My week by Fran­cis gay

Ex­pert: Nan­nies add more than a spoon­ful of sugar

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS -

Many busy work­ing par­ents dream of find­ing a real Mary Pop­pins to add a spoon­ful of sugar to their every­day lives.

And, ac­cord­ing to one of the coun­try’s lead­ing nanny agen­cies, it is pos­si­ble to find the per­fect nanny to fill this choice po­si­tion.

Les­ley Jones, man­ager of Gr­ey­coat Lum­leys in Ed­in­burgh, helps fam­i­lies hire spe­cial­ist nan­nies, and says a good re­la­tion­ship is key if they are to be­come a part of the house­hold. She said: “A lot of nan­nies we re­cruit will be live-in and will have ac­com­mo­da­tion with the fam­ily, some­times in a sep­a­rate flat or within the main house.

“The nanny is very much part of the fam­ily, and they gen­er­ally have a very good re­la­tion­ship and stay with them for a very long time – fam­i­lies will be ideally look­ing for some­one to stay with them as they grow.

“There­fore, their ac­com­mo­da­tion and salary needs to be at­trac­tive to be able to keep some­one long-term. “There are op­tions for nan­nies to al­most pick and choose which role they want to go for be­cause they re­ally are in de­mand.”

Like ev­ery­one’s favourite Vic­to­rian carer, Les­ley says mod­ern day nan­nies will be­come a big part of chil­dren’s every­day rou­tines, car­ing for them from break­fast to bed­time.

“A lot of nan­nies work from 7am to 7pm, so they’ll get the chil­dren up and ready for ac­tiv­i­ties or school and then get ev­ery­thing ready for them com­ing home, in­clud­ing cook­ing for them, right up to the bed­time rou­tine. “More and more is that clients are look­ing for some­one who is quite creative – in Scot­land in par­tic­u­lar that in­volves nan­nies that will take the chil­dren out­side to be at one with na­ture. That’s re­ally im­por­tant for them.” Al­though be­ing a nanny in­volves a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity, Les­ley ad­mits it’s still a very re­ward­ing ca­reer for many.

“It’s a very en­joy­able ca­reer as you are so in­volved.

“Per­son­al­ity is key – af­ter all, it’s some­one who will be look­ing af­ter your chil­dren. “You need to be nat­u­rally warm and car­ing.”

Pete’s a busy guy. His days are usu­ally full of get­ting things done. So, he tells me he was frus­trated to have to spend three hours in town wait­ing for his car to get fixed. I asked how it went.

“I went in a char­ity shop,” he said, “and I saw an old lady put books back be­cause they were 50p in­stead of 25p. When she wasn’t look­ing, I paid for them. I ‘found’ a fiver, much like the one an­other lady was search­ing her purse for, and ‘re­turned’ it to her. I saw some­one with men­tal is­sues talk­ing to him­self in Mcdon­ald’s. I sat with him a while and bought him lunch. It was all un­ex­pect­edly won­der­ful!”

Pete still got things done. It’s just that they were dif­fer­ent things, things that touched his heart more.

Slow down ev­ery once in a while. You might be amazed at what you see and do.

The new Mary Pop­pins film will be in UK cine­mas in three weeks

Les­ley Jones

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