A ritual or a routine? What is the difference?

A routine is something you HAVE to do. It does not have any thought, or love, and you end up on auto-pilot just doing something because you have to.

A ritual is something more meaningful, beautiful, well thought out, delivered with care, kindness, and something that children enjoy and want to be actively involved in.

If you think back to your own childhood, it is the rituals that are imprinted into your memory because it was something you looked forward to and enjoyed. It was special and meaningful.

cute child girl on cozy outdoor tea party in spring garden with

Do you  often smell a particular smell, or hear a particular song and it instantly takes you back to a joyful time? What was it that made it special? Think about when you have a bath. Do you just jump in, with the lights on? Or do you add in bubble bath, light candles, a face mask, and sink in to soak with a good book? How does this make you feel?

A ritual is something that happens regularly and is what you look forward to. This is the same for children in our care. Children don’t choose to be in care, and even though they are having a great time, it is up to us to take the boring every day and inject a little bit of sparkle and magic. After all, children deserve the best.

As educators, teachers, parents, and caregivers, we need to ensure every day is special and that children have something special to look forward to.

“It is not enough to say we love the child, they must feel the results of the care”
EMMI PIKLER

What does a ritual look like?

Rituals require a little bit of thoughtful planning and time, but they are easy and fun to introduce.

Meal times are one of the easiest ways to inject a bit of magic into the mundane. Imagine sitting down to lunch with just your lunch box on the table. BORING! How about taking the extra few minutes to be prepared and lay out a table cloth, some warm lavender infused flannels for washing the face, a beautiful centre-piece, some calm lighting, some herbal tea, and real crockery (yes glass).
Involve the children in this process also and let them help set the table. This allows children to contribute to their environment and gives them a sense a belonging within the group. You’ll be amazed at how the authentic conversations and sense of calm will follow!

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One-on-one rituals such as a nappy change or sleep time, can also be transformed from something clinical, to a time that a child looks forward to. Try singing the same special song, setting a relaxing environment, allowing the child to be involved, drawing the curtains, a special foot massage before bed, having a child’s special cuddly ready, essential oils in a diffuser or calming relaxing music. In the words of Kimberley Crisp… “It is about being prepared in head, heart, and hands”.

Written by Angela StoneRockmybaby

Wellness programme for our staff

Rockmybaby® values the importance of our team taking care of themselves and each other and keeping emotional intelligence in check.

Rockmybaby® started in 2006, a kiwi initiative born out of friends and families asking for childcare solutions.  Rockmybaby® is a forward-thinking and innovative agency that prides itself in the careful and considered selection of staff, and the ongoing support and care provided to ensure the well-being and care of each employee.

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Our team goes to Pilates weekly at  The Works Wellness Centre

Rockmybaby® provides a welcoming and warm environment that creates a relaxed atmosphere, creating a space for productivity and creativity.  Each week staff attend a Pilates class which is pre-booked by the company and there is a freedom for staff to take time to step outside into the sunshine away from technology when they need to.  Spontaneous home-cooked meals arrive at the office and locally brewed coffee is always ready, along with a lunch break at a time that works for you.  Our staff feel valued and supported.

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Example of one of our lunches – yummy fish pie

It’s important for our team to have a good work-life balance and time to focus on their well-being and personal development.

As a Kiwi owned and operated agency, we understand and have a culture that meets the needs of our people.

Interview tips for Nanny roles

First impressions are formed within seconds of meeting someone for the first time, keep this in mind when preparing for your interview with a family.

  • As soon as the family expresses interest in interviewing you, make contact as soon as possible and lock in an interview time. A phone call should be your first point of contact, not a text.
  • Wear clean, tidy, professional clothing and shoes. Ensure you are well–groomed including tidy hair and clean groomed nails. Don’t overdress or wear inappropriate revealing clothing or high heels – remember this is a nanny interview, dress accordingly!
  • Don’t be late: Ensure you have the address and contact number of the family and allow plenty of time to travel and map out your route.
  • Bring a hard copy of your CV along, use this as a reference or talking point as appropriate.
  • Know the job! Make sure you have found out as many details as possible about the children, family, and the nature of the role prior to meeting with the family.
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“Find your joy … and let it run your life” – Cleo Wade

Be open, friendly and chatty and be prepared for some of the questions you might be asked for example:

Why do you want to be a nanny?

What activities do you enjoy doing with children?

What are your views on children’s routines and rhythms?

What are your views on behaviour management strategies?

Can you give me some examples of age appropriate activities for children?

Are you comfortable with house work and preparing meals?

What other experience and skills do you have?

Are you flexible with hours i.e. babysitting or if a parent is running late?

  • Engage with the children, it is not just about impressing the parents / whanau (introduce yourself to them).
  • Be a good listener not just a talker!
  • When the interview complete, ensure you thank the family/whanau for their time and express that you enjoyed and appreciated meeting them and their children.
  • Lastly, make sure you follow up with an email or phone call thanking the family for the opportunity to be considered for the role, and emphasise that you would be delighted to work with them and their children into the future.

Good luck, you have got this!

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“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

www.rockmybaby.co.nz 

 

 

 

 


 

Play environments – Rhythm & care moments

Do you often find that your day feels hurried, rushed, and stressful at times? Do you constantly battle with the children in your care to get them to sit and enjoy a meal? Is there food everywhere with very little consumed? Is it a constant battle to change a nappy or take a nap? Does this bring up feelings of guilt, frustration, annoyance? Are you overwhelmed with negative emotion? As a parent and an early childhood teacher I know this feeling all to well!! The question is:

                         “How do we create a more peaceful environment for all?”

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The answer is to be mindful of these feelings, slowing down and ensuring the children feel involved and take part in the care moments. Care moments are just that – moments of care that take place throughout the day. If you slow down, take care, and show respect for the child, then your stress levels and frustration diminish. The child is then more engaged and enjoys spending special time with you.

Early on in my teaching career, when I taught in an infant and toddler room, we found we were being slaves to the clock, so we took it away, and what a difference this made!! Instead of “lunch at 12pm”, we ate when we were hungry. Instead of “bed at 1pm”, we put the children to bed when they showed signs of being tired. We slowed down, we were present, we were engaged, we were mindful. Instead of “nappy time!”, we invited the child when they were ready to come.

                                       Invite the child? But what do you mean?

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Inviting the child to transition from playing into a care moment is a way to show that you respect what they are doing in their play. Imagine if you were deep in thought and someone whipped you away and plopped you on a nanny changing table. An invitation can be as simple as getting down to the child’s level, asking them if they are ready to engage in the care moment, or simply outstretching your hands with palms facing up. This works particularly well with infants. Then all you need to do is simply pause and wait for a response, whether this is verbal or non-verbal. A young child may shake their head and say, “no, I’m not ready”. You would then offer to come back in xxx amount of time. This shows respect for the child’s eventual readiness and removes the power struggle, as you are empowering the child to own the decision. An infant may turn their body towards you or hold their hands out to you. By taking this approach, slowly in time, you will find you will begin to read children’s non-verbal ques, listen to what they are saying, and respect them as little people with feelings and emotions, just like us. The presence of respectful care, natural unfolding, and offering an unhurried pace, is especially crucial in a child’s early learning stage when they are developing a sense of self, as well as making sense of the world around them. By offering choice and our calm respectful presence, we empower children and communicate that there needs, feelings, and interests are important and worthy of respect – setting them up for life-long learning and a healthy self-esteem.

For infants, care and education are inseparable because valuable learning is taking place during routine care times and this learning is hindered if the child does not have a strong reciprocal and consistent relationship with the person who is caring for them. In being cared for, the infant is learning to care for others”, (https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/uploads/9/4/5/3/9453622/toni_respectful_care.pdf)

Written by Angela Stone

CV TIPS

A well-written CV is very important – it represents you

Your CV represents who you are, and is the first point of contact with the family. In order ensure the best chance of being asked for an interview, it is important your CV is well written, formatted properly, spell checked, and informative. It is also desirable if it is aesthetically pleasing.

It’s crucial to review your CV on a regular basis and add any new skills or experience that’s missing.

Explaining a gap in your CV

Whether you’ve been travelling or unemployed, sometimes there can be gaps in your CV. There are legitimate reasons for gaps, and short breaks shouldn’t make a huge difference to your CV.  If you took time out to go travelling, you can describe your cultural experiences, and you may have even worked while you were away .

If you took a prolonged period of time off due to sickness, you shouldn’t have a problem being honest as long as the illness doesn’t affect your ability to do the job. State that, due to a medical condition, you had to take some time away from work but have now returned to full health and are looking to re-enter the workplace. Likewise, if you were made redundant and became unemployed for quite some time, explain that your nanny family or company that you work for had to make cutbacks that unfortunately led to a reduction in hours,days or role.

Every nanny position you want to be put forward for, requires an up-to-date child-related CV attached to your email of interest.

Note on Social Media: Given this connected internet age you can expect that any prospective families will investigate you via the web also. Consider carefully any personal online public profiles on social media such as Facebook. For example, compromising photographs or comments will negatively influence your application with any prospective families.

Happy loving mother and her baby child playing outdoors in the park


Full Name

Picture of yourself

Address

D.O.B:  – Nationality:

Introduction

Write about yourself, any child-care experience you have had, your philosophy and approach to childcare. Include a Personal Statement.

Education and Qualifications

Pediatric First Aid – St Johns    May 2017

Certificate in Child Care and Education    June 2014

Driver’s License (Clean Record) July 2017

WORK EXPERIENCE

Jones Family          Full-time Nanny          February 2015- February 2017

This was a sole charge position in which I cared for a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. Duties included picking the children up from school and nursery respectively, arranging play dates for the girl, teaching her arts and crafts, taking trips to the park and helping the boy with any homework he may have. This role also involved meal preparation and household duties such as the children’s washing and ironing. (5 days per week)

Reason for Leaving: Girl was to start school full-time and hours decreased significantly.

Family #2          Full-Time Nanny          Date Started – Date Finished

Job description.

Reason for Leaving: One sentence explanation as to why you no longer work for the family.

Family #3          Full-Time Nanny          Date Started – Date Finished

Job description.

Reason for Leaving: One sentence explanation as to why you no longer work for the family.

Interests and Hobbies

Cycling, hiking, travelling, reading and running marathons.

Reference

At least two contactable child-related references – make sure you have permission to put their details down and are happy to be contacted.


Rockmybaby® consultants can help with your CV if required. Please see below a sample of a comprehensive child-related CV.

Loose Parts – The benefits of unstructured play and open-ended resources.

As a parent or educator, you have no doubt heard about the importance of ‘free play’, ‘loose parts’ and ‘open-ended resources’. But what do these terms really mean and why are they so important?

“Giving meaning to loose parts requires us to think about the possibilities of how a child learns and consider the materials and environments she uses. Loose parts create endless possibilities and invite creativity. For example, if a child picks up a rock and starts to play, most likely that rock can become anything the child wants it to be. Imagination, creativity, curiosity, desire, and need are the motivation of loose parts.

Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. Loose parts can be used alone or combined with other materials. There is no set of specific directions for materials that are considered loose parts. The child is the direction.”

When setting up your learning environment, consider how the child will interact and engage with the materials and resources around him/her. Do the resources you have provided allow the child to freely explore their own interests, urges and curiosities, or do they limit and restrict the child’s play?

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Loose parts or open-ended resources create opportunities for learning and open up a world of discovery. The importance of these resources lies in the children’s interest and engagement. There are no rules or expectations with this form of play, and no ‘right or wrong’ way, making it free flowing, relaxed and natural. This invites more in-depth inquiry and active exploration, as children do not feel under pressure to perform or ‘get it right’.

Another fantastic thing about loose parts is that they are suitable for all ages.  “Children will manipulate and use them in different ways according to their own specific ages and stages of development – they can also use them in different ways day after day!”

Finally, these resources are cheap and easy to collect – making them perfect for setting up a quality learning environment on a budget! You can pick up little treasures from op-shops, as well as collecting natural resources, and keeping recycled materials, such as washed out yoghurt pots, empty plastic containers and cardboard tubes.

Above all else, HAVE FUN!

Written by Jess Shepard

Granny THE SUPER Nanny!

What is a Granny Nanny?
A Granny Nanny is an older nanny who is an active senior with the ‘get up and drive’ needed to support a busy family. They have usually raised their own family and could be enjoying their next generation of grandies. There are lots of benefits of being a Granny Nanny, especially for children who have grandparents who have passed on.

Grandma And Granddaughter In Kitchen

Let’s take a look…
A Granny Nanny role is the perfect role for someone who has retired from work but is still wanting to give back to their community. It means they are available at busy times when families really need the extra help, times like: weekends, after school, mornings and special occasions or even on a more regular basis.

It’s common in this busy paced society for both parents to be working, so having a ‘grandparent’ in the house can be invaluable all family members.

“These days traditional families are separated by distance, time and lack of understanding between generations, but programmes that bring children and older adults together could change the whole of society’s outlook” – Catrin Hedd Jones.
Children are the future, Granny Nannies can offer wisdom, knowledge and their experiences to pass down through stories. What child doesn’t love being propped up and listening to a “back in my day story”? If you’re interested and excited about a topic or story, children will naturally be excited with you and eager to listen to your experiences.

Grandmother with granddaughter drawing together

Interactions with youth allow older people to relate to another generation, while learning about what is on trend, new technology and current topical issues. Granny Nannies can be great role models for young children as they are able to invest undivided, quality time in them. This shows children that they are valued and that their thoughts are worthy and meaningful of someone’s time.

There are so many fun and simple learning experiences that you can do with children, while creating memories that they will treasure forever. Such as:

  • Arts & crafts (scrap booking, collage, photos)
  • Baking & cooking (traditional family secret recipes)
  • Local outings (park, library, museum etc)

Children and older mature nannies have such a beautiful natural way of interacting. You often see it at the supermarket or in local community areas like the parks. Watching children totally empowered as they show their elders how things work or how they are able to do something – it is just beautiful! The relationship between both generations is something magical. There is an unhurried and gentle pace about them together – for children we know that this is an optimal learning environment.

So what are you waiting for? Become a Rockmybaby Super Nanny today and make the difference!

Written By Kaya Brophy