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.
If you're thinking about becoming a Koru Kids nanny during the COVID-19 crisis, click here.
If you're a parent and thinking about hiring a Koru Kids nanny during the COVID-19 crisis, click here.
If you're an existing Koru Kids parent and want to get advice about how COVID-19 affects you, click here.
Is it appropriate for a nanny to go to work at the moment?
Yes. The current Government advice is that a nanny can attend a family's home as long as neither household has someone with symptoms of COVID-19 or has been asked to isolate. This applies even if you are not a key worker (sometimes called 'critical' or 'essential' worker). See more details below on how to travel to and work safely in the home.
Read the government's latest advice:
- Guidance for people working in other people's homes - note that this guidance does not directly apply to nannies, but should still be useful as guidance. Koru Kids was involved in the technical working group that developed this guidance.
- Who is allowed to go to work
- Full government plan
- Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do
Since June 1st, nannies can look after children from two families (we call this 'nanny sharing'). This is in line with schools and childminders re-opening.
The government has also advised that families should not rely for childcare on grandparents (or anyone over 70), anyone with underlying conditions, or anyone pregnant. If you are in any of these at risk groups, please let us know ASAP. You are allowed to go to work, but the government advice is for you to "take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household." You should speak with the family first before returning to work, to ensure the risk to you is minimised.
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, especially on arrival.
- Regularly clean touched objects and surfaces, for example door handles, kitchen items and toys. Keep internal doors open where possible to minimise contact. Use your normal household cleaning products.
- 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.
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 7 days (if you have symptoms) or 14 days (if someone in your household has symptoms).
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.
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 a daily schedule or activity ideas, in addition to any specifics you’ll send their way. You can 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
- Providing free access to CACHE-accredited online training
Current training & DBS checks for nannies
All nannies must complete our rigorous online training prior to being introduced to families. This remains unaffected. However, we have temporarily paused our in person First Aid training and have moved this online instead. We also now include a module on Covid-19. We expect to later provide in person 'top-up' training for those affected.
We will also ask you to book a video call to show us your DBS documents, and then once confirmed you will also need to bring them along to show your family in person.
Advice on contracts during the COVID-19 situation
As a result of the current coronavirus situation, many parents are in urgent need of short-term childcare and don't know how long they will need their nanny to work when hiring them. Therefore, we have introduced short term coronavirus contracts to allow families the flexibility the situation demands.
For the time being, all contracts will be short term by default. However, if a family wants to hire a nanny for a longer arrangement (more than 4 weeks) then they can let us know and we can use our standard contract.
Here’s a summary of key differences:
- All short term contracts will have a 24 hour notice period for the first 4 weeks of the arrangement. After 4 weeks the notice period will increase to 1 week, the statutory minimum. Standard contracts have a 2 week probation period, and after this have a 2 week notice.
- Some of our nannies already have an enhanced DBS check, but some don't. Until recently our standard policy was to automatically process and cover the cost of an enhanced DBS check for every nanny. However, for these short term contracts, we are temporarily making DBS checks optional for a £50 fee.
Click here for full details on how our short term contracts work.
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.
We have recently changed how we display your availability to families, so if you have not updated this recently then your availability may not be shown. 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.
FOR EXISTING NANNIES WITH A KORU KIDS FAMILY
Will I get paid if I'm not going to work due to COVID-19?
Our strong recommendation to families is to keep paying you, even if you cannot come to work. However, many families have been affected financially and so are unable to sustain the current arrangement.
If you are self-isolating, you may be eligible to receive Statutory Sick Pay (you need to earn on average at least £118 per week to be eligible). Talk to your family if you're not sure.
We have already contacted families and nannies who are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. For more details on the scheme, click here.
If they are not eligible, we have suggested the following options that your family may discuss with you:
- Offering reduced hours, including you supporting remotely via video (we call this virtual nannying)
- Pausing your arrangement, where you would still get paid for a set number of hours per week. We would reduce our service fee to make it more affordable for your family
- Terminating your contract, in which case you would still be entitled to pay during your notice period
Please talk directly with the family at the earliest opportunity, no matter what situation you’re in, so you are all clear on expectations.
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.