Meet­ing a de­mand for nan­nies

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LO­CAL NEWS - ERIN TASKER

Ev­ery par­ent needs a break some­times, and Methven woman Han­nah Mentink is help­ing make that hap­pen.

Less than three years af­ter fall­ing into her first nan­ny­ing job, at just 22 years old, Mentink has set up a busi­ness she hopes will cater to ev­ery fam­ily’s needs.

If lo­cals need a reg­u­lar nanny, if vis­i­tors in Methven for a month of ski­ing in win­ter need child­care, or if peo­ple need some­one for a one-off – like a date night – that’s where Mentink’s new busi­ness New Zealand Nan­nies comes in.

‘‘Heaps of mums only go out and do stuff if they can sort child­care; you’re do­ing some­thing on the ba­sis that you can go out and the kids are happy,’’ she said.

It’s not some­thing Mentink – who grew up in Lee­ston – ever saw her­self do­ing. She babysat grow­ing up, but headed down an­other path when she left school, go­ing to Tau­ranga to study tourism and beauty ther­apy.

‘‘But I just felt like I was wast­ing time and money study­ing.’’

So she re­turned home to Lee­ston and took a job for six months be­fore plac­ing an ad in a news­pa­per of­fer­ing her ser­vices as a nanny.

The ad was an­swered by a Methven woman preg­nant with her sec­ond child. It was a daunt­ing prospect for Mentink, with no ex­pe­ri­ence with new­borns, but she took the job and the rest is his­tory.

The fam­i­lies kept com­ing and Mentink re­alised there was a need for nan­nies in Methven.

‘‘Right now I have five fam­i­lies on the go, and as of Novem­ber there will be seven; it’s just crazy,’’ Mentink said.

‘‘Ev­ery fam­ily is dif­fer­ent in the way they run the house, and the kids are so dif­fer­ent, so you just need a strat­egy for each house.

‘‘I just love [the work] and meet­ing dif­fer­ent fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity.’’

She’s grown at­tached to the chil­dren she’s looked af­ter, and loves watch­ing them learn and de­velop.

‘‘Kids just have a way of mak­ing you see things for what they are; if they’re happy, they are hon­estly happy.’’

At the mo­ment New Zealand Nan­nies is just her, but she plans to hire other nan­nies and build up a data­base, al­most like a babysit­ters club.

‘‘Even­tu­ally the big­ger goal is to act as an agency for nan­nies and to pro­vide sup­port all the way through,’’ she said.


Methven’s Han­nah Mentink has started her own busi­ness, New Zealand Nan­nies.

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