Australian Nanny Association- Alice Vandersteen Professional Nanny- 24th September
Alice Vandersteen joins us to discuss her career as a professional nanny.
I started working through a top Melbourne agency that specialised in hotel work. I also did a nanny training course at the beginning of my career. It was a six month course, two days a week. I had done a lot of work experience prior to becoming a nanny. In crches and a centre for under privileged children. As a teen I used to babysit the local kids. So I always had an interest in working with children.
Alice Vandersteen joins us to discuss her career as a professional nanny
How long have you been working as a nanny?I have worked as a professional nanny for nearly 24 years. I started at age 18 after completing year 12.
How did you get started as a nanny?
I started working through a top Melbourne agency that specialised in hotel work. I also did a nanny training course at the beginning of my career. It was a six month course, two days a week. I had done a lot of work experience prior to becoming a nanny. In crches and a centre for under privileged children. As a teen I used to babysit the local kids. So I always had an interest in working with children.Do you have any training that has helped you in your nanny career?The nanny training course I did in 1992 set me in good stead. It covered many topics. It was a very thorough course.
I have also done the Certificate of Education Support-Integration Aide/teacher Aide at Monash University in 2012.
More recently I completed the Certificate in Children?s Services in 2013.Over the years I have also attended numerous seminars, talks, shows and events covering relevant topics. The topics do change over time; for example, there was no talk of social media in the nanny training course I did in 1992.Every year I update CPR and first aid. Every time I do these courses I learn something different.ÿYou can never be complacent.What type of experiences have you had working as a nanny?
I have seen a lot over the years. The good and the bad. By far, I have had positive experiences. For the first 6 years of my career, I mostly provided nanny services for families that were one off bookings in hotels for travelling families. I learnt quickly to adapt to varying situations and conditions.I?ve always done a 40 plus hour week whether that has been with a family full-time, part time or casual nannying. I?ve never had any trouble picking up work through agencies or through the mothers you meet over the years at the kinder drop offs, parks, shops etc. I?ve never been without work in 24 years. The trick is to work with a family that has similar morals and values as yourself. And everything should go pretty smoothly.What age groups of children have you worked with?I have worked with infants through to mid teens. The most common age being 0-5.
There have been some families I have worked with from day one until the youngest child goes to school. So some families like my current nanny family has four children the oldest nearly 10 and the youngest 4.5. I have been with them for nearly 6 years.
So I really do cover all the ages and stages.What changes have you seen happen in the nanny profession over your career?
For years i was used to feeling that I was one of the handful of nannies around. Now with social media it has extended the nanny world. Social media has greatly broadened the nanny community, locally, nationally and internationally.The younger nannies coming through generally have more education under their belt. Often with degrees such as primary school teaching. There are maternal nurses and kindergarten teachers also nannying .And many nannies now have diplomas. The nanny game has lifted over the years. There are more nannies now specialising in certain areas such as sleep consulting, tutoring, travelling nannies, special needs, languages and so on. More nannies now have roles that branch out