-valued qualifications and the time served on their C.V.. “You’ll get a job,” he said. “Easily, mate.” I subsequently took some time to weigh up the pros, cons and feasibility of going for it. I reviewed the obstacles and ties that I had thought could make such a move complicated but, with such great possibilities on the other side, I eventually concluded that there was probably nothing to stop me: I could easily rent my house (and even make some money in so doing); I could borrow a little money from my family as a kind of bridging loan to ensure all of my bills would be paid back home whilst I set myself up in another country; I could use my school holidays as a time to make myself available for interviews with potential new employers; I could always return to teaching in the U.K. if things didn’t work out abroad (there are always vacancies!). Crucially, these conclusions came about because I spoke openly about the hurdles to family, friends and even my employer. I’m a great believer that the more you speak about your problems, the more likely it is that solutions will present themselves or be presented to you. One particular problem was the requirement in the U.K. to give a full term’s notice ahead of leaving a post. It’s often the case that families that employ governors/governesses and private tutors advertise their posts through agencies just a month or so before the desired start date which makes serving a full term’s notice in a U.K. school very difficult. I decided that I would simply be as honest, earnest and fair with my school as possible in pursuing any new opportunities, and hope that my twelve years of loyalty and hard work would give me some credit in the bank. I found it helpful to initially share my interest in this potential new venture by simply discussing what my friend had told me about his life in Moscow (“I met with a friend of mine over Christmas and he mentioned… It was really interesting.”) in an informal lunchtime chat. I asked members of the senior management team for their thoughts in other conversations in the staffroom – again very informal. Subsequent conversations made it clear I was seriously thinking about it, emphasising the many rewards whilst also acknowledging (giving advanced notice of) the potential complications. These conversations also emphasised the differences between these new opportunities and classroom teaching anywhere in the U.K.. I was not comparing my existing state school employer to the potential new private one and highlighting the former’s deficiencies. This was completely different. I was comparing apples to oranges, to minimise any offence. As a result, when the time came for me to say, “Here’s a specific post, and I want to go for it”, there was empathy, understanding and support even. Above all, there was no shock.  As the ‘laying-the-groundwork’ staffroom conversations continued, I registered with the agency  that found my friend his post in Moscow and, sure enough, roles came up and it put me forward for them. Indeed, I secured the first post that I applied for – a private teaching job in India. I was able to negotiate two days’ unpaid leave in order to fly over to Mumbai for interview just a few weeks into a new academic year. On being offered the post, the employing family made it clear they wanted me to start immediately. Fortunately, my headteacher was supportive, recognised the uniqueness of the opportunity (this truth had already been established in those earlier conversations) and allowed me to leave without requiring me to work any notice period. The terms and conditions in Mumbai were as good, if not better, than those my friend was enjoying in Moscow: working with one family (a boy, 11) for just a few hours a day, five days per week; my own apartment provided; all travel expenses covered; a massive salary increase compared to my U.K. teaching job; during the boy’s school holidays, I could travel with the family or I could do as I wished. I had found my way out of classroom life and went on to enjoy four fantastic years in India, enjoying all that is good about being a teacher and shedding pretty much all of the negatives. It was the happiest and highest of times from which I took great memories and made wonderful friends. About a year ago, I moved to Moscow, to fill a new private teaching post. I’m working a few more hours per week than I was in Mumbai – around 6-7 hours per day, five days per week – but a salary increase reflects the fact. The rest of the terms and conditions are broadly the same and I’m living in another vibrant, exciting city and tasting a whole other culture again. The stresses and strains of the last few years of my time in the U.K. are a thing of the past. I’m infinitely happier. My main motivation for writing this blog entry and sharing my experience is that I sometimes rue the fact that I didn’t pursue this alternative teaching career much sooner in my life. After just a couple of years of teaching experience in the U.K., I could have moved to another country and enjoyed a private teaching job in a largely stress-free environment. I could have saved substantial sums of money to perhaps later invest in a house in the U.K. or wherever I may have wanted to make my home further down the line, without the need for a mortgage at all. I could have seen even more of the world and made many more friends from all over the world. The classroom jobs would still be available to me if I felt the need or desire to return to the world of education in the U.K. and I’d be a better teacher because of my time served in other countries and cultures. It’s that tinge of personal regret that compels me to appeal to you, the reader, especially if you are a newly- or recently-qualified teacher now, and currently feeling the same levels of unhappiness in your work as I was five years ago. I would definitely recommend exploring the very real option of becoming a governess / governor or private tutor abroad or even in the U.K. ; the opportunities are out there. I’m reluctant to say that you have nothing to lose because, of course, I don’t know your personal circumstances, but I would hazard a guess that few if any of those personal circumstances are big enough obstacles to prevent you from making the move. I would add that there is so much to gain but that’s for another blog post, perhaps. Start making lists of pros and cons against such a move. Speak to your family and friends and see what they think. Use this website and look at the jobs available. Speak to the agencies advertising them and get a feel for what’s involved (exchange some emails or call them up – it doesn't matter). The more you talk to people about the idea, the more feasible and exciting it becomes. Then you look at the perceived obstacles, if there are any, and look at ways to overcome them.  I can’t stress enough, either, the desire to fill these roles with qualified teachers from the U.K. with a young, energetic disposition. Please don’t think, “Who’d be interested in me?”. If you’re a good, passionate teacher, there’s maybe a better place for you.   A former UK schoolteacher.
Contracts can be overwhelming. They can be long, packed with information, and may include complex legal terminology or terms you may be unfamiliar with. Sadly, they are a necessary evil. You don’t want to make any mistakes when you’re signing up a year or more of your life working for a family or private employer. A new governess job or an and overseas role as a governor , nanny or full-time tutor can be quite daunting, so it’s always a good thing to have a contractual agreement to revert back to in case any issues arise. You don’t want to make promises you can’t commit to, and equally you don’t want to sign up to an agreement that allows the employer to take advantage of you. So read on to find out which terms in your contract you need to pay attention to! Here is a list of 12 points that we at Jobs in Childcare believe are essential - for your own safety, integrity and for mutual respect and understanding between the signing partners. Bear in mind that if your contract is an international one, it may not be properly legally binding across the separate jurisdictions. Nevertheless, it is helpful to have terms properly defined with your employer just in case you ever need to be able to point back and say hey - this isn’t what we agreed. From that point, it’s your decision whether you choose to continue working for the employer or not. So, without further ado:   1. Duties and kids. OK, so these are the big ones. Who exactly are you supposed to be taking care of at work, and what roles do you have with them? Are cooking for the kids and cleaning the house involved? What about dressing the kids and personal hygiene? Are there other kids that aren’t your responsibility? And on top of this - are there any significant household rules that you need to be aware of? Be sure!   2. Your daily schedule. This is another essential element. Make sure your work days and working hours are clearly defined in your contract. A standard full-time work-week for a nanny governor or governess is 40 hours up to around 50 hours. Bear in mind that over 50 hours per week is already a ‘heavy’ schedule - you don’t want to get burned out or be overtired. Make sure you can handle the schedule and be careful not to get drawn in by a fat salary offer for unrealistic working hours. This is for your employer’s benefit as well as your own; what’s the point in not resting and thus not being able to work to the best of your ability? You should also define whether bank holidays and public holidays are working days or days off in your contract. For international roles bank holidays are generally working days, but this is worth checking.   3. The family holiday schedule. Many families change from their regular schedule when they travel or have extended work periods (such as the school summer holidays). It is important for you to know if your working arrangements are expected to change here. Will you work extra days, and how will these be compensated? With extra money or days off ‘in lieu’? Will the working hours and living arrangements change during work travel? Will extra duties be added for these travel periods, and if so, which? Be sure to get all this defined before you agree to work all the hours under the sun (or moon!).   4. Your personal holiday time. It is equally important to find out when your holidays can they be booked, as some families may have expectations about when a suitable holiday period is, and when is not. Will your holidays be mutually agreed in advance? Some families may expect you to travel home for Christmas, for example. Others may require extra help during festive periods. If you have any dates that you already know you will need off, it may be a good idea to ‘lock’ them in in the contract before you even start. You should also check when your first holiday can be taken. Some employers may suggest that holiday weeks off can only be taken after 3 or even 6 months of work. If this is a factor, make sure you are comfortable with whatever you ultimately agree to. Find out whether or not you'll be working for Christmas   5. Transport. As a general rule, work transport time is not usually paid (both UK and overseas). If you wish to ask for this (perhaps due to exceptional circumstances), tread carefully, and be aware of the fact that some families may feel they are being taken advantage of if you ask for this - after all, most normal jobs do not include paid travel time. However, it is important to establish who pays for your work travel. Travel during work hours is usually provided, and many international childcare or nanny roles may provide a driver or transport if you are working in a country where you are unfamiliar with the native language. In this circumstance, you will need to define whether travel is paid or supplemented, and who organises it. If you are working in a ‘ rota ’ position, be clear about who pays for and books your flights and transfers home. And if it is the family, be aware that there may be a limit on spending; it’s probably a good idea to establish what this is so you don’t end up overspending in their eyes and causing conflict.   6. Food at work. Food at work is generally included during work hours. Ensure this included in your contract. Some families may have strange arrangements such as billing you for food they provide you with at work - this is almost certainly a red flag.   7. Accommodation or accommodation allowance. This generally applies to overseas roles. If your role is live-out you should be sure about what your accommodation will be and who organises it. Will it be you or a family representative calling realtors, viewing flats and making payments? Flats may require deposits putting down or include agency fees. Who pays this? And remember that countries like Russia require registration for foreign contractors. Will this be organised or paid for by your work family? Be wary of this point to avoid disagreements later down the line.   8. Sick days. Make sure you know how many sick days you are entitled to, how much notice (if any) you are expected to give, and how long you can be ill for before your employers have the right to end your contract. Most international contracts work around 10 days’ paid sick leave. For jobs the UK you can find more about the government’s recommendations for sick leave here .   9. Visas and conditions. Again, if you are working in an overseas position there may well be a visa required for your role. It is usual for the family to provide and organise this as well as any related costs (flights, transport, blood tests, photos etc.). Ensure this requirement is included in your agreement.  Visa costs should usually be covered by your employer   10. Health insurance. This may or may not be included according to your employer’s preferences. If it isn’t, you may wish to organise it yourself - we strongly advise against working overseas without sufficient health insurance. You can view Axa’s health insurance packages for overseas work here .   11. Notice period. Be careful with this one, too. Your contract should state how long your initial trial period or ‘probation’ period lasts, and under what terms you can leave the position or the family can dismiss you during this time. How many days notice should each party give? Confirm that you would still be paid for any extra time you work off (except in the case of serious breach of contract, when no payment is likely to be made). When you are working under ‘full employment’ for the family, find out how much notice each party should give to terminate the contract, and ensure this termination period is also paid.   12. Your pay. So, last but not least - ensure that any details to do with your salary are clear. How much are you paid? When is it paid? In which currency? By cash or by bank transfer? It is essential that you define all these terms to avoid misunderstandings later on. Your pay during any trial period should also be clear (if it differs from hour standard pay). Equally, you may wish to include a clause that states you are still paid on retainer if your work family chooses to travel without you. If you are preparing to work a rota position, be clear about whether weeks ‘off’ are paid or not and how your monthly salary is calculated. Bear in mind that extra holiday time for a rota position will not usually be granted beyond the 50% working time already off. You should also make an effort to understand if your salary includes tax. If you are working in the UK, you may wish to use a service such as Nannytax to make sure you are paying tax correctly. If you are working overseas, your family may take care of this. Speak to a family representative and make sure the terms are clear in your contract. So, there you have our 12 things to remember when signing your nanny , governor or governess contract. Be careful. Don’t agree to anything you feel uncomfortable with - it may end up coming back to haunt you. Remember that if you are working overseas your contract may not be ‘court of law proof’. Nonetheless, ensure that your contract is clear and gives you a leg to stand on if your work circumstances change. Any employer family will usually start with smiles and handshakes in the interview , but it’s better to be firm and understand your work position fully for your own security at the end of the day.   Good luck!   Disclaimer: Jobs in Childcare is not a lawyer, nor a law specialist. If you have any queries about your contract you should discuss them with a professional legal representative. Register as a job seeker with Jobs in Childcare to apply for jobs and to receive information on excellent international nanny, governess, tutor and early years vacancies worldwide. If you are an agency then sign up to post on Jobs in Childcare to connect with the best candidates worldwide!
At Jobs in Childcare, we understand that travel can be stressful for a nanny . And of course, travelling with your charges can be doubly stressful. Of course, you will need to keep an eye on your own bags. And to take care of the kids’ games , phones, bags and clothing. Oh, you may also be expected to watch out for your employer’s luggage. And then on top of all that, you’ve got to change your clothes and the kids’ clothes. And put the kids to sleep. But wait, somebody feels sick… And now you’re expected to keep your charges entertained and engaged on the plane when they’re all hyper and excited too?! HELP!?!   Hang on! Don’t worry.   We’ve come up with a list of 5 ways to keep your charges busy! Phew! Take a deep breath and read on. It’s all going to be fine.   Board or card games   It is almost certainly a good idea to pick up some travel games before your trip and add them to your bag of tricks. If your kids are old enough, travel battleships or chess should go a long way to whiling away the hours. If you have more than two kids, Uno or Top Trumps may be the one for you. Check Amazon for Top Trumps games relating to your charge’s favourite sporting or TV hero, or look for more travel game inspiration here .   You could even consider a portable Lego set - prepare it together or have this little surprise gift as a peace offering for your charge on the morning of travel. You can find out how to make one here .   Board games can avoid boredom!   Encourage your charges to pack their own bags with their toys or travel games - this empowers them and gives them a sense of independence. It also means they will carry their own stuff, for once!   Paper based games   If you didn’t have time to prepare by ordering board or card games online before travelling, a printer or even a piece of paper and a pencil may be able to save the day. Print out some word searches or crosswords related to current school activities or the kids’ general interests to get them started - a Marvel characters or Harry Potter wordsearch can go a long way! And when that’s done, you can always encourage games of Noughts and Crosses (Tic Tac Toe), Squares, or Hangman to keep their brains working! Still stuck? Check out these awesome airplane activities for kids . Spoken games   If you haven’t got your paper or pen handy, it may be time for some spoken games - great for avoid car sickness. I spy, Granny Went Shopping or the alphabet game will keep your charge’s looking out the window and keep their minds off their boredom. You could try 20 questions or categories. Turn it into a family game if you feel it’s appropriate - just ensure you aren’t interrupting the parents’ rest time! And if you need more inspiration, you can find more ideas right here . Reading   Always, always, always bring books on trips. Reading books, sticker books, fact books about your travel destination. Short and simple - this is the golden rule. Bring books on trips.   A big enough book might even put them to sleep!     Create a diary - and take pictures to put in it!   Preparing a diary is almost certainly a way to impress your charge’s parents. This is an ongoing activity that your kids can work on each day, take photos for, and have something to show for it at the end of the travel. A good diary can be shown to your charge’s family members and classmates, and they may even be able to look back on it themselves one day. If your kids are old enough to write, you can make writing the daily diary entry can be a central part of your trip. Have a look at how to create a great travel binder here . And finally, if all else fails, it’s probably forgivable to let your charges mess around on their iPads or watch a film for a short while you grab a 10-minute snooze. If you are a foreign-language nanny or governess , try to make sure the film is in the language the kids are learning or that the iPad game includes at least some useful vocabulary.   You may also like to consider audiobooks. If your charges have reached a suitable level of understanding, audiobooks can be a great way to keep them quiet and learning - simply download them onto your phone and let the kids listen to them through headphones. So, despite the challenges, work travel really can be a good experience - the key is to be prepared! So make sure your bags are properly packed and you’re fully prepared for the trip ahead.   Good luck! For more ideas for keeping off iPads - check out our blog post on Fun and Effective Ways to Limit Screen Time here.   Register as a job seeker with Jobs in Childcare to apply for jobs and to receive information on excellent international tutor, nanny and governess vacancies worldwide. If you are an agency then sign up to post on Jobs in Childcare to connect with the best candidates worldwide
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