Courses For Upskilling Your Nanny
Whether you’re a full-time mama or a working mama, if you have little ones in a hectic city like Dubai the fact that domestic help is abundant and affordable is truly a blessing. Thanks to helpers, part-time babysitters and, most of all, nannies, mamas in Dubai can work, spend quality time with our families, and maybe even have a bit of time to spare for ourselves!
Of course, we only want to leave our children in the best of hands. We spend lots of time researching which nurseries and schools would be the best fit for our children. And if we’re looking to hire a nanny, we spend hours interviewing candidates to see which one would be the best fit for our families.
So what makes for a good nanny?
Well, for one, she has to love being around children. She also has to be efficient, reliable and trustworthy. She should be able to take direction but she should have good judgment and be proactive if the situation calls for it. She should have good communication skills, both in order to interact with our children as well as to give us feedback about the kids.
Oh, and it would really be great if she came with an impressive set of qualifications related to childcare and years of experience taking care of children. Right?
Unfortunately holding out for a nanny that comes with all of those valuable attributes as well as the qualifications, certifications, and heaps of experience may see us holding out forever!
It’s actually a bit unfair to expect all that from the nannies that are available to us in Dubai. They are usually young, inexperienced and have no formal training. And yet that’s the primary reason why they’re so affordable to us.
It’s a double-edged sword if there ever was one.
The nannies we hire also usually come from a different cultural background than our own. That means they will come with a different set of sensibilities and values when it comes to playing, discipline and school work. And they will most certainly have different reactions than we would when it comes various childcare scenarios. So it is incredibly important to take the time to get our nannies on the same page as we are.
And educating them in childcare fundamentals in a more formal fashion is by far the best way to do that.
But because our nannies spend all of their working hours taking care of our children as well as our homes, they have little to no time to spend receiving additional training in childcare. In fact, less than 5 per cent of nannies in the UAE have any formal training, and that mainly is the work of mamas who had the foresight to send their nannies to pediatric first aid courses.
Given how much we rely on our nannies – with many children spending anywhere between 25 to 80 per cent of their time with nannies, depending on the family and child – it makes perfect sense to invest in upskilling our nannies.
Upskilling is teaching an employee new skills so that they add more value to their organisation, which, in this instance, is our households.
If we invest in upskilling our nannies, for example, like the mamas who sent their nannies to the first aid courses, they add value to our households by becoming better caretakers to our children. The first aid courses cost somewhere between AED 400 to AED 600 and require a time commitment of four to six hours. But since the children around the nannies with first aid certifications are undeniably in safer hands it’s clearly worth the time and the money!
Seeing the value added when a nanny is provided with some more formal instruction when it comes to caring for children, my husband Milind and I developed Rise, an app that serves as an educational platform for nannies and their employers.
Read more: The Best ‘At Home’ Services In Dubai
Rise provides curated courses created by childcare experts that cover four core areas of childcare: child safety and emergency planning; children’s nutrition and health; building a caring and nurturing the environment and supporting child learning and development. Prices range from AED 50 to AED 250.
We designed the video courses, which last an average of 30 minutes, to be viewed on smartphones and tablets. They come in short chapters that are easy to process. Each chapter is followed by a brief assessment to determine whether the lesson has sunk in; if it hasn’t, the courses can be taken again and again. And employers can monitor their nannies’ progress through the various modules via the app itself.
The great thing about the courses we chose for Rise is the fact that the time commitment isn’t prohibitive. On a given day, a nanny can spend anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes on a course and come away with knowledge that will enrich her as a caretaker to the child she’s been entrusted with.
Considering the fact that when we hire our nannies we take the time – hours and sometimes even days – to go over the household routine, instruct them about what goes where and teach them how to use our various home appliances, investing a little time and a little money in training our nannies on how to better take care of our children is a no-brainer. Right?
All images are taken from Rise Facebook page.