A trainee nanny from Norland in a formal uniform. Graduates are not expected to wear their uniform when they begin working for a family unless required for a special occasion.
A small college in the historic city of Bath, United Kingdom, is the go-to place for the British royal family when they need child care.
Founded more than 130 years ago, Norland puts candidates through a four-year academic and practical training program in which they spend approximately 1,300 hours caring for young children and newborns.
At the christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge in 2015 – the second child of the Prince and Princess of Wales – nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo was photographed in a formal Norland uniform as she spoke to the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Norland nannies – who earn a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education and care and a diploma by completing a year as a probationary nanny – are in high demand and well paid. There are approximately 8 to 10 permanent positions available through the Norland agency for each nanny who graduates.
Nannies are known as “Norlanders.”
Norlanders, as they are known after they graduate, typically prefer to be known in public only by their first name to protect the identities of the children they care for and their employers.
But during training, they stand out to the residents of Bath for their formal, brown uniforms – which are compared to those of Mary Poppins – a dress and hat for women, a suit for men, and a gender-neutral version of trousers or a dress with a Tweed jacket.
Alice, a nanny from Norland who grew up in Bath, used to see the uniformed students on the bus when she was at school, but had “no idea” who they were at the time, she told CNBC by phone. Knowing she wanted to work with children, Alice explored teaching through a school placement but felt a less structured environment would suit her better.
Norland College students whose uniform is compared to Mary Poppins’ outfit.
“I just felt like I could give these kids so much one-on-one time to grow… and discover their excitement for life.” [and] “Follow their interests,” she told CNBC.
Norland was founded in 1892 by educator Emily Ward, who drew on the teachings of Friedrich Fröbel, a pioneer in early childhood education who introduced the concept of kindergarten and focused on the idea of the child as an individual with unique needs and abilities.
“You learn everything there is to know about child care,” Alice said. “The degree focuses heavily on the psychology of children and their learning, and the diploma covers anything practical that can be experienced in the family home,” she added. The program also includes practical learning outside of the home, such as how to drive a car in poor or dangerous conditions.
After graduating, a Norland-based nanny who works around 60 hours a week and has one to two years of experience can expect to earn up to £41,500 (around $50,000) while a nanny in London, according to Norland’s website with eight or more years’ experience in London’ Work experience outside the UK can earn up to £124,000.
Alice has over a decade of experience as a nanny and began her career with a military family in the UK where the father was stationed in Afghanistan.
Her longest role was in New York City, where she cared for a girl and her twin siblings for nine years. She started her job when the twins were 18 months old and the girl was three years old. Her parents worked in the real estate industry and Alice was solely responsible for the children from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m
“A really, really important tip for all … parents is that every child is different and grows and learns at different rates,” Alice told CNBC.
Norland nannies complete more than 1,300 hours of child care during their training.
“Especially for parents having a baby for the first time, it’s very easy to think: Well, my baby isn’t crawling yet. “Why are all these other mothers telling me their baby is crawling?” she said.
“But a child who doesn’t crawl might be able to build a tower of blocks while sitting,” she added.
“Don’t compare other babies, just choose what works for you to keep the child happy and healthy,” she said.
Comforting a crying baby
Sleep is an obvious problem for caregivers of young children who sleep at different times of the day. Alice is currently caring for a 10-month-old girl, an age at which sleep regressions — when a child has trouble falling or staying asleep — are common, she said.
“If they don’t get enough sleep during the day, they probably won’t sleep at night.”
Every child has a different sleep routine and Alice recommends a consistent approach to comforting a crying baby. “What I would always say is, go in, shush, put your hand on their stomach to show them you’re there, but try not to talk to them,” she said.
Prince George’s nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, wearing a formal Norland uniform, speaks with Queen Elizabeth II at the christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on July 5, 2015.
Chris Jackson | Getty Images
“Babies are like adults who wake up in the night. Most of the time we go straight back to sleep. But sometimes you just can’t go back to sleep. And that’s so frustrating for us as adults, let alone as babies.” [for whom] “The only communication … is crying,” she said.
Dealing with tantrums
Alice described her role as a “safe space” for a child having a tantrum. “I’m laying on the floor around them … to give them some comfort while they’re going through this,” she said.
“A child who has begun to communicate verbally does not want to listen to what you have to say. This is not the time to talk about it,” she said. Instead, she suggested talking to them later when they were feeling better.
Instead of saying “no,” do this
If a child does something you don’t want them to do, think about “redirecting the behavior,” Alice said.
“If they throw a ball against the wall and you really don’t want them to mark the wall… [you can say]“Why don’t we play a game about who gets this ball in the pot?” she said.
“I’ve found that children respond much better when they redirect the same behaviors rather than a constant ‘No, don’t do that,’” Alice said.
It’s also important to make sure you respond to children regardless of their behavior.
If you’re cooking dinner and a child wants to play: “You can say, ‘Give me five minutes and let’s throw the ball in the pot.’ … It may not necessarily work the first time, but they will know that you will always come back to them,” Alice said.
“If you don’t give them attention somewhere else, but give it when you don’t like them doing something, they’ll really focus on those behaviors,” she added.
Give children a choice
Norland students have a practical uniform for child care activities.
If your child refuses to get dressed, let him choose his own clothes.
“It gives them a sense of control,” Alice said. “But seriously, that’s what you say [these are] The warm weather clothing you can wear protects them while giving you control,” she added.
Dealing with bad behavior
If a child’s behavior is dangerous or harmful, such as a toddler trying to bite another child, try to understand that it is due to “frustration or curiosity,” Alice said. Ask, “How do you think the other child felt when you bit him?”
“They don’t necessarily have the words to express how it made them feel. But then you say… I think that probably made him really sad, that probably really hurt him, I don’t think you would like it,” she said.
Also suggest that you say, “Maybe we get an apple for you to bite into, or a pillow, or a pad.”
Avoid the “naughty step”
“I don’t really like calling a child ‘naughty,’” Alice said, and she doesn’t use the “naughty step” as a punishment for small children or send an older child to her room.
“If they find themselves in the moment where they just can’t regulate their emotions, say, right, I understand you’re upset. I’ll do something else. When you’ve had time to calm down…we can talk,” she said.
Other tips include being consistent and keeping your word.
Time on devices like iPads can be negotiated by setting limits or only allowing educational games, Alice said.
To limit screen time, say, “Sorry, we can’t do that today. Let me schedule some time for tomorrow,” Alice suggested, or “Why don’t you play the game for five minutes and then we’ll turn it off.” “
A child’s adjustment to school often takes place gradually, with the days being shorter at first. “Reassure them that they will make friends there and try to arrange playdates with classmates before school starts,” Alice said.
“Maybe find out what they do on day one so you can say [for example]: “Let me know what the painting looks like when I pick you up. ‘I can’t wait to hear about it.’”
Alice also said that after their first day or week of school, they should do something they enjoy, such as going to their favorite playground or going to a movie they would like to see.
Alice realized that being a nanny was different than being a working mother. “You have a lot more patience because it’s your job,” she said of her role.
Source : www.cnbc.com