With the movie Tully opening this week, Louise Dunham, a pioneer of the nanny industry in Australia points out the term ‘night nanny’ is outdated and no longer the correct phrase to use.
In Tully, Marlo, who is played by Charlize Theron, gives birth to her third child and her wealthy brother hires a night-time nanny named Tully to help his sister handle the workload.
Louise Dunham, CEO of Placement Solutions nanny agency, said that nannies who look after newborns and handle the night shift from 11pm to 7am are now referred to as newborn care (NBC) specialists.
“Other outdated terms such as maternity nurse, doula, mothercraft nurse also come under the newborn care specialist title,” Ms Dunham said.
Louise Dunham, who has written a book about the role of the modern nanny and the nanny industry, said a qualified newborn care specialist brings exhausted parents the gift of sleep.
“When babies don’t sleep, their parents don’t either. For many, sleep deprivation can be a difficult part of new parenthood; bringing with it an increased risk of postpartum depression and anxiety.
“NBC specialists are ideal for once or twice a week so parents can catch up on sleep and they can help with feeding problems. They can also be employed for day time shifts and can care for up to three infants at a time.”
Dunham highlights how important it is to have a comprehensive screening process to ensure the nanny chosen will provide a safe and caring role.
“Instead of hiring a random babysitter from an online ad, a neighbour or a relative, parents should take the safe, reliable and trusted option by going through a reputable nanny agency.
“Nannies are more than just babysitters. They are professional, pro-active, fully screened nannies who are trained and have qualifications. They should also be legally employed and not paid cash in hand, which is illegal.”
Casual and date-night nannies are becoming increasingly popular with people buying gifts for baby showers, congratulatory and birthday presents, and maternity leave gifts. Packages of four, five or six hours expert care are usually available.
“We suggest the minimum requirement for nannies is three years’ experience, a Level 2 First Aid certificate, Working with Children check, Police check and good references that have been checked.
“Children who have a professional nanny are in competent, compassionate and responsible hands and will also have an enjoyable and fun time,” she added.
Trailer can be viewed here:
About Louise Dunham
Louise Dunham is CEO of Placement Solutions, a Melbourne-based firm, specialising in nanny placement, which she established in 1988. She is also the founder and CEO of Just Family Nanny Payroll and Nurture Training College, an RTO providing formal nationally accredited qualifications in Early Childhood Education and Care.
Louise served as Chair of the Ethics Board of the International Nanny Association (INA) for five years, and most recently as INA’s Vice President and was the first non-American to be on the Board. Formerly she was VP of the Australian Home Childcare Association.
Louise was on the steering committee that wrote the Australian National Interim In-Home Care Standards and she was instrumental in the development of the Working with Children Check in Victoria.
Placement Solutions was the first agency of its kind to implement a Child Protection Policy, which was the first to be approved by Child Wise for the prevention of child abuse.
Louise is a passionate advocate for the need for nannies to be recognised as childcare professionals, to be paid legally and have a valuable role to play in the childcare sector.