Trainee nanny gets on-the-job lessons

Trainee nanny Alana Crow is learning to deal with two active preschoolers who love to ride their bikes while she reads them stories.

On Monday Crow, 23, begins a new nanny intern programme run in New Plymouth by PORSE.

"But I've been working for the last three weeks. They needed a nanny to start straight away. I love it. It's awesome. I get to play with the kids all day and be a big kid myself."

Working as a nanny is the realisation of a long-term goal for Crow who has been unable to do tertiary study because she left school "too early" and doesn't have the qualifications to get into university.

Crow is nannying for the Khayat children, Amed, 3, and Ezan, 18 months, whose parents, Karen and Hama, are studying at home.

Karen Khayat, who has a degree in early childhood education and is studying towards her PhD, said getting someone who is doing the PORSE Programme makes sense, because she could help out.

"We don't need someone trained in that sense because we are at home. As soon as we heard that PORSE was starting a new nanny intern programme in New Plymouth we signed up because it provided the perfect solution for us. We are able to have a nanny for 21 hours per week at just $5 an hour."

PORSE Programme Tutor Kelly Greer said families have only to pay an hourly training rate of up to $5 rather than $14 to $18 for a nanny.

If they want a nanny living in, they can choose to provide room and board in return for the additional hours of work.

The traditional nanny role is still very popular in New Zealand homes and is particularly prominent in the main cities, Greer said. We are pleased to now be able to offer Taranaki youth an exciting career opportunity and Taranaki families an affordable nanny option.

Greer said the demand for nannies in the Taranaki region has increased the need for the nanny intern training programme because graduates can feel confident that there are job prospects after they graduate.

Over the 20 week course the interns work through the National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3). On top of the 20 hours practical experience, they spend a day a week in the classroom, including lessons in early brain development, attachment theory, care routines, right through to hearing from the Plunket nurse.