She loves working with kids, is passionate about animals, and wants to travel the world. Training to become a nanny through NZCC has given Erika the tools she needs to follow her dreams.
“I’ve wanted to be a teacher my whole life, however working for two years part-time in after school care and holiday programmes made me become more interested in the one-on-one interaction you get as a nanny. I heard NZCC advertised on the radio and thought it would give me a different perspective on working with children. Also the thought of working as a nanny overseas was very appealing! In the future I want to travel and nanny in the UK and Holland.
“I really enjoyed the course. I loved becoming part of a family and learning how to communicate with children, develop a relationship with them, and build trust. After I graduated I continued working with my training families and even now I still spend one night a week with one of my families. Before coming to NZCC I had worked with kids aged 5 – 13 years, however this course helped me learn how to look after and communicate with kids under 5. I loved the bonds that I built with the children, learning about their developmental stages and then being with them as they reached their milestones. Seeing them grow, gain independence and test the boundaries was pretty special. Indescribable really.
“After graduating from NZCC last year I went overseas and spent time volunteering in a lion sanctuary and an elephant sanctuary. I also worked in an orphanage in Africa. That was totally different to anything I’ve ever experienced – in fact it was quite a shock. I had to forget everything I’d learnt at nanny school because the rules are different over there. For example the children are not allowed to drink water as they can’t afford to waste it, so they get liquid through their food. It was hard, but very rewarding. The children have been through a lot, but they are just the same as every other child I’ve looked after in regards to playfulness and character. I loved all the kids and I would love to go back one day. I wouldn’t change my experience there for the world.”
After finishing high school, Michaela was trying to figure out what career she should pursue. She had always been interested in early childhood education but wanted to make sure it was the right decision and that the time and money invested in studying would be worth it. Her experience at Nannies Plus helped her realise her love for working with young children and she now works as a teacher aide at Chilton Saint James whilst working towards her bachelor's degree.
"I thought the Nannies Plus home based Certificate in Early Childhood Practice would be the perfect option. It was my first time away from my family and my home of Eketahuna so I didn’t want to move too far. The course was short, convenient and affordable. In fact my course was free because the training family paid for me to do it!
"Studying at NZCC made me realise how much I enjoy working with young kids. It gave me a head start with theories on child development and Te Whariki, and has helped me a lot with my degree studies. The certificates and references I received during my time at NZCC also helped me get a job.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the course, particularly the great relationships I built. I got along with my tutors, I still keep in touch with my support person, and I made lifelong best friends. My training family took me in as part of their family – it was very hard to leave!
"I learnt so much during my training such as basic first aid, age-appropriate nutrition and portion sizes, how to apply Te Whariki to my practice, and time management and consistency – how to make the routine work by being flexible enough for the kids, but efficient enough to ensure all the other tasks were completed on time. I also learnt how to care for a child who was prone to febrile convulsions, and how to build confidence in young children in and around water. I loved creating beautiful memories with the children and watching them laugh and find happiness in the smallest things. Being involved and influencing their development is very rewarding, as is seeing them achieve their milestones and celebrating with them.
"Currently I'm studying towards my Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching through Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand. It’s a three-year course via correspondence. At the same time, I’m working at Chilton Saint James as a teacher aide in the 4 – 5 year old class. I really enjoy working here – it’s very rewarding. It’s pretty challenging studying full-time whilst working, but it is all worth it. I know now that teaching and working with young children is the right career choice for me.
"My plan from here is to continue doing the best I can at Chilton whilst also being successful in my studies. I also want to work on myself on a personal level. My aim is to one day be a great teacher that has a positive and significant influence on the children I teach, their families and their communities."
As a man working in a female-dominated sector, 21 year old Kester has faced a few big challenges. But thanks to his Certificate in Early Childhood Practice (Level 4) qualification and extensive support from Nannies Plus, he is now forging a successful and rewarding career as a ‘manny’.
“Before coming to NZCC I was doing a Bachelor of Teaching, Early Childhood Education Centre-based Programme at Victoria University. However I decided I wanted to become a nanny as I found it was more enjoyable than working in an early childhood centre. I was able to build closer relationships with a few children, as opposed to 30 kids. I was also keen to gain a qualification which would enable me to travel overseas. A friend of mine had just completed the NZCC home-based course and recommended it. My friends and family thought I would make a great nanny and leaped at the idea of me working in the early childhood sector. Their encouragement made me feel I was making the right choice. I thought that especially as a male, it would be much easier to find a nanny job if I had a relevant qualification.
“I loved the course. I was able to put all the theory I’d learnt at university and NZCC into real-life practice with my training family. It was amazing to see the difference it made – there is so much more to nannying than just playing with children! The bond I forged with my training family was really rewarding and I also enjoyed making friends with my fellow NZCC students during our classroom days. We did most of our learning in groups and got to socialise while making new friends. I learned a lot of new skills, and found the ones pertaining to infants especially useful – things like feeding, bathing, sleep routines, play, calming and working with parents. I’d had very little experience working with babies so these skills were really helpful after I graduated and found work with two different families who had kids under the age of six months. I met many great people, learnt lots and also found a career that I thoroughly enjoy. Having this qualification means I’m now enrolled with a great agency and have tons of support if I need it while I am out in the workforce.
“It was moderately difficult to find nanny work after I finished the course. There were a couple of reasons for that – firstly I didn’t have my full driver’s licence and secondly, because I’m a male, many families didn’t even want to interview me, let alone hire me. It was a bit disheartening at first! My Nannies Plus liaison put in a lot of effort convincing families that I was worth giving a shot, and she put my name forward for lots of jobs. I’m very grateful to her. Once the first family gave me a chance I was on my way, as their reference helped me to get more work.
“Currently I’m employed as a nanny for two families. One family has two boys aged five and two, and the other family has a five month old baby girl. The two jobs are very different – working with the baby girl is more challenging, but very fascinating, as development happens much faster. I really enjoy my jobs. I love watching the children grow and learn. It’s amazing seeing their progress and definitely makes me feel like I’ve made a difference. Out of all the jobs I’ve done, nannying is by far the most fun! Every day is filled with laughter and joy. Children really keep you on your toes and teach you things.”
She’s cared for orphans in Uganda, street kids in Cambodia and foster kids in Tauranga. She’s done relief work in pre-schools, support work for people with intellectual disabilities, and been the nanny of two pre-schoolers. Since gaining her Certificate in Early Childhood Practice (Level 4) three-and-a-half years ago, Amy Braddock hasn’t had a minute to spare.
“I’ve always loved working with children and wanted to gain the skills needed to look after other people’s kids. I chose to study at NZCC because the course was short, free and gave me hands on training with families. The different children and families I got to work with were a real highlight because each family had different learning opportunities to offer.
“The course material at NZCC was clear and easy to understand. We always knew what to expect in the coming weeks and the purpose behind everything we were learning. Tutors were always readily available, personable, and wanting the best for their students. Having smaller class sizes was great as it meant we were able to bond well as students and learn off each other’s experiences. I also particularly enjoyed specific learning days such as the water safety day we did at the pools.
“The course has given me the confidence to know that I am offering the very best to a child and it also gives the employing family reassurance that you will be safe and competent with their children. The skills I’ve learnt have been very useful, especially those focussing on different ages of children and what is appropriate for them in terms of development, for example, what is the best way to get them to cooperate and what are the most effective learning and play activities for their age group. The first aid skills we learned were also invaluable.
“It has always been a dream of mine to work in an orphanage in Africa and I found out about an organisation in Uganda called ‘Watoto’ who take volunteers for their baby homes. A while after graduating I spent two months there looking after babies aged between six months and two years old. My daily tasks involved everything from changing nappies, bathing and feeding them, to teaching them new words and giving them hugs. Some of these babies had horrific backgrounds and all they wanted was to be loved. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and taught me a lot about what it means to love others.
“Prior to going to Uganda I spent a couple of months in Cambodia where I worked with street children and children who had been affected by HIV. Since graduating from NZCC I’ve also worked as a nanny for a family with two pre-schoolers, done some relief work in pre-schools and support work for people with intellectual disabilities, and volunteered for an organisation called ‘Homes of Hope’ which is a residential home for foster kids.
“Now I’m working as the Kapiti Coast Youth Council Coordinator and I’m also in my third year of my degree in Social Work. My goal is to eventually combine that qualification with my love of children, and forge a career working in child protection or child/adolescent mental health. Of course I’m always dreaming about going back overseas to work with kids in Africa or Asia too!”
Billie always had a passion for working with children, but was more interested in working one-on-one, or in smaller groups, rather than in a large childcare centre. When she found out she could become qualified through Nannies Plus she jumped at the chance. Since graduating three years ago, Billie has been working as a Q Nanny for a lovely family and their little girl Ada. She has formed a great relationship with the family and is extremely happy.
“Every child is unique and special and I find it very rewarding building relationships with them, watching them grow and develop, and also having fun and getting messy with them! My Nannies Plus training prepared me well for my role as a nanny. As well as arming me with lots of messy play recipes, it taught me strategies for problem solving between children, and also things like how to figure out why a baby might be crying or upset. Having that training and qualification makes me feel much more confident in my job.
“My training covered so much on the practical side like swimming, first aid, making toys. By being able to work with a training family, I could put all the aspects I was learning at college into practice. It was great to have support from all the visiting teachers and also to meet other students that had the same interests as me.
“In the future I hope to further my studies with people and have a family of my own where I can put into practice all the great knowledge and experience I have gained.”
Angelique’s love of working one-on-one with children inspired her to train to be a nanny with Nannies Plus. Now she is a Nannies Plus Q Nanny and has an awesome job looking after 21 month old Neo three days a week.
“After many years of babysitting, I decided to train to become a nanny. The Nannies Plus programme really appealed because it’s on-the-job training rather than classroom based, and it was really good getting to know other people who also have an interest in children. I learnt many skills during the course but the cooking class would have to be one of the most useful!
“It’s been really good to have the support of the Nannies Plus agency. After completing my training I found employment but it didn’t work out. Nannies Plus did a great job of supporting me during that time and finding me another job which was fantastic. Now I get to spend my days out and about showing Neo the sights around Wellington and playing with him!
“Training to be a nanny enables you to offer a better service to the family and also gives you a qualification to travel with. My goal is to continue working with children and someday I hope to nanny overseas.”
Although Jess was already working as a nanny, she decided she would improve her career opportunities by gaining herCertificate in Early Childhood Practice (Level 4). She’s now completed her training and is working as a Q Nanny for Nannies Plus Wellington.
“I did my 20 week placement with George’s family, and at the end of it they offered me a full-time role as a Q Nanny. Now I spend four days a week with George - a gorgeous, cheeky one year old who has just started walking. He keeps my days very busy! George’s family lives right in town, so our days are full of exploring the city. Te Papa is his favourite place. We also enjoy regular playdates with another Q Nanny and the little boy she nannies for.
“I really enjoyed my NZCC course. I made lots of good friends and it is really good to have people there to help and support you. My goal is to keep nannying for as long as I can, and one day I hope to travel with it.”
Hailing from Taranaki, Braer signed up to be a live-in Trainee Nanny in Wellington (a great option for those who are keen to complete their Certificate in Early Childhood Practice (Level 4) but who live outside of Wellington or Auckland).
“The bond I formed with my practicum nanny family was a real highlight. After I completed my training I continued to work for them as a Qualified Nanny and we are still really good friends.
“The course was really worthwhile. It teaches you things you might not have known before - things that are important when working with children (such as different laws) - and it also helps you develop good communication skills. When you’re working with children you have to know how to give clear instructions, change your tone and word things appropriately, depending on the situation. The hands-on experience we gained throughout the course enabled us to put our theoretical knowledge to the test in real-life situations.
“I really enjoy working with and looking after children, because they give you a different perspective of the world. The relationships you form with them are amazing - they meet you as a stranger, and then you become part of their lives.”
The skills and experience Haley gained through training with NZCC and Nannies Plus enabled her to land a great job in the UK!
“I trained to be a nanny because I love children and wanted to have an educated knowledge on how to raise them. I also intended to travel overseas and knew it would help my chances of getting employment. In the UK it helped me get on the books as they take it very seriously over there and you really need some kind of relevant qualification. Having my certificate definitely helped me find a better job and negotiate better wages in London.
“By having completed the course, families feel comforted that you take raising their children seriously. It also helps you gain confidence and you learn a lot of really important skills in the areas of child development, nutrition, child health, first aid, ethical behaviour, communication and Swim Safe. The way the course is structured, (with four days with the family and one in the classroom), means you get to apply and cement everything you are learning.”
Quantity Surveyor Natasha Khaw is an avid supporter of the Nannies Plus training programme. She, her husband Kai, and their two children Regan (4) and Addison (2) have just taken on their third Trainee Nanny. Not only has the experience enabled Natasha to work part-time from home, but she has found the experience hugely rewarding. Plus the kids have had a ball!
“We approached Nannies Plus two years ago as I was looking at continuing part-time work from home, but I couldn’t see how it would work with two children. Our first Trainee Nanny, Hannah, was with us for her training contract and then we employed her as a Q Nanny for a further six months before she moved back to Hamilton. Our second Trainee Nanny, Heidi, completed her training with us and she also stayed on with us for another six months. Heidi has just moved back to Australia so we have now taken on our third Nannies Plus Trainee Nanny, Stacey.
“There are many benefits to having a Nannies Plus nanny. It allows me the flexibility to be able to work, but also be there for the children – I can still be interactive in their day to day activities. Another positive is that Regan and Addison are in their own environment. Being a training family is a win/win situation for everybody. It’s very rewarding, watching your nanny gain confidence and skills throughout her training. Having the practical aspect to the training programme allows the Trainee Nanny to apply what is being learnt immediately with the training family and also provides the hands-on experience. On top of that, Nannies Plus provides great support with monthly visits, resources for the children, advice on contracts, wage services and assistance to resolve any issues that arise.”