Connecting to Workplaces:
Building Curricula for Validated Demonstrations
Nanny / Caregiver Curriculum
This curriculum develops the skills and knowledge that employers look for when hiring nannies. It is based on the Essential Skills job profile for Babysitters, Nannies and Parents' Helpers (NOC6474). The activities fall within Literacy and Basic Skills Levels 2 to 3.
For more information concerning this curriculum contact:
The development of this curriculum resource is in direct response to increasing demand in the field for training materials that target specific applications of work-related skills. It has particular authenticity and value because of the process that preceded it. In 2005, Literacy Network Northeast (LNN) published comprehensive exit assessment demonstrations for ten different entry level jobs.
These exit demonstrations are unique in that each one has been validated by a group of employers in that particular job field. Employers agreed that if they had a job applicant who had completed this demonstration successfully they would certainly grant that person a job interview. This is a huge step forward in securing employer recognition of skills as opposed to the more common application criterion of a Grade 12 diploma.
Following this success, the National Literacy Secretariat provided funding for the next step - support curriculum for five validated exit demonstrations. LBS curricula are now available for entry level positions of Cashier, Nanny, Taxi Driver, Chambermaid or Housekeeping Staff, and Florist Assistant. It is important to note that the curriculum for each position is written for the learner and at the LBS level required for success for each particular job, i.e. Cashier – L 3/4, Nanny – L 2/3, Taxi Driver – L 2/3, Chambermaid or Housekeeping Staff - L 2/3, and Florist Assistant - L.3. Tips and notes for the practitioner for each lesson along with an answer key for the learning activities are included.
Following a true outcomes approach, i.e. working backwards from the desired outcome, each curriculum provides the training learners need in order to complete the job-specific demonstration successfully. Each curriculum has five chapters based on the five core skills that employers identified as essential to the job with applications and learning activities for each skill. To see the skills required for this particular entry level position, check the Essential Core Skills Chart included in this resource. It is interesting to see the degree of overlap in essential skills demanding the same level of complexity and competency. This provides added value for practitioners and learners in two ways:
Practitioners can work with learners using different curriculum resources at the same time i.e. teach core skills to everyone in a group and provide learning activities that are specific to individual interests.
Practitioners can use these resources as models for teaching core skills required in other entry level jobs – particularly the ones where validated demonstrations are already available i.e. Forestry Worker, Hunting Guide, Pet Groomer, Security Guard and Laundromat Operator.
Based on primary and secondary research for each position, the curriculum
builds on Service Canada’s Essential Skills and Essential Skills Profiles
uses authentic workplace documents and real-to-life stories
illustrates the transferability of each skill
offers rigorous learning activities that are inventive and engaging
provides opportunities for learner self-reflection, self- assessment and discussion
To ensure consistency, the five writers and the project coordinator kept in close contact throughout the writing phase reading each other’s work and making suggestions. An additional team of five reviewers also read the manuscripts and offered feedback, and learners who piloted each resource gave their views on the value, usability and enjoyment factors. Finally, a number of outside employment agencies and individual employers added their high approval rating to these materials. As a result, LNN is very proud to offer these quality resources to the field and is confident in highly recommending these materials to adult learners in Ontario.
Connecting to Workplaces:
Building Curricula for Validated Demonstrations
The Nanny and Caregiver
Nanny/Babysitter/Respite Care Giver Profile
Participating employers ranked these essential skills in order of importance. This order may change according to each individual company or employer. The Connecting To Workplaces Project focused on the identified top five skills. Take note that what is of importance to employers may extend beyond the skills, abilities or knowledge LBS programs can provide and may require partnering with other programs.
“Nanny/Babysitter/Respite Care Giver Profile” continues on next page
Nanny/Babysitter/Respite Care Giver Profile” begins on previous page
Nanny/Babysitter/Respite Care Giver Profile
More Workplace Information from Participating Employers
Methods most often used to train employees:
(In order of importance)
Other (ECE Diploma, workshops, conferences as available)
Requirements most employers look for:
Courses employers most often provide to employees:
Number of employers who stated they would hire applicants who do not have a grade 12 equivalent:
Yes – 5 employers No – 3* employers (only hire ECE graduates due to licensing requirements)
*Mostly pertains to day care centres
Number of employers who would consider applicants who could demonstrate or submit their demonstration results:
Yes – 5 employers No – 3 employers (same as above)
Employers also base their hiring decisions on:
Interaction with children, criminal record check, teacher’s aid certificate, related skills, experience in day care setting
Introduction to the Nanny Curriculum
What is a Nanny?
A nanny is someone who is employed by a family,
on either a live-in or live-out basis, to take care of children.
The nanny has been a well-known figure in children’s stories for many, many years and now she shows up on television as well. Some of these fictional nannies are kind, some are mean and scary, some even have magic powers and know how to fly. In the real world, nannies are ordinary people, like you and me, who are reliable, hard-working and patient. They enjoy taking care of children and are willing to fit in with the families they work for. The modern nanny is a respected professional.
What Might a Nanny Do?
Just like parents, a nanny keeps children safe and healthy and gives them special attention when they are ill. Nannies plan activities that help children to grow strong, to learn and to develop.
The day-to-day duties of a nanny are childcare activities: feeding, bathing and dressing the children, reading to them, playing with them, going for walks and going out to children’s events in the community. Some nannies may be asked to drive children to appointments or to help them with homework. There may be other household duties such as cooking, laundry and grocery shopping. When parents hire a nanny, they usually agree on duties at the start.
Think and Discuss
Before you read any further, take a moment to think of what you already know about nannies. List four duties a nanny might have
on a typical day.
Ask others at your learning program for their opinions. Add four more duties:
Compare the list you wrote with the following list of nanny duties:
Supervise and care for children in employer's home; may live in employer's home
Bathe, dress and feed infants and children
Prepare formula and change diapers for infants
Oversee children's activities, such as meals and rest periods, as instructed by employer
Instruct children in personal hygiene and social development
Tend to the emotional well-being of children
Discipline children according to the methods requested by the parents
Organize and participate in activities such as games, crafts, reading and outings to provide amusement and exercise
Plan, prepare and serve meals for children; perform other housekeeping duties
Take children to and from school and appointments
Maintain a healthy environment in the home
Keep records of daily activities and health information regarding each child.
The above list is part of a detailed description of the nanny occupation. The whole description, along with descriptions of many other jobs, can be found in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) published by
There are other jobs that are very similar to the job of nanny and are described together under the same NOC code – 6474. They are:
As well, these other two jobs are closely related to the job of nanny:
Companions and Foster Parents (NOC 6471)
What Does it Take to be a Successful Nanny?
Nannies must be mature enough to play the part of a parent when the parents are not around.
They must be able to use good judgment and make quick decisions on their own.
They need to be patient and to be able to handle eight to ten hours on a stretch with a small child, perhaps with no other adult around.
Most families have certain rules and routines and a nanny must be flexible enough to fit in with them.
The nanny should respect the way that the
parents want their children raised, according to their belief or philosophy. This is especially important in choosing books and entertainment for children and in dealing with a child who is misbehaving.
Nannies have to be well-organized and good at managing time on their own. They may have a lot to fit into their day.
But things don’t always go according to plan with children. Sometimes the nanny must change plans quickly without getting flustered and go with the flow.
Most nannies are women, but this does not mean that men cannot be nannies too. Parents will hire someone who they feel will do a good job of looking after their children.
What Parents Expect of a Nanny
When parents hire a nanny, they want more than a babysitter; they want someone who will help them to raise their children. This includes potty-training, reading with the children, teaching good manners, helping with homework and, in general, being on the ball.
Parents expect the nanny to be a good role model. The way she speaks, acts and dresses make a big impression on the children in her care.
Most parents don't want a nanny who swears or is rude and abusive. Of course, smoking, drinking and taking drugs while on the job would be unacceptable. Also, parking the kids in front of the TV for hours or having long personal phone conversations would not be considered appropriate nanny behaviour.
Nannies make a habit of communicating with the parents. They may do this by speaking together for a few minutes at the end of every day, or by writing notes in a journal, or log.
A nanny’s workday is between eight and ten hours. This gives parents time to travel to and from work. As well, many parents ask their new nanny to work for them for at least one year. It takes a little while for children to get accustomed to a new caregiver and it can be upsetting to have people coming and going from their lives too often.
If the new nanny does not have First Aid, WHMIS and CPR training, the parents will probably ask him or her to get it. There may be other training courses that the parents will ask their nanny to take while on the job. Or the nanny may do on-the-job training in a more informal way – by reading books, magazines and brochures.
Some employers look for nannies with a Grade 12 diploma and some type of Early Childhood Education training. Others are satisfied to hire nannies with childcare experience and strong references. As mentioned before, most nannies have First Aid, CPR and WHMIS training.
Training may take place before the nanny is hired, or during the time of employment. A new nanny may be asked to start work a week or two before the previous nanny has left and learn by watching and asking questions. This is called job shadowing. Some nannies are trained on the job by the parents.
Essential Skills are the skills people use to carry out a wide variety of everyday tasks – for work and for daily living. They can be learned in one setting, for example an upgrading program, and transferred to another setting, such as a workplace. New skills that you learn are built on these essential skills.
The main Essential Skills are:
Working with Others
In the section called, What Might a Nanny Do?, you read about the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Many of the jobs described in NOC have been broken down into Essential Skills required in the workplace.
This curriculum builds the Essential Skills that employers say are the most important for successful nannies to have.
Using This Curriculum
This course is divided into five chapters. Each chapter deals with one or more of the important Essential Skills that nannies need.
As you work through each chapter you will find many practice
exercises and questions to help you get more out of what you’re reading. The answers to these practice exercises can be found at the end of each chapter. Finish each exercise before looking at the answer.
Look for this symbol beside an exercise:
It means that there’s an answer at the end of the chapter.
Many links to web sites are given. To make it easier for you, a Hyperlink Table has been given to your instructor. Remind your instructor to copy this table onto the computer that you use.
Then, when you come to the part of the text where the link is given, you can go over to the computer, look up the chapter and page in the hyperlink table, click on the hyperlink, and you’re there!
In each chapter you will find Learning Activities. You’re meant to do these on your own. These are mini-tests that show you how much you’ve learned in the chapter. They help you to prepare to do the Exit Demonstration. When you’ve finished a Learning Activity, give it to your instructor to be marked. Don’t bother to search for the answers at the end of the chapter – they aren’t there!
This curriculum covers many of the topics that nannies need to know about, but there’s always something more to learn. Your instructor may be able to add more to your learning experience by arranging for guest speakers or for visits to childcare centres. Learn more about these very important topics:
Reporting Child Abuse
Any adult who works with children is required
by law to report cases of suspected child abuse – physical, sexual or emotional. Find out what your responsibility is. Ask The Child and Family Services for up-to-date information.
If there is an Early Years centre or a Family
Literacy program in your area, find out if they are running workshops or groups that you could take part in.
Safety in the Home
Health Units provide booklets, brochures and
training sessions. Fire Departments may send guest speakers.
First Aid and CPR
As a nanny, you will need up-to-date
certificates. Look into getting trained while you are upgrading your skills.
Attend your learning program regularly, keep working at it steadily – just like you would in your job as a professional nanny!
The whole course will take you about 30 hours to complete. This is only an estimate. It may take more or less time. In the space below, record the time you spend on it.
All in a Day's Work
Introduction to Chapter 1
The future is something that everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. (C.S. Lewis)
Time does not wait for any of us. In fact, we can’t really “manage time”. But we can manage how we use our time. Making plans, being organized and being on time are useful skills for anyone to have.
Are you a super-organized person who is always on time? No? Welcome to the club! But don’t be discouraged; time management skills can be learned and they get better with practice. You can use them to keep your home running smoothly, to balance your social life with your other duties and to help you in your studies. Most of all, strong time management skills will help you to be successful at work.
Employers say that time management is the most
important skill for a successful nanny.
This chapter will focus on the following skills:
being on time
listening to instructions
These four skills work together as part of the time management “team”.
The Essential Skills Connection
The above time management skills connect with the Essential Skills framework in this way:
After studying this chapter you will be more able to:
List many of the tasks that a nanny does on a typical workday
Explain why good time management is important for a nanny
Estimate how much time is needed for daily activities
Read time accurately from analog and digital clocks
Be on time
Prioritize tasks and make work schedules
Listen and follow instructions about a daily routine
Log onto the Internet and read schedules
Help children learn to tell time
A Time Management Checklist
You may have better time management skills than you think. Answer these questions and then rate yourself:
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions you are well on your way to being a good time manager!
Time management is an essential skill and therefore it is transferable. This means that you can use it in many different jobs and in many different life situations. Examples:
Taxi drivers work to strict time schedules and pick up passengers on the dot.
Florists prepare orders for special dates. They can’t be late!
Chambermaids must complete a series of tasks by the end of each shift.
Cashiers make use of their down time to stock shelves and check prices.
Parents get their kids to the right place, at the right time, with the right stuff.
Students plan their free time so that homework and assignments get done.
A Day in the Life of Martha, the Nanny
My alarm clock wakes me and I spring out of bed and into the shower. I dress in clean, comfortable clothes, brush my teeth and I'm ready for action. Breakfast can wait; I'll eat with the three children I'm looking after in my new job as nanny. I'm off to the bus stop, to catch the 8:15 bus. I missed it yesterday. The result? I got to work late. This meant that Mrs.
Wilson was late leaving for work and she wasn't too pleased. From now on I'm going to show her that I know how to be on time..
Here I am at the Wilsons’ house. I made it with five minutes to spare - just enough time to review my instructions for the day and to wave goodbye to Mrs. Wilson.
First, I dress Sarah, Maggie and Jake, before sitting down to have breakfast with them. After I wash their faces, clean their teeth and brush their hair. My friends ask me what it's like being a nanny. I guess that being a nanny is a bit like being a mother or father. Next, we sit on the floor and do a jigsaw puzzle. I have to make sure that the littlest one, Jake, gets his turn to put a few pieces in too. Being a nanny is a bit like being a big brother or sister.
It's time for Sarah to take her medication - she has a bad sore throat. Maggie also needs some sympathy so I change the bandage on her cut finger. Being a nanny is a bit like being a nurse.
Mrs. Wilson wants the kids to watch a TV show about whales at nine-thirty. We’d better get settled - it’ll be starting in two minutes. When it's over, I read two books to them about whales. They are all at different stages of learning to read and I give each child a chance to take part in the reading. Afterwards, they draw pictures and write about whales. Jake is still at the scribble stage but I know how important it is to encourage every effort that a child makes. Hey! I'm a bit of a teacher in this job. While
the children are busy with whales, I start to cook the bean soup for lunch. It needs to simmer for two hours so the beans won't be hard. Being a nanny is a bit like being a cook. I take four phone calls while I'm cooking and I write messages for Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, reminding them of the dates and times of their appointments. On top of everything else, I'm a secretary.
A fight has broken out in the living room. Maggie and Jake are fighting over the blue crayon. I break the fight up, break the crayon in half and make peace. I'm a policewoman.
Before lunch we walk over to the park to play. Sarah has just joined a soccer team and I help her practise her kick. Maggie is learning to somersault and Jake can almost catch a ball. I love this part: being a coach. Suddenly, they're all running in different directions. Oh no!
Maggie is getting too close to the road! Jake could get hit by that swing! Where's Sarah? I manage to bring them together safely. Who knew that I'd have to be a sheep dog in this job?
We must hurry back for lunch. If the little ones don't eat by noon they get cranky and won't eat at all. Also, I have to drive them over to the Community Centre before two o'clock to register for art classes, (yes, I am a chauffeur), buy a birthday present for Maggie's friend, get Jake to take a nap, feed the hamster, clean its cage and braid Sarah's hair. Yes, I admit it: I am a juggler.
We are all tired. We sit at the kitchen table and I help the kids make a get-well card for their granny. It looks beautiful. There's a bit of the artist in me.
The Wilsons keep a tidy house and I like to help by tidying up before they get home. I should do that right now if I want to finish in time. The kids help me to wash the dishes, make the beds, fold the laundry and pick up their toys. Part of this nanny's job is being a housekeeper.
Mr. Wilson is home! If I leave now and hurry to the bus stop, I’ll just make the 4:43 bus. My third day as a nanny is over and as I say goodbye, the kids crowd around and chatter about all the fun things we can do tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing them and I think they feel the same. Being a nanny is a bit like being a friend.
Why Worry About Time?
You've just read about Martha, the nanny, and the things she must fit into her day at work. It's important to show up on time, so she needs to have an idea of how long it takes to get up, get ready and get to her place of work. Some of her time with the children follows a routine: the parents feel it is best for their children if meals, snacks and rests happen around the same time every day.
But each day brings new things to do and Martha must use initiative to decide how to fit them into the schedule. She has to accommodate the children’s energy and patience with each activity. She must remember that getting things done with kids in tow takes longer than when she is alone, so lots more time is needed for simple everyday events. Children are a lot happier if they are not rushed.
Martha also needs to listen to instructions from the children’s parents and organize activities according to a schedule.
Think and Discuss
Think of two good reasons why Martha needs to manage her time well.
Are We There Yet?
60 seconds = 1 minute 60 minutes = 1 hour
Test yourself with these problems, then check your answers at the end of this chapter. Use the clock to help you or, better yet, picture the clock face in your mind.
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Let's say you lie in bed for ten minutes after you wake up, spend twenty minutes in the bathroom and five minutes putting your clothes on. How many minutes have gone by?
Unlike Martha, you have breakfast before leaving for work or school. You take ten minutes to prepare the food and set the table, fifteen minutes to eat, five minutes to clean up the kitchen and ten more minutes to clean your teeth, brush your hair and put on your coat and shoes. The bus stop is a five-minute walk from your front door. How much time has passed since you woke up?
You need to catch the 8:20 bus to get you there on time. What time should you set your alarm for? Let's work this one out together.
Notice how we added ten minutes for the unexpected. The phone might ring. You might have to sew on a button. You might have to unclog the sink. No problem. You have ten extra minutes to deal with these.
Step 2 – Convert to hours.
When the number of minutes is greater than 60, in other words more than one hour, convert it to “hours and minutes”. This makes it easier to work with in your head. Subtract 60 from the total number of minutes.
This gives you one hour. The remainder is part of one hour. Example:
Step 3 – Count backwards.
Decide when you need to be at the bus stop and then count the time backwards for one and a half hours. You want to catch the 8:20 bus. Why not plan to get there five minutes early – 8:15? Count back one hour from 8:15 (7:15). Count back one half hour from 7:15 (6:45). Bingo! You need to set your alarm clock for 6:45 (quarter to seven) on workdays.
If you follow these steps you will arrive at your destination on time.
Help Nicole be on Time
Nicole gets a ride to work with her neighbour, who comes by her house at 8:00 am. Nicole knows that she needs about 30 minutes to get out of bed and take a shower. She’s really into fashion so she spends another 20 minutes doing her hair and putting on make-up. She dresses in 5 minutes. She’s lucky enough to have her father prepare breakfast for her and she eats it in about 10 minutes and helps him wash up (5 minutes). In another 10 minutes her teeth are cleaned, her coat is on and she’s going out the door. Sometimes her friend phones at that very moment for a quick chat, but she keeps it down to 5 minutes. She likes to be waiting on the front steps 5 minutes before her neighbour pulls up because he’s pushed for time in the mornings. What time should Nicole set her alarm for?
Step 1 - Add the time needed for all Nicole’s activities.
Step 2 – Convert to hours.
Step 3 – Count backwards.
To the Nearest Minute
Thousands of years ago people kept track of time by watching the sun as it crossed the sky. It appeared on the eastern horizon, rose steadily through the day, and sank in the west. The oldest clocks were sundials.
Later, people used hourglasses and water clocks to measure how much time had passed.
Then came pendulum clocks. Weights attached to long chains swung back and forth and kept the clockwork running. The clocks needed to be very tall to hold the long chains. From this time we got grandfather clocks.
Due to the size of grandfather clocks, smaller clocks and pocket watches were invented. They ran on springs and you needed to wind the springs regularly to keep them running.
Nowadays, we use quartz clocks and watches. Quartz is a crystal that vibrates when a small amount of electricity runs through it. This vibration keeps the clock running. Most wall clocks and clock radios are plugged into an electrical outlet. Watches and alarm clocks use batteries.
We now use two common types of clocks and watches – analog and digital.
An analog clock has a face and hands that move. In most
analog clocks all the numbers from 1 to 12 are shown. In a few clocks, only some of the numbers are shown. Your imagination has to fill in the missing numbers. You need to look closely at the minute hand to read the time accurately to the nearest minute. From the analog clock we get the expressions “moving clockwise” and “moving counter-clockwise”.
Digital clocks and watches show the exact time, in numbers, to the nearest minute. They may even read seconds so you can use them to time games and race
Compare Analog and Digital Clocks
When we read an analog clock we often make an estimate of the time or round it off to the nearest quarter hour. We may say, “It’s almost seven thirty” when it is actually 7:26. Or you might say, “It’s just past eight o’clock” when it is 8:03. That’s fine. Sometimes it is more useful to estimate time than to say, “It’s three minutes and fifty-four seconds past eight”. However, the digital clock gives you a precise reading of time.
Analog and digital clocks require different math skills. Make sure that the children in your care practise reading both kinds of clocks. It will help to develop their understanding of numbers and fractions.
Notice how “twenty to one” on the analog is expressed as “forty minutes past twelve” on the digital. Also, “one minute to midnight” becomes “fifty-nine minutes past eleven”. It will help you to switch easily between analog and digital if you think “how many minutes past the hour” and “what hour has just gone by”.
Notice also that five past ten needs a zero in front of the five. Without the zero the time would read 10:50 (fifty minutes past ten).
To change minutes to into minutes past, remember: 60 minutes = 1 hour
Writing the Time
Fill in the blank spaces.
Write the correct digital time. Draw the hands on the clock faces.
Learning Activity 1: Being on Time
You travel from your home by bus to the home where you work.
You spend the day with three children, ages seven, four and two.
Today you will feed the children a morning snack and a light lunch.
You will also take them to a birthday party three blocks away.
You like to tidy up the house a bit before the parents come home.
Fill in the schedule with times for these activities. If you like, you can break the activities into smaller parts. Notice that some activities and times have been filled in for you.
Draw hands on the clocks to show the correct times.
There are only 24 hours in each day. No matter how well you manage your time, you can’t squeeze in any more hours. Some days may feel longer than 24 hours, like the days where everything goes wrong and you’re dealing with one crisis after another. Other days are relaxing or exciting and seem to fly by. Time flies when you’re having fun; it drags when you’re not. But each day is still 24 hours.
Where Does the Time Go?
This web page helps you to track how you are spending the hours in your day. Give it a try.
To make the best use of the time you have, you must take initiative and decide which activities you really want and/or need to do. Balance the things that you enjoy doing with the things that may be boring but necessary for everyday living. Recognize which things are urgent and must be done as soon as possible. This is called prioritizing, or setting priorities. When you take initiative and set priorities, you decide what you will do first, how much time you will spend on each activity and which things you can put off till later (or cancel altogether).
As a nanny, it is very important to set priorities. You have to juggle a lot of needs:
the children’s need for comfort and fun
the parents’ need to know that their children are safe and well-cared for
your own need to be organized and in control
All these needs are important. Your job is to manage your day with the children so that all needs are met. Where do you start?
Which Comes First?
Read this list of tasks and decide in what order you would do them. Write "1," next to the first one you would do, "2" next to the second, etc.
As you saw from the last exercise, you need to do the most urgent task first.
What would we call “most urgent”? These are things you should do as soon as possible to prevent someone from getting injured.
What would we call “quite urgent”? These are things you should do after the “most urgent”. If you don’t, the result might be that people you care about are left feeling unhappy, uncomfortable or annoyed. Or, the result could be that a valued possession is lost or damaged. Most people would agree on what is “most urgent” but may have different opinions on what is “quite urgent”.
Other tasks on the list were not considered urgent enough to make the top four, but they are still important. You promised the children you would play a game with them. They’ll be disappointed if you don’t. Sarah feels more confident if you give her a bit of support with her homework. The plants make the house beautiful and need water regularly. You’re looking forward to seeing friends tonight so you have to call them before they make other plans. These are all things that make life more enjoyable. Life would be too stressful if we were always dealing with urgent situations!
Then there are all those other tasks we have to do each day – showering, washing the dishes and paying the bills. They’re not really urgent, if they’re done regularly. They’re not really important in the way we have defined important (making our lives more enjoyable). But they are necessary. Without them our lives don’t run smoothly and some of the enjoyment of important times is taken away. If you neglect necessary tasks you may find that urgent situations develop more often.
The Urgent-Important Matrix
In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Steven R. Covey encourages us to decide what we really value and what activities enrich our lives. He suggests that we organize our schedules so that we are spending as much time as possible with people and pastimes that are important to us. The following chart is adapted from his writing.
In which box do you spend most of your day?
Box 2 is the place you want to be most often. Here you’ve found a good balance between doing what you have to and doing what you like to.
Of course, sometimes you find yourself in Box 1. You experience urgent situations from time to time. But if you find yourself in Box 1 very often, you lead a very stressful life!
If you find yourself spending a lot of time in Boxes 3 and 4, it’s time to take a look at your priorities and see how you can make some positive changes.
Why should you have to think about how you spend your time? As a nanny, you are a role model for the children in your care. You set the tone. If you are calm, happy and interested in what you’re doing, the children are encouraged to be the same. If you are rushed, stressed, unhappy or bored, the children will not feel secure and they may be unhappy too.
Learning Activity 2 - Taking Initiative, Setting Priorities
Below is a list of tasks that a nanny might be given (but not all in one day!)
In this learning activity you will organize the list into these categories:
Most urgent – must be done now
Quite urgent – must be done today
Important – makes life enjoyable, do regularly
Necessary – routine tasks that keep things running smoothly
Read the list and decide which category you would put each item into. Then complete the chart on the next page. If you prefer, create your chart by hand. Finally, explain to your instructor why you made the choices that you did.
make modeling clay for child to take to school next day
read note mother left on kitchen table
deal with child who does not want to follow an instruction
read instructions then give medicine to child
read book to children
play game with children
stick children’s art work on fridge
read article from parenting magazine about nutrition
stop one child from biting the other
preview video before showing to children
help children with homework
read ingredient labels on food packages
read assembly instructions on new toy
warn children that the neighbour’s vicious dog is loose
make grocery list for week
check change received while shopping
get children to birthday party at right time
keep grocery receipts to give to children’s mother
take ill child’s temperature
teach children to count
check supplies of diapers
chat to mother about how the day went
teach children new songs
build a snowman with children
decide if child is ill enough for mother to be called home
investigate why smoke alarm is sounding
feed children lunch and snacks
spend time on your favourite hobby
Log on and Learn
You can practise reading schedules on these two web sites. If you are not familiar with using the Internet, ask your instructor for help.
Listen and Make a Plan
Mrs. Wilson has gone out of town on business. She’s left instructions for Martha in a phone message. Click on the phone below to hear the message, or go to the Hyperlink Table and look for Chapter 1 – “Message to Martha”. If this is not possible, your instructor will read the message to you.
Wow! Mrs. Wilson had lots to say. Luckily you can re-play the message and listen to it a few more times. That should help you get all the details.
There are seven things she wants Martha to pay attention to. Listen to the message a second time and try to count the seven instructions as you hear them.
Listen and Make Notes
Martha wants to be sure that she follows all Mrs. Wilson’s wishes, so she’s going to make notes from the message while it’s still fresh in her mind. In fact, you are going to do it for her. If you need to, you can listen to the message one more time. Then use the clues on the next page to help you write your notes.
“Take the dog for a walk and at the same time buy milk at the corner store. Check the mailbox before coming in.”
Look Closely at Your Notes
Mrs. Wilson gave the instructions just as they popped into her head. Your job is to decide how you can best fit them into your daily routine. Here are three questions to guide you.
What should you do first? Is there anything on the list that you think is urgent?
Which of the seven things must be done at a particular time?
Which of them can be done at any time, whenever they fit into your day?
Organizing a Daily Schedule
This is what you will do for Learning Activity 3. The blank schedule is on the next page. The Community Centre schedule is on the page after that.
Learning Activity 3 - Organizing a Daily Schedule
Use your notes to make a schedule for the day. It’s important to fit in everything that Mrs. Wilson has asked you to do. Don’t forget a morning snack and lunch. Jake will need a short nap sometime during the day. At the bottom of the schedule, write a note to Mrs. Wilson telling her what the children would like to do at the Community Centre and at what time it takes place.
Here are some games and activities for the children in your life. Please note this is not a mandatory part of the curriculum for you to complete as a learner. It is simply additional information you could use for entertaining children.
The board game on the next page needs one die and a marker for each player. Everyone puts a marker on “start”. The first player throws the die and moves ahead by the number thrown. When he lands on a space he must either say the time shown on the clock, or follow the directions on the space. If he says the wrong time, he misses a turn. The winner is the first player to reach “finish”.
Also provided is a page of blank clock faces. Draw different times on them, cut them out and use them to make new game boards. Can you invent a new game using these blank clock faces?
You’ve come to the end of Chapter 1, All in a Day's Work. Well done!
Think about what you’ve learned in this chapter. Use the skills listed below to record your progress. Put a check mark in the “yes” column if you feel very confident with the skill. Check “not yet” if you’d like more practice.
Talk to your instructor about reviewing skills that you are not yet confident with.
Introduction to Chapter 2
Most of a nanny’s working hours are spent with children. During that time, she is responsible for keeping them safe, feeding them and organizing healthy, fun activities. It’s important for her to know something about how children grow and develop and what a child needs at each stage of development.
The nanny is always in conversation with the children - talking to them, listening to them, giving instructions, praise and encouragement.
Sometimes she has to deal with a child who is being naughty or not following her instructions. At these times, what she says and the way she says it are very important. She is an important role model who teaches by example.
The nanny may be the only adult with the children most of the time, but she is not working alone. She is part of a team that includes the parents, the extended family, the neighbours and the wider community. She must be a strong team player.
In this chapter we will focus on the following skills:
meet the needs of the child
use appropriate language, vocabulary and tone
be a team player
Employers rate these as very important skills for a successful nanny.
The Essential Skills Connection
The above caregiver skills connect to the Essential Skills framework in this way:
A Checklist for Caregivers and Team Players
You may already have many of the qualities of a good caregiver and team player. Answer these questions and then rate yourself:
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you are on the right path to being a responsible caregiver and role model.
Taking care of others and being a team player are transferable skills. You pick them up in one setting and carry them over to other jobs and experiences:
Homemakers care for adults who are sick or disabled. They are kind and helpful.
Police Officers keep the community safe. The way they speak can calm people who are upset.
Daycare Workers are sensitive to the needs of children in their programs.
Waiters and Waitresses always show a polite face. Their team work keeps the restaurant running smoothly.
Family Members often are the main caregivers in a person’s life. Older family members are role models for the younger ones.
All these people are team players. Most jobs and activities require team work.
After studying this chapter you will be more able to:
Explain what it means for a nanny to be a caregiver and role model
Describe common milestones in the development of the child
Choose activities to suit children of different ages
Keep children of different ages out of harm’s way
Recognize when slang is appropriate and when it is not
Use formal or informal language to suit the occasion
Use words that are easy for the listener to understand
Speak to children in a positive style
Use different tones of voice to suit different situations
Handle difficult situations by speaking diplomatically
Make a sound recording to listen to and improve your speaking skills
Give examples of what it means to be a team player
Explain how a nanny can be a team player
Encourage children to play cooperatively as part of a team
It Takes a Village to Raise a Child
Kevin would soon finish high school. He wasn’t sure what he’d like to do after that but he was thinking of going to college. What would he study there? Well, he got on well with the many children in his large family – his sisters, brothers, cousins, nieces and nephews. Perhaps he should think about a career as a Teaching Assistant or an Early Childhood Educator. A few of his friends were going through some pretty rough times at home and at school and he could really understand their feelings. They seemed to like talking to him about their problems. Perhaps he should find out more about the Child and Youth Worker program.
One night Kevin read a bedtime story to his little sister – a book called It Takes a Village. It was about an African girl who was taking care of her little brother at the market and realized that all the adults in the village
were looking out for him at the same time. Everyone he met had something kind or caring to offer. What a lucky little boy! He was growing up in a safe and healthy environment where the whole community took responsibility for raising the children and teaching them to be good adults.
It got him thinking about his own childhood. He’d also had his share of kind people to raise him and take good care of him. His parents spent a lot of time with him and his brothers and sisters. They worked together around the house, they played games and they went camping. Even when both his parents were away from home working there was his grandmother at home to keep house. At one time the neighbourhood was a friendly place where the kids could run from one house to the other to play with friends. Parents trusted each other to watch over all the kids, and if you did something wrong you could be sure that whatever adult was around would tell you off. It was hard to get away with anything.
Of course, life was not always perfect. Kevin remembered the aunt and uncle who just didn’t seem to understand that kids needed to run around and play and make noise. The week spent at their house was a nightmare for everyone. What about the new neighbours with the three vicious dogs? They didn’t seem to care at all about the children’s safety, even after their dogs escaped and bit a child quite badly.
Kevin’s experience at school was mostly positive. He had many teachers who were patient and seemed to know exactly what would interest him and what he was capable of doing. They always spoke respectfully to their students, even when they had something negative to say. That created a really good feeling in the classroom. Then there were those other teachers who shouted at the kids or put them down in front of others. And it’s funny how the atmosphere in those classes was not friendly at all and kids fought more and were mean to each other.
The real message of that bedtime story began to dawn on Kevin: everyone who comes into contact with a child teaches him something, whether it’s good or bad. It’s important to give a child a good start by showing kindness and understanding and by setting a good example for him to learn from. Raising a child needs teamwork; it is the responsibility of every member of the community.
Kevin still wasn’t sure what career he would choose in the future but he had made up his mind what he would do for the summer. He would accept the job he had been offered by the family down the road - as caregiver for their three young children.
The Nanny’s Job Profile
People working as babysitters, nannies and parents' helpers were asked for their opinions on what makes a good nanny. They said that nannies should be patient and loving caregivers and should treat the children in their care as if they were their own. So when you prepare to become a nanny you are really preparing to think like a parent.
Kevin will need to know something about what to expect at each stage of the child’s development. Here are some of the ways he might use this knowledge:
praise and encourage children for new skills learned
choose appropriate play activities for children of different ages
keep the house safe for children as they begin to move around
Kevin will become an important role model for the children. The way he speaks will set the scene and show the children how they should talk. Here are some situations in which Kevin’s speaking skills will be used:
ask parent for information on how to give medicine
make peace between children who are fighting
comfort a child who is upset or feeling ill
speak to staff in shops, library or pool
give information to parents at the end of the day
Kevin may be alone with the children most of the day but he will not really be working alone. He will be part of a child-raising team that includes parents and professionals. Here are ways that he will work as a team member:
ask for advice from parents when not sure how to deal with something
decide if child is sick enough to call parent home from work
seek help in an emergency
read articles in parenting magazines to keep knowledge up-to-date
give advice to parents if the well-being of the children is involved
Part 1 – Meet the Needs of the Child
Growing and Learning
Have you ever had to provide clothing and shoes for a child? If you have, you’ll know how fast they grow. What about moving all the dangerous things out of the way of the toddler? Before you know it, she has learned to reach them. Children are
always growing, always learning. A nanny must be one step ahead!
It will be helpful for Kevin to have some idea of what to expect from the children. At each stage, children are learning something new. They have specific needs at each stage. He will get a lot of pleasure from recognizing their development milestones, and getting ready for the next stage.
These milestones may not show up at the same age in all children. But if you are worried about a child in your care who is not developing normally, speak to the parents about your concerns.
Let’s take a closer look at the stages in a child’s development.
Newborn babies come into the world ready to learn about their surroundings. They can see light and dark and moving objects. The
human face is a baby’s favourite thing to look at. They also hear sounds and turn towards human voices. They can hear high sounds best and soon learn to recognize voices. At first, crying is the only way they can make their needs known.
1 to 3 Months
9 to 12 Months
They’re always on the move: rolling, crawling, pulling themselves up, exploring the room and, finally one day, walking. It’s hard to keep up!
They also like to play with toys, play with you and look at pictures. They get bored with one toy quickly so they need variety. They will begin to say words like Mama, bye-bye, teddy. They may even say your name.
Nanny Tips: Make the house childproof so that they can move around without getting hurt. Then you won’t have to always say, “Don’t touch!” Talk to them a lot, even if they’re playing and you’re working. Look at picture books together.
18 Months to 2 Years They’re running, climbing, kicking the ball, talking, feeding themselves, drawing, scribbling and trying to do all the things that you do. They’re
also getting frustrated and showing it by screaming, biting and hitting. Are you having fun yet? They know which toys belong to them and may not want to share. They know a lot of words and understand when you ask them to do something (even if they don’t do it).
Give them lots of exercise. This may keep them from getting too frustrated. Let them try out their new independence but also let them clearly know what they are not allowed to do. Set a good example by being calm and patient.
These little ones are becoming athletes – throwing and catching the ball, jumping and hopping on one foot, pedaling a tricycle. They are becoming easier to get along
with. They have a few friends and are learning to share with them and follow the rules. They are more sensitive to the feelings of others. They talk a lot and ask, “Why?” They like to draw pictures and play make-believe.
Now they’re really talking a lot and know a large number of words. They think they know everything! They can look after themselves by doing things like dressing and
undressing, cleaning teeth and
using a knife and fork. They like to play at being a grown-up by doing chores and helping to look after the younger kids.
They’re showing signs of learning to read and write.
Be prepared for bumps and bruises. Don’t make a big fuss each time they hurt themselves a little. They need to play with other kids regularly. Answer their questions. Explain things.
Read books that feed their imagination.
Build their self-confidence by letting them take responsibility for chores that they can do safely and well. Don’t talk to them as you would to a smaller child; show that you know they are growing up. Read a variety of longer books to them and ask their opinions. Give them opportunities to write, for example, labels in the kitchen or cards for friends.
True or False?
See how much you can remember of what you’ve just read.
Try not to cuddle the newborn baby too often. (T/F)
You should expect the child’s first smile around the age of 9 months.
A baby may start sitting up at about 7 months. (T/F)
Children begin to say their first words at about 3 years. (T/F)
A small baby can recognize the sound of the mother’s voice. (T/F)
Minor bumps and bruises are a normal part of childhood. (T/F)
Giving the child more exercise may help to control temper tantrums.
Don’t start reading to children until they are 4 years old. (T/F)
The Rights of the Child
In 1989, child care agencies around the world agreed on The Rights of the Child. They have called on all adults everywhere to make sure that children are being given these rights.
All children have the right to love and respect. They have the right to feel safe and protected.
All children have equal rights, no matter what their race, colour, sex, language or religion; it doesn’t matter where they were born or who their parents are.