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.
Is it appropriate for a nanny to go to work at the moment?
Leaving the house is only permitted in certain circumstances. One of these is “Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.” The Health Secretary has clarified that "where people absolutely cannot work from home they can still go to work, indeed it's important that they do to keep the country running".
Clearly nannying cannot be done from home, and requires travel, so nannies travelling to work appear to fall within the exception. However, families should consider whether having a nanny is essential, considering the nature of their work and the impact of their travel on society.
We recommend only one nanny working with one family, with both practising social distancing from all others.
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.
To keep yourself and the family you’re working with as safe as possible, please follow these key rules:
- Wash your hands regularly, e.g. every time you arrive for a shift or enter the family home. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Also regularly wash the children’s hands.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands. Keep an eye out for the kids doing the same!
- Follow the social distancing guidance. Stay at least 2 metres apart from people not in the family’s household at all times, including when outside. Tip: 2m is about the length of a double bed or the arm span of an average adult.
- You must not meet up with friends or be in gatherings of more than 2 people outside work.
- Avoid playgrounds and other places that children or adults congregate.
- Avoid public transport. Walk or cycle to work, or if possible drive - the family may be able to pick you up too.
- 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).
Travelling to work safely
The official advice is currently to avoid public transportation, so nannies should walk or cycle to the family's home. 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
Advice on interviewing
We don't think it's appropriate for nannies to visit multiple homes for interviews, so for now you can only arrange phone or video interviews.
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
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. There are a small number of nannies who we are still seeking clarification and we will update them soon. 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
- 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.