The perfect solution for Working Mums

For first-time parents returning to work, investing their trust in somebody else to look after their children thrusts them squarely in unfamiliar and emotional territory. Parents and grandparents may only be too happy to oblige with extracting some of the pressure from exhausted Mums and Dads, but for many, this still leaves a worrying gap.

For first-time parents returning to work, investing their trust in somebody else to look after their children thrusts them squarely in unfamiliar and emotional territory. Parents and grandparents may only be too happy to oblige with extracting some of the pressure from exhausted Mums and Dads, but for many, this still leaves a worrying gap.

Parents are often torn between choosing a nanny or a nursery. And there are benefits to both. But what if there was a service that offered the best of both worlds?

Asquith Nurseries & Pre-Schools, who operate 79 premier children’s day nurseries throughout the UK, have come up with just that. And formed a new sister Company: Asquith Nannies. 

Asquith Nannies offers parents a bespoke combination of nanny and nursery time. A revolutionary hybrid childcare service helping to fashion a new aspect of the marketplace. The reputable service employs your nanny, who will adhere with your preferred schedule concerning time spent at home, and time spent at an Asquith Nursery. On the days you select to be spent at a nursery, your nanny will surpass traditional duties and work with your child, in the setting, as their assigned key worker. 

How has the service developed?

Andy Morris, Chairman of Asquith Nannies & CEO of Asquith Nurseries, had a significant ‘light-bulb moment’ when he found himself to be the recipient of a question frequently posed to many entrepreneurs: “What is the next step for this business?” Instead of retracting back to said drawing board, Morris asserted an initiative he knew to contain potential: “Nannies.” 

In succeeding this initiative, Morris enlisted the assistance of Martin Hinchliffe as a Managing Director, to help convert the innovative wisp of an idea, into a storm of success.

The concept evolved over the next six months and launched in January 2013, seeing the expanding team accommodate centre stage at the “NMT Best Business Newcomer Award 2013”, only a few months later. 

Any given parent is more than likely to be laden with stories about the pressure and stress evoked by finding the right childcare arrangements. In a society where it seems job roles can sometimes entail more responsibilities than the Prime Minister has, it can often feel like an impossible endurance finding flexible care that can coincide with careers. 

During initial research conducted by Asquith Nannies, customer focus groups told of the fragile and unreliable contingency arrangements currently in place. The research found that should a nanny fall ill, the typical protocol, as it stood, usually saw parents having to take time off to look after their loved ones.

Having identified this weakness, Asquith Nannies have done their upmost to prevent this issue. Therefore, should an illness occur, parents of the children of Asquith Nannies have the option of taking their children to their regular Asquith Nursery, or calling up their familiar ‘Cover Nanny’.

These alternatives provide unparalleled flexibility and safety, which allows for an uninterrupted day. 

How it developed

Asquith Nannies’ ethos is, and will infinitely remain to be, the ‘safety and wellbeing of the children and staff is the number one priority.’ The invaluable feedback from customer focus groups helped to mould the service into what it is today, and is a message adopted and implemented into their every working day practices.

Having previously personally employed a nanny, Martin Hinchliffe maintains that despite his experience of conducting numerous interviews at all levels across various businesses, nothing could have prepared him for recruiting someone to look after his own children as a first-time parent.

Being able to touch on personal experiences permits the recruitment team to put themselves into parents’ shoes. Consequentially, this unique aspect strongly motivates the team to find the right people to occupy the nanny roles, constantly internally questioning themselves whether they would allow this individual to care for their own loved ones.

Furthermore, Asquith Nannies’ obligatory recruitment and vetting procedures continue to see Hinchliffe personally attending each and every interview, and approving all appointments.

The Nannies are effectively the heart of the healthy business, with experience, passion and motivation coursing through the veins. All hand-picked, the nannies are deservedly the regular recipients of fantastic feedback. 

They are, in due course, often regarded as a part of the family unit. Having met the parents, the match with nannies becomes easier and has resulted in all nannies employed in the last 12 months, remaining with the families who have chosen to work with them.

Further concerning the development of the business, the aforementioned customer focus group also raised an issue of unsatisfactory and unstructured daily feedback, which Asquith Nannies have strived to address in two ways:

Firstly, Laura Leigh Hill, an experienced nanny from the world famous Norland College with over 14 years experience, oversees the nannies team and is a key additional interface for parents to liaise with. She is also able to provide additional, informative advice regarding nutrition, sleeping, etc. In addition, Laura helps calibrate the service to ensure the parents and Nannies work succinctly in unison during their settling in period.

Secondly, all Nannies follow the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage), both at home and in the nursery. Each nanny utilises an iPad, which gives parents remote access to follow their children’s daily activities along with the end of day catch ups. 

Prospective parents

The first person to speak with the prospective parents is Katie Bingham, who, after an initial reassuring conversation, will arrange visits in the comfort of family’s home at a convenient time. This gives the opportunity for more detailed discussions to be accommodated and any queries settled.

Whilst getting the opportunity to personally meet the parents, this visit will also cover the detail of the family requirements, including the preferred balance between nanny and nursery days, routines, dietary requirements, health issues, etc. 

Once parents have viewed pre-screened profiles of the nannies, they can then interview their prospective individuals, allowing an informed and thorough decision concerning the nanny they feel is right for their family, and who will bond best and develop their children. Often, nannies will have similar backgrounds and it will simply be chemistry on the day which may cement the decision.

Understandably, the thought of having your home risk assessed could be perceived as invasive. However, parents (sometimes after an initial sharp intake of breath) have been very receptive to the pragmatic advice and feedback provided by Asquith Nannies’ experienced Health & Safety Manager, Chris West. As your home will inevitably be frequented by your children and nanny, precautionary steps to ensure their wellbeing are fundamentally important. 

Key features of the service

For our parents & children

• Experienced childcare professionals that are Ofsted registered

• Safe, well-cared for and nurtured children

• We are the employers of the nanny, relieving you of all the legal and administrative burdens 

• Your nanny is with your child at home, and when in one of our 79 nurseries

• Contingency arrangements for sickness

• We follow the EYFS curriculum and learning journal

• Home-prepared nutritious meals

• Acceptance of childcare vouchers

• Care for up to 2 children

• Help with homework

• Visits by the team at home to suit you

• A choice of nannies

• Flexibility (up to 5 days per week), reliability and most important of all, peace of mind.

Did you know?

• Nannies are not regulated 

• Anyone can become a Nanny

• You need no qualifications or training to call yourself a nanny

• Estimated 20% of nannies work ‘cash in hand’

• HMRC are targeting this area

For more information please contact Regulation Matters or visit www.regulationmatters.co.uk 

How we look after our Nannies

• Terms, conditions & benefits associated with a large organisation

• Stringent recruitment and vetting procedure

• Qualified NVQ 3 or above

• Paediatric First Aid trained

• Ongoing training at our dedicated training centre including, safeguarding, Health and safety, food & nutrition

• Updated on best practice and specialist advice

• Part of nursery and nanny team

• Professional mentor and leader of service

• Regular communication

• Retain continuous employment between placements

• Performance reviews and feedback

• Continuous professional development

• Phone, ipad, informal uniform

Future

Parent requirements will continue to drive the service and the organisation is small and agile enough to maintain the personal family friendly service and robust enough to work with fellow like minded organisations in continuing to raise the bar and industry standards for professional Nannies.

Where parents are torn between choosing a nanny or a nursery, this new solution is simple, giving parent’s complete peace of mind and flexibility so they can have the best of both worlds.

For more information, please visit our website: http://www.asquithnannies.co.uk, call 0845 873 7070 or 

email: martin@asquithnannies.co.uk

Twitter: @AsquithNannies

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/asquithnannies

LinkedIn: Asquith Nannies Limited

Quote from Martin Hinchliffe, Managing Director

“We strongly believe as childcare professionals that nannies, often working alone, should be regulated and qualified to a certain standard. Nannies currently don’t have to be registered by Ofsted but we feel very strongly that they should.” 

Quote from Andy Morris, Chairman of Asquith Nannies & CEO of Asquith Nurseries

“Many mothers are often guilt-ridden about leaving their children with nannies whose background they may know very little about. And they’ve just been waiting for the day when they can feel completely comfortable leaving their child in a risk-free environment with time split between home and nursery. That day is finally here.”



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