An Interview with… | The British Association of Professional Nannies

Today we’re talking to the British Association of Professional Nannies. We got in touch with them to find out what they do, and what they offer for nannies? It’s great to register with an assoisiation like this as it shows you take your job seriously, and we are all trying to raise the profile of nannying as a profession.

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So, what is The British Association of Professional Nannies (BAPN)? 

BAPN is the membership organisation for professional nannies, dedicated to raising the profile of nannies and promoting quality child-care. We provide information, support and training to members, set industry standards which employers and recruitment agencies can refer to and represent nannies to the Government and the media on issues affecting the profession.

When was it set up?

BAPN launched in May 2011, following a lot of work by some highly experienced, qualified, professional nannies passionate about sharing their vision of helping nannies to gain the professional status they deserve. We have all always been passionate about raising the professional profile of nannies, and making sure nannies are recognised for the important part they play in the childcare industry.

Why was it set up?

BAPN’s mission has always been to support and help nannies. Nannies need an association dedicated to them. An association that understands, that is directed by nannies, that listens to its members and that can sit in Government meetings and say ‘yes, but nannies….’ twenty times when everyone else has agreed a deal that works well for nurseries and childminders but completely ignores the reality nannies face.

Being a nanny can be an extremely isolating career. It really is unlike any other job. For one thing you do not have colleagues to offer support and advice. This is why our volunteers are so important to our work. They are not only there to encourage development but also to offer a listening ear and advice which often can only be given by someone in the same profession. Also, in no other job are you so close to your boss – you know almost everything that goes on in their life, you are in their home, you have access to vast amounts of private and confidential information and you need to balance being professional with being a part of the family, and it’s hard to stand up for your rights when you feel like you’re standing up to a friend. BAPN helps nannies do that by providing accurate, impartial information based on legislation as it applies to nannies.

We also felt that at the time there wasn’t much on offer in terms of professional development for nannies. Now the training industry has a huge array of courses on offer and nannies have the opposite problem of trying to choose. Continuous professional development within the childcare industry is vital to raising standards and offering the most exceptional level of care available to children, but it has to be quality training that’s giving out good information. We ensure all our members have access to further training, for example via discounts with training companies, and support them fully in developing their skills and knowledge. BAPN will shortly be in a position to enable nannies to easily keep up to date with current guidelines and regulations by offering free common core refresher training.

Families and businesses also benefit from BAPN. A huge part of the UK’s workforce is dependent on reliable, flexible, quality childcare. BAPN gives peace of mind to parents and allow them to return to work with the confidence, that their BAPN nanny is a true professional in their field and that their children are in the best possible care.

What does BAPN offer to its members?

Being a member of BAPN….

• demonstrates your professionalism and commitment to your career
• gives you access to free training and discounts for leading training providers (St John’s Ambulance, MNT Training, Childcare Company and others) as well as your nanny insurance discount with Morton Michel
• provides you with free guides and documents, plus a CV and portfolio service
• means your voice is heard and your priorities are taken forward
• shows your support for the work we do to raise the profile of professional nannies

We love the fact that you are passionate about nannying being recognised as a professional job. How are you going about raising the profile of nannies?

Along with encouraging CPD, assisting new nannies, we have a great team who work with government departments ensuring that nannies are not forgotten. Recently they’ve been involved in shaping Tax-Free Childcare and continue to participate as stakeholders, raising potential issues with the systems as they come online. We also recently met with the DfE to discuss how nannies can be included in the 30 hour offer for working parents. We work with other organisations too, for example BAPN are part of the Regulation Matters campaign which is an industry-wide group.

How do you think this can be increased in the future ?

Our vision is to have all professional Nannies members of BAPN, with insurance, fully trained and informed, with support and advice from our team. We have received a wonderful amount of support so far and are continuously told how much Nannies need this Association. We would love more and more nannies to become involved so we can have local support groups too. We’re looking forward to supporting nannies who want to put that in place by liaising with children’s centres or other places to provide a space for nannies to meet (although it could just as easily be someone’s living room!), providing publicity materials and helping nannies connect.

BAPN will be making it a priority that Nannies have access to the same training/ development courses as other childcare providers in the workforce. By ensuring nannies gain further training,this will have a very positive effect not only on the children in their care, but also in the way nannies are perceived. The recent changes to early years qualifications have made it harder for nannies to access level 3 training on the job and that’s a concern.

We’ve heard you’ve got a new website coming soon. What can we expect from it?

Lots more information for all nannies, from employments rights to working with parents, finding a nanny job and nannies and EYFS, plus a wonderful docu-zone for members.

When will it be launched ?

Very soon, keep an eye on our facebook page here.

Thank you to Dawn from BAPN, for answering all our questions.

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© pocketnannies 2016

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