Kester Brooke-White

 

Certificate in Early Childhood Practice (Level 4) (Home-based/Nanny)

Full-time Nanny

Why did you enrol in NZCC’s home-based nanny programme?
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.
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.

What were the highlights of your course?
I loved having the opportunity 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.

There are not many male nannies. What are the challenges of being a man working in this sector?
I find the best thing about being a male in this female-dominated sector is that my knowledge and expertise is valued.  I’ve noticed that my nannying style is different from many of the female nannies I’ve met.  This means that my perspective on situations is different and I often get asked if I would do something differently because I’m a man.

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.