The month of June is where we celebrate and enjoy gay love in all it’s forms. It’s the month businesses and brands show their support and solidarity to the gay community, while also making a profit. Logos change to a rainbow for the whole month and you will occasionally get a story or article about what or how they help the LGBTQIA+ community. Then July comes along and brands return to their “normal” ways of doing things.
You are probably thinking how does this relate to me being a nanny and childcare. Well it is time children are taught about the family unit and how it is changing. Books and shows need to reflect the world we live in. Children will see mum and dad families on television and in books. Then they will see a same sex family out and will ask questions, some parents will feel uneasy answering and might say something negative. Some parents will explain to the child about same sex love.
We should have honest and open conversations with children, you should explain to your children in a way they will understand. You do not have to go into lots of detail or make things confusing for yourself or the child. Put simply – LOVE is LOVE.
There are resources that can help such as children’s books, that tell a story and take the hard work out of it. I just think we owe it to the next generation to be honest how the world works.
What I like about my nanny job and working with children, is that everyday can be different. As long as meals and naps are scheduled the day can be anything you want it to be. Before Covid-19 took over and changed the way we did life, I took my nanny child on lots of day trips and we had lots of play dates with other children and nannies.
My work day begins at 8 o’clock and I finish at 6 o’clock, I work 10 hour days sometimes a little more. I will not lie, some days I leave work extremely tired and other days I leave feeling like I have conquered the world.
This is what a typical day could look like: (pre covid-19)
8am work begins – I normally walk in and the boys are finishing up on breakfast, I take over from the parents.
8:30am B3 starts nursery. Its a 10 minute walk from home which is great.
10am now depending on the day B1 can have a messy play at home, play date home or at another house or a activity class.
12pm collect B3 from nursery
12:30pm lunch time
1:15pm B1 has a 2 hour nap. B3 will have free play 1:1 learning time
3pm B1 should be up and its snack time for everyone
4-5pm outdoor activites or play dates
5pm dinner and stories
6pm home time.
Now there are a few variations to our day, depending on weather or activities, how the boys feel and general life. It is important to have routine for children as it helps them learn and understand the world around them. Time keeping isn’t necessarily important but it does help a great deal.
Routines and schedules vary due to families and children. It can look similar to mine or completely different. There is not a golden rule but as long parents, children and nannies are happy, literally anything goes.
This past week has been emotionally and mentally draining. I am sure from the title you can guess why. I have a love/hate relationship with social media, it can be used for so much good such as, sharing precious moments and being up to date with the latest trend. But it also has many downsides, negative news, trolls and the fact the information can be shared constantly without being filtered. I have had to take many breaks to keep my mental health at peace and not overwhelm myself with all that is going on.
The internet and social media has been working 24/7 on sharing news, support, love for the victims of racial hate crime and police brutality. This has been amazing and I love that so many people have come together. However, there have been a lot of people who have been spread hate and negativity.
I have seen a few comments saying “my child is too young to learn about racism.” A child is never too young to learn about what is wrong and right. A child is not born a racist it is learnt behaviour and we all have a part to play in children’s development and learning.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, Understanding the World – People and communities, it states that early years settings have to provide resources to help children learn about themselves and others, helping them to understand differences and similarities with their peers. As a early years practitioner, I created many activities for children to learn about cultures, festivals and family traditions with various stories, videos and crafts.
at birth, babies look equally at faces of all races. at 3 months, babies look more at faces that match the race of their caregivers.
kelly et al, 2005
It is never too early for us to talk about race and culture with children. Children are sponges and observe and pick up more than we know. If we do not talk to our children, someone else will and we do not want our children getting information from the wrong sources. We want our children and the next generation to know from the start about equality and fairness.
From an early age black children are taught from their parents and caregivers that they have to work harder to achieve the same as their white counterparts. From an early age black children have are labelled and put in boxes before they speak and people get to know them. So if black children are exposed to this from an early age then white children should also.
Every week I plan for a trip to a playgroup, soft play centre and arrange play dates. Being social is just as important for the children as it is for nannies. Our week varies from indoor and outdoor activities.
The children can experience so many different learning areas when involved in these activities, such as communication and language, physical development and understanding the world. They will meet people from different cultures and learn about family units.
Perfect for when the weather is a bit wet and cold, I work in an area where we have many to choose from. The boys have their favourite locations and always get excited when I say it is a soft play day, it often follows by “are we going to the one with the balls?” I love the variety soft play centres have to offer, some provide coffee/tea and juice with entrance fee. Some centres also hold separate classes for a fee but then you can play in the centre free of charge.
Often held in churches and and run weekly during term time, fees are small and often covers play and tea/coffee and snacks for the children. I find that playgroups have a family/community feel. Parents and carers catch up and swap tips and stories while the children play. Some of the groups have themed weeks and set up activities accordingly.
Play dates are lots of fun, a few nannies take it in turn to host and we get together catch up and the children play. Tea, coffee and snacks included. The children start to build great friendships with their peers.
I have added a link of some of the places we enjoy going.
I try to do crafts based on the season and holidays. I think it is important for children to experience and understand the world around them. For feb we covered Chinese New Year and valentines. Arts and crafts are the easiest way to cover each topic, exploring textures and making things.
I have a love hate relationship with hand prints, its a stressful time to try and get the perfect hand print. But I managed to do it. The canvas I let the boys choose hands or brushes to do their art work. I loved that the boys were able to make art for the parents to keep.
Water play using a sink, is a great way to allow your child to still have fun playing and exploring water if you do not have room for a water tray. I saw this on social media and thought such a good idea. You can create lots of different scenes using props and toys.
B3 loves water and currently really into bugs so I created a swamp and filled it with bugs and water animals. He loved this and spent lots of time playing and making up stories. Then once you have all finished you simply pull the plug and let the toys dry.
Areas covered in this activity, communication and language and understanding the world.