Eva Turfrey signed up for a PORSE Nanny Intern to help her get through the first few months of being a mother to a newborn and a toddler.
She never expected that an extra pair of hands would help her become a better mother and wife.
Eva started thinking about childcare options when she realised her second son was due in the middle of a very busy wedding season.
“I was starting to get anxious about how I was going to cope with my workload and be a mum to a toddler and a baby.”
Eva felt she couldn’t justify the expense of a fully qualified nanny as she could work from home at times and did have help from family. The Nanny Intern Programme really appealed to her because of the low cost and the support she would get in her own home, helping her to maintain family routines and continue to work from home.
The Turfreys pay the equivalent of $5 an hour, which covers an intern’s course fees.
Nanny- Intern Donna Mends, 19, joined the family when James was just two months old and has developed a real bond with him and two-and-half-year-old Edward.
“At the bare minimum, I thought an extra pair of hands would be handy but it has really exceeded my expectations,” Eva says.
“When I’m with the baby I’m not putting my toddler in front of the TV, he is with a nanny who is fully engaged with his needs.”
Eva says her husband has also benefitted from the programme.
“Donna is here during the witching hours of 5-7pm, so instead of my husband walking through the door and having domestic jobs thrown at him from a stressed-out mother, he is able to unwind and play with the kids because the kids have been bathed and had their dinner.”
As a training family, Eva provides direct supervision and guidance to Donna for 50 per cent of the time.
“Having to articulate what makes a good parent to Donna makes me think about how I approach parenting.”
And Donna is thoroughly enjoying the experience of learning on the job.
“Eva is a good teacher, I’ve learnt a lot from her. It’s really helpful to put what I’m learning in the course book into practice with the boys.”
Over the 21-week course, Donna will gain a National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3) as well as First Aid training.
She is supported by a qualified ECE teacher who oversees course work, delivers weekly tutorials and visits her at the Turfreys once a month to observe her in action.
The PORSE Nanny Intern Programme, which is free to those aged between 17 and 25, is now available online.
PORSE Education & Training General Manager, Erin Maloney, says that the introduction of an online programme breaks down accessibility barriers and enables anyone anywhere to enrol. “It’s giving young people in places like Whangarei and Invercargill more options to study from home while gaining skills for a rewarding career in childcare.”
“The programme is a great first step to a fulfilling career working with children. Interns can go on to work as a nanny abroad or continue their ECE education at degree or diploma level. It’s a really good introduction to a career in early childhood education and care.”
Donna loves the hands-on learning and comes to the Turfreys armed with loads of great craft ideas recipes and play activities for the boys.
“I hoped to get someone to help me through the difficult first few months but instead it’s enabled me to be a better mother than I could be on my own.”
Pictured: Edward (front), Nanny Intern Donna Mends (left), Eva Turfrey with James.