If you are anything like me, and I imagine many other attachment/gentle parenting style parents, the list of people you’d happily leave your children with is pretty tiny, and the thought of hiring a nanny or baby-sitter is very daunting. But Melissa Hughes has created a wonderful resource in the Australian Natural Nanny Network – to connect parents and nannies with compatible philosophies. Here she shares some of the wonderful benefits to taking the leap and hiring some help…

What are the benefits of hiring a nanny?

If this is your first experience of hiring a nanny, or you have unfortunately had a less- than ideal experience with nannies in the past, this guide is here to highlight the benefits of working with a great nanny who shares your values and is passionate about working with children. When you have found a nanny who is aligned with how you do family life, you can reap the following benefits:

Personalised care
Your child/ren have one-on-one care with an adult who is there exclusively to meet their needs, keep them safe, support them and create as well as allow opportunities for growth and learning.

No pick-ups or drop offs
Your nanny comes to you, so there is no need to drop off or pick up at childcare or elsewhere.

Your children enjoy the comfort of being in their own home
Life is so busy these days! Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy being at home, especially for particularly young children. Having a nanny means your child can spend quality time in their own house playing and learning, with a loving carer overseeing their day.

You have more say in the experience
You have more of a voice in hiring a nanny to care for your child, than you do in a childcare scenario. Together with your nanny, you can co-create your child’s experience and how the day would best be spent. This allows an opportunity for one- on- one learning, heading off on excursions or activities and potentially creating a nanny share or playgroup experience.

The opportunity to co-create a nanny share experience
In this type of scenario, a nanny can care for up to 5 children in one session. The numbers are dependent on the nannies qualifications as well as the ages of children requiring care. The parents involved in the experience can co-create with their shared nanny as to what the session might look like in terms of the rhythm of the day, activities and learning opportunities. Generally such an arrangement would run for a 5 or 6 hour session.

More flexibility
A nanny’s hours can be more varied and flexible than childcare. For example, nannies can be available early in the morning, late in the evening and even overnight. Not to mention Friday and Saturday nights if you have an event or wish to have a date night!

Professional help
Hiring a nanny is a very intimate experience. They are regularly spending time in your home, the space where your child is in their most natural state. The benefit of this is that a professional nanny will get to learn directly how home routines and experiences occur, and may be able to offer tips, ideas and suggestions for assisting your child to learn, grow and thrive. A professional nanny will also be open to your ideas and suggestions- ideally, you share a safe space for communicating, updating one another and sharing your collective ideas to the benefit of your child- because that’s who it’s about at the end of the day.

Written by Melissa Hughes
Creative Director of the Australian Natural Nanny Network