If you're a parent and want to get advice about how COVID-19 affects you, click here.
Our top priorities are to keep our families and nannies safe and healthy, and to help public health authorities fight the spread of the virus. It is essential to follow the official NHS advice and use the NHS Covid-19 app to enable track-and-trace and check any symptoms.
Can nannies work at the moment?
Yes, as long as neither household has someone with symptoms of COVID-19 or has been asked to self-isolate.
A National Lockdown in England was introduced by the Government on the 4th of January 2021. The government continues to allow nannies to work in people's homes.
The Government guidance says "where it is necessary for you to work in other people's homes - for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople - you can do so.”
Click here for examples of when you can't work with your family and what steps to take if this happens.
Travelling to work safely
Wherever possible, nannies should avoid public transport and instead walk, cycle or drive to the family's home. Where public transport is unavoidable, social distancing must be followed. The law requires people to wear face coverings on public transport. This is to help prevent the virus spreading in case you have it asymptomatically.
Alternatively, some families are choosing to drive their nanny by car. Other parents who cannot do their jobs without a nanny and whose nannies face longer commutes are planning for their nanny to live in their house temporarily. Many are successfully doing bursts of virtual nannying to support parents to work from home.
How to work safely in the home
You should socially distance (stay 2m apart) from members of the household that you aren’t caring for as much as possible. This means you aren’t expected to socially distance from the children.
Other recommendations to work safely include:
- Regularly wash hands for at least 20 seconds, especially on arrival.
- Use hand sanitiser when you are out and about. For example when picking up the children from school you must use hand sanitiser before making contact with the children.
- Regularly clean touched objects and surfaces, for example door handles, kitchen items and toys. Use your normal household cleaning products.
- Keep internal doors open where possible to minimise contact.
- Maintain good ventilation, for example keep windows and doors open, or be outside where possible.
It is optional to wear a face covering while working as a nanny, but is it not required by law. The other measures mentioned above are the best ways to manage risk, and you should not rely upon wearing a face covering only.
Please note that face coverings should not be used by children under the age of two, or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly, for example primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions. If you are considering wearing a face covering at work, we recommend you read the detailed guidance attached in this article.
Please note however that we do recommend wearing a face covering for face to face interviews and trial shifts.
It’s important to communicate clearly and regularly with your family, to align on expectations about what you must do to manage risk and also what measures the family are taking. If either of you have concerns, it’s important to raise these early.
In an emergency, for example, an accident, fire, or break-in, people do not have to stay 2m apart if it would be unsafe.
If you or anyone you live with experiences symptoms, however mild, do not go to work. Tell the family and self-isolate for 10 days. People with symptoms should get a test, if it comes back negative you can stop self-isolating.
Click here to read the full government guidance on working safely in other people's homes.
Advice on interviewing
If you are meeting a family in their home, you should, wherever possible, maintain social distancing (stay 2m apart) and take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene:
· Regularly wash hands, especially on arrival.
· Regularly clean touched surfaces, for example door handles, and try to keep internal doors open where possible to minimise contact.
· Maintain good ventilation, for example keep windows and doors open, or be outside where possible.
· Disinfect surfaces when a guest uses shared facilities, like bathrooms.
We also recommend that both families and nannies wear a face covering for face to face interviews. You might want to discuss remove your face covering when engaging with the children as they may be more dependent on facial expressions, clear sound and lip reading (this is allowed in the government regulations).
You should also be prepared to to discuss the following points with families:
- Adherence in recent weeks and in future to latest social distancing, self-isolation and household-isolation advice.
- The work situation in both households e.g. working from home, working in a healthcare setting, commuting by public transport.
- How you will get to work.
- Any symptoms of COVID-19 in either household in the last 14 days.
How we’re supporting our nannies
- We have three trained, experienced teachers on staff (2 primary, 1 secondary) who are available to support nannies with any individual issues
- Sending our nannies weekly schedules or activity ideas, you can also find them here.
- Giving our nannies tips on how to navigate childcare while the parents are home (it isn’t always straightforward!)
- Access to a private facebook group of Koru Kids nannies where they can get ideas and support from each other as well as from us
- Emphasising coronavirus safety to our nannies, including frequent hand washing and social distancing in their non-nanny lives
- Providing tips on how to do virtual nannying
- Free CACHE- and NCFE-accredited online training courses
Advice on updating your search requirements
To help us with your search and to increase your chances of finding a role, we strongly recommend keeping your availability up to date and responding quickly to families if they message you.
To update your availability, login to your dashboard, click the icon in the top right and select 'Your Availability'. You can also pause your search at any time.
What other changes are there to being a nanny?
Schools may have different pick-up procedures e.g. staggered timings. Families will be able to share the specific guidelines for their child(ren)’s school.
Children may have fewer after school activities than normal e.g. clubs, but this will mean plenty of time to do some fun activities together at home!
Many more parents will be working from home than before, and so may be in the home whilst you are nannying.
How does nannying work while the parents work from home?
Although it may be really helpful to have the support of parents on hand, it might not always be straightforward too.
Having the parents at home while you are working can often change the dynamic of your role and your relationship with the children. These types of roles require particularly good communication with the parents to make sure you're all on the same page.
This video by our Relationship Support Specialist Alex shares the things it's most important to discuss before you get started.
FOR EXISTING NANNIES WITH A KORU KIDS FAMILY
Will I get paid if I'm not going to work due to COVID-19?
• If you can’t go to work because the family’s household is self-isolating, the family should continue to pay for your usual working hours, or they may furlough you if you are eligible.
You must not submit any hours that you have not worked. If your family would like to pay you whilst you are self-isolating, please get in touch with the team. We will then add these hours as an adjustment to your next pay.
• If you can't go to work because you are self-isolating, you may be eligible to receive Statutory Sick Pay (you need to earn on average at least £120 per week to be eligible), this will not apply if you are quarantining after returning from abroad.
If you are not eligible for statutory sick pay, the family may agree to continue paying your usual working hours, or use the furlough scheme, although they are not obliged to. We strongly recommend you discuss this with your family as early as possible.
• If you should go to work but decide not to, you will need to take this as unpaid leave.
We understand this might be an awkward conversation to have with your family, especially at this difficult time. So we've put some tips together that you can find here.
What about travelling abroad?
If you are planning to travel outside of the UK you should talk to your family as soon as possible, ideally before you book anything.
If you are required to self-isolate on your return to the UK then the length of your trip and your isolation period could mean you are not working for your family for a long time which may leave them struggling to meet their childcare needs.
If you are required to self-isolate on your return to the UK you will not be able to work and it is unlikely your family will want to pay you and you will not be eligible for statutory sick pay.